Mentor: Dr. Robert Ray
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"I have always enjoyed delving deeper into a wide range of subjects. Previously, I engaged in undergraduate research in engineering subjects, but I felt that now it was time to do formal research on my Violon d'Ingres: Film and Media studies. I feel that the interface between art, society, and technology is a very fruitful ground for research. What a society watches and creates (and how it watches and creates) tells us a lot about how its inner workings and possible ways to improve."
- Film Technique
- Social Impact of Cinema
Hobbies and Interests
- Electronics and Tinkering
Social Conscience and Film Form in English Postwar Cinema
The subject matter and production methods of English cinema immediately following the Second World War represent an interesting contrast to both the command-and-control structure of the Hollywood studio system and the more individualist filmmaking of the French New Wave. The creative process often ran along collaborative lines, rather than reflecting corporate policy or a lone director’s passion. Because these films have a subtlety and social consciousness not often seen in Hollywood, the circumstances under which these films were made offer important lessons for how politics and society can positively affect art. I propose to examine how, in the immediate post-war period (1945-1957), particular circumstances of British life influenced film subject matter and production. I will especially attend to the films by Ealing Studios, best known for its seemingly mild-mannered comedies. Closer inspection, however, reveals a keen class-consciousness and an engagement with the everyday problems of their audiences. The other leading filmmakers of this period, especially Powell and Pressburger, also deserve study. Allowed a considerable amount of creative freedom, they produced films with a more decentralized approach to production. The collaborative nature of these films’ making also sheds new light on the debates surrounding the role of the director and producer in filmmaking, suggesting that there may be a more nuanced “third way” to approach film theory and criticism, where the aesthetic and narrative aspects of a film are seen as a collective undertaking by dedicated professional artists. In the case of these English films, this spirit of cooperation may very well have risen from the rubble of bombed London houses.