All That Heaven Allows Film Analysis

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Genres often reflect, to a certain extent, the cultural values and ideological dilemmas central to [American] society. Genres as they emerged in American cinema often went in cycles which went along with the cycles of societal concerns and generational attitudes. The films All That Heaven Allows (1955, US) directed by Douglas Sirk and The Parallax View (1974, US) directed by Alan J Pakula both demonstrate this. Genres of film provide a semi-collective mode in which films exhibit the cultural values and ideological dilemmas. For example, All That Heaven Allows (1955, US) is a film of the melodrama genre which creates a passage for current society to be portrayed through hyper realism. It exaggerates the values and problems from current society.…show more content…
The genre of melodrama is defined by an exaggerated nature, over emotional characters and scenes which appeal crudely to the audience’s feelings. All That Heaven Allows (1955, US) has a lot over emotional outbursts, overly dramatic non-diegetic music and extremely improbably situations such as when Ron Kirby falls off a cliff. This heightened realism mirrors the society of the time but in an exaggerated fashion. There is a struggle in All That Heaven Allows (1955, US) between the urge to conform to society and to pursue personal happiness and freedom. In the film there is conflict over the role of women. Cary Scott, the protagonist, wants to have a relationship with a younger man. The people around her, such as her neighbours and children, think that a woman of her age should be resigned to loveless relationships or be confined to the home. This reflects the conservative nature of the society at the time. The genre of melodrama’s exaggerated nature means it can explore cultural values and ideological dilemmas in a more heightened way. It makes the societal values and flaws more obvious, although they are not as likely to be as dramatic in real life as they are in the…show more content…
This means that genres reflect the society of the time they’re popular. The Parallax View (1974, US), like other films of the political thriller genre features cover ups and corrupted people in positions of power. The genre entertains the notion that power corrupts. It is very rarely that the corruption featured in the political thriller is of a lower level, it is usually the people who are at the top of social and political ladders. People often watch films of certain genres to get a sense of satisfaction. They know what they can expect from the film based on the genre it is. When the film meets this expectation, they get a sense of satisfaction. There is the idea that people appreciate the ritualistic aspect of watching films of the currently popular genre because it reaffirms the social attitudes and values of the time. They can watch things that happen in real life on screen but from a detached position which means it provides a distraction from the uncontrollable nature of reality. As social anxieties change so does the content of films and thus the genre of said films change. In The Parallax View normal people get caught up the conspiracy and as a result get
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