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Bank Chue-Inta In what ways can Scott Pilgrim be considered postmodern? Scott Pilgrim vs.

The World can be considered Postmodern in a number of ways, the films plot is littered with intertextual references from different forms of media, such as TV, Comics, Movies and most of all, Video Games. Directed by Edgar Wright, the film was hyped for months before released and ironically, when it came out, it placed a dismal 5th place opening with $10 million, far from making any profit from its $60 million budget. There are many speculations as to why it failed so badly in the box office, some say it was down to the marketing or the choice of Michael Cera as lead playing a similar character in his other films such as Superbad and Juno. But to younger generations, I thought it was a clever way of paying homage and pastiche to bring a sense of humour and satisfaction to the film, all the while showing an interesting narrative. To understand why this film is postmodern, you must understand what postmodernism is and why it came about. Postmodernism is a rejection to modernism, before modernism there were such things called the Grand Narratives, these included Science, Religion and Politics. It was believed that you could only fit into one of the three categories; you could not be religious and believe in science as that you go against your belief. Jean Francois Lyotard rejected this and favoured Micronarratives, which reflected diversity, meaning that you can believe in more than one thing, nothing is set in stone, nothing is predictable. Modernists would also believe in looking into the future and never looking back, Postmodernists would argue that without looking back, you cannot move into the future, you would just be repeating yourself, its like making a mistake over and over again. For the film to work, Wright had to depend on the knowledge of the audience to make sure they understood the references he was making. By including references from different genres, such as TV, Comics, Movies and Video Games, the director could guarantee a wider audience and not one that was niche. A theorist who applies to this is Jacques Derrida, a French philosopher who said a text cannot belong to no genre, it cannot be without a genre. Every text participates one or several genres, there is no genreless texts. So by incorporating a number of intertextual references from different genres, it appeals to a mass audience. Examples of this are, for TV the film makes a reference to American sitcom Seinfield which was heavily popular during the late 80s and 90s. The clear reference to this is when Scott enters his apartment and a non-diegetic theme tune of Seinfield plays with a laughing track while Scott interacts with his gay roommate Wallace. The movie pays numerous homages to Japanese pop culture, examples being with the use of comic style Anime and Manga influenced scenes, taking into account the colour of Ramonas hair, the characters concealment of impractically large weapons, although these examples could be an intertextural reference to other genres. Ramonas hair for example, throughout the movie her hair changes colour, from pink to blue to green. This could also be a reference to the popular Nintendo video game The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time representing the three Goddesses of Hyrule, Wisdom, Power and Courage. Ramonas large hammer and the bag that it came out is a reference to two different classic videos games, the hammer being a reference to Donkey Kongs hammer and the bag featuring a star on it, could also be a reference to Nintendos Kirby Video Game series, in the game, Kirbys arch nemesis King Dedede who also has a large hammer as his weapon with a star on it. A clear Comic and Movie reference in the film is by having Brandon Routh play one of the evil exes, this is ironic as he plays a similar character in his biggest role to date, Superman in Superman Returns released in 2006. The character that Routh plays is ironic because instead of being the good

Bank Chue-Inta guy, he is the villain in this particular narrative, the movie does slightly alter Rouths appearance so he is not a complete replicate of his other role, although the film does show how Routh is the Superman or Supervillain by giving him powers that Scott cant beat. Anyone who has watched Superman or read the comics knows that he has several weakness, all being some sort of kryptonite, whether it be red, green or blue. When Routh drinks the Half and Half Scott gives him, the Vegan Police shows up and takes his powers away by shooting him with a green laser, this is a clear reference to the green kryptonite which weakens Superman in the comics and movies. Jean Baudrillards hyper-reality plays a huge role in making the film effective and entertaining for the audience, without it, it would seem stupid and the audience would think that the film was made for idiots. The film has to make it clear for the audience that what they are watching is not real and is not trying to be real, the narrative and characters operate in a hyper-real world where sound effects float onscreen, examples being when Scott is fighting with the evil exes, words such as WKOW and KPOW come on screen synchronised with the movements of the fights. This being a reference to superhero comic books, the ending of each fight ends with K.O, this being a clear reference to the popular Street Fighter video game, another reference to video games if how Scotts enemies or the evil exes bust into coins when they are defeated, although the movie brings humorous elements to it, an example being when he defeats one of them, he picks up the coins and realises that there isnt enough there to pay for the bus. The whole film is like a video game, people can be thrown into buildings and dust themselves off and carry on, this works for the aesthetic of the film and is essential in making it what it is, which is enjoyable and funny to watch. In conclusion, Intertextual references dominate the film giving it enjoyable visuals and funny dialogue which does make me question why it did so bad in the box office. Personally, for me I enjoyed it, it combined action, romance and comedy into one. I do not see why the reason for why the film did so bad, the marketing of the film was good, Universal gave free screening for fans to build buzz on the internet as well as marketing it through mass media. The reason for why it flopped could be the lack of A-list actors in the film, the only ones that stand out to me are Chris Evans and Brandon Routh, but not everyone would know who they are unlike if they were to put someone like Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt in it. The film did not have a specific audience, although it did include a lot of niche elements such as the intertextual references to Video Games. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was an enjoyable and humorous film to watch, and it was postmodern because it paid homage, pastiche to past works and it also created a world where the audience could connect to the characters through the narrative.