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change essay


paul rudd

on 18 May 2010

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Transcript of change essay

Double click anywhere & add an idea 1960s Britain: Reality & Myth If - Rudyard Kipling Focus Films Exam Questions Austin Powers Poppet on a Swing New Waves in Cinema Darling Jules Et Jim Alfie To what extent does Darling represent 'the swinging sixties'? Gender Points:





Ambiguity Men:


Husband: Safe

Robert: Opposite

Miles: male version

Malcolm: perfect gay man

Southgate: ideal


sexually free

morally ambiguous

postmodern narrative

'breaking away is the new convention' A Bout de Souffle A Hard Day's Night If FM2 How are the themes of authority and rebellion used in 'If' to comment upon sixties society? Why do you think that the Beatles are held up as such representative icons of sixties Britain?
Women's rights
1967 Context Plan

Definition of narrative – how the story is told. All have linear narratives.
Helps to show the progression of the story, and thus the theme of change is introduced.

Paragraph one:
If... change in characters. Mick starts off with little rebellion – moustache – but doesn’t keep it in fear of the establishment. Rebellions mutate: drinking alcohol, stealing motorbike (long shot – open country road; freedom), massacre of peers, teachers and family members (older traditions are humiliated and degraded – priest and knights running wildly. The build up people on their team: the crusaders – one is a woman, equal rights, dealt the final blow.

Paragraph two:
Rebellion is Darling. Diana breaks away from the social norm, forging her own career – post modern acting and modelling career (billboard at the beginning shows how values change, starving Africans pastes over for a glamorous ‘Ideal Woman’. She is sexually liberated, typically a male trait. Her companions are ever changing. “Your idea of fidelity is not having more than one man in bed at the same time”

Paragraph three:
A Hard Day’s Night the companions are always the same throughout the film – four Liverpool lads. At first they are grouped together but as the film progresses this changes and we see different sides to their personality. John the joker “well if he’s your grandfather, who knows”, Paul is the average happy one – playing songs, Ringo is melancholy, and George is the intellectual.
Metafictive reference “he’s clean” – allusion to step toe and son. Change in character.

Paragraph four:
Each of the characters in each film progresses differently. If... we see the transition into adulthood (similar to the Poem If. Animalistic sex scene. Natural to grow up), Beatles are still quite childish (long shot of the four of them pulling faces at the commuter with upbeat non-diegetic music in the background) and Diana who is once self assured becomes vacant (walking through vacuous room. Rooms representing her personality. Cannot find anything positive when stripped bare. Big close up shows her being upset).

Change is rife in all three films because it is something which is natural and unavoidable. Whether change is good or not is questionable – Diana is reduced to eternal unhappiness, but her change led the way for equality for women, Travis becomes a man but slaughters innocent people, Beatles seem to be stuck in childhood, childhood innocence. Being both a group and individuals has its own pro’s and cons.
What has knowledge of your chosen period contributed to your understanding of the films you have studied for this topic?

