Sadly, at the time this trailer was created, I had hoped Hillary Clinton would become our first female president.
Hillary Trailer- Double Down Indemnity
A well-thought-out story doesn’t need to resemble real life. Life itself tries with all its might to resemble a well-crafted story.” ― Isaac Babel
The focus of this synthesis is to underscore how important a role the imprints of particular archetypes, mainly attributed to Hillary Clinton, influenced our folklore of women, and sadly, this election. Through a short satirical trailer featuring Hillary Clinton called Double Down Indemnity (re-named after the 1944 film noir directed by Billy Wilder) the images and the articles communicate with one another in two unique ways:
1) As visual rhetoric and narrative through the iMovie formula &
2) As scholarly, community-based rhetorical sythesis by catergory, in this case, as organized through the ‘Film Noir’ title transitions embedded within the trailer narrative.
Double Down Indemnity, A Hillary Trailer:
Opening Titles & Backdrop: Hillary Clinton and Beyond
Image credit: Thom Taylor
The opening of Double Down Indemnity introduces the ‘Film Noir’ genre as a black and white earth spinning, transmitting staccato, urgent signals, and emanating from ‘somewhere’ in the world, with the featured title “Hillary Clinton and Beyond.” This opening also coincides with the launch of our semester (course title of the same name) and the guiding questions posted by professorhayden as we considered the exigency of studying Hillary Clinton at this moment in time.
The ‘resting’ image seen when the trailer is not in play is also linked to professorhayden, where she outlines how rhetorician Campbell “looks at the rhetoric by and surrounding Clinton in the context of a “feminine style” of rhetoric.” The Campbell article “Hating Hillary” also exploits ways in which Hillary the politician has been sexualized, and this too links to the ‘Film Noir’ genre by conjuring the ‘femme fatale’ archetype- that of a dangerously intelligent woman that seduces men to do her biding with sex and charm.
The featured image of my synthesis post is a gussied up ‘Hillary’ in silky robe engaging in a moonlight tryst, despite Hillary’s popularization of the asexual ‘pantsuit‘ explored in annapearlman12‘s exploration “Gender and Visual Rhetoric”, and borrowed from BrieDanielle‘s “Behind the Stare,” where we see Hillary seated in a soft green pantsuit…
Other articles which expand on this hating phenomena and sexualization (whether stripping or hyping) include BrieDanielle’s exploration where her mission is to “create a dank meme database, in which to analyze the rhetoric of Hillary hating Bernie supporters,” and is well complemented by the recency of benmizel‘s “Bernie Bros and Woman Cards: Rhetorics of Sexism, Misogyny, and Constructed Masculinity in the 2016 Election,” where author Wilz notes:
Whenever women seek any space traditionally held by a man—and especially the office of the commander in chief—they tend to be pornified, degraded, diminished, and treated differently.”
Politics, Greed, Revenge
The above image of Hillary in dark sunglasses tapping a Blackberry device opens the transition titles “Politics, Greed, Revenge” and is linked narratively and visually to juliacantzeroni’s image and exploration “Making Rhetoric Retweetable: How Social Media is Changing Political Analysis.” Other articles that explore this aspect of corruption and feed the ‘Crooked Hillary’ archetype can be teased out of sarahparente‘s analysis of an Op-ed regarding the potential scandal surrounding the Clinton Foundation, wordsofthewall‘s post about the ‘Libya Gamble’, and the exploration of the evil Queen archetype/female as ruler by petscortnyc.
Who is that Woman?
The opening to the title transition “Who is that Woman?” is an image of a political cartoon mocking Hillary’s sense of humor, or lack there of. As the image suggests, she clearly lacks a sense of humor, a charge levied against her over and over despite other less harsh accounts explored in hweinberg707‘s post and Ezra Klein’s “The Gap”. The above image is linked to petscortnyc‘s query about her relatability with younger audiences in an interview ‘between two ferns’, and pushed further in “The Double Standard and Clinton’s Visual Delivery“an exploration by melmmelrh.
Other associations with ‘who is that woman’ brought to mind posts about what it means to be a woman in politics, or a woman in power, and can be linked to buffington36, sarahparente, clogan10, & nonzamo. Another image utilized later in the trailer features a meme of Queen Elizabeth & is shown again here:
Some Democrats Love Her
This photo makes me laugh out loud every time I see it, with the freeze-frame of the Clintons’ gazes of childlike awe and wide-eyed wonder that it seemed an appropriate satiric link to the “Some Democrats Love Her” transition title- ’cause frankly, who loves her more than Bill? That said, juliacanzoneri‘s take on Bill’s DNC speech coincides with the transition title, the image as visual narrative, and the article.
