Clueless By Amy Heckerling: Film Analysis

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The film 'Clueless', written and directed by Amy Heckerling, is an adaptation of Jane Austen's novel 'Emma' and closely parallels the story in terms of characters and the stories plot. Upon first viewing, the context of both 'Emma' and 'Clueless' are somewhat different and therefore, the values have changed but the film reinforces the values of 'Emma' despite the contextual difference. The film "Clueless" has scenes in which the values of Jane Austen's "Emma" are reinforced and solidified. The context of "Emma" is a time in which women are given little freedom and there is a social class hierarchy which is solid and expectations are given depending on one's position in society. "Clueless" is a modern take on "Emma" and has been written to…show more content…
The scene has been transformed in "Clueless" to show a sexist view of women. "I don't have friends that are girls". This displays the thought that women are possessions and not thought of as anything else and there is a strong sense of class despite the context "Clueless" is written in. The character, Tai, is given a sense of innocence due to her lower class and is rebuffed by Elton the same way Mr. Elton from "Emma" does with Harriet, in pure disgust. "Miss Smith! What could she possibly mean? I need not so totally despair of an equal alliance, as to be addressing myself to Miss Smith!" The disgust shown tells the audience of the inequality that is still present in "Clueless" despite the enormous time difference to "Emma". This segregation and loathing of differing social classes is also portrayed in 'Clueless' through Elton's outburst, 'Don't you even complete who my father is?' This reveals the importants that is put on family background and social connections, and the superficiality within both societies from the film and novel. The reinforced idea of class by "Clueless" presents the idea that values in the context of "Clueless" are similar, and if not the same as "Emma" despite the contextual difference. Appearance in both Jane Austen's 'Emma' and Amy Heckerling's 'Clueless' has great importance placed on it and this value of appearance…show more content…
There are stereotypical and exaggerated costumes that help to emphasise the composer's satirical perceptions of the context of 1995. Amy Heckerling uses visual irony, where an image is presented but a different and separate comment is made in comparison to the image. This irony is established when untypical and totally abnormal shots are being displayed of expensive belongings and attractive teenagers during the film's introduction. The voice-over contradicts what is being shown, "My life is way normal." This film technique displays the way the director has opposed what is being said and mocks the social context and displays the satire within Clueless. Both Amy Heckerling and Jane Austen use satire and irony to show the imperfections and flaws within their social, historical and cultural context, and create a meaningful purpose towards the context which the composers are attempting to display.
The context of both 'Emma' and 'Clueless' are somewhat different and therefore, the values have changed but the film reinforces the values of 'Emma' despite the contextual difference. The audience is able to compare both texts and establish the different and similar values, ethics and settings. When comparing the two texts, one is then able to identify the separate contexts and the texts demonstrate the similarities and differences between social, cultural and historical contexts of Austen's time and today's
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