6 Postmodern Film

Postmodern Film Postmodernism has been described as 1) a period in social life marked by changes in social life and labour practices; 2) a cultural sensibility shaped by the expansion of communication technologies; and 3) and aesthetic style. This research will define modernity, postmodernity and perhaps even post-postmodernity and consider how the issues and styles of each period are expressed in the contents and forms of film culture.  Film Examples: Mulholland DrivePulp Fiction


  • Gil Branston + Roy Stafford, “Postmodernism,” in The Media Student’s Handbook
  • Steven Carter, “Flare to White: Fargo and the Postmodern Turn,” Literature/Film Quarterly, Vol 27, No. 4, 1999.

On-line Materials + PDFs

Postmodern Film Wiki

On Postmodernism

Flare to White- Fargo and the Postmodern Turn


A.R. Duckworth, Bladerunner and the Postmodern Use of Mise-en-scene

Modernism vs. Postmodernism

Postmodernity vs. the Postmodern vs. Postmodernism: Ways of Talking about Postmodernism

Discussion Prompts

  • Many of the stylistic features of postmodern cultural artifacts are also those of modern cultural texts–intertextuality, parody and complex, non-linear narrative structures.  What makes modern and postmodern films different on the level of style?   How are these differences interpreted?  Are period definitions useful in discussing stylistic changes in film production?  What do designations of modern and postmodern tell us about film and its representations of social realities?
  • The use of bricolage, pastiche and intertextuality in postmodern films can make the historical situation of the story difficult to discern.  How doe postmodern films reflect historically specific issues?