whole_Jenkins2000.pdf (23.1 MB)
The power of story and ecological consciousness : five twentieth-century films
thesisposted on 2023-05-26, 17:44 authored by Jenkins, M
This interdisciplinary thesis explores ecological issues and values in relation to five films and associated literature, thereby including film as an extension of the recently consolidated field of ecocriticism, also known as ecological literary (or film) criticism. The main purpose of the thesis is to highlight the ways in which stories, particularly filmic stories, affect our culture and our ecology. The five films examined in the thesis, The Crucible, Oscar and Lucinda, The Piano, Jesus of Montreal, and Blade Runner, are mainstream but they do not necessarily reflect Hollywood mainstream values. Any work, fiction or non-fiction, novel or film, may be viewed through the prism of ecocriticism, but the denser, more layered and intertextual a film, the greater the opportunity it provides for the study of ecological issues and values. Biblical stories encompass the life cycle of humanity and are major sources of material in mythology, literature, and film, all of which have a powerful effect on our society, our culture, and our understanding of the world in which we live. Our attitudes and actions are shaped by stories, but not always for the better. Chemical and genetic engineering corporation~ and their public relation experts, for example, do not usually create stories that benefit ecological systems. Each of the films is anthropocentric, presented for entertainment and box-office success, with nature sometimes seen as background to the story, and sometimes playing a stronger role. A combination of factors are likely to contribute to a viewer's response to nature and the ecological issues and values in the under-layers of the films, including the contribution of multi-media information related to local and global ecological issues. The truism that nothing works in isolation is relevant. The ongoing popularity of the films studied has attracted numerous and various opinions and deepening insights -- hence the ongoing debates, websites, essays, novels and anthologies. Because stories have power and film is a popular mediator of story, the thesis concludes that ecocritical analysis of mainstream film is one of many ways that can contribute to a deepening of ecological consciousness.
Rights statementCopyright 2000 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2000. Includes bibliographical references