Other posts that explore Democrat love for Hillary and portray her as the ‘pioneer’ archetype are yimchristina, clogan10, and professor hayden’s “Women’s Rights are Human Rights,”and Stronger Together”: Clinton’s Rhetorical Appeal.”
Some White Men Fear Her
In the title transition, “Some White Men Fear Her” there are sadly, so many posts that exploit gender rhetoric as masculine oppression upending positive female archetypes. The image of Newt Gingrich is linked narratively and visually to pmurphy54‘s article about containment rhetoric and the connotation of the word ‘bitch’, and the image of Chris Christie that dissolves after Newt leads me back to melmmelrh’s post about the double standard, to an embedded quote within from adelakolenovic, (& her post linked about perception of Hillary in, and emerging from, Bill’s shadow) who notes:
I mean we can take a look at males in politicians such as Chris Christie. I highly doubt the female counterpart of Christie would have garnered the same amount of success retrospectively.
Other notable posts by rgelmosner, benmizel, and csandy54 explore the gendered campaigns of the past, the triple bind of authenticity, competence and humor, and how gender functions when ‘switched’ in a humourous ‘Donna Trump and Henry Rodham’ about-face handling a threat of terriorism.
Hillary Clinton as the Nastiest Acquaintance You’ll Ever See
The title transition “Hillary Clinton as the Nastiest Acquaintance You’ll Ever See” leads beautifully in split screen image to show the two archetypal ‘villians’ and is similiar to the ‘evil queen’ archetype. The above image is linked narratively and directly to annapearlman12‘s “#ImANastyWoman.” I’ve also linked to the comments page given the differing perspectives a few days after the Jim Comey letter that devastated her momentum 11 weeks before the election.
Donald Trump as the Most Charismatic Groper to Cross Your Path
The above image jives nicely with the title transition: “Donald Trump as the Most Charismatic Groper to Cross Your Path” and the image is linked to buffingon36‘s exploraton. Another article by buffington36, “The Testoterone Takeover,” is in retrospect, a real bummer, given that at the time of the writing Hillary was faring well and evidenced by the questions posed:
Will her opponent in response continue to embrace toxic masculinity in his patriarchal rhetoric? Does Hillary even need to respond? Or will she continue to embrace social change and rest easy on her laurels?
BrieDanielle‘s ‘small hands’ post was another calm before the storm of the derailed Hillary narrative of ‘certain victory’. In a video from a wordpress panel on FiveThirtyEight “in which they hoped to talk about the gender reality, sexuality, sexism, and more present in the 2016 Presidential Election,” the post goes on to analyze the discussion, and reminds us that even early on in the campaign, during the primaries, president-elect Trump:
referenced his own penal size. He defended his size against other GOP potentials like Cruz- who was a bit more metaphorical about his penal defense.”
Another video, ciaobellalou‘s “Cable News Has a Sexism Problem” was beyond disturbing but just more sexist grist for the mill and pre-dates even the Trump penis-off.
The Most Thrilling Movie You’ll Ever See
The next title transition in the Double Down Indemnity trailer is “The Most Thrilling Movie You’ll Ever See” and the image of Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin seem closer to reality than ever at this point. I quote from yimchristina‘s exploration:
We see clear examples of Clinton’s oft-maligned unnatural delivery in Kate McKinnon’s impersonation of Hillary Clinton in recent SNL presidential debate sketches that riff on her perceived emotional disconnect and political ambition that comes off as trying too hard.
This brings to mind posts about satire in politics and how reality is weird stuff as both of akriechman’s articles- the first about the “power of the absurd” and another about the kairos of snark, as well as pmurphy54‘s post of The Onion’s take on Hillary’s customizable website.
Two other posts in this montage are in black & white and I chose them specifically to typify the ‘Film Noir’ genre with images of a housewife doing laundry in the 1950’s, and another, a man with two screaming babies bouncing on his knees that mirrors the image of Donald Trump screaming and struggling to hold two babes in arms (above). Both images are linked to posts by buffington36 and buffingon36 again, respectively.
At the end of this segment a six-image montage of already synthesized posts are seen in rapid-fire succession with heightened ‘Film Noir’ music and function to push the visual narrative forward into the next title dissolve and transition, “Amazing Action.”
