The semiotic construction of worldview in film: Multimodal variations in Le Samourai, The killer and Ghost Dog

Sky Marsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Using a narrative-semiotic approach, this paper explores some devices used by film to create a worldview and a philosophical approach to identity and a ction. To achieve this, the paper explores how certain film noir hybrids, which are based on the same prototypical story, modify narrative and stylistic elements to produce different text-worlds. It analyzes a highly influential cinematic text, Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samourai (1967), and discusses some prominent stylistic and thematic elements that have been re-constructed and re-positioned differently in various films that trace their artistic origins to M elville's text. This paper considers two of these films, John Woo's The Killer (1989) and Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog (1999). It examines their commonalities and differences through an analysis of how they: a) dramatize the tension between language (saying) and action (doing); b) encode action through a stylization of physical movement; c) employ camera angle and distance to frame action sequences; d) employ modalities of light and color to qualify the represented action.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)153-175
    Number of pages23
    JournalSemiotica
    Volume2012
    Issue number190
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

    Keywords

    • Existentialism
    • Film
    • Film noir
    • Narrative
    • Transtextuality
    • Worldview

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