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Viewing entries from category: Social Realism

Living with Crime »

James Clarke | Friday March 22, 2013

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC AS, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Cinema in Context, Film Industry, Film Distribution, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, Non-Hollywood Films, London to Brighton, Sweet Sixteen, Genres & Case Studies, British Film, Crime, Independent, Social Realism, Thriller, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation

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Crime and cinema have a longstanding relationship.

Going right back to early cinema one of the landmark silent films was The Great Train Robbery (1903). There is a shot in that film which is overtly referenced as the last shot that we see in the American crime film GoodFellas (1990).

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However, whereas we might argue that the criminal life that’s represented in the Hollywood-produced GoodFellas is somewhat glamourised and told in an overtly artificial way (think of how music is used and, for example, the very...

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International Film Styles: 1920s Soviet Cinema »

James Clarke | Friday March 08, 2013

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC A2, FM4, Section A: World Cinema, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Film Industry, Film Distribution, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, World Cinema, Battleship Potemkin, Man With A Movie Camera, Genres & Case Studies, Documentary, Realism, Social Realism, Soviet Montage

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Cinema is always evolving.

The constantly changing quality of film styles is exciting and since the beginnings of film history many nations around the world have developed their own distinct cinematic style and this continues today in the twenty-first century.

During the early part of the twentieth century one country that contributed very significantly to the development of early cinema, was Russia and now, in 2013, almost a century later, the particular film style that emerged from Russia continues to be an essential stylistic approach that...

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British Film Identity Study: Borders & Belonging »

James Clarke | Friday March 08, 2013

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC AS, FM2, Section B: British Film Topics, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Film Industry, Film Distribution, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, Non-Hollywood Films, Dirty Pretty Things, Gypo, This is England, Genres & Case Studies, British Film, Social Realism

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Introduction

National identity and cinema are inextricably connected around the world. Within this national cinema dynamic is to be found the question of what it might mean to ‘be British’, or, more specifically, English. It’s a question that’s the basis of a longstanding narrative that relates powerfully to our filmic identity and, more immediately, our identity as an island nation, physically and culturally (and economically) separate to the mainland of Europe.

If you watch, read or listen to the news (itself a set of constructed...

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Ewan McGregor: British Film and Stars »

James Clarke | Thursday December 20, 2012

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC AS, FM2, Section B: British Film Topics, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film Industry, Film Distribution, Film Marketing, Film Publicity, Film Promotion, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, Non-Hollywood Films, Trainspotting, Genres & Case Studies, British Film, Social Realism, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation, Theory, Film Theory

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Ewan McGregor is a major British film star who has appeared in a wide range of films that have been released globally since 1994. His career has combined performances in a range of lower budgeted feature films and work in highly budgeted, event films released by the major film studios. Over the course of almost twenty years McGregor has appeared in nearly fifty films.

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Professionally trained as an actor at London’s Guildhall, McGregor hails from Scotland and the narrative of his career progression from provincial Scotland to being an internationally recognized film star...

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Social Realism Case Study »

Rob Miller | Monday December 10, 2012

Categories: A Level, OCR A Level, OCR AS, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Genres & Case Studies, Social Realism, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation

Origins and Development

Social Realist films originate in the 1950s/1960s but drew in terms of their form and style from the British documentary tradition of the 1930s popularised by the GPO Film Unit (Nightmail) who ultimately became the Crown Film Unit at the start of WW2 (Fires Were Started, Britain Can Take It). In the 1960s social realist films became critically and commercially successful and benefitted from the fact that television was only a feature in some middle class households – people flocked to the cinema to see films like Billy Liar (1953), Cosh Boy (1953),...

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La Haine Case Study »

Viki Walden | Friday September 07, 2012

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC A2, FM4, Section A: World Cinema, Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, World Cinema, La Haine, Genres & Case Studies, Beur, Classic, Drama, New Realism, Social Realism

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Urban Stories | Power, Poverty & Conflict | Case Study 2 | La Haine (Mathieu Kassovitz , 1995)

Synopsis

La Haine (Hate 1995, France) focuses on a single day in the lives of three twenty-something friends from immigrant families, living in an impoverished and multi-ethnic French housing project. The housing project, or la banlieues (ZUP - zone à urbaniser en priorité), hosts a riot after a young man is shot by a policeman. The film follows the young trio in the immediate aftermath of the riot. Vinz, who is Jewish, is filled with rage. He sees himself as a gangster, ready to...

