Dissecting a pop song - Dan Black Symphonies

This is the 'original' Dan Black Symphonies track, however the lyrics aside its all a copy (though originally he was going to use the Notorious B.I.G.'s lyrics from hypnotize).

The song opens with a sample of the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra's version of the 'Starman' theme from the 1984 film of the same name (this will be important later on).

The next sample introduced is the drum beat from Rihanna's Umbrella

That drum beat however is taken from Garageband, the free software you get with a Mac

When all these elements are put together you get this

Which was then remixed to include Kid Cudi

Which was then remixed to include Madness lyrics for a Virgin Media advert

The video featuring many references to other film opening scenes, if you click on the image below you'll be taken to 'The Art Of The Title'.

The final reference links to 'Starman' where Jeff Bridges character is beamed back into his spaceship.

Dan Black Symphonies with references

Below is Dan Black's symphonies but this time I've added clips showing the interextual references. The video is best described as an homage to these styles.

Creating Example files - Exam Prep lesson POMO

Here is today's lesson.

With the exam fast approaching a few key targets are emerging from Mr Ford's marking

1. Examples and Theory
2. Explanations
3. Argument

1. EXAMPLES + THEORY - TASK 1(A02 20 marks A03 10 marks)

Create a word doc for EVERY text you have studied and find examples of
Intertextual references
Hyperreal world
Simulacrum (items, objects, places etc)
Levi Struss (addition, deletion, substitution)

for every 'text' you MUST include a screen grab/sound file for each AND find the ORIGINAL material

2. EXPLANATIONS - TASK 2 (A01 20 marks)

Try and explain whether these examples support the following 'criticisms', was there a 'purpose' behind the texts?

Jameson - PoMo bad. Trapped in depthless, circular references.
Foucault - Representation through 'technologies' (four types - production, sign, power, self)
Kirby Ferguson - PoMo good. Everything is a remix and is essential for creativity and 'growth' of genres. 
Eno - Death Of Uncool. PoMo. Basically thanks to the internet we can now get our sources from everywhere. Nothing is uncool anymore
Difference between PoMo and Mo -
Flattening Effect - a scientific term describing a person's detachment and lack of emotional reactivity.
Hyperreality - a symptom of postmodern culture where a person loses their ability to distinguish reality from fantasy. The hyperreal world is often thought of as an idealized enhancement of reality, much preferable to the real life equivalent.

3. ARGUMENT - TASK 3 (A01 20 marks A02 10 marks)

Summarise your ARGUMENT/OPINION. Try and express you opinion in approx. 50 words. Add this to your word doc.

  1. Why are some media products described as 'postmodern'?
  2. "Postmodern media blur the boundary between reality and representation". Discuss this idea with reference to media texts that you have studied.
  3. Explain how certain kinds of media can be defined as postmodern.
  4. Discuss why some people are not convinced by the idea of postmodern media.
  5. How do postmodern media differ from other media?
  6. How far do you accept the idea of postmodern media.
  7. Define postmodern media, with examples.
  8. "Postmodern media manipulate time and space". To what extent does this definition apply to texts you have studied?
  9. "Postmodern media break the rules of representation". Discuss.
  10. Assess the arguments for and against postmodernism, in relation to media examples.
  11. Explain why the idea of 'postmodern media' might be considered controversial.
  12. What is meant by postmodern media?
  13. Provide your definition of postmodern media and support it with examples.
  14. To what extent do postmodern media challenge the relationship between text and audience?


Lego Movie Questions


Watch The Lego Movie Trailer and then screen shot the following shots into a word document (one page per image)

1. Clapper board
2. Coffee Instruction board
3. The uniform traffic
4. Batman striking the gate control 'first time'
5. The micro managers descending from the sky
6. Liam Neeson as 'Bad Cop'
7. Morgan Freeman as Vitruvious


Beneath each image describe in detail what happens in that particular sequence e.g. "Just as with physically produced films, the clapper board features 'slate' details of the directors, shot....." or "just as with Lego kits, the coffee board advert shows instructions on how to..."


Annotate each image with the appropriate Postmodern term

Intertextual Reference


Link each Postmodern term to one of the following explanations

1. Purpose "critique of consumerism and social conformity"
2. Paradox "Characters in The Lego Movie fight capitalist oppression, but the film also functions as an advertisement for two multinational corporations: Warner Bros. Entertainment and The Lego Group. "
3. "ironic distance between Batman’s seriousness, as if he were in a Nolan film, and the character’s actual absurdity"
4. Self reflexive awareness of the text as an artificial construction
5. Critique of the action/fantasy/sci-fi/comic book ... genre

Critical Views and Postmodern Ideas on The Lego Movie

The purpose of the film

Film Comment’s David Filipi summarizes two sides of this debate when he asks: “Is The Lego Movie a surprisingly cheekycritique of consumerism and social conformity?  Or is it just a two-hour commercial for the titular products as well as the properties owned by its distributor, Warner Bros. (Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.?)” Characters in The Lego Movie fight capitalist oppression, but the film also functions as an advertisement for two multinational corporations: Warner Bros. Entertainment and The Lego Group.

Self reflexivity

The title “Lord” is used classify evil dictatorial rulers in popular fantasy films like The Lord of the Rings (Lord Sauron), Harry Potter (Lord Voldemort), and Star Wars (Lord Vader). By combining the title “Lord” and “Business,” Lord and Miller conflate dictatorial, totalitarian omnipotence with the dominion of multinational capitalism.

They foreshadow how, in their satirical diegesis, there is no difference between the private sector and the public sector: Megaruler and Megacorporation are one in the same.


"This scene’s humour hinges on the ironic distance between Batman’s seriousness, as if he were in a Nolan film, and the character’s actual absurdity. By imagining Batman as a self-made musician, Lord and Miller effectively create their own fan fiction in order to answer the question: What does Batman do as a hobby when he’s home alone?"