Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Local History Through the Movie Lens.

This site, a local history, social studies site, through the nostalgic medium of feature films and movies, has gathered location information on almost 1,000 films.
The social history contained in these films and their filming sites gives reference not only to the reel streets, many of which have now been replaced, but also to our clothing and fashion, our vehicles and transport, our food and our eating habits, and our behaviour during the last 80 or so years of moving picture production.

Viewing the films and hearing the language and phraseology used, both in formal speech, and, more importantly for the development of the language, the slang used, gives an amazing insite into the development of spoken English, over the short period of a lifetime, and easily explains the difficulties experience in understanding Shakespeare, Sheridan, Bronte, Eyre, Dickens and almost all the classical authors, by many people.   

In the last 50 years Kenya, (keenya) has been replaced by Kenya, (kenyha). Bombay by Mumbai, Peking by Beijing, without any geographical movment being felt, or observed.

The Goshes and Whoopees, of earlier life have been universally replaced by the unfortunate Oh my God, Awesome and Wow. Perhaps much in the same way that our food and drink is gradually being replace by genetically modified new super products. To where have Wonderloaf, Tizer and Individual Fruit Pies gone? 

Why is it now legitimate and popular to regularly split infinitives, when once it was an offence punishable by 50 lines? Fifty lines of what, you may ask, if you're under 40 years of age. Lines of washing, soldiers, deck chairs, sewing? Every day in every way the world we live in changes, even the shops in your High Street, often captured in the movies, change. Can you list the shops that were there ten years ago, one year ago, last month? Probably not, and they only need to change 5% of them a year to completely transform the whole panorama in only twenty years.

Thank goodness for the silver screen and the opportunities it gives us to dwell on the past.