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Шкільні твори з англійської мови

Changes in gender roles during and after World War II had a tremendous influence on film and popular culture, particularly with regard to images of women. During the war, because so many men were called to active duty, women entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers. In fact, they were strongly encouraged to work for the war effort, which allowed them to step out of the traditional woman’s role of homemaker. After the war, however, it was considered patriotic for women to give up their jobs for the returning vets. Though the change in gender roles might have appeared to be temporary, many men felt threatened by it, and anxiety toward strong, independent women was prominently displayed in the film noir genre.

Film noir, which had been bubbling under the surface in Hollywood since the early 1940s in movies such as Detour, exploded into a major genre in the postwar era, with RKO Radio, “the house of noir,” leading the way. The world of noir is a continual pattern of betrayal, deception, and violence in which no one can be trusted and everything is for sale at a price. Such films as Joseph M. Newman’s Abandoned (a k a Abandoned Woman, 1949), a tale of murder, impersonation, and black market babies; Robert Siodmak’s The Killers (1946), based on the Ernest Hemingway short story, with Burt Lancaster, in his first major role, as a doomed hoodlum; or Jean Negulesco’s Nobody Lives Forever (1946), with a typically complex plot involving con men, murder, and a string of double crosses, perfectly captured the new mood of the nation. Noirs were cheap to make, requiring little in the way of sets or costumes, just a lot of shadows and dark alleyways.

In 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down what became known as the de Havilland decision, ruling that the standard seven-year contract then given to most actors could not be indefinitely lengthened by suspensions caused when an actor balked at appearing in a particular project. Olivia de Havilland, best remembered for playing the sweet and gentle Melanie in Gone with the Wind, had brought the suit against Warner Bros. that would help lead to the eventual collapse of the studio system. Bette Davis had tried the same tactic in the early 1930s, but at the time did not possess the star power to make her rebellion successful. Now, under the de Havilland decision, actors would know exactly when their contract was up, and key players within the industry, no longer indentured servants to their home studios, began to look around for better scripts, directors, and projects.

The Rossellini work that would have an even greater international impact was the second section of L’Amore, “The Miracle” (“II Miracolo”), following Cocteau’s “La Voix humaine” segment. With Tullio Pinelli and a young actor named Federico Fellini, soon to become one of the most important directors of the postwar Italian cinema, Rossellini co-wrote the story of a tramp (Fellini) who has an affair with a mentally unbalanced woman; when she gives birth to a son, she says he is the Messiah. The Catholic Church responded by mounting an aggressive campaign against the film. After it was finally released in the United States in December 1950, the New York State Board of Regents succeeded in banning it on the grounds that it was sacrilegious. But the film’s American distributor took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1952 decided that the Regents’ ruling had violated the separation of church and state.

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In Japan, war-themed films began appearing as early as 1938. One of the first such films was Tomotaka Tasaka’s Gonin no Sekkohei (Five Scouts, 1938), which, despite its support of the Japanese war effort, seemed devoid of the blatant propaganda found in both Nazi and American war films of the period. Indeed, wartime propaganda “documentaries,” such as Five Scouts, emphasized the importance of duty, honor, and country for Japanese soldiers, rather than glorifying war or inciting racial animosity. Kozaburo Yoshi-mura’s Nishizumi senshacho-den (The Story of Tank Commander Nishizumi, 1940) is a much more straightforward battle film, while Kenji Mizoguchi created what is probably the best-known Japanese war film, the two-part Genroku chushingura (The Loyal 47 Ronin, 1941), a sweeping historical epic set in eighteenth-century Japan centering on a bank of Samurai warriors who remained steadfast in their devotion to their master even after his death.



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