Monday, June 1, 2015

Film as Literature: Dystopias Part 2

1. Consider The Truman Show as compared to our previous Dystopian films. Which is more representative of a true dystopia- a visible totalitarian force or an invisible orchestration of control? In other words, which is scarier- a force you can see or a force you cannot? Defend your claim.

2. Do you think that the level and extent of invasiveness exemplified in The Truman Show is possible? Is there evidence of this type of fixation in media today?

13 comments:

Charles Fitzgerald said...

I would say a force I can see is less scarier than a force I can't see because I don't know the extent of the force or what it can do< and to add to it I guess I would also have the fear of my own imagination from guessing its extent. No I don't believe that the level of voyeurism in The Truman Show is possible but there is a lot of evidence of voyeurism in media today but not that extent.

Anonymous said...

1. Comparing The Truman Show to the other dystopian films viewed, a more visible totalitarian force is a more plausible dystopia. A visible force is scarier than an invisible force because you know it is there. You are able to watch the world turn into chaos and you are totally aware of it unlike The Truman Show where if it were happening right now we would be totally oblivious to it and it wouldn’t affect us in any way.
2. I believe that the situation of The Truman Show is only partially possible. It would be simple to keep the act through childhood, but once the actor gets older like Truman, it would be difficult to keep the shtick going. There is no doubt that people like to observe other people’s lives with shows like Jon and Kate Plus Eight and Honey Boo Boo. Shows like this show that people would definitely watch the Truman show if it was a real thing which gives it some credibility for being a possibility.

Ryan Wheeler

Anonymous said...

.1 When comparing the Truman Show to the other dystopias you come upon the question which is a true dystopia? In my personal opinion I feel that Children of men has the most dystopia qualities over the Truman Show and V for Vendetta. When I watch all of these movies I felt different emotions. The Truman Show was the most of the dystopia because it wasn’t too gloomy like the others. V for Vendetta was more disturbing but V’s character was not as serious as I assumed he would be so that is kind of what made it less of a dystopia. Children of Men was in my opinion the dystopia that lives up to its reputation, it was creepy and made me worry about the future. When comparing the qualities of dystopia between Children of Men and the Truman Show, children of men is more of a dystopia.
2. I don’t think that the entire situation that the Truman Show is based in is at all possible. It would require tons of devotion and money, just given the fact that actors give their lives to the show would not be realistic. Although that is a lot, today’s media is growing to an extent where it is close, lots of reality TV shows are slowly progressing to be like this.

~Connor Binegar

Anonymous said...

1. In my opinion the force that would be scarier is the one used in The Truman Show. This would be scarier because you could have no idea your life is being influenced by one person who is orchestrating other people around you so you’re influenced to do certain actions. I think this because if you know what you are up against you can know how to fight it and even completely get rid of the thing or person controlling you. As well as this Truman did not understand what was happening to him for the first 30 years of his life.
2. I believe that there is enough technology to make a show such as The Truman Show to be possible. Although it would never happen because no one would be willing to hand over the billions of dollars to create all the things in the show, the fake world, the actors, and all the props, that would be able to make the show successful. I don’t know if there is the fixation in the media is as extreme as in The Truman Show where the want to see everything he does, but there is an interest in the lives of certain people who are famous, reality shows, biographies/autobiographies, etc., because people want to know how they stack up to how they live their lives.
-Camden Cleathero

Gianna Larson said...

