The impact of film on modern society

1. Please write an article about the impact of film on modern society. 2. You must quote at least one sentence from the following source, and when you give me the article, you need to underline where you quote in the source.
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Influence of Film on Modern Society
The film industry has grown and evolved rapidly since its inception in the early
1900’s. Over the years, it has gained the attention of every culture in every part
of the world. These days, thanks to Hollywood, it is instrumental in shaping the
social culture by transforming the viewers’ opinions or swaying them one way or
another. The idea that a film can have such an enormous impact on people can
be difficult for some, however, this same impact can also be a great tool when
used properly and for the right reasons.
Rise of the Giants
The roaring 1920’s gave us five major movie studios from
the Hollywood area. These studios included Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Paramount,
Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and RKO Radio. Their growth gave rise to
movie viewings and the overall popularity of this form of entertainment.
The question is, does such a sudden rise in the popularity of movies impact the
viewers’ opinions around the world. Moreoever, why are movies considered to be
a mass communication medium and in what ways? To answer the above
questions, we need to examine a few areas.
Mass Communication
The term ‘mass’ suggests great volume. It also refers to the extent and
reception of messages/communication. Communication is where movies come
into play. It entails understanding the meaning and receiving the message. Put
together, mass communication is the distribution of an idea or message to a
large number of people.
Films fit perfectly into this description. Just examining the revenues some of
these movies generate attests to their popularity around the world. The
movie Titanic holds the record as the world’s highest grossing movie at almost
two billion dollars. There are many more movies that made close to the one
billion dollars.
Films do have an impact on people. The tricky part is to understand why and
how. One way of looking at movies as a medium of mass communication is to
observe how they convey information.
Influence on Culture
Some movies portray historical events. These movies are like history lessons to
the audience since they show something we were not able to witness or take part
in. Consider war movies such as The Tuskegee Airmen and Memphis Belle.
Though not one hundred percent accurate, both depict actual events of historical
wars. They are examples of how movies can teach the newer generations about
what their distant relatives did for their country.
Another type of informative movies describes the cultures and societies around
the world. City of God is a prime example. These movies show the hardships that
people in other countries face in their day-to-day lives.
Again, these are just two simple examples of how movies can be learning tools
for a mass audience. Of course, the opposite can and often does happen as
well. I am referring to the so-called ‘informative’ movies that present skewed
information. When people accept the presented information as absolute truth,
they form baseless opinions.
Advertising and Marketing
Movies also play an important role as advertising grounds Companies pay large
sums of money for their product names to appear in movies. This form of
advertisement is very popular and works because people see their favorite actors
using these products and imitate them. Fans mimic their idols in how their dress,
eat, even act.
Looking at a different aspect of how movies influence American culture, we look
at the idea of violence used in movies. As time has gone on, we see violence
appearing more often and more graphically within movies. This can have a huge
influence on people in a couple different ways.
Life Imitating Art
A boy once had his friends bury him, head first, in a sand box to imitate
something he had seen on an anime show. People, especially children, act out
what they see. There have been other stories of children acting out violence they
had seen movies leading to injuries and death.
Besides acting out, repeated graphically violent scenes lead to desensitization.
Each year the media industry raises the bar of gore, abuse, and gun violence to
shock the viewers. As violence becomes more common, children become more
aggressive and desensitized to the images they see.
We have now seen both the positive and negative effects of movies on the
society. Now let’s consider how the society affects a film’s cultural, ethical,
social, and aesthetic values.
Creating a Culture
In order to appeal to the segment of the masses, filmmakers take the cultural
value of that section of society into account. Take, for example, the teen
movies.. These typically contain features such as conversations at the school
lockers (Dazed and Confused), prom (Carrie), cheerleaders (Porky’s), the
shopping mall (Mall Rats), the juvenile delinquent gang (Rebel without a Cause)
and the sensitive, alienated teenage hero (Rebel).
Another place we see filmmakers influenced by the society is when they depict
foreign cultures. For example, City of God tells the story of a lower class
section of Rio de Janeiro. The filmmakers emotionally tied the American viewers
to the movie by beautifully demonstrating the cultural values of the city.
Even ethical values came into play in the above movie. With a corrupt
government and police system, people within this area grew up knowing that they
could die at any point. They lived in a fear that we just do not understand.
Providing Fantasy
Another example of how ethical values influence movies is the filmmakers’ take
on greed or money. They make movies with rich characters, living perfect lives,
like Richie Rich. Through the movie, the viewers can transport themselves into a
fantasy. Conversely, certain movies may contain lessons about greed. In No
Country For Old Men, the main character’s greed hurts him and his family.
In summary, movies have the capacity to influence society, both locally and
globally. But the society, its trends, and people’s reactions to those trends
influence the movies. In each case, the influence can be positive or negative.

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