This is England as British Social Realism Film - Research Paper Example

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The Course Number 22 November 2011 ‘This is England’ as British Social Realism Film Whether one considers “This is England” a political drama, or “an autobiographical modern classic”, or just a great movie, the very concept of this masterpiece by Shane Meadows should be referred to the domain of British Social Realism, a unique and super popular genre of the modern British film…
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Download file to see previous pages Social Realism in British Films First of all, let us find out what realism in general is. Realism has been defined by Armes: “In its broadest sense, realism is an attitude of mind, a desire to adhere strictly to the truth, recognition that man is a social animal, and a conviction that he is inseparable from his position in a society” (Armes 17). Artistically, Social Realism is a term that can be applied to the arts in general. Namely, as an artistic movement that found its expression in various arts, social realism focuses portraying issues related to social injustice or racial intolerance, with emphasis on protest against the depicted unjustness often conveyed with the help of satire. It is worth mentioning that social realism in visual and some other arts focuses on the issues related to the life and activity of the working class. In films, social realism is perceived as a style that evolved from the 20th century movement of Italian neorealism. Lay observes that one of the key features of this style is its providing an intricate link between the character and the place to enable exploring a certain aspect of modern life in a way that is very similar to naturalism (Lay 9). According to Williams, the pivotal characteristics of the films/texts representing British Social Realism are: 1) its secular character. In other words, social realist texts are devoid of mysticism and appeal wholly to logic and ability to reason. Consequently, such texts/films come to focus on depicting human truths rather than divine truths 2) the grounding of social issues, characters, and films’ settings in the context of contemporary reality. 3) the social extension aspect. To specify, “realist texts tend to expand the range of characters to include marginal or previously under-represented groups and issues in society” (Williams 61-74) 4) the intent of the artist that is often politically colored. To illustrate, the filmmaker’s intent in British Social Realism may have reformist, socially purposive, as well as educative underpinnings (Lay 13). As for the contents of the films representing the discussed genre, the latter usually revolve around certain issues and themes. To distinguish between issues and themes within the film referred to as a social realist one, one needs to bear in mind the major difference between them: the issues are of explicit nature – they are easily recognized and visible fears and concerns currently troubling the society; while themes are usually implied and “hide” within a given text. As Lay rightfully observes, “Themes work on a much deeper level and represent less obvious threats to social cohesion and stability” (Lay 14). In addition, in terms of its contents, the social realist film will most likely deal with the issues of drugs, poverty, prostitution, sex, alcoholism, as well as crime. All in all, if one were to name the important features of a film representing British social realism, he/she would probably come up with the following list: realistic portrayal of the society the Britishmen live in Life’s struggles Realistic events, contexts, situations, and realistic settings Filming techniques that may be classified as believable Unknown actors Heroes representing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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