The controversies surrounding British crime film releases between 1947 and 1949 are not due to the films themselves, but rather the ways in which the filmmakers were imitating Hollywood cinema’. Making reference to one British crime film in this period alongside primary and secondary source materials, explain to what extent this statement is true?
The Controversies surrounding British post-war crime dramas are often thought of as being the visually distasteful and sordid, mindless violence that could be found in British crime dramas at a time when censorship was unstable, but the controversial nature of these films are embedded much deeper than that. They root themselves deep within the fabric of society, it asks some very important questions about the state of the country post-war and how these films caused mass hysteria which reached the highest levels of government. This essay is about the fragile nature of a society in an unstable economy in a changing landscape, which threatens to belittle the police and glorify the criminal gangs. It compares British crime dramas to the Hollywood gangster films of the 1930’s and compares the similar styles and looks at what this meant for British film culture.
The 1947 film ‘Brighton Rock’, based on the 1938 Graham Greene novel of the same name, was one of the more controversial films of the time. Grenne worked on the adaptation of the novel, credited as co-writer of the screenplay. Greene is infamous for attacking popular culture and the social, political and economic systems of the time. Books such as ‘Brighton Rock’, ‘A Gun for Hire’ and ‘The Ministry of Fear’ can all be viewed as a commentary on the state of humanity, whereas the film adaptations of these books are more concerned with...
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...s such as Brighton Rock, They mad me a fugitive, Noose and No Orchids for Miss Blandish, it isn’t clear whether these films reflect the mood and tone of the nation or influence it. Although the Blue Lamp was an obvious form of police propaganda, did it change the way in which people viewed the police? Maybe, but then again the BBFC had regained stability and had hardened its certification process after the media and government uproar, so a lot of the spiv movies that would have been recently passed now didn’t stand a chance. And finally, it is important to remember that as with any public controversy, especially surrounding films, most of the hysteria was upheld by people that, more than likely, hadn’t even seen the movies. They are just the vociferous public who wish to feel that they have a part to play in a debate, despite not knowing what they are talking about.
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The cinema as a form of leisure was not new to British society, and indeed most western industrialised societies, during the interwar era. Prior to World War One it was not much more than a 'technical curiosity', but by the 1920s it was the 'new medium' and one that was a 'fully fledged form of art'. (Taylor 1970 p, 180) Throughout most of the 1920s, films shown in cinemas around the world were 'silent'. While silent films were not new to this era, the popularity of them experienced a 'new' and unique interest amongst the general public. Indeed, Vile Bodies highlights the popularity of the cinema and in particular, the 'silent' film as a regularly experienced leisure activity. Waugh's character, Colonel Blount, is the most obvious representation of the popular interest of films and film making at the time Vile Bodies was written. He tells Adam, after asking his interest in the cinema, that he and the Rector went 'a great deal' to the 'Electra Palace'. (Waugh 1930 p, 59)
The period of American cinema between 1965 and 1975 produced many films that almost completely restructured classical Hollywood’s accepted genre conventions. A fine example of this would be Robert Altman's iconoclastic take on Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye (1973), a detective film based on the final book in Chandler’s Philip Marlowe series. Altman, who is known for turning around traditional genre conventions, revises and reinvents the film-noir style made popular by Dick Powell in Murder, My Sweet (1944), Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep (1946), and Robert Montgomery in Lady in the Lake (1947). The actors and the films in the 1940’s film-noir period conformed to genre conventions, and it wasn’t until Robert Altman directed Elliot Gould’s Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye that the detective genre had changed.
Beginning the mid 1920s, Hollywood’s ostensibly all-powerful film studios controlled the American film industry, creating a period of film history now recognized as “Classical Hollywood”. Distinguished by a practical, workmanlike, “invisible” method of filmmaking- whose purpose was to demand as little attention to the camera as possible, Classical Hollywood cinema supported undeviating storylines (with the occasional flashback being an exception), an observance of a the three act structure, frontality, and visibly identified goals for the “hero” to work toward and well-defined conflict/story resolution, most commonly illustrated with the employment of the “happy ending”. Studios understood precisely what an audience desired, and accommodated their wants and needs, resulting in films that were generally all the same, starring similar (sometimes the same) actors, crafted in a similar manner. It became the principal style throughout the western world against which all other styles were judged. While there have been some deviations and experiments with the format in the past 50 plus ye...