1. “V for Vendetta” is seen as a visible totalitarian force because “V” sees all the flaws to the government. “V” shows the people what the government is really doing to the world and its people. “Children of Men” can also be seen of a visible totalitarian force. The actors in the movie can see how the world is imperfect. Nobody can have children, and it takes place in a society that is not perfect. The setting is a warzone and that is not the ideal setting for a perfect society. “The Truman Show” is a very good example of an invisible totalitarian force. Truman has been broadcasted his whole life and he is the only one who doesn’t know about his own show. From birth, Truman thought that everything was real, his wife, his car, the environment, when it was all fake so that the producer could make money. A force you cannot see is scary; you have the intention that your life is real and in Truman’s case, it was real for him, to a point. Living in a world where you have no input in where you want to go in life is scary. Like Truman, he lived everyday over and over again, with the thought that he had the best life. Truman never had a real life, everyone was acting and all things were fake.
2. I don’t think that the level and extent of “The Truman Show” is possible. Since birth there have been the same actors in Truman’s environment. You couldn’t pay me any amount of money to pretend to live in a fake environment, and pretend to be real like Truman was treated. It is truly sad that Truman never had a chance in the real world to actually have a wife who loved him back, and a family of his own. Truman was never given the opportunity to have a private life, it was displayed publicly for the whole world’s enjoyment. The TV show “Keeping up with the Kardashians” is kind of similar because you can tune in every Sunday night to watch them live their lavish lifestyle. The only difference is that they actually know they have their own show, and get to input in what they want to put into the show and what they don’t want. I don’t believe that there is any show as bizarre as “The Truman Show.”

Arianna Heath said...

1.) Each movie has characteristics of a dystopia even if they are not conventional representations of such an example. Both have a force that controls over a population that goes on living unknowingly following along with their demands and how bad it really is. Honestly i believe a force that you can not see i so much scarier than a military run ladder that you know what they are capable.
2.) With the society and the technology that we have today i believe that it could be very possible for a corporation to come forth and create a show that has the same fundamental structure of the Truman show. Look into any sort of magazine or tv guide today. We have built up normal people into celebrities just from following along with their lives. I think people do have an interest in this sort of concept and it would most likely have good ratings.

Skylar Daley said...

1. In V for Vendetta the oppression is very clear to “V” and many of the other citizens, as is it in Children of Men. In my opinion, while a visible totalitarian force is surely terrifying, what is even scarier is an invisible orchestration of control. When the force is visible, at least you are aware that you are being controlled. If you are so inclined to do so you could possibly even start an uprising. However, if you are unaware of the dystopia that you are in, that is in a way even worse. How could you change anything if you were unaware of the injustice in the first place? When you know that you are living in a dystopia, you know that things are not good. On the contrary, being controlled by an invisible force means that you do not know how terrible things are. Not knowing is very easily scarier than knowing.
2. I think that the level and extent of voyeurism in The Truman Show is slightly exaggerated, and it is not possible in the real world. However, we are very close to that in today’s society. People find entertainment in other’s lives, especially those that are so starkly contrast to their own. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, documenting the lives of a very southern family is one example. One of the most widely watched series, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, is more evidence of this. America has fallen in love with the Kardashian family, and is fascinated by their every move which is very similar to the audiences of The Truman Show.

Emma Sudduth said...

1. I believe the visible totalitarian force is more representative of a dystopia because in the totalitarian society the people are living through a war and chaos. In the invisible orchestrated world the threat is not perceived and the main character is actually living a healthy life before he becomes stir crazy and decides to break out. The visible threat is scarier because it is perceivable and is working against the people. The fake world is set up to nurture and care for Truman, so he is never in danger from his world. The totalitarian’s job is to stop the people from gaining more control or knowledge; it is not trying to help the people only control them.
2. I think that the level and extent of voyeurism is perfectly portrayed in The Truman Show because the film shows how easily people attach to others just by watching them on television. The viewer’s feel very close to Truman because every day he is right there living his life just like them. They don’t account for the fact that Truman is forced to be there and that his life is imaginary because it looks real to them. There is this type of fixation in the media today through the multitude of reality television shows on almost every channel. People are so emotionally involved in the realities that the stars are given massive sums of money and promotion, so that everyone sees their faces in any public space. We make idols out of these “common” folk because they are living what the public sees as the American Dream even though their lives are at least somewhat fabricated from pressure of the television producers.

Jacob Blend said...

1. I believe that a force that you can see is scarier than a force you cannot see. I believe this because you know it is there versus having no idea that a type of force is watching you and then not having to worry about it.

