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Saturday Night and Rome,the Open City

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Essay title: Saturday Night and Rome,the Open City

Italian neo realist cinema and British social realist cinema have some similarities in some ways. First of all we may say both of them breaks through dimensions for the individuals of their culture. They try to give tensions about the war. Both gives us a perspective to look at the cinema as a natural eye. The important thing is to able to look and see as Berger’s said. (John Berger _ Ways of Seeing) So I will try to give a brief story of two films from these fields.

• Saturday night and Sunday morning

• Rome Open City

The most significant film of the 1960s British new wave in cinema, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was in many ways the most influential of the group, with its powerful anti-establishment stance, unblushing treatment of sex and working class protagonist: Arthur Seaton was something new in British cinema. While other films of the period have dated somewhat, most of Reisz’s ground-breaking film looks as fresh and powerful as ever, and it's valid to observe just how good Albert Finney was in the role of Seaton… Set in the gray industrial town of Nottingham, Alan Sillitoe's novel SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING, with all of its black realism, is successfully adapted to the screen with a powerful performance by Albert Finney in his first starring role. Director Karel Reisz draws on his work in documentaries to give the film a sharp eye for the look and feel of northern England. Arthur Seaton (Albert Finney) is a young man trapped in a mindless factory job, intrinsically rebelling, but without any focus to his anger. He spends his Saturday nights getting drunk and his Sunday mornings fishing. His affair with a married neighbor, Brenda (Rachel Roberts), seems to please him only for its risky illicitness. Their love scenes are controversial for the palpable expression of real sexual pleasure that Roberts shows in the role of an ordinary English housewife, and because of the fact that she receives, from a handsome younger man, the sexual fulfillment that her husband can not provide.

Arthur's best friend Bert (Norman Rossington) shares Arthur's resentment but avoids his self destructive ways. Arthur gets into increasing trouble when he impregnates Brenda (Rachel Roberts), the neglected wife of Arthur's mild-mannered co-worker Jack (Bryan Pringle). Abortions were illegal at the time, although often hinted at in British films.

In the story that follows, we see this insolent rebel bluster his way through some of the formative experiences of his young adulthood. He drinks a lot of beer and continually speaks his mind about the society he’s been born into: a world where people marry young, get dead-end jobs and ‘before they know where they are, they’ve kicked the bucket!’. ‘They rob you left, right and centre and then after they’ve skinned you dry, you get called up in the army and get shot to death!’… Arthur meets a young woman, Doreen, in the pub and talks her into a date. . Tension also comes when Arthur begins dating 'good girl' beauty Doreen (Shirley Ann Field), who insists upon old-fashioned values such as marriage and home-ownership as a prerequisite to sex. But he’s also having an affair with Brenda and his two-timing love life moves into crisis when Brenda tells him that she’s pregnant. By the end of the film he seems to be drifting into marriage with Doreen. It’s a trap perhaps, but as he looks down on the bland new housing development he’ll probably be living in, he can’t resist throwing a stone as a last gesture of defiance.

Finney projects just the right mixture of cockiness and disaffection. Arthur feels that he deserves better than his expected lot in life, though not because of education, intelligence, values or job skills. He feels that he is superior, because he is confident in his own manhood. Even after he has been bettered in a fight by a pair of soldiers, Arthur claims that he would have won if he had only faced them one at a time. But it is only his comeuppance that finally demonstrates to Arthur that he must conform to societal rules.Arthur's selfish and womanizing ways may have been an influence upon Alfie (1966), which featured a similar, starring character. But Alfie lacked Arthur's resentment of society, while Arthur does not think of his transgressions as being a game.

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