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How are genre and themes expressed in the films you have studied,and show that values have changed over the years? (Roman Holiday and Lost in Translation)

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Introduction

How are genre and themes expressed in the films you have studied, show that values have changed over the years? The films I have studied for this section are 'Roman Holiday' by William Wyler 1953 and 'Lost in Translation' by Sofia Coppola 2003. Initially we can see that both films are of the same genre, romantic comedy, and that they both have similar themes like they are both set in a foreign country, the character are ex-patriots, they both have A-list actors and there is an age difference between our main characters with the man being much older than the women. So from these two films which are so formulaically similar and are made fifty years apart we should be able to see the extent to which some values may have changed over time and other perhaps not as much. The comedy of both films shows a difference, in 'Roman Holiday' when Irving comes to the cafe where Joe and Ann are sitting, there is the miscommunication between Joe trying to get Irving not to reveal he is from the press because he is ...read more.

Middle

Ann and Bob are both people of status and despite having people around them all of the time they, perhaps want to be treated differently, like a friend as opposed to someone of status. This is evident when the Duchess is going through Ann's schedule and Ann has a tantrum. Similarly when Bob is in the bar, two business men start talking to him but as soon as they start talking about all of the films he's been in he leaves. There is then a similar theme of status which has persisted over time and this makes sense as its part of the basic make-up and structure of our society, which won't have changed that drastically in fifty years. The whole idea of sex and violence being in every film we watch has consisted to an extent with these two films, there is love interest and there is fighting. However to fit the fighting within the context of a romantic comedy in both cases it is made light hearted in some way, I would argue this is done in each films own fashion. ...read more.

Conclusion

I conclude with the final difference that is evident in the structure of each film which may well represent the ideals of the time is that, in 'Roman Holiday' Joe and Ann are united against a common enemy, Ann's parents trying to find her. There is deceit between the two, Ann doesn't tell Joe she's a princess and Joe doesn't tell her he's a reporter but this is clear cut and in relation to their positions so simpler. Whereas in 'Lost in Translation' they are on their own, any joy or grief they have is a result of the way they have interacted, there is no extrinsic reward to motivate them - like Joe trying to make a story. This I feel shows the growing emphasis of the individual in modern society whereas in 'Roman Holiday' motives and intentions are clear cut which represents a society which liked things to be right and wrong with no grey areas in between. For example if Joe and Ann could be together it's clear they would be, whereas for Bob and Charlotte this is still a tricky confusing issue and in the long run the perfect moment they've had is probably the best thing for them. ...read more.

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