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Compare two versions of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'.

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Introduction

Media Coursework Jess Gascoigne 10s For this media piece of work, we have been asked to compare two versions of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'; * The 1951 version, Alistair Sim film 'Scrooge', which is more on the Christian theme of Christmas. * The Ross Kemp, ITV version, which is multicultural, more modern to this day. The theme of the 1951 version was all around an abstract image of 'want and ignorance', a metaphorical image. The theme of the 1951 was also around the Christian side towards Christmas, remembering the birth of Christ. Going to church and based around faith, hope and charity. As the film follows the book accurately, there are hardly any differences, so the message from this film was expressed exactly the same as Dickens would have wanted it to, to remember what Christmas is about, and that you can't make an excuse not to celebrate Christmas even if you are poor, lonely or isolated. This is 'in keeping' with the book. The theme of the 2000 edition of a 'Christmas Carol', is somewhat different from the 1951 version. This version is multicultural, which is more relevant to today's lifestyle. There are direct images of the poor and homeless, which are 'want and ignorance', working together and helping. Unlike the 1951 version there is less religion/Christianity involved although there is a message, that no matter what religion, its all about spending time with the people you love, helping and no greed. Although the modern version is multicultural, it is still set in London, with a modern, common life scenes a working class London high rise council estate, a deprived area. ...read more.

Middle

Where as in the 2000 version, instead of enjoying the torture that the spirits are putting Scrooge through, we feel some sympathy towards Scrooge, with his deprived background, and no Father figure in life. In the 1951 version, Scrooge visits the coalmines, light houses, the fishermen at sea, his nephew and also want and ignorance with the spirits. Although, in the 2000 version, there are no visits to any of these places. These are replaced by the 'Cratchits' in hospital, the O.A.P's, the single mother, the nephew which still stands the same, the homeless and the pub which is a popular setting for dramas. By visiting the pub, the hospital and the car park, it is an everyday place, which makes it easier to film there. In both the 2000 and the 1951 version there are many added scenes, because the 2000 version was modern, not many traditional/everyday things are like Victorian everyday things as today, so there are many added scenes, far too many to comment on. Although the 1951 version is in keeping with the original Dickens book, in the film there are quite a few added scenes. At the beginning, Tiny Tim, looking at toys, while his mother orders the bird. This basically sets the scene of Christmas. Scrooge walks past a blind boy and his dog, the dog pulls the boy out of the way quickly, this is a good scene to show because the public know that Scrooge was a tight-fisted man, even domesticated animals know about Scrooges reputation. Scrooge asks for more bread, this will cost him more so Scrooge declines, this scene, I feel, was the most noticed additional, the bitterness that you felt as Scrooge declined. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are many parts of humour in both the versions, mainly when Scrooge turns from mean to generous, in the 1951 version, where Scrooge dances at the end and when Jo the pawnbroker was mad. This is also humorous. In the modern version, the humour is the same, the change between mean to generous and the way that Scrooge scares people. He suddenly turns nice, everyone is suprised and people start to faint. This tells us that humour hasn't changed over the years and the aspects of humour haven't changed. Music, in both films, play important parts because it sets the scene of Christmas. Carols are played at the beginning. This sets the scene of Christmas. At Scrooges home in the 1951 version, there is a piece of music which is being repeated. A crescendo builds the tension and, when Marley enters, the repetition of suspended minor chords gives the feeling of mystery and an edge to the scene. When Scrooge goes to bed, there is the repetition of music again; that builds up more tension. When the 'Ghost of Christmas Past' enters, 'Silent Night' is played, it's the most popular carol and sentimental to the public, it sets the scene of Christmas. When the hour-glass appears, music is played and repeated. Scrooge, at the end, is singing and dancing with his nephew and his nephew's wife. The singing and dancing plays out to the end of the film. In the 2000 version, carols are played each time Scrooge enters Christmas Eve again returning from his journey from the spirits. This sets the scene of Christmas. 1/05/01 ...read more.

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