Note: Main notes on post-modernist terms: -[post post-modernism]- See also: [Film Terms (on film page)] [Film] [Distancing] [Art Films] [(art) Concepts]


{<><>} {Stuff} "Imitation of Life" (expand, briefly expound here)



(Imitation of Life) I decided to call this section that in honor of a superb film of the same name. In, it a young woman (of "mixed" parentage) is able to "pass for" white. In the end, in order to continue in her better and clearly more preferable life she must distance herself from her own mother. If we set asside the "period piece" and "racial" focus of the work. The film addresses almost every aspect of alienation. Most of all, alienation does include the two feelings of: Being pushed out by the crowd and feeling like an alien from another planet. Being pushed out (the act of isolation itself) is most common in crime. The person on trial is already separated from the community, probably their family, and of course most importantly a feeling of being a part of the community. Even before this, some of these factors may have lead to the condition where they are on trial. Notice that in this aspect we still do not know if they are innocent or guilty. The final "judgement" of the trial is to whether the person is be finally (or at least temporarily) cut off and hence isolated from society. Of course, they then join a new community. Only in "The Lonely" episode of the Twilight Zone did this not occur - a person sentenced to total isolation on an asteroid. About as alone as any person can be - no radio, tv, (and we presume) "internet" contact with ANYONE. Every six months a supply ship lands and brings supplies and they stay for exactly one hour - one hour within which the solitary prisoner has to see if they are still really real. Slightly down from this is of course "solitary confinement", and of course torture, and all of the "pleasantries" of prison life. But, even with this clearly distored sense of "belonging" to a community (the prision), the total and absolute isolation provided by the prison's walls themselves provide the absolute and un-yielding fact of the person's alienation: The rejection by ALL of society by means of "trial". From the other point of view, to feel oneself alienated from the world or society in particular occurs in many mental states; eg, meglamania, paranoia, slavery, military service, political service, wealth, privlidged state of knowing, etc. In these cases, the circumstnaces (which may involve a mixture of these and other factors) create the "difference(s)" that make the individual stand out. Of course in some systmes of isolation, where there is a supportive hierarchy or extended community, the alienation can be seen as a necessisary aspect of the alienating factors. For example, it is the training of the "Secret Agent" and their "higher mission" that isolates them and at the same time alienates them - placing them on a "higher plane" than the ordianry citizens; viz, "The Men in Black" in both the film and real life. Recall to that "James Bond" has a "license to kill" - thus placing him above the "normal process of law and order" and of course above society in general. However, we may view all of the above as "special extenuating circumstances" of a person either being alienated by choice of career, necessity to "find the truth", etc. We may also group those that are imprisioned (with or without cause) in a separate group as well. Regardless, the most intense form of alienation occurs when the person(s) are set aside because of something that they can not control. This would include a person falsely accused of a crime, as well as cases of mistaken identity, and other such "motivating' or "inciding" incidents. As the facts and consequences of the alienation take hold of the individual(s) they begin to colour and distort ordinary things about them. Everything becomes strangely filtered by the facts of isolation: In the external world and its events, as well as the persons that they interact with, and of course the person's own perceptions of the world and increasinly "strange" way of dealing with the external -- all caused by the alienation itself and it's increasing impact. Another excellent example of this occurs in the film, "Nemesis Game" as well as slightly-less well done films "The Game" and "". The main point (especially in "Nemesis Game") is that the things that happens around the alienated person is interpreted by them in an increasingly bizare way. In the case of a real psychologoical cause for the alienation, things take on a greater than real aspect and hold special significance for them - some of the signs of psychoses such as schizophrenia; see, for example the book and film, "A Beautiful Mind". In the case of "Nemesis Game", the person follows the clues willingly since they (like a mystery film, etc) indicate a greater understanding of the world and promise an ultimate understanding of the world at a level deeper and broader than most "normal people". Thus, in such cases the process of alienation give the person(s) a feeling of superiority. But, clearly the same sorts of things can cause them to feel trapped and/or hunted. The balance of all of these things leads to the exact model of alienation that the artist/film-maker/writer wishes to portray. This can come at key moments of discovery. For example, in the otherwise mundane film "Conspriacy Theory", it is the confrontation by ?? () with ?? () when tells her, Everything was find, and then John Hinkley tried to kill President Reaga. It was then we knew we had lost control. This chilling tie-ing together of her thoughts that all of this might just be a complete fantasie, into a cold, crystalised and serious reprecussions as THE TRUTH is revealed - and almost by accidental discovery. This theme and its proper excution can be an excellent forcal point of a work - but, of course, as with all thing: Moderation. Too many revelations simply leaves the viewer/reader either confused or laughing; the latter state of course can be used in the spoof. The further investigations of "alienation" in film are dealt with the film as art subject: -[Film (alienation in)]-

Alienation in Art

film clip examples, etc.