By Sarah Smith
Utilizing unique study, this publication explores the habitual debates in Britain and the United States approximately little ones and the way they use and reply to the media, concentrating on a key instance: the debate surrounding youngsters and cinema within the Nineteen Thirties. It explores the makes an attempt to manage kid's viewing, the theories that supported those ways and the level to which they have been winning. the writer develops her hard proposition that youngsters are brokers of their cinema viewing, now not sufferers; exhibiting how those angels with soiled faces colonized the cinema. She finds their designated cinema tradition and the ways that they subverted or circumvented legit censorship together with the Hays Code and the British Board of movie Censors, to manage their very own viewing of numerous motion pictures, together with Frankenstein, King Kong and The Cat and the Canary.
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Extra info for Children, Cinema and Censorship: From Dracula to Dead End Kids
The BBFC was particularly concerned about crime content in serials, since these were hugely popular with young people, and they stipulated in their 1919 Report that ‘no serial in which crime is the dominant feature, and not merely an episode in the story, will be passed by the Censor’. They also required that all serials involving crime be submitted for censorship in their entirety and that all crime films avoid emphasising ‘the methods of crime’, treating crime as comedy, or making ‘the detective element .
Instead, existing sources were used from three main locations: the Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain project, housed at the Institute for Cultural Research at Lancaster University; the Oral History 15 16 Children, Cinema and Censorship Collection at the Scottish Film Archive in Glasgow; and the Going to the Pictures correspondence project, housed at the Scottish Life Archive in Edinburgh. This approach had obvious limitations, in that I could not frame questions or witness the interviews at first hand.
However, such efforts were considered piecemeal and ineffective and by 1909 local councils were demanding that the Home Office extend their powers to impose safety regulations on all cinema venues. The other major concern associated with early cinema related to the content of the pictures themselves. From the turn of the century, showmen attracted more and more custom by increasing the size of their screens, the number of their shows and the variety of their films. They were aided in this respect by the industry as it became more organised from the mid-1900s so that films could be rented rather than bought, thus facilitating far more performances to satisfy the apparently insatiable public demand.
Children, Cinema and Censorship: From Dracula to Dead End Kids by Sarah Smith