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Choose an American film made in the period since 1945 which, in your view, can legitimately be described as 'popular' - Essay Example

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The film Titanic exploded in movie theaters in the year 1997. It was a historical drama, epic film which intricately married fact and fiction, with sentimental narrative. It was a film by James Cameron, which was based on the historical sinking of the great ship the Titanic…
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Choose an American film made in the period since 1945 which, in your view, can legitimately be described as popular
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Extract of sample "Choose an American film made in the period since 1945 which, in your view, can legitimately be described as 'popular'"

Download file to see previous pages This essay will be exploring some of the textual and contextual criticism on this film. It will also examine the role or place for this film in a social, cultural and industrial context.
Let us begin with a brief overview of film history from the mid 1940's up through the late nineties, when Titanic was introduced. During the 1940's, film evolved in a newly post war time and the genre of film noir began. During the 1950's post classical age in film, the introduction of television challenged the idea of film as it had been known. The 1960's brought with it the genesis of independent film which threatened the system of big Hollywood film. It was not until the 1970's that the term and idea of "blockbuster" was invented. By this time, the "new wave" of film was in place and the idea of cinema was changing. The 1980's kept the new idea of "blockbuster" alive with the introduction of teen based films (Breakfast Club, Saint Elmo's Fire). It was not until the 1990's that computer animation was alive and prominent in mainstream films.
The movie Titanic arrived as not only a film using then, cutting edge computer animation but also an enormous (one of the largest in film history, a whopping $200 million USD) budget. Prior to this time period, big budget film was not as prominent. As an audience member to a showing of Titanic, one could watch a computer animated version of the famous ship ( The Titanic), slowly sink over a 2 hour period, bottom first followed by the full erecting of the ship in the Atlantic and finally the virtual sinking of the very ship that was never supposed to sink.
This film is classified as historical drama or epic film, by most critics. An epic film or a historical drama (one in the same), can be defined as a historically based film that has been recreated and built upon fictionally. Usually, the use of powerful scoring and elaborate costumes can recreate a historical time or legend, so that the audience gains a sense of realism from the piece.
In observing some criticism on the film, one critic says of Titanic"By deliberately adopting the stylistics of sentimentality in his screenplay, Cameron recalls yet another, less cynical time in Titanic. As with the golden age of Hollywood musicals or the 1950s-era films of Doris Day and Rock Hudson, Titanic eschews the irony of modernity and the narrative dislocation of post modernity in favor of yet another, more sentimentalized genre in which good inevitably wins out over evil, heroes invariably overcome class barriers, and lovers always find the means to endure despite harrowing odds" (Davis, Womack, 2001). This piece of criticism is referring to the film as viewing a "less cynical time" when that is really untrue. The essential conflict of the film, aside from the immanently sinking ship, is that the newly love stricken Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet) cannot be together but, due to their class differences, and Rose's engagement to another man, they are unable to be together. Certainly, if there is any truth to the circumstances of Jack and Rose, the entire time period was more than cynical. They were kept apart because one had financial means and social status while the other did not.
The sentimentality observed by this critic is not necessarily pointing out a less than cynical time. Love, especially unrequited love is timeless and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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