Production Context of Bye Bye Blues

Production Context of Bye Bye Blues

Length: 1196 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Production Context of Bye Bye Blues


In his essay on the historical fiction film, Leger Grindon writes: "History is no more than a useful device to speak of the present time. The historical film indulges its contact with the immediate and generally refuses the past its distinct and foreign character" (Grindon 189). It is exactly this distinct character, however, that director Anne Wheeler hoped to capture in her 1989 film Bye Bye Blues. In an interview taken during the film’s production, Wheeler explained: "I’m trying to present history as it was, not as we hope it was" (Hays 9). With Bye Bye Blues, Wheeler has created more than simply what Grindon purports the historical fiction to be; her film captures much of the detail of life on the Canadian home-front during the Second World War. Wheeler does, however, weave into the film a deeper message about the role of the woman in society, which, ultimately, speaks directly to the audience of the 1990’s. While Bye Bye Blues is factual, the film does not depict history entirely as it happened.

This is not to say that Wheeler has overtly classified the forties as a period of triumph for feminists the world over, for she has not. Much of Bye Bye Blues is indeed authentic. "Wheeler has said time and again in interviews that stylistically, she likes to keep things as realistic as possible" (Hays 9). This is evidenced by the manner in which Wheeler tackles her subject; the film treats the events of the past with subtlety. "The overall impression left by accounts of life on the home-front is of ... boredom and ... deprivation punctuated by moments of terror" (Klein 10). Had the director exaggerated the events of the war, even on the home-front, she would have sacrificed some of the film’s realism. Instead of glorifying the war and over-dramatizing events like the return of Daisy’s husband, the story is presented in a straight-forward and unsentimental manner. Wheeler presents problems that are true-to-life, such as Daisy being unable to afford new shoes for her son.

And certainly the events the film addresses are historically accurate: Japan did invade Singapore at the end of 1940, taking enemy soldiers hostage as prisoners of war (Snyder 267). During the war, women were left to fend for themselves and their children, without knowing whether their husbands were dead or alive, let alone where they could write to them (Vickers 25).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Production Context of Bye Bye Blues." 123HelpMe.com. 12 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=36247>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Blues, By Amiri Baraka

- Blues is a popular music style even today. It is popular because of its characteristic style that later developed other styles and subsets of the primitive blues style and its ability to appeal to a larger audience; therefore, placing the music style into the light of mainstream society. Amiri Baraka, in his work Blues People, says that the blues is a product of the “Negro’s American Experience.” In addition, he adds that the blues “developed as a response to the Negro’s adaption to and adoption of America; it was also a music that arose due to Negro’s peculiar position in this country.” It would be difficult to argue that the blues are not a product of the African American experience....   [tags: Blues, Jazz, African American]

Research Papers
1444 words (4.1 pages)

Review Of ' Sonny 's Blues ' Essay example

- The Importance of Music in “Sonny’s Blues” James Baldwin, an African-American writer, was born to a minister in 1924 and survived his childhood in New York City. The author is infamous for his pieces involving racial separatism with support from the blues. Readers can understand Harlem as a negative, unsafe environment from Baldwin’s writings and description of his hometown as a “dreadful place…a kind of concentration camp” (Hicks). Until the writer was at the age of twenty-four, he lived in a dehumanizing, racist world where at ten years old, he was brutally assaulted by police officers for the unchanging fact that he is African-American....   [tags: Jazz, African American, Blues, Duke Ellington]

Research Papers
1608 words (4.6 pages)

Literary Analysis : Chicago Blues Club Essay

- When it comes to how authenticity works in the context of Chicago blues clubs, I agree with what David Grazian says, blackness seems to be the dominant signifier of authenticity in the blues and in todays time there are many people who look for that authenticity and many clubs try their hardest to mimic it to bring in the people and the money. There are many things that can back up this claim with what can be seen in the book. In chapter one Blues in Black and White the Politics of Race and Authenticity, the problem with authenticity and the manufacturing of authenticity is being talked about and how clubs seem try to make their place authentic with their marketing....   [tags: Blues, Jazz, Rock music, Jimi Hendrix]