The image above is the third image in a three-image montage, which links to an article already synthesized, as well is the first image in the montage, but the second, not yet synthesized post is “Jewel Purpose” by melmmelrh which
focuses on the jewelry that female politicians wear.”
None of the images in this short montage are particularly “active” as the title transition suggests, “Amazing Action” and essentially why I picked them- to function satirically. The first is a transgender woman holding a megaphone, the second is a ‘filler image’ connected to the jewelery post above- that of a long, outstretched red cuff with a pandora bracelet dangling from the end of it- while the final image is the political cartoon. All of the images are held for several seconds longer than is bearable, with omnious music increasing between dissolves.
The jewelry post connects well with fashion, and brought to mind female leadership styles in benmizel‘s “Nobody’s Looking At You,” an interview with Eileen Fisher. The image I chose to feature with the transition title was the third in the series because I found the cartoon billboard, “I Am Going To Eat You” as a way to characterize the sad post-election defeat and toxic campaign rhetoric that dominated with Trump as the ‘wolf’ archetype. The political cartoon, more than any other mainstream media source, proved prophetic as the irony of the wolf on an advertising billboard, even more so as I defer to Rasha Reda’s comment, quoted in part here from rgelmosner‘s recent post:
Trumph’s projected image of being ‘blunt but truthful’..
Who are the sheep? The voters that went for him, or the Democrats?
Strange and Mysterious Politics
The image that opens “Strange And Mysterious Politics” is a portrait of sisterhood with the current and former first ladies standing side by side. Notable is that Michelle Obama, though a supporter of Clinton, is on the far left, separate from all of the other ‘white’ first ladies, and though a stretch? can visually be linked to notions in jameswheat‘s exploration, allinclusived‘s “Ebony: What Do Black Women Really Think About Hillary Clinton’s Nomination?” and the gaps identified between Clinton’s rhetoric and African-Americans in adelakolenovic’s “Hillary Clinton: Conservative Ideas or Conservative Rhetoric?”.
The second image is a ‘filler’ image I found funny as the lilting, sweet music juxtaposed against Clinton and John McCain leaning in close, and the next image is the Queen Elizabeth meme, whose quote mimicked and recalled some of Hillary’s earliest memories of her mother (telling her to stand up to bullies) and can be linked to pmurphy54‘s exploraton which features her DNC speech, where she waxes in loving and relatable terms about her own mother. Motherhood is also touched on in wordsofthewall‘s exploration “Mama Hillary for Prez”.
Another post that come to mind when considering the title “Strange and Mysterious Politics”is hweinberg707’s “Apologies to Hillary Clinton” which makes a case for Hillary from a former “Bernie Bro” Issac Saul:
The article caught my attention because of the main idea it poses: “Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person to ever run for president.”
Double Down Indemnity: A Means, ‘Trailer’ To An End
The final dissolved image is the one pictured above, where the screen pans up from the word “made” to its final denouement of the visual narrative created in Double Down Indemnity– and rests squarely on a black and white Hillary Clinton, as the word “History” hangs in bold blue blocking above her head, held high, in a three-quarter upturned gaze.
Every narrative attempts to master form- and whether that form be a rhetorically polished political speech, or creatively, through visual rhetoric, as made possible by the magic of iMovie, Hillary Clinton’s personal and political life are the ongoing threads of our narrative- even beyond defeat.
A New Folklore for Women: Can it be re-framed, post-defeat?
I defer back to my exploration (pre-defeat) to synthesize a few final questions that still persist about archetypes and folklore:
Can a piece of pop culture, say, a poem, a song, a tweet, or a slice of satirical parody… change the words and behaviors exhibited or reflected in the reality of events, as they unfold, in this bizarre and sometimes inspiring, sometimes exhausting, election?
Given this context, can it be argued that the expression of the folk spirit is more sacred than profane rather than the other way around?”
It seems we may have found some of the answers to the first question, given this tragic upset. So the second question remains-and how do we move forward to the task of reframing?
To borrow from her conference call to volunteers, recently posted by yimchristina, the final leg of my project will attempt to creatively interprete the ‘folk spirit’ into something sacred in order to thank her for “leaving it all on the field.”
Bonus Trailer: The Ballad of Hill-O-Ree
This iMovie “Bonus” trailer embodies the Queen, Warrior, and Pioneer Archetypes as featured in my previous exploration and re-envisioned here. If only she had won. Sniff.
Featured Image (s) via Google Images