Lesson 8 - IOTBS Context 1


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Lesson 8 - IOTBS Context 1

  1. 1. FM2 – Section CComparative Analysis of TWO US films from the same genre
  2. 2. LearningDiscuss the themes of ObjectivesInvasion of the BodySnatchers Identify key aspects of 1950’s American society Evaluate 1950’s American Society
  3. 3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers Working alone, note down any themes you identified in Invasion of the Body Snatchers Male Loss of dominated identity societyParanoia Conspiracy Make a list of scenes from the film that discuss, highlight or use each theme identified on the board
  4. 4. Invasion of the Body SnatchersInvasion of the Body Snatchers is one of the most studiedfilms of its kind and has been considered an allegorical talecommenting up on 1950’s America and it’s citizens lose ofidentityTensions had begun to mountbetween the USSR & the UnitedStates after World War II and astand-off between the two nationshad been on going since thenAfter the USA’s use of Nuclear Weapons in Japan theprospect of War was an especially daunting and terrifyingone – people knew a Nuclear War would be devastating forboth nations
  5. 5. McCarthyismThe USSR posed several threats to the USA• Military• Economic• IdeologicalWith the constant threat of Nuclear Annihilationforming a backdrop to American life, people inall levels of American society grew increasinglyparanoidA direct result of the increased sense of fear,political tensions and uncertainties about theirfuture
  6. 6. McCarthyismDuring this time Senator Robert McCarthy cameto prominenceMcCarthy specialised in unsubstantiatedaccusations of Communist infiltration in theAmerican governmentHe is most infamous for lending his name to ananti-communist initiative designed to removepeople from positions of power whom healleged had communist sympathies or linksSince WWII, McCarthy had become increasinglyparanoid about communism being used tosubvert American citizens
  7. 7. McCarthyismHow would communism, a ideology directly inconflict with Capitalism, subvert people?Subversion is the corruption of a persons honestand loyalty or, undermining moral integrityIf communists could subvert American citizensthey would change opinionsThe people would no longer see the governmentas representing their beliefs and would challengetheir authorityMcCarthy feared that communist infiltratorswere deeply embedded at all levels of Americansociety in an attempt to subvert Americancitizens
  8. 8. McCarthyism - TheMcCarthy was not alone in his fear of Communist Red ScaresubversionIn 1947 President Harry S. Truman created the‘Federal Employees Loyalty Program’ – designedto access employees political allegiance anduncover if they were involved in ‘Un-American’activitiesThe boards took over the program known as the‘The House on Un-American Activities’ or HUAC(est. 1937)Joseph McCarthy was the head of one of theHUAC boards
  9. 9. McCarthyism - TheParanoia about communist infiltration also Red Scareinfected others areas of society, including themediaWalt Disney used his vast media empire toembed his political opinions in to his films Watch ‘Goofy Cold War’ and note down the ways this could be seen as an allegory for communist subversion
  10. 10. McCarthyism - The Red ScareGoofy begins his day as a productive member of capitalist societyuntil he is struck down with a red nose and a coldThe narrator describes him as “alone with hismisery… a definite change has come over thisman”Disney presents a representation of thoseinfected as weaker, unproductive, unloved anddangerousThe red nose is also a visual signifier of the ‘Red’– the Russian enemy, as they were known
  11. 11. McCarthyism - TheIn government, the HUAC was at the height of its Red ScarepowersTheir main objective was the discovery ofcommunist subversion and Un-AmericanActivitiesIn 1940, with support of the HUAC the AlienRegistration Act was passed in the USA making itillegal for anyone in the USA to advocate, teachor promote the desirability of overthrowing thegovernmentThe main objective of the Act was to underminethe American Communist Party and other leftwing groups
  12. 12. Better dead, than Red!Watch the following short and makes notes on the following: How did people feel during the era known as ‘McCarthyism’? What did American people fear?How did McCarthy create an atmosphere of Fear and paranoia?
  13. 13. The Hollywood TenNo-one was immune to the HUAC’s scrutiny and Hollywood, seen as aindustry that peddled in generally subversive materials, came under itsgazeIn 1947, HUAC interviewed 41 people whowere working in HollywoodTen of those actors refused to answerquestionsThey claimed the Fifth Amendment – a rightprotected under the US ConstitutionThe HUAC would not allow this and charged all ten actorswith contempt of court – they were sentenced to between6 – 12 months in prison
  14. 14. Better dead, than Red! Hollywood TenHollywood – The Witch Hunts