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Speed Racer by Andy and Larry Wachowski

Powerful Essays
Many people who grew up in 1960s and 70s with watching the Japanese animated television series by Tatsuo Yoshida would be very familiar with Speed Racer by Andy and Larry Wachowski in 2008 (American Film Institute Catalog, 2008). As a big hit in the summer of 2008, Speed Racer was considered as a box office bomb because it failed to break even at the box office and received generally negative reviews from film critics such as A.O. Scott and Jim Emerson. The Wachowski brothers were criticized in the conventional sense of cinema; however, it did succeed in its technological innovation and digital novelty (Emerson, 2008). As the rise of subculture in the American popular culture, Speed Racer did appear to satisfy and entertain the certain group of people who enthusiastic about the film including fans of Wachowski and gamers. Therefore, this refers to the reading of a film. Different approaches to read a film will result in different perceptions and conclusions. The French New Wave director Francois Truffaut argued that the authorship should be presented in the works of the best filmmakers. Nonetheless, this essay will focus on why the semiotic approach to read a film offers a better way to understand the American popular culture than the auteur theory even the semiotic theory may contain bias sometimes.
According to the semiotic theory, everything in a cinematic image is also a sign which meaning can be generated by different reading of it. Due to the components of the signifier and the signified as a sign, they all work together sufficiently to function in encoding the information in order to let the spectators to decode the carried meaning. The semiotic approach can help us to better understand Speed Racer in the American popular...

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Corliss, Richard. “Speed Racer: The Future of Movies.” Time, May 08 2008.
Denby, David. “Anything Goes.” The New Yorker, 27 June 2011. http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/cinema/2011/06/27/110627crci_cinema_denby
Eisenberg, Anne. “Animated or Real, Both Are Believable.” New York Times, August 27 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/28/business/technology-blurs-the-line-between-the-animated-and-the-real.html

Emerson, Jim. “Review of Speed Racer.” Variety, May 07 2008.

Gilchrist, Todd. “Speed Racer Review” IGN Entertainment. May 7 2008.

Speed Racer. Directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski. Warner Bros. Pictures. American Film Institute Catalog, 2008.
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