||[Dec. 1st, 2006|05:11 pm]
Writing and Technology
I've been doing some research for my film history class and have recently been looking into the issue of censorship. It began with the Hay's Office in the early decades of the 1900s but when it first started, it was only made to appease the public. They didn't really do a whole lot until the arrival of gangster films. Warner bros made three very well known movies: Little Caesar, The Public Enemy, and Scarface: The Shame of a Nation. These films brought a lot of controversy because of their vulgar nature the fact that they 'glamourized' gangster life, and their overall dark nature. This was the early 1930s, so it was the backend of the prohibition, the Great Depression, and the nation also saw the rise of organized crime (Al Capone) and the underground life (speakeasies, bootlegging, etc). |
So this relates to this class because it was the advent of sound that brought the gangster movie to life. The popularity was due partly to the sounds of tommy guns, screaming victims, screeching tires, etc. So, in a way, technology played a part in causing this controversy. Another point involves the events after the strong opposition of censors. The films were initially criticized for being a negative influence (i.e. the gangster couldn't be the 'hero') so film companies made movies, which were still fairly violent, where the 'hero' was an authority figure - like an FBI agent. Eventually, those were banned as well. It seemed like film companies kept trying to get around censors and only made films to do so, instead of making films that had some kind of purpose. It reminded me of 'controlling technology'. The advent of sound brought popular gangster movies, which cause censorships to tighten (it was actually a Catholic organization that was the main advocate for censoring gangster movies), which controlled how films were made. Previously, there was more freedom for film makers to create whatever they wanted, but after gangster film ordeal, they had to either find ways around it or go bankrupt.