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Sally Potters costume drama Orlando is described in a review by James Berardinelli as a lavish tour through 400 years of history Berardinelli believed Orlando to be thin on story this comment unintentionally concurs with the essay question the visual nature of the film disrupts the story and draws the viewer away from the meaning created by Virginia Woolf in her book by the same name published in 1928 Woolf wrote Orlando for her close friend Vita Sackville-West The texts purpose was to satirize the dispossession of Vita who being a women was unable to inherit her family seat of Knole Much of Woolfs meaning is present in Potters film however Potter has added a large amount of her own meaning intentionally or unintentionally a common feature of postmodern texts in doing so Potter has revealed much of herself in Orlando This aspect of the film draws much attention again disrupting the viewing process Orlando is a more modern text then postmodern both the film and novel although criticizing the human condition appear to have faith in eventual redemption Despite this the film uses several postmodern techniques Techniques present in Orlando like appropriation gender confusion fluid time barriers looking at the past with irony and the fusing together of the real the fictitious and composer interpretation are some of the aspects of postmodernism that disrupt the reading process The opening scene of the film presents the viewer with a paradox Tilda Swinton a female actor playing the role of Lord Orlando paralleled with a voice over declaring There can be no doubt about his sex Two scenes later a high falsetto voice can be heard and when the singer appears on the screen it is not in the form of a female as the voice would suggest but that of gay icon Jimmy Somerville While Somerville sings Edward Johnsons Eliza is the Fairest Queen the Queen appears in the form of yet
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