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In what ways could the film Elizabeth be seen as drawing on and diverging from generic conventions?

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Introduction

In what ways could the film Elizabeth be seen as drawing on and diverging from generic conventions? "Based on the story of the rise of young Elizabeth Tudor to Queen of England, Elizabeth depicts the early life of a woman of independent spirit who ascends to the throne in 1558 to a reign of intrigue and betrayal. The conflict of private affairs and personal friendships with her duty as a monarch to achieve national unity; form the basis of a story that is both heart-breaking and inspiring..." - Alison Owen Charles Barr referred to films which are set in and represent a particular image of Britain, as heritage or period films. When viewing this film, it was clear that certain conventions of the heritage film genre can be applied to Elizabeth. Throughout the film, certain characters are recognisable to the audience as figures of British history due to a variety of different details. For example, Elizabeth's (Cate Blanchett) ...read more.

Middle

The authenticity and details to costumes are not completely true. The costumes for example have been used to emphasise certain characters personality as previously mentioned with Mary and Norfolk. Another character who follows this is Dudley (Joseph Fiennes). He wears open shirts with long billowing sleeves as his character is meant to be the 'romantic' one, and his passionate personality is shown by his flowing clothing. Another generic convention of the heritage film is to do with the sets and locations when making the film and how they are used to create a historical feel. This is true to some extent in the sense that filming did take place in Northumberland and in various castles and towers. However, the 'look' of the film was adapted in order to give the film its 'conspiracy' theme - the lighting was darker and the cavern of Mary was dark and gloomy compared to that of the light and airy field. An ideologically conservative representation of "Merrie England" is often viewed in heritage films. ...read more.

Conclusion

In this sense the audience perception of these events has yet again been manipulated in the way most of these scenes have been shot - points of view of the heretics being burned. The assassination attempts are believed to not have been true. The poisoned dress was taken from Sophocles's 'Medea' and the pageant on the Thames attempt was also invented in order to stress how dangerous Elizabeth's life was at the time, again influencing the audiences reading of the film. In conclusion to this analysis of the film in its generic context, I personally believe that the film follows Barr's conventions to an extent. It is obvious to see that the story has been manipulated in order to emphasise certain themes - the darkness of the characters shown by their clothing etc, but as Alison Owen says, the producers "have not changed facts but manipulated time periods in order to give so many things to attract an audience..." Despite this, the film Elizabeth does follow several of the conventions but in several ways challenges them. ?? ?? ?? ?? Beth Connolly FS3 - Essay 2005 ...read more.

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