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Comment: Are we being inspired, or brainwashed?

18th May 2012

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To think about an inspirational speech in a film, would on first thought be an easy task. But looking through an extensive collection of modern Hollywood blockbusters, there wasn’t much to work with.

This made me think, is there actually anything inspirational about films anymore?

The majority of Hollywood films these days have the tendency to be aimed at an audience that could pretty much be half asleep, but take in the images and dialogue they’re being shown. They don’t need to concentrate, they need a fix of entertainment – and Hollywood have sussed this one out. There’s the cheap jokes, the big ‘bangs’ and the hot bodies, and you’ve got yourself one un-inspirational big seller.

On the other hand, they’ve got their good ones; Henry V (1944) starring Laurence Olivier. The film version of one of William Shakespeare’s greatest plays. The film was made around the time when Britain was facing invasion in World War II and the film was meant to inspire the soldiers into a united front so they would be in their best spirits and knowing that the country was behind them. Therefore would give them the confidence to win (and it seems to have worked!)

But that came out almost 65 years ago. More recently, the most inspiring film that has come out of Hollywood was comedy sensation Kick Ass. A film that more or less tells the audience to follow their dreams in wanting to be like their favourite super hero in the most realistic way they can show it… with a classic Hollywood ending, boy gets the girl and the villain seeks revenge – cue sequel.

In comparison to the Hollywood films, international filmmakers seem to have it near on track. Films such as City of God and Amores Perros don’t have such inspirational messages but realistic values which don’t subliminally give the audience delusional views on how the words really is, i.e girls pining after buff werewolves or sexily shy vampires. City of God is a perfect example of this: Rocket, the main character is living to escape the favelas of Rio and does literally anything to get out. Films like that show that it’s still possible to help the audience to understand that they really have to work at their aspirations — and it won’t come as easily as Hollywood blockbusters want you to believe.

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