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This is England
Transcript of This is England
Directed by Shane Meadows Topics
- Shane Meadows Bio
- Subculture of skinheads
- Internal/external war
- Aesthetics Shane Meadows War In... Subculture of Skinheads: History - Born in 1972 - Uttoexeter, Staffordshire Childhood
Bullied as a child due to this father being an accused murderer.
Left school before GCSE year.
Turned to petty crime.
Had a weekend job selling fruit and vegetables. - Later life
Moved to Nottingham when he was 20.
While on the dole, made 25 short films with a borrowed video camera.
Studied Performing Arts at Burton College.
First feature was 24 7 (Twenty Four Seven) in 1997.
In 2008 ranked 40th in the Telegraph's list of 100 most powerful people in British Culture. Shane's films are semi-autobiographical
This is England : Shaun's character. Nationalism Combo / Stephen Graham Shaun washes cars after school etc Is Combo racist or brainwashed by the National Front? Bullied because of his Father Hatred towards education Clip points... A Room for Romeo Brass (1999)
Once upon a time in the Midlands (2002)
Dead man's Shoes (2004) Combo agrees with the National Front's viewpoint very passionately. The National Front spokesman talks about accepting ethnicity which Combo seems more than welcome to adorn.
If that's true, what has happened to his seemingly racist views? Ironic that Skinhead culture was influenced by Jamaican Rude Boy Culture and British Mods through fashion/lifestyle/music. Colours
This is England
Jamaican/Swedish Shaun is accepted as part of the gang only once he adopts the skinhead style Thatcherism
Winter of Discontent.
Margaret Hilda Thatcher was the first woman prime minister, 1979-1983-1987
Thatcher was a member of the conservative party.
successes were obtained only at the expense of great social costs to the british population.
Miners' strike 1984-85
Thatcher in This is England.
She was also responsible for the Falklands war. Originated among working class youths in London, England in the 1960s and then soon spread to other parts of the United Kingdom
Originally not based on politics or race. Skinhead Fashion Skinhead Racism Music Milky "Do you consider yourself
English or Jamaican?" Associated with black popular music genres such as soul, ska, rocksteady and early reggae. Artists such as:
Toots and the Maytals
The Specials Clip #2 Faster beat marked out by the drummer using the hi-hat, heavy organ lines, lower mixing of the bass, and electronically doubled rhythm guitar stroke. Influenced by Rude Boy culture
Rude boys 1960s associated with
poor/youth/unemployment Kingston, Jamaica
Attitude and lifestyle inspired by American cowboy and gangster outlaw films. Combo's unstable attitude finally snaps completely to a point of almost schizophrenic standards. The main question of this scene can be interpreted differently depending on how an audience views the film. Shaun is yet again stopped before he can intervene, helpless like he has been throughout the film, only now does it become clear for him and the audience. The Falklands Argentina were suffering an economic crisis under a fierce military dictatorship.
April 1982: Argentina invades the Falkland Islands to try and reclaim their sovereignty.
June 1982: the Argentines surrender after 74 days of war.
Over 900 fatalities: 650 Argentines, 255 British and 3 Falkland Islanders. Why does Milky provoke Combo?
Hearing about Milky's happy family, the music turns sad as Combo is almost in tears. Milky and Combo are dressed virtually the same, implying a lack of visual difference.
Shows racial equality
But mentally, there is clearly something out of place. War In... This Is England Close-cropped or shaven heads
practical industrial jobs
anti middle class hippie Attitudes toward race and politics have become factors by which some skinheads align themselves.
Split between racist and anti-racist skinheads
Politics: Far right to the far left, although many skinheads are apolitical. There is a second war within This Is England.
The presence of Combo creates conflict within the group.
His domineering attitudes cause a divide and the group are forced to take sides. Long-sleeve or short-sleeve button-up shirts or polo shirts by brands such as Ben Sherman, Fred Perry. Irony, as actor Stephen Graham (Combo) is of mixed heritage
Grandfather - Jamaican
Grandmother - Swedish Nationalism Prejudice against skinheads - tarnished with the same brush Can you think of any themes that resonate throughout Shane Meadows films? Combo brainwashes Shaun
Innocence of Youth
Plays upon death of father Associations with the National Front and Neo-Nazism Anger due to unemployment
Lack of opportunities for youth
Immigrants taking jobs
Social housing What is it to be English? Is it Racist? Is it nationalist? Woody - anti racist
Combo - nationalist Combo power/control "troops" Soundtrack to This is England
First half reggae/ska upbeat gang camaraderie
Second half classical/sombre-British What does it mean to be British? Clip points... This scene almost sets up the character of Combo entirely.
His attitudes switch multiple times within this small scene, emphasizing Combo as an unstable character. War of the Fathers Shaun finally feels accepted.
Woody is proving himself to be role model, but is he a father figure or a brother? Social-Realism The style of the skinhead is shown strongly when Woody almost promotes a checklist. Meadows' portrayal Combo Woody Prejudices against ethnic minorities e.g.Pakistanis
due to lack of "britishness"
What makes a person British?
Heritage/social class/language/acceptance of british culture? Sees Shaun as a child
Buys him presents
Tries to protect him and guide him
Both him and Lol act as surrogate family
Soothing/patient Clip points... Combo's attitude switching quickly again (an early implication of his later actions) Sees Shaun as an easy recruit
Manipulates him into leaving Woody's gang through his father's death
Tries to corrupt him by involving him in the gang violence against the shop keeper
Forceful/domineering Manipulation Shaun's confidence has been boosted from a shy child to a confident young man supported by his gang. Crowd Combo's teachings have had an impact on Shaun, he now uses racist terms and doesn't care for the repercussions of the crime. Brainwashed? Sharp suits, thin ties, and pork pie or Trilby hats Acid wash jeans Colours signify affiliations/gangs
Braces What does Milky allegorically represent in the film? Does Milky "really" see himself as English? or Hanging the Flag with Pride Why does Milky smile? Aesthetics Social Realism/ Documentary. Real Locations Archive Footage Naturalistic Lighting Hand-held Camera Grimy Colours Real Themes and Issues Single parent family life Growing up Why is immigration such a taboo? Peer Pressure David Cameron Citizenship Wanting to be older Can you think of any others? Music we listen to multi cultural Clothes we wear aren't "British" Questions What makes a "british" film british?