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What Movies Bring Us

Essay by review  •  February 4, 2011  •  Essay  •  817 Words (4 Pages)  •  734 Views

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What Movies Bring Us

Since they were invented in 1888 after a great creation named chronophotographe, movies have walked along with human beings through centuries. They witness and record the changes in every civilization, and interact with people’s life at the same time. These features of movies make them more than entertainment; movies inspire people to think about the history, to express concerns over public issues, and to understand themselves.

Movies are memories of the history of humanity that shows images of the world in different periods and different civilizations. One of the most impressive records is Audrey Hepburn’s pure, lovely and elegant imagery in Roman Holiday (1953, directed by William Wyler). Her style of dress and hair in the movie became a timeless symbol of elegance and fashion all across the globe, and the popularity of the movie implied people’s pursuit of simplicity, happiness and the sense of obligation in the postwar period. In the same year, the famous actress Marilyn Monroe played the leading role in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953, directed by Howard Hawks) and How to Marry A Millionaire (1953, directed by Jean Negulesco), which represent a flashy taste that has been popular since the 1930s. Compared with Monroe’s movie, the classical aesthetic view shown in Hepburn’s movie makes it stand out among other works. Another example is Hepburn’s movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961, directed by Blake Edwards). This movie clearly shows American audiences’ increased interest in serious ethical problems since mid-50s, and Hollywood directors started setting their eyes on the “antiestablishment” characters and groups living on the edge of society (though this movie had a classical Hollywood happy ending). It was also considered one of the “Ten best movies in painting New York in the 1960s”, which proves the ability of movies to record life during different time periods.

Movies are a sign of the direction to public opinion, either addressing concerns to the public directly, or highlighting the issue critically. A good example of addressing the problem directly is the 1973’s disaster movie, Japan Sinks (directed by Shiro Moritani), which expressed an underlying concern about the economic bubble, limited resources and the unstable geophysical structure of Japan by picturing a series of despairing and tragic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Another example is be the science-fiction movie The Day after Tomorrow (2004, directed by Roland Emmerich) in which a serious concern about the environment is addressed by magnifying the consequences of global warming. Besides presenting the problems directly, movies can draw people’s attention to some social issues by gathering and emphasizing them. For example, recently a lot of thin, good-looking young male actors show on the big screen in Japan featuring sensibility and elegance, which reflects a change in the idea of beauty and shaping the society at the same time. The popularity of “pretty boys” in certain extent implies Japanese



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