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Subject The everlasting conflict
Posted by Jerry
Posted on Wed Dec 16 01:23:11 1998
From IP t192-18.dialup.seed.net.tw  

"The Trueman Show" as the everlasting conflict between the text and the writer

The TV series and the movie "Trueman Show" both are great productions; the former shows us the tremendous dominant power of the producer and the latter gives us the distance to see more significant elements within the interaction of the creator (writer) and the being (text), Trueman, that he creates. In John Fowel's The French Lieutenant's Woman, the self-consciousness of the text leads to fore possible endings. However, the four endings are juxtaposed, not interlaced, and they still come from the narrator's (story creator) switch such as the change of time. In the novel, we see the self-consciousness of the text, and we still can see some, not big perhaps, ruling power of the narrator.

In "The Trueman Show" we can see some similar powers of the self-consciousness of the text and powers of the creator. But the difference is the powers in the movie are enhanced to the extreme. Not being juxtaposed, the intertexts in the movie are interlaced; they influence each other. For example, the story of Trueman in the TV series will make the audiences laugh and cry. The audience of sudden break-in and the falling spotlight may change the "whole life" of Trueman. For oppressing the self-consciousness of the character and maintain the main plot out of his expectation, the creator will use the most powerful weapons, mass media, such as broadcast and newspaper, to justify the accident caused by the interlacing point of the intertexts and to destroy the doubts of Trueman. We cannot deny the producer has been successful of doing this for 30 years, so as a reader or an audience can hardly imagine how unmeasurable his power really is. With a humanist concern, the film maker makes the self-consciousness of Trueman, or the text, stronger and stronger, and finally he gets out of the territory of the god-like TV series producer with saying that even a god-like producer can never enter his mind and see what he is thinking.

It seems that this movie has a happy ending, but my view on this (Trueman or all of us) situation is not quite optimistic. For Trueman, of course he has gotten out of the dominance of the TV series producer, but he enters another text that is created by the filmmaker of the movie "The Trueman Show." So how strong can his self-consciousness grow to escape again?



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