2. I think that the amount of voyeurism shown in the Truman show is not possible in the real world. I could see it lasting for awhile due to the type of technology and fans of television we have but then fall apart due to lack of carelessness and actors wanting to quit.

Colleen Murphy said...

1. I think a visible totalitarianism is more representative of a true dystopia because there is nothing you can do to stop the person you are being controlled by. Knowing that you are living in an imperfect world and not being able to do anything is like torture. You live in constant fear of your government. People do not like being controlled. If you do not know you are being controlled, your world does not seem imperfect. Truman for example, thought his world was perfect. When he did not know he was being controlled, he was happy and the only thing he was afraid of was water. Overall, when you know you are being controlled you live in more fear and try to change what is happening.
2. I think the level and extent of invasiveness exemplified in The Truman Show is very extreme and would not likely happen in the real world. I think most people would see this as cruel torture, not having any real friends or family, living in front of the whole world. The world has come very close to this though. For example, the Kardashians have lived in the light of media, but they know it. They’re every move is documented and people find entertainment in their lives and feel like they know them by watching the show. Although they have not been fooled into thinking they are living in a real perfect world, they are still documented out to the world and are emotionally attached to by viewers. They get to live the life everyone wishes they had, both the Kardashians and Truman.

Rachel Brunault said...

1.
I believe that a controlling force that cannot be seen is far more frightening than one you can. With one that you can see, there is something concrete before you for your mind to comprehend, no matter how great a force it is at least you have something you can measure up against. This is versus something you cannot see, where the controlling force is a complete mystery. With mystery of sorts and lack of concrete knowledge, all you have the ability to do is imagine what it is, and more often than not this essence of the unknown in the force builds excessive fear. It is also harder to beat and/or compete with what you do not understand, thus making the unknown more truly dystopian in that sense.

2.
The levels of voyeurism in The Truman Show, to the extent in which they are depicted to be, I believe to be an exaggerated stretch of modern culture and not practical in our world, but that being said relating to the type of society we have today. In a culture like we have, things like reality television and trashy tabloid magazines are enough examples of how invasive in the lives of others we can be, but to the extent of Truman’s is something far more extreme than the rest and to have so many people watch it, knowing that this guy has no idea he’s being followed by cameras through every single thing that happens in his life, would mean that a mass-majority of mankind would have the mindset of a stalker, which I would say is not the case. However, if we lived in a dystopian world ourselves where this is a deeply embedded in our culture and is looked at as normal entertainment (The Hunger Games for example, people watching children kill each other like it was any other sporting event), then it may be different.

Kaleala KF said...

1. The Truman Show is a believable dystopian movie. In The Truman Show has an invisible force of power behind the “perfect world”. If the character cannot see the force, the character don’t know what’s real and what's not. For the time being the character thinks everything is fine and completely real when in fact someone may be controlling the life the character lives and (s)he doesn’t even know it. When the character finds out that it exists, I can’t even start to imagine the betrayal the character must feel.

2. I do believe this type of invasiveness is possible. The government invades in the people's’ personal life all the time. Example: tapping into phones, and cameras everywhere. Another example is people always want to know what’s going on in celebrity’s personal lives. The paparazzi isn’t very polite or secretive about it though.

Amanda Towne said...

1.) In my opinion, a visible totalitarian force is a truer representation of a dystopia. In Children of Men or V for Vendetta, they were both environmentally controlled. The worlds that both movies became were unpleasant. The government overtook their people and forced a major downgrade from the real wold today. In The Truman Show, Truman was unaware that his life was being controlled by the television show he was starring in. The creators of the show Truman was in staged out his life. Overall, a visible totalitarian force represents a dystopia more because you are limited to do things which might lead to unpleasant rebels.
2.)I do not think the level and extent of invasiveness exemplified in The Truman Show is possible because people control their own lives and it would be hard for it to be controlled without knowing. Nowadays shows are becoming more and more like The Truman Show. Shows become personal and in depth with people’s lives that telecast all over the world.