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John Hill, "Working Class Realism",sex, class and realism: British Cinema 1956-1963

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Miss Elizabeth Ball Eliot College FI303 Introduction to Narrative Cinema Essay 3: A Written reconstruction John Hill, "Working Class Realism", sex, class and realism: British Cinema 1956-1963 When "Working class realism" emerged within British cinema in 1956, it became acknowledged as a break of determination to tackle certain social and real issues. This was presented as a "New Wave" within British film and offered an opposition to the original procedures and approaches to British Cinema. "Working class realism" an analytical piece by John Hill, reveals to us how, coinciding with the 'new Britain' that was stabilizing and evolving after the war, was a 'New wave' of British social problem films. They were acknowledged for the fact that they were 'realist' films with a purpose to reveal the reality of Britain onto the film screen without disguising it with the 'Hollywood style' facades. This new concept involved the revolutionary move to include the industrial working class within it and diverse from the social groups previously portrayed through film. These British 'new wave' films began to include youthful protagonists, absorbed in the period's thriving society, which seemed to portray the relevant themes and the social issues at this time. ...read more.


Some directors elaborated on this realism, with a distinct plan to portray a more "matter-of-fact" documentary film, others enabled this era to be known as "poetic cinema" through the idea that the films maintained a personal and poetic quality, as they portrayed not a necessarily strictly realistic view of the treatment of the working-class, the films "struggled to keep a poetic quality" which seemed to remain within the style and themes. It was this that presented the argument that although "new wave" films were produced to portray the working-class people of Britain and their lives, it still represented the views of the outsiders that produced them. The extract that I studied from John Hills, "Sex, Class and Realism", in reference to the British Cinema 1956-1963, I was aware of the relevance of sex within this period of film, as well as the subject of the working class and the realistic portrayal of their lives. This was a period of development, change and breakthrough for all involved from the previously strict and non-digressional social behaviour. It appears to be that within this period, the "New Wave" mirrored the emergence of art cinemas, which seemed to challenge the previous aesthetics and attitudes within ...read more.


Whether it is through the argument that as it is film, it is art and therefore personal, not real, or whether the use of a person to portray the life and work, the life of the working-class portrayed by the middle-class, is never presented truthfully. Through films such as "A taste of Honey" and "Saturday night and Sunday morning" we are shown the variations of theme, from, the focus on the protagonists, landscape and the working class positions, to the use of original film techniques, which juxtapose the new realism ideals. Poetic Personalization and the want within the film industry to expand horizons through the increased attitudes towards sex, and revolution from the familiar, changes the way in which these films are perceived. Through popular films such as the "Carry on" films, these new comic and daring concepts were portrayed without realism. From 1956 to the late sixties, there was an evolution in film that changed the face of British Cinema, John Hill emphasizes and then challenges the beliefs and views of the time within the industry and questions whether the realism is truly there. This clever exert from his work revealed to me the true extent of the purposed "realism" within such a fantastic film era. ...read more.

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