Film both reflects and creates social culture. Indeed, a film indicates social trends, presents ideas, and analyzes history for its contemporary time period; thus, by viewing a film it becomes possible to infer and make judgments about a society's culture. The filmmaker's message is embedded within the plot and symbolism, and filmmakers often critique social culture through their movies. It is possible to view the evolution of culture through the progression of films over time.
Religious films in the pre-1968 era distinguish themselves as literal interpretations of the Old and New Testaments. America, in this era, held religion as central to everyday life. DeMille's "King of Kings" and similar movies that follow in form support this inference. Consider the context of DeMille's 1932 movies, "Sign of the Cross." Depression and the great dustbowl were commonplace across America. The masses embraced religion and this is evident in the literal bible story films. Additionally, the righteous people in the films represented the working class people of America, and the blasphemers represented the elite minority. They were usually powerful, corrupt, and sometimes Jewish.
American culture has evolved as technology has advanced. In 1968, the paradigm of religion in film shifted with the release of Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey." Rebellion, social activism, drugs, sex and most importantly, technology, dominated social culture. Kubrick's film challenges all previous religious film movies, yet this epic movie contains powerful symbols that reflect the changes in social thought.
Thus far, evolution of movies and culture has been discussed. "2001: A Space Odyssey" is interesting because Kubrick realizes this concept of cultural evolution. Thus, he created his movie to embody this concept and manifest itself in man as a physical being. The underlying theme of Kubrick's movie is evolution: the progression of monkeys to... [continues]
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(2005, 05). Star Child Evolution in 2001. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 05, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Star-Child-Evolution-2001-57167.html
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