Research Papers
1165 words (3.3 pages)

The Origins Of The Blues Essay

- Various authors have varyingly explored the origins of the blues, as a genre, possibly because of its influence in modern-day music world. In fact, the blues significantly influence today’s music scene and it is common to find other music genres borrowing from the blues in terms of style, tunes, as well as other features. Nevertheless, the blues have emerged as a widespread genre since its inception in the United States in the early 19th century. It is believed to belong to the popular (commonly referred to as pop music) style of music....   [tags: Blues, Jazz, Rock and roll, Music genre]

Research Papers
1499 words (4.3 pages)

Michael Stewart's Bye Bye Birdie Essays

- Michael Stewart's Bye Bye Birdie Birdie hysteria has struck the small quite town of Sweet Apple, Ohio, in this musical production of the 50's craze Bye Bye Birdie. Written by Michael Stewart, this 1961 Broadway musical tells of a story of an Elvis-type singer named Conrad Birdie (Jesse Pearson), who is drafted into the United States Army. Upon hearing the news of the teenage-idol’s depart, his devastated agent Albert Peterson (Dick Van Dyke), and his secretary Rosie Alvarez (Janet Leigh), concoct a promotional scheme to help get Albert out of debt and profit on all the excitement....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
768 words (2.2 pages)

Production Line Inspection Essay

- Any production line involves some form of inspection; the most basic form is manual visual inspection. This kind of inspection is not always the least expensive or the most reliable. For example, metal sheets are monitored visually by trained personnel, which require a very slow production line for reliable detection and to insure the inspector’s safety. Such systems are very costly due to the slower production speed; they are also labor intensive and labor dependent and need to be a separate stage to avoid production line interruptions....   [tags: Production]

Research Papers
822 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Brothers' Relationship in Baldwin's Sonny's Blues

- Brothers' Relationship in Baldwin's Sonny's Blues Sipiora states that, "Characters often perceive (or fail to perceive) the context and implications of the circumstances and relationships they are in. Some characters act in good faith, whereas others do not. As we examine literary personae, it is especially important to judge them in terms of how they react to others" (77) As "Sonny's Blues" opens, the narrator tells of his discovery that his younger brother has been arrested for selling and using heroin....   [tags: Sonny's Blues Essays]

Free Essays
571 words (1.6 pages)

Learning to Listen in James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues Essay

- Learning to Listen in James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues In James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues", the verb, to listen, is employed many times in varying contexts. This theme is developed throughout the story as the narrator learns to listen more closely to the aural stimuli (or sounds) which enter his ears. In order to understand the narrator's heightened degree of perception as it unfolds in "Sonny's Blues", it is necessary to begin with a thorough discussion of hearing and listening in general, and then as they relate to the story....   [tags: Sonny's Blues Essays]

Research Papers
682 words (1.9 pages)

James H. Cone's The Spirituals and the Blues Essay

- James H. Cone's The Spirituals and the Blues The book, The Spirituals and the Blues, by James H. Cone, illustrates how the slave spirituals and the blues reflected the struggle for black survival under the harsh reality of slavery and segregation. The spirituals are historical songs which speak out about the rupture of black lives in a religious sense, telling us about people in a land of bondage, and what they did to stay united and somehow fight back. The blues are somewhat different from in the spirituals in that they depict the secular aspect of black life during times of oppression and the capacity to survive....   [tags: Book Report Cone Spirituals Blues Essays]

Research Papers
1775 words (5.1 pages)

Bye Bye Brazil Essay

- Summary I really enjoyed watching the film Bye, Bye Brazil. I found it to be amusing as well as heartbreaking. I loved Gypsy Lorde. His character had the charisma bordering that of a male chauvinist pig to that of a gentleman. I liked the way the director used symbolic images to get his point across to the audience. I think if I had not done research on the Internet for most of our assignments as well as reading the textbook, I would have found the movie very educational. I had no questions after watching the film....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
716 words (2 pages)

Related Searches

Canadian women were needed in the work force to keep society functioning, but were expected to forfeit their positions upon the war’s conclusion. They were expected "to suddenly go from earning high salaries to being laid off their jobs" (Peate 194), just as Daisy’s mother-in-law had to relinquish her job at the post-office upon the war’s conclusion.

