Cradle Will Rock Analysis

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In a time of the Great Depression and the buildup to World War Two, the question of the significance of art in the 1930’s become of huge importance. The movie, Cradle Will Rock, sought to relate the development of a theatrical play in relation to its greater social environment in order to truly address the issues of the time. This movie captured the environment of the 1930s and the intricacies of the Federal Theatre Project by developing a character who stood for a larger idea and interweaving storylines in order to highlight the spectacle and rhythm of the time. As Olive Stanton’s character developed throughout the film from a poor, homeless girl to a person willing to stand up against the federal government and the unions, the Federal Theatre…show more content…
For in these instances, the intense dichotomy of Art and Power were fully shown and it was as if the 1930s came alive on screen. One such instance was the very final scene of the movie when the image flipped between the syphilis cell, the high society masquerade, and the production of Cradle Will Rock. The spectacle within the two images of the masquerade and the production could not be more different. The masquerade was empty of the life and joy seen in the theatre full of hundreds of people. The people at the masquerade wore costumes and masked themselves while those in the theatre did not. They walked slowly and languished about while the rhythm in the theatre came alive through all of the micro movements of the audience in the theatre. True art is for humanity as a whole and not for the select few. When power tries to use art, it either only manages to imitate it, through the use of costumes at the masquerade, or the art it manages to get becomes corrupted, as Diego’s painting became corrupted and destroyed down to a syphilis
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