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OCR AS Film Studies Contemporary English Language Film: Rachel Getting Married and Milk »

Viki Walden | Tuesday November 29, 2011

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC AS, FM2, Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, American, Rachel Getting Married, Milk, Genres & Case Studies, Social Realism, Hot Entries

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The examination is two hours and students need to answer 3 questions in total. In Section A there is an option of two questions while in Section B students must answer two questions.

Section A requires students to understand seven macro features of two films, underpinned by micro analysis. The films must not be more than 10 years old with one of the macro frameworks being the basis for the questions.

The seven frameworks are Representation, Messages and Values, Genre, Narrative, Theme, Style and Authorship.

A grid format is an excellent planning system for comparative...

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WJEC AS Film Studies FM2 US Cinema Comparative Study: Precious and Milk »

Viki Walden | Tuesday November 29, 2011

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC AS, FM2, Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, American, Precious, Milk, Genres & Case Studies, Magical Realism, Social Realism, Hot Entries

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There will be a choice of two questions for this final section of the exam; you need only answer one question. One usually asks you to focus on narrative and / or genre, whilst the other will reference themes or messages and values.

Unlike the other exam questions, for Section C it is imperative that you compare the two texts, so you will want to clearly define similarities and contrasts between the two in your plan. You should quantify why such similarities and contrasts exist by referring to the production context of each text.

A grid format is an excellent planning...

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This is England Screening Questions »

Rob Miller | Thursday November 10, 2011

Categories: GCSE, Analysis, Film Analysis, Screening Notes, Films & Case Studies, Non-Hollywood Films, This is England, Genres & Case Studies, British Film, Independent, Social Realism, Hot Entries

British and American Film Independent Case Study

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Associated Resources

This is England Screening Questions.doc

Use your bibliography of British Film resources to research the following questions:

  1. Who wrote and directed This is England? What other projects has he been involved in? What do you think his contribution to British Film has been?
  2. What was the name of the Production Company and Theatrical Distributor? How would you describe the Distribution company? Where did the film get financial assistance from? Apart from cinemas, where else has the film been shown?
  3. Name 5...
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Milk Case Study »

Rob Miller | Tuesday November 08, 2011

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC AS, FM2, Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, American, Milk, Genres & Case Studies, Biography, Drama, History, Social Realism

Synopsis and Character Profiles

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Milk is a film based on a true story (narrative fact) about openly gay civil rights activist, Harvey Milk, who eventually - after many struggles and defeats - finally serves in public office as a San Francisco Supervisor in the Mayor’s Office. The film ends with his assassination in 1978 by political nemesis, Social Conservative Dan White.

Played by Sean Penn, the film opens with 40 year old Milk in 1978 narrating and recording a monologue “only to be played in the event of my death”.

He is openly gay (which was a difficult decision in...

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Rachel Getting Married Case Study »

Viki Walden | Tuesday November 08, 2011

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC AS, FM2, Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, American, Rachel Getting Married, Genres & Case Studies, Drama, Romance, Social Realism

Section C: American Comparative Study

Synopsis

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Kym awaits the arrival of her father and step mother, Carol to pick her up from rehab. When she arrives home the house is chaotic amidst her sister’s wedding arrangements. Kym and her sister, Rachel reminisces about their childhood and appear to have a close relationship.

Paul, Kym’s dad, will not let her borrow a car because of a past incident, so Kym has to cycle to attend her addicts’ meeting and drugs test. When she returns and is introduced to the groom and best man, she recognises the best man, Kieran from her...

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Precious Case Study »

Viki Walden | Tuesday November 08, 2011

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC AS, FM2, Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, American, Precious, Genres & Case Studies, Drama, Magical Realism, Social Realism

Section C: American Comparative Study

Synopsis

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It is Harlem, 1987. Precious dreams she is handed a red scarf by a beautiful woman- she wants to be on television. Precious is suspended from school because she is pregnant. Her principal advises her to go to an alternative school called ‘Teach One, Each One’. At home though, her mother has other ideas. She beats Precious, knocking her near-unconscious. Whilst passed out, Precious has flashbacks of her father raping her and dreams of her being at a Premier, dressed glamorously. Mary, Precious’ mother, thinks she should be...

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