Such devices present an image than can easily convince the viewer that the representation is accurate. However, while Wheeler’s film does reflect actual events in history, the director admits, "this is fiction ... I take a few liberties" (Hays 9). These liberties take the form of a strong statement regarding the woman’s role in society.

"In movies about women, all important historical and natural events are translated into terms of a woman’s daily life" (Basinger 213). In Bye Bye Blues this is entirely appropriate; Daisy’s life in Alberta is a relevant side to the war experience. To depict the Second World War in such a way is not to demean the event. What Canadian women did during the Second World War, for the most part, was to stay at home with their children and continue with their daily lives (Peate 13-21). However, Wheeler does more than simply present a woman’s side of history. What she has done is to put a feminist slant on the film, which sacrifices historical accuracy in order to address a contemporary audience.

"What makes this film more than just a trip down memory lane is that Wheeler subtly introduces the changes that the mid-century will bring" (Laffel 558). Using the forties as a backdrop, Wheeler projects the image of a nineties woman coming into her own. Through the course of the film Daisy is brought up to date with the nineties; by the film’s conclusion, "Daisy is the emancipated woman of today" (Laffel 559). Her music allows her to become her own woman. Rather than being defined as "woman as wife" or "woman as mother," Daisy is seen as, to use the terms of Claire Johnston, "woman as woman" (Johnston 221).

Although on the surface the film’s conclusion appears to portray a woman forfeiting her dreams for her role as a domestic, there are many more layers involved. Wheeler does follow the history books well, but there is a deeper meaning at the heart of her film. Whereas the film begins with Daisy running directly into her husband’s arms in fear of an erect snake (clearly a phallic symbol), by the film’s conclusion she is capable of handling herself: Teddy must go to her to embrace her. Daisy still rejects the snake (in the form of Max, who represents potent sexuality), but she need not run from it. She no longer makes her choice out of fear, but out of what she wants. "Daisy’s choice (is) made, finally, as her own person" (Laffel 559). While Daisy once stood behind a window, longing for a man ("I’m so lonesome," she mutters), both Teddy and Max are now behind their own windows. It is up to Daisy, in her newfound freedom outside the house, to make up her mind as to which she wants.

When the film ends, the final shot is not of Teddy and Daisy embracing, she about to return to her domestic lifestyle. Instead, the camera lingers on the tour bus as the band drives off. It is as if Wheeler has raised the question of the woman’s role, leaving it open for the nineties audience to interpret; the bus does not drive away from Daisy so much as it drives off into the horizon, toward the future.

It is in this way that Wheeler strays from her goal. The film’s tidy resolution of Daisy’s transition highlights the narrative structure, and belies the sense of truth Wheeler hoped to attain. For while Bye Bye Blues is representative of the forties in many ways, into the film’s structure is woven the image of today’s changing woman. By inflicting upon the film present-day knowledge of the role of women, Wheeler is interpreting history "the way we hope it was" instead of how it happened; hers is an "idealized vision of an era" (Holden C9). As such, Bye Bye Blues functions as an "address to the present" (Grindon 189).

Set against the Second World War, Bye Bye Blues reflects Wheeler’s views about what changes have come about for women. In this respect, Wheeler has taken liberties in her account of history. Despite this, however, the film is very much centered around real events and realistic reactions to them. Bye Bye Blues does not entirely abandon the character of the past to speak to the present, but its director has strayed from her initial intent by projecting modern views onto issues of the forties.
Return to 123HelpMe.com