The Sixties in Britain saw the birth of the counterculture; it was a time of great change. Old values and traditions were deemed less important, and the new ideas took control. One of these was the idea of sexual liberation, especially for females who had been oppressed for centuries before – they had been only second class citizens within a long term patriarchal society. Another common characteristic of the Sixties was ‘Sex drugs and rock and roll’; a phrase many of the youth adopted as their lifestyle. By looking at the contextual information shrouding Britain in the Sixties, we gain a further insight to the morals of our three films: A Hard Days Night, If…, and Darling. We can also have a better understanding of the themes and ideologies that they are trying to portray.
One major theme is sexual liberation, explored mainly in Darling though there are elements to it in If… Diana is our protagonist in Darling, and the plot takes one an anti-bildungsroman format. Diana throughout it is sexually promiscuous, demonstrated though Robert aiming the comment “I don’t take whores in taxis” at Diana. This is because Diana has numerous sexual partners throughout the film, though shows no real loyalty to any. One major reason for this is the legalisation of The Pill in 1960. This meant that women were now able to have sex without having to worry about bringing up a child. Furthering this is the legalisation of abortion in 1967, meaning that if The Pill failed to work, and the child would not be brought up in a safe environment, the foetus could be terminated. Despite her promiscuity and so-called care free life, the ending of a film is not pleasant, completing the anti-bildungsroman. The mise-en-scene in the Palace mirrors Diana’s vacuous state of mind, as it is empty and minimalist. As she passes through each room it is as if she is searching her soul for meaning. However, nothing is found, and a big close-up shows her utter disappointment at the realisation of this.
The opening of Darling introduces us to Diana’s profession; a model/actress. We see her face being pasted onto a billboard, covering the images of starving African children, conveying the idea that if we cannot see the problems they are not really there. Again this is typical of the Sixties society, as they focus mostly on themselves and the revolution of their own culture. On this billboard Diana is next placed next to the words ‘Ideal Woman’, connoting that she herself and her lifestyle is far superior to others, furthered by the pleasant non-deigetic sound accompanying this image. Her lifestyle is one that many women envied in the Sixties, as she was forging her own career totally independent of a male figure. Her career itself is one that is iconic of the Sixties, as fashion became culturally dominant. This helps to add a touch of post-modernism as Julie Christie plays Diana Scott who also stars in a film, representing the complete revolution of the Sixties society.
Diana can be called a rebellious figure as she opposes traditional values. In If… this rebellion is also prominent through the Crusaders. The rebellions start off on a relatively small scale, such as Travis growing a moustache. However, these rebellions mutate, leading to a revolution of new ideas where the old are slaughtered; a big close-up of Travis’ face shows the pure hatred that he feels to the older generation and their ideologies. This act of rebellion is self referential of the counterculture in Sixties Britain, though not quite as extreme. The shooting of the old is used as a harsh metaphor for the time of change.
The relationships in If...range between heterosexual – the unnamed Girl and Travis – and the homoerotic, hinted between Bobby and Wallace (a big close up of Bobby’s admiring face and dreamlike non diegetic sound when looking down upon Wallace), though because of the nature of the all boys school, many of the males pent up sexual desire was often took a homoerotic slant. This came from all aspects of the school, including the authority figure of the Whips. In the Sixties, homosexual relationships were taboo, despite the legalisation of them in 1967.
Looking at A Hard Day’s Night, no examples of a intimate relationship are evident, though when upon the train Paul attempts to charm a girl. It was also intended before the final cut that Paul was supposed to have a flirtatious scene with an actress. The Beatles had a huge fan club; from 1963-1967 ‘Beatlemania’ erupted. All four of the lads were considered as handsome, yet it was their mischievous tenor that struck the heart of not only the nation but the world. This is shown through harmless acts of rebellion, revealed to the audience through a long shot of the group on the train pulling faces at the commuter whom they had previously had a disagreement with. The light hearted non diegetic sound gave a light hearted intonation the film, one that is hard not to fall in love with. Furthering their popularity was their iconic music; a sound that had never been heard before, replacing its mundane and monotonous predecessors. Their music was so well loved that an instant connotation to the word ‘Sixties’ is The Beatles. Their music helped shape the what has now become cliché ‘Sex drugs and rock and roll’.
In conclusion, knowledge of the Swinging Sixties only heightened my appreciation for these three films, as without the knowledge you lacked the contextual information to decode the dated films. On my first watching of Darling I saw Diana Scott as a spoilt female who did not possess any redeeming quality. However, learning that she represented equal rights for women, my respect for her rose, and she became an unfortunate Byronic protagonist. The rebellion in If... became much more poignant as I realised how the younger generation struggled with its oppressors who were determined to thrust their traditional values onto the younger generation, instead of letting them create their own beliefs. Finally, watching A Hard Day’s Night only encapsulates the feeling of euphoria which overturned the world – one so strong that an almost documentary-like film was created.
What are some of the ways in which narrative is used to explore the theme of change in the films we’ve studied for this topic?
Between 1963 and 1973 in Britain many views were changed in society such as abortion becoming legal in 1967, also the legalisation of homosexuality in 1967. This created freedom for the people of Britain is terms of who they really are and what they wanted in their own lives. The swinging sixties where classed as a cultural revolution with optimistic people and diversity, one reason for this was the change in Britain’s economy due to post World War II depression which lasted most of 1950s.
Darling changes –
•Married, single, dating.
•Happy, sad and other emotions.
•Her identity and names.
•Vulnerable at the beginning turns shoplifting.
•Her life from being an out going young woman to sitting in the palace on her own.
• These all show the change from the 50’s to the 60’s
If changes –
•Black and white, colour.
•A new chapter, 50’s to 60’s.
•Becoming a man from a boy.
•Difference in ages.
•Authority between the crusaders, whips and staff.
•New people experiencing change, coming into the 60’s.
•Rebellion from moustache to shooting.
•Order and discipline collapses.
•Whipping, shooting.
•Old order, new order
•Paragraphs in notes about changes from beginning of film to the end
A Hard Days Night changes –
•The commuter versus the Beatles on the train
•Beatles are the 60’s but the commuter is in the 50’s
•Beatlemania – change in the fans and what they were interested in
•Bring main changes together from their narratives saying how they represent the changes from the 50’s to the 60’s
•Good things to change but can also bring bad things - if …
50s v 60s
Authority v Rebellion
Tradition v revolution
Characters changing others change as exciting
change as renewal
change as progress
change as rebellion
change as unpredictable
change as destructive
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