To help understand and achieve my end goal, I need to look into styles and techniques that are being used in fiction directing currently. It’s important to look into what’s being used now to help me develop as a filmmaker. Specifically, I want to look at films with political themes, as it is an area I’m interested in going into.
The themes of political films change over time, matching with what the major problems are in the current time period. A lot of political films currently are focusing on equality between gender, race and wealth.
Wealth has always been a major theme in political films as it’s always been an issue which people focus on. However, the main change that there’s been in the last 50 years of political filmmaking is how it is presented. A trend for political films used to be that they were put in unrealistic or fantasy situations to show perspective and use metaphors. Films like Animal Farm or Nineteen Eighty-Four (both originally George Orwell books) are popular and well known political films which use this technique. Nineteen Eighty-Four is put in a futuristic style and shows what the world could be like if segregation between the classes would be like. Animal farm shows the same message but instead it does it by making all the characters animals. The technique of putting a deep meaning into films makes the viewer detach and think ‘what if’, instead of ‘This is happening now’. Furthermore, both these films were very much written for the period they were in. Animal Farm was written in a time of communist revolution in Russia, and Nineteen Eighty-Four was written after the war.
Over time, films have developed from putting them in unrealistic or futuristic situations, to putting them in real life modern settings of what could happen. An example of this is the films Threads, which was produced by the BBC. The film follows characters in Sheffield where a nuclear attack happens. The politics of the film, once again, mirrors current events as at the time there were nuclear threats and worries. It shows the dangers on nuclear war and why it should be stopped.
In the past few years, political filmmaking has developed once again. Now films are being made with realistic characters, realistic stories and realistic situations. They are a lot grittier and truthful then they’ve ever been. They focus on the here and now, instead of what could come in the future. An example of this is I, Daniel Blake. The film is set in modern day, with very real characters and storylines as it follows a family on the poverty line in Newcastle. The technique in the filming has also changed. Nineteen Eighty-Four uses a lot of wide shots to set the scene and show the characters surroundings more. This is to show the horrible world he lives in, as that is the main message of the story. In comparison, in I, Daniel Blake, they use a lot of close shots because the main message of the films is to show the characters situation and who they are. Therefor, the main technique that’s changed works with the themes as its changed from showing a world that we could live in, to a person that is real currently.