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Film studies - Essay Example

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Introduction: The social problem film was a significant aspect of British film of the 1950s and aimed not only at entertaining cinema audiences, but also to raise issues of importance to that society, in that period of history. As such, these films can be considered as more…
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Download file to see previous pages It may appear to be an example of “films which were accepted as realistic by one generation often appear ‘false or dated ‘ to the next”, but is still an important aspect of an era. The film is undoubtedly old fashioned and out of date with regard to modern cinematic styles and technological advances, but its themes and messages on racism and prejudice remain as relevant today as they did then.
Definition of Social Problem Films: Durgnat, (1997) contended that “The social problem film is hardly a genre” (p.59) but went on to say, in relation to ‘Sapphire’ and ‘Victim’, that they may be described as “by narrative structure…detective mysteries.” However, such films sought to explore the real issues faced by that society. Ealing Studios in the 1950s encouraged the production of films that were not only melodrama or thriller, but that delivered a universal moral message. Issues such as juvenile delinquency, violence, sexuality and racism were incorporated into dramatic narratives that would engage audiences but ask them to look at their society and their own values, perceptions and prejudices. Jonathan Wright (2002) described processes involved in this, when examining British Social Realism, (quoting Lay, 2002)
“First the film-maker must have intended to capture the experience of the actual event depicted. Second, the film-maker has a specific argument or message to deliver about the social world and employs realistic conventions to
With ‘Sapphire, Dearden and Relph did that, linking the detective/thriller narrative, with character, form, tone, pace and dialogue, in fact all the film elements that succeeded in reflecting the state of a nation in transition and the effects of racism and prejudice.
Historical Context: The race riots of 1958 in Notting Hill, London had raised the consciousness of post-war Britain, bringing doubts about their conservative, conventional values, and alerting them to changes. Immigrants from ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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