Unit 2 Film Analysis - Higher National Diploma in Hospitality Management


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Film and theatres are a kind of storyline or any event which is recorded by cinema including the set of moving images which is shown in cinema, TV or any online sources as well. All the time from the beginning of this, it was noted that there is a set of ideologies stating ideas and thinking of particular groups or individuals that have been portrayed in the visual sense. So in this current report, we will be including how this notion of ideology has been used in critically discussing films. This would also be including that what are the changes which have been made over the past years. This essay will cover the ideology and how films explore different sets of messages with reference to All That Heaven Allows by Douglas Sirk (1955).

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Ideology could be included as the ideas of an individual or group of society which would be based on their thoughts and views stating the relationship of one self with the others in society. Films would be made so that they could showcase the correct and both sides of society which is positive and negative underlining in true sense of entertainment (Vighi, 2012). This would be defining the world view of society or that of a country over a certain period so that others who have no knowledge about the topic could know the basics of that. Films from the start of their era portray their linkage with that of society or one particular group within it like that of issues related to women, or lower and middle-class society. Both sides which include the positive and negative must be included within any film only then the audience be able to get a clear insight into this problem. The pre and post-World War era has given the films of all countries and that of every language its own touch and new purpose which is including various sets and notions of ideology with films.

How has the notion of ideology been used in critical discussions of films?

Films are always presenting certain types of behaviour to the audience who are then adopting that behaviour either positive or negative depending upon the characters of that film and the way they are portraying it (Vaughan, 2014). So it is always argued by audiences who are critically watching that particular film in order that they need to show or depict the reality of whether it is cruel or good. But this is the responsibility of that filmmaker that he or she is showing not what the viewers would want from them but they should be showing the actual reality of a particular class of society. There are chances that the person who is watching that film would be adopting the characters that are been played on screen by their favourite film actors. If the message that that particular film or the sequence of it is showing could be including wrong awareness by various means of misinformation that is given by filmmakers. One of the films which was made by  Douglas Sirk in the year 1955 namely All That Heaven Allow was formed into a melodrama showing society through the eyes of women and their domestic condition as well. This film shows the plot or characters which depicts their emotional and societal influence on their life (Mosse, 2018). It was a melodrama and this in particular showcases a genre that enforcing the stereotypes of gender, class and race of groups that are in society.

As per this film shows the internal and external influence of thoughts and the views that society has on the love life of a widow named Carey Scott. She fell in love with her gardener Ron Kirby who was usually regarded as lower class according to the work he was doing (The Notion Of Film And Ideology Film Studies Essay, 2018). All what film and its scenes have depicted that of community referring to the usage of colour, reflection and characters as per the theme of gender stereotype. But her friends and both the children rejected their proposal of love and that of marriage stating his class into their society would not be matching with that of hers. Society was also not accepting their relationship so under this severe pressure Cary calls off her relationship with him.

All the scenes and several shots of the film clearly depict Cary and her state of mind after meeting Ron and then after their breakup. All the windows and photo frames in her house which were triangular shaped reflected her being a prisoner in any cell of the jail which was her own house. All the furniture depicted her and her earlier relationship with her husband who was a well-settled businessman of the town. The flowers in the house which were white represented her mental state of mind and also her beauty. All this and her relationship with Ron clearly state what is her expression or psychology that even though he was lower in class she loved him and was ready to leave him only due to thoughts and views of society about their relationship (Dee, 2018). After the 2nd World War majority of the films showed the place of women in society and in their homes. It was the view of the bourgeoisie which talked about how a woman must always be sitting and waiting for the right man to come and then build up their dream home even if they are self-made into society. The idea of having gender roles as the main essence of films all the time when they are been shown could be seen in this film as well.

How has it changed over the years?

Cinema is always looked up to as the vehicle of ideology as they are carrying and portraying what is happening in society and how people of various classes or genders are reacting. Its history is backed by the era of silent films which lacked sound and were black and white duration was short and ended in year 1929. Before this, in 1913 Hollywood was born with the efforts of American Film-makers Cecil B. De Mille and Oscar C. Apfel (Fairfax, 2017). This silent era was ruled out by the greatest comedian of all time Charlie Chaplin who used to make his audience both laugh and cry with his acting. After the violence and destruction which was caused during the time of World War 2nd filmmakers began to showcase this violence on screen dealing with corruption, crime and cruelty. This was mainly portrayed in Noir films which included crime friction emerging within the US during the Great Depression. After this period it also included the threat of cinema by the introduction of television into the market which marked the close down and bankruptcy of many cinemas during that particular time. So many filmmakers and studios started searching for innovative ideas including widening their appeal with the new and better screen format.

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So in 1956, they began to make new big screen Films which were considered successful examples of the Bible and other historical events Julius Caesar was one of the best examples of this. Till 1960 the films were based on the family audiences and known to be more of that old fashioned films producing the biggest successful films. Then this evolved with the ideology of individual producers and actors in order to decline the traditional Hollywood studio production. Then they started taking up the projects which were led by the group of realistic and innovative drams like that of A Kind of Loving and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Film and Ideology, 2018). During this time sexual appearance films and causal violence were commonly seen so many films like Repulsion and Georgy Girl were made which helped in reducing the prohibition on sex and nudity on screen. Then after this film-makers started using innovative ideas that reflected the social revolution taken into the Western world which included films like Easy Rider and The Wild Bunch.

During the time of 1970 films that were made included content and ideology based on sexual content showcasing battle scenes and flights which were all graphically made images of bloody bodies. Then this involves the changes in the storylines with having twisted endings of many films and portraying lead actors in morally ambiguous ways. This time was majorly showcasing the sexual and pornographies like that of Deep Throat these were also called adult cinema. Then after the introduction of Bruce Lee martial arts films began to gain much popularity which was based on the ideology of the artistic style of traditional Chinese martial arts (Fairfax, 2017). Then in the 1980 period, the animation type of films started to showcase which primarily originated in Japanese cinema. This then led an increase in the number of special effects films like Terminator 2 and Titanic were the two most successful films of all time. In the most recent times, documentary films are gaining higher popularity which is based on the extraordinary concept of educating people about certain traditions and rituals that are all across the world.


All these things are noted hereby that the film industry is that which is been evolving throughout the time when it was started. There are many films that portray their own storyline including that of showcasing women as just domestic slaves to high-rated successful models.


  • Dee, L., 2018. Artistic License: The Catechisms of Art/Culture. In Against Art and Culture (pp. 87-130). Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.
  • Fairfax, D., 2017. Questions of montage and film space in L'Amour fou and Out 1 by Jacques Rivette. Studies in French Cinema. 17(2). pp.182-197.
  • Mosse, R., 2018. Thinking Theatres beyond Sight: From Reflection to Resonance. Anglia. 136(1). pp.138-153.
  • Vaughan, H., 2014. Critical theory and film: rethinking ideology through film noir.
  • Vighi, F., 2012. Critical theory and film: rethinking ideology through film noir. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.


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