Detournement

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A form of Parody in which existing material—especially advertising, Public Service Announcements, Very Special Episodes and Aesops of the more Anvilicious or paranoid sort—is co-opted or repurposed for a message different from (or better yet, completely opposite to) the one it was originally intended to give.

The Trope Namer is the Situationist International movement, a French Marx-ish movement focused on the effects of mass alienation through cultural control. They asserted that people within a mass culture were manipulated by a constant mass-media / government / religion "Spectacle," proposed by Guy Debord in "Society of the Spectacle." Detournement was one way of bringing modern art into politics, since they rejected any 20th century art that removed itself from the politics of its time.

Not to be confused with Denouement.

Examples of Detournement include:


Web Animation

Live Action TV

Western Animation

  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast rearranged whatever his Guests said to make it look like everyone was as crazy as Space Ghost. It's safe to say that Ghost Planet, no, that entire Universe, is Cloudcuckooland.
  • The climax of the early Daffy Duck short Daffy Duck in Hollywood has Daffy creating an insanely goofy movie by editing newsreel clips—actually live-action Warner Bros. stock footage—together and giving them absurd voiceovers/soundtracks. For instance, a zoo lion proclaims "Motion pictures are your best entertainment!" and jitterbug music underscores an elegant waltz. Some might say that Daffy Duck made the first YouTube Poop.

Film

  • Teaser material for the movie Mean Girls involved PSA's about the grave issues of teenage life, with a mean twist:

Gretchen: Even in fancy countries like the United States and England, seven out of ten girls have a negative body image.
Regina: Who cares? Six of those girls are right.

  • Le grand Détournement is a 72 minutes long french film made of extracts of many Warner Bros. films. The story is more or less a parody of Citizen Kane, where two journalists investigate why Georges Abitbol, "the classiest man on Earth", said monde de merde before dying. The alternative title La classe américaine means that this movie is also a tribute to the american films director Michel Hazanavicius watched in his youth (those films "taught" him how to make a movie). The cast of this film includes John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Orson Welles, Lana Turner, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Charles Bronson, James Stewart, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Spencer Tracy and Lauren Bacall.

Web Original