As Nils Christie argued, crime is a property of the state (2004). As such, it can be defined by the same systems of ideals which influence the state. Crime statistics, which refer to a category of human acts that society view as deviant, can consequently be argued to be without objectivity (Dorling and Simpson, 1999). The statistics they provide are thus arguably not exact. To a certain extent one could infer they are reflections of society, of those who present the data and most importantly of those who accumulate it. The facts themselves become a socially constructed foundation for social knowledge, which inevitably become subjective. This essay aims to discuss how ideological biases within the Police and to a certain extent the media are reflected in the crime statistics.
In recent times, such stereotyped categorizations of films are becoming inapplicable. ‘Blockbusters’ with celebrity-studded casts may have plots in which characters explore the depths of the human psyche, or avant-garde film techniques. Titles like ‘American Beauty’ (1999), ‘Fight Club’ (1999) and ‘Kill Bill 2’ (2004) come readily into mind. Hollywood perhaps could be gradually losing its stigma as a money-hungry machine churning out predictable, unintelligent flicks for mass consumption. While whether this image of Hollywood is justified remains open to debate, earlier films in the 60’s and 70’s like ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ (1967) and ‘Taxi Driver’ (1976) already revealed signs of depth and avant-garde film techniques. These films were successful as not only did they appeal to the mass audience, but they managed to communicate alternate messages to select groups who understood subtleties within them.
Classic film noir originated after World War II. This is the time where post World War II pessimism, anxiety, and suspicion was taking the world by storm. Many films that were released in the U.S. Between 1939s and 1940s were considered propaganda films that were designed for entertainment during the Depression and World War II. During the 1930s many German and Europeans immigrated to the U.S. and helped the American film industry with powerf...
During the course of this essay it is my intention to discuss the differences between Classical Hollywood and post-Classical Hollywood. Although these terms refer to theoretical movements of which they are not definitive it is my goal to show that they are applicable in a broad way to a cinema tradition that dominated Hollywood production between 1916 and 1960 and which also pervaded Western Mainstream Cinema (Classical Hollywood or Classic Narrative Cinema) and to the movement and changes that came about following this time period (Post-Classical or New Hollywood). I intend to do this by first analysing and defining aspects of Classical Hollywood and having done that, examining post classical at which time the relationship between them will become evident. It is my intention to reference films from both movements and also published texts relative to the subject matter. In order to illustrate the structures involved I will be writing about the subjects of genre and genre transformation, the representation of gender, postmodernism and the relationship between style, form and content.
This demonstrates that the media obviously over represents in violent crimes such as street crimes compared with other crimes such as property crimes (Moston, 2012). The media use this method to report crime in order to heighten the impact of crime and to gain the mass audience’s attention, which alternatively will result in more sales for media products. This approach is known as ‘postmodernism’ where the media report crime on the notion of ‘entertainment’ for consumers. Postmodernism approach rejects the causes and consequences of crime but instead focuses on impacts to the society to create fear within the community (Jewkes, 2010). Hence lead to crime wave reporting on issues like assaults, homicide and street crimes to allow for attention grabbing headlines providing maximum entertainment to consumers. Crime wave increases the public’s awareness of particular crimes due to extensive media coverage provided for crimes revolving around violence (White and Perrrone, 2015). As a result, this has lead to moral panic where the media coverage influence the public’s perception in believing that they are in physical threat from violent crimes. This is prime example of the media using discretionary powers to insert values and dominant interests into the community. Criminologist Gramsci developed
In this essay the following will be discussed; the change from the age of classical Hollywood film making to the new Hollywood era, the influence of European film making in American films from Martin Scorsese and how the film Taxi Driver shows the innovative and fresh techniques of this ‘New Hollywood Cinema’.
Television has seen plenty of producers, writers and viewers attracted to crime and deviance. The crime drama series is not an unchanging structure but develops in an intricate relationship with audiences, media institutions, social contexts and other genres. Crime drama series’ structure often begins with some strains to the social order by criminal forces. Historically police officers or “cops” are good and the criminals are bad. However today we can notice “bent” cops and sometimes sympathetic villains.