www.dichtung-digital.de/2000/Simanowski/24-Aug


Simanowski: When Literature goes Multimedia

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Digital Troja

My third example, Digital Troja (Digital Troy) by Fevci Konuk, uses words, sound and animated images, to discuss war both past and present time. One interesting effect is the image of Paris, who obviously wants to run away from Troy but is instead caught in an endless loop. According to the caption - "The time of power and sex (poor Bill, poor Paris)" - we should take this to mean that there is no escape, no learning from the past, that things happen over and over again. I will abstain from discussing the disanalogies between Clinton and Paris and Monica and Helene. There are obvious shortcomings throughout the work. However, I want to show another example how an image conveys meaning through of its time setting. 

If we look at this animation we notice two breaks within the loop. In the language of animation, breaks are supposed to stress something. What could it be? I want to draw your attention to the famous sequence in Hitchcock's movie "North by Northwest" where Roger Thornhill, alias Cary Grant, realizes the danger of an approaching airplane as he stands in a wheat field. You probably remember how slowly he turns to start running. And you may be reminded of this scene while watching this piece of animation. It is the same posture. Paris looks back at the eclipsed sun as Cary Grant does at the approaching plane. I will discuss the meaning behind this allusion in a minute. Let us first look at the other break. To what could Paris' posture allude? 

My suggestion is Discobulus, the ancient discus-thrower. Yes, there is a difference in the position of the arms and the arching of the back. But still, Discobulus is the first thing that comes into mind when thinking about this break. And, he makes perfect sense. While Discobulus is associated with the Olympic ideal, Cary Grant's Thornhill evokes the Cold War. We might remember 1984, when the Olympic ideal failed to bridge the gap between East and West and separate games where held. Thornhill also brings another issue in the story. Whereas Paris stands for deliberate decisions, Thornhill is a pawn in a power game and, for a long time, does not know what to do. This difference points up to the contrast in power structures between past and present. The atomic bomb explosion that is shown in "Digital Troy" again and again stresses the theme that power and danger are no longer a matter between two persons. 

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