Literature Criticism: Journal
Freedom and People in the movie poster of "The people vs. Larry Flynt"
Movie poster is a kind of promotion for films. On the other hand, it also demonstrates the center massage that movies would like to convey to its audience in advance. Therefore, I try to apply what we learn into two-movie poster of "The People V.S. Larry Flynt." In the first poster, we can see a man in the formal dress, and American flag muzzles his mouth. When I first saw this poster, the American culture, the first idea came out of my mind. However, what is the meaning by covering the man's mouth
with American flag?
Therefore, at this time, the image of the man' mouth is only a signifier to me. Then, the signified (the concept) is empty in my mind. After seeing this film, I could realize the concept that the poster wants to instill to the audience. The man, Larry Flynt played by Woody Harrelson is a pornography magnate in American publication.
However, his magazine of "Hustler" is taken as the most indecent and immoral one in the society in 1970's America. Therefore, he is prosecuted for a long time for his
context of the magazine, which aroused a fervent discussion among people. The sign of American flag represents national flag of this country, American. However, it also refers the concept of American culture and of what rights American people have. Even the most ordinary person has his basic right as long as he live in American, just like the man in the poster. This kind of concept comes out of my mind when the American flag reveals. The image of the American flag is so vivid that makes us to think of American constitution and its culture of the Capitalism. In a free country, people own their right to develop their freedom for property, lives, and stating their ideas, etc. Also, we can see the colors used to print the words out are
various. The color of whiteness is used in "The people", and blue and red color is painted in the name of the character, "Larry Flynt." As we all know that white, blue
and red colors are the main ones in American flag and the meaning of the colors refer to " Philanthropy, liberty, and equality," just like the referent of our national flag. The
image shows us people's right in America.
However, the man's mouth is sealed with the national flag. The signified in our mind may indicate that the man's right is impinged by American constitution. Based on our understanding of American culture, no one has the right to invade others' ones. Here, we can clearly see that the man's right indeed is limited, because of the muzzling mouth. However, the spatial arrangement is quite nteresting. The image of the man's face takes the most space of the poster. It connotes that human's basic right
is protected and is still the important part in the earth no matter what kind of behavior he may act and speech he may state. Let us relate it with the content of the movie
Even though Larry Flynt's sexual magazine is so dirty and obscene, however he or his speech is still protected by American constitution, which give people freedom for
stating their opinions. Also, under the society of Capitalism in America, everyone is authorized to earn his money in the proper methods. Even a man, like Larry
Flynt, is so arrogance and do not know how to respect others' right. Or an obscene publication like "Hustler" is bawdy and filthy. However, "Hustler" and Larry Flynt still are protected by American constitution, though it may hate to do so. I think that the whole poster really represent the center massage that the movie would tell us.
From studying Barthe's semiotics, I learn more techniques of analysis. Using this approach is interesting for me to develop my imagination and to help me to analyze the text in different perspectives. Actually, I would like to analysis another poster of this move, because it is really controversial and impressive. Also, when this poster released at that time, it is wide-separated discussion and in some countries, it is banned to be posted. However, I could not remember all the details of the poster and could either find any information about the poster. But, I really wish that all classmates could see the controversial poster, because I think that the image of the
poster is worthy to be analyzed. Then, I expect to see if my analysis is proper after the teacher's feedback. The more feedback the teacher gives, the more knowledge I
would learn from this course. Even I might do the incorrect analysis. I think that Structuralism is a little hard for me to understand, and also it is my first to take this
course and write my first journal, so I may not catch the right direction to do my work. I hope and trust that I will improve my knowledge and skills of analysis from the course.