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What did Hoggart and other British cultural critics see the "juke box boys" (Hoggart, 1958, 247) as a portent of, and how was it represented in the British films of the 1950s?

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Introduction

What did Hoggart and other British cultural critics see the "juke box boys" (Hoggart, 1958, 247) as a portent of, and how was it represented in the British films of the 1950s? Dan Bednar The essay will introduce the notion of consensus - the agreement reached between political parties as well as in the society as a whole. However, due to the limitation of this paper, this is a rather an abbreviated description of the whole situation. As a result the British foreign affairs, as well as the importance of immigrant waves on forming the new British culture, will be ignored. Furthermore, the youth phenomenon did not appear overnight as it might seem from reading the following lines. In fact as the teenagers gained more and more attention from the marketplace and the popular press, they also gained more confidence and their voice was heard. The focus here will be on the Teddy Boys youths; the nation's young generation, however, was much more diverse, ranging from middle and upper class youth (with their specific culture) to youngsters organised in clubs and societies. Consensus Since 1951 the Conservative Party won three subsequent elections. The political consensus between the parties "reflected a consensus in the nation. ...read more.

Middle

Similarly to Hitchcock's Psycho, Powell and Pressburger cast the main character with a good-looking young man - instead of a villain looking character. As Lowenstein argues, the social realism of Peeping Tom shows that these shifting social currents are shot through with anxieties that include viewers 'like you and me' as agonized participants in 'life here today'. (2000 p.229) Powell's and Presburger's interest in products of the mass culture is of the same sort as Warhol's interest in advertising, Kubrick's interest in popular genres in The Shining as well as Tarantino's obsession with pulp novels. Angry Young Men Hoggart's appeal was to preserve and enforce original 'working class' culture. This appeal came about at the same time as the new breed of writers, first just called Movement and later on called the Angry Young Men. They were often of working class origin, and wrote novels about working class youth or about young men fighting bureaucracy and the current social order (Kingsley Amis - Lucky Jim). These 'angry young men' represented the part of society that was slowly waking up from the consensus dream. The British Empire was facing internal and external crisis (racial upheavals, Suez War). ...read more.

Conclusion

The Pop art (art for everyone) made no distinctions between popular and highbrow culture and freed art from all preconceptions. Furthermore, the open dealing with sexual matters in some of the films and novels, opened up the censorship and gave way to artistic freedom. The youth shook the power of the "highbrow minority" that dictated the shaping of the whole culture and helped the existence of working class bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. The youth also gained more attention from advertisers and this resulted in strictly teenage products - fashion, such as jeans and short skirts. The youth changed the whole nature of cinema production. From then on film producers became more aware of their audiences and the films targeted increasingly younger audiences. Also the age of the media planners, directors and producers decreased and the young filmmakers gained more power both in Britain (Anderson, Reizs) and Hollywood (Beatty, Hopper), only to loose it later on due to further commercialism of cinema during the 70s and 80s (Biskind,1998: Introduction). The strength of the youth influence is also in its diversity: it inspired Marxists, trash artists, nihilists, hedonists, feminists and the list could go on. Its main strength is that it enabled wide cultural and political discussions. Arthur was a portent of complex socio-cultural changes that started during the sixties and carry on until today. ...read more.

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