Media wars through the lens of Cinema Studies: between Foucault and Baudrillard

Lyudmila Gotz


The Purpose of the Article is to investigate and explicate the cultural messages of the new Walt Disney Pictures studio film «Oz: the Great and Powerful» (2013). This cinematic narrative is a vivid and resonant example of the representations of auto-reflections by creators of film industry about the history, social role and powerful influence of cinema as a medium between creators and recipients of film production. The methodology of the study consists in the use of structural-functional approach, formal analysis, hermeneutic and semiotic analysis, discourse analysis, archetypal and axiological analysis.  The scientific novelty of this research lies in the fact that, for the first time within the framework of the Ukrainian cultural studies and cinema studies, it has raised the question about the way in which representatives of the film industry themselves use the means of cinema to problematize, conceptualize and represent media warfare as well as their own role and mission in modern society. Conclusions. The analysis of the representations of the nature of modern power and the role of media, which has been carried out using the example of the film «Oz: the Great and Mighty», has demonstrated the ideas of M. Foucault and J. Baudrillard to be of very high importance. The media representatives’ view of their role in the society is represented by Baudrillard’s «show – power – simulacrum» chain, which constitutes the vicious circle of the modern media world’s way of being. At the same time, the images of power in film narrative are situated between the extreme poles of the dispute between two intellectuals about the nature of power: on the one hand, power is omnipresent (M. Foucault) and, on the other hand, power is a dead simulacrum (J. Baudrillard). The axiological core of a film product is a parodical simulacrum of the traditional ethics and a well-thought-out construct, a media indulgence, which legitimizes and ensures mental destabilization of society, which J. Baudrillard has warned us about.


cultural studies; media culturology; cinema studies; аrt criticism; media war; M. Foucault; J. Baudrillard; power; simulacrum; the Magician archetype; Trickster.


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