The Role of Class in British Cinema The King’s Speech The King’s Speech narrates a story of a man obliged to speak to the entire world with a stammer. It is a painful experience for an individual who is stammering to speak to the other person…
George VI was the king and he never wanted to become one. After the death of his father, his brother Edward was to take the throne but he refused to take it in order to marry the woman he loved, and thus, the duty was given to Prince Albert who since early ages, he had struggled with his speech. Albert has been the favourite of his father, but he mourns the introduction of the newspapers and radio, which necessitate a monarch to be heard and seen on public occasions. To avoid public humiliation, his wife Elizabeth seeks help from several speech therapists but nothing works. At last, a speech therapist from Australia Lionel Miguelbecomes of great assistance to Prince Albert in delivering the King’s speech(Ebert 2011, p320; Conradi and Logue 2011, p201). The paper will discuss the role of class in British cinema with special emphasis on the film The King’s Speech. Royal Politics and Its Aesthetic Value in British Cinema Film theory as it is known today came into existence in the late 1960s and since then, they have been controlled by psychoanalytic ideas. After the First World War, it was easier to identify two specific groups in film criticism. The first group was composed of the Sergei Eisenstein figure, whose theoretical essays and filmmaking in the 1920s established the beginning of the role of cinema as an aesthetic one. Based on the idea of Eisenstein, the aesthetic value of the film depended on its capability to change reality and this took the form of montage in his films. The second group was composed of the surrealists and impressionists. They were of the notion that the main role of the cinema was aesthetic; however, they were of the idea that the camera was sufficient to render general objects sublime. They emphasized on cinema as the visual medium which indicated that they considered narrative in most cases as a hindrance that had to be overcome (Murphy 2005). From 1934, British cinemas witnessed an increase in attendance among the people. Apart from being a source of entertainment, they assumed the crucial role in communication and social contact. British films of those times expressed the image of Britain as a very stable hierarchy at home, a just colonial government overseas and it represented the patriotic images of the armed forces and the monarchy. In general, the entire population of Britain looked happy with the films that were offered in the 1930s and those films assisted in the maintenance of the status quo and consensus. An important demographic feature of Britain in the 1930 was the steady ascendancy of the middle class. A number of films were based on this status quo (Redner 2010, p138). The Kings Speech setting is in the 1930s and represents what films at those times attempted to represent, that is, the role of class in the British Cinema. Universal agreement on a clear concept of class in cinema is elusive due to the various socioeconomic and political interactions that cinema, as an important media channel makes with the society. However, the transposition of the various usages of class in other disciplines onto cinema studies enables the generation of ideas with respect to cinema class. Using the Eisenstein theoretical postulates, cinema presents the audience with a chance to view of reality artistically coined to achieve the intended aesthetic value (Murphy 2005). Thematic ...
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