StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

British Social Problem Films - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet

Extract of sample
British Social Problem Films

The film is undoubtedly old fashioned and out of date with regard to modern cinematic styles and technological advances, but its themes and messages on racism and prejudice remain as relevant today as they did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 structuredetective 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
express this message or argument."
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 former colonies were flooding in, with different cultures, ethnicities and color; and these differences caused fear and suspicion of the unknown these new citizens represented. This represented a social problem, hence the film 'Sapphire' to reflect all the circumstances. During and after WW2, films showed communities working together against a common enemy. Many black and Asian soldiers from the Commonwealth and Empire fought for Britain and were welcomed during the conflict. However, after the war, as more and more came to the 'Mother Country', attitudes changed and black people were seen by many as a threat to the national identity and the economic security of citizens. Given those perceptions, Dearden's 'Sapphire was an attempt to highlight the changes, look at the values of community, liberalism and enlightenment, and adhere to values of tolerance and justice. These were the messages and themes.
Sapphire - 1959: The film sought to reflect the changes in society and the dangers of prejudice and racism, not with moral lecturing, but with a subtle, multi-layered approach. Bergfelder (1998) said of Dearden's work as a whole:
"..is far more complex and exciting than the traditional definition of him as a 'decent but dull' proponent of the 'social problem' film allowsit does not
propose a ...Show more

Summary

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 than 'a good story', but as innovative, controversial and thought provoking…
Author : rschumm
British Social Problem Films essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"British Social Problem Films"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

The Role of Class in British Cinema
Facing a microphone and knowing that the British Empire is listening must be frightening. At the time of the mentioned speech, approximately a quarter of the world’spopulation would be listening, particularly people from Germany. In 1939, Britain was engaging into war with the Germany and listeners of the speech required an individual with resolve, clarity, and firmness in his voice and not a stammer with punctuated and tortured silences (Ebert 2011, p320).
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
British Avante Garde Films
Not more than twenty years back, British Cinema was portrayed as "an unknown cinema" by Alan Lovell and as "utterly amorphous, unclassified, unperceived" by Peter Wollen (as cited in Gyri, 2004). Even in 1986, Julian Petley indicated that the anti-realist effort of British cinema as a 'lost continent' that needed further examination and, as Chibnall and Murphy note in their Introduction of British Science Fiction Cinema (1999), this call for volunteers on a mission to hunt out the unusual and unnecessary (that is, films beyond realism) had been earlier overlooked .
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Contemporary Irish Films
[Pettitt, 2000] A residual, patrician strain conservatively argues for drama on TV, stressing the educative benefits of high cultural traditions that are brought to a large audience. Aesthetically, TV drama has evolved from its origins in radio and influences from theatre to a much closer set of links with the medium of film and the institution of cinema.
12 pages (3000 words) Essay
Wartime and Postwar British Cinema
But it is necessary o note that by 1939 about 5,000 cinemas were not completely closed, although the pressure of the government on film production industry was great in those times. Government thought there as no need to show films, especially because of financial reasons.
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
British Cinema 2
However, the development in British cinema has not been without its shares of ups and downs. There have been times when it has faced rapid development in technology, quality, quantity and screening of films while there have been times, when, despite on-going production, the screening of films have faced hindrances.
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
Social Problem
Conversely, well-sensed citizens distinguished the volume for how it has been where a viciously honest likeness of what a high school football signifies towards a municipality also how this fervor may transform priorities, frequently towards the damage of the town.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Social problem
Less than a hundred years ago, many western countries did not think that women were eligible to vote. Where there are topless beaches, the idea of a woman showing her knee was taken as shameless. Where there is talk of peace and tolerance, innocents
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Film studies
This essay will attempt to define the genre, then examine Basil Dearden’s award winning film, ‘Sapphire’ in relation to its social and historical contexts and the issue of racism in British
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Social problem
Building on this last point, this paper will also describe how this problem affects specifically Americans. Secondly this paper will provide a critical discussion as to what is being done to help resolve the problem of drug abuse by providing examples of
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Contemporary British Film Culture -Critically discuss the role and importance of social realism to contemporary British film culture. Use research and one or two film examples to illustrate your response
d example is the emergence of cinema: in spite of the fact that the process of shooting and showing films was invented relatively recently, this form of art has been extremely popular. One might even point out that it was able to gather all the advantages of literature, music,
12 pages (3000 words) Essay
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment