Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Comparing Warp Films - Working Title Films

In the beginning of the film, there is a voice-over, where it says: "Once again, I found myself on my own and going to my mother's annual turkey curry buffet".
When this movie was tested on an American audience, it was very confusing, since for the Americans, turkey connotes Thanksgiving and for a British person it connotes Christmas.
However later on in the movie, there was a visual intentional humor created and the american test audience laughed at the sight of Mark's jumper and the silly, little, magical sound effect.

This laugh was necessary because American audiences had been very confused after the "turkey curry buffet".

The mise-en-scene of this small, little, stereotypical village with cottages, snow falling down and a very British dialogue immediately connotes the typical image of England. 

Moreover, there are a lot of signifiers to show that it such as the Red Phone Booth (in the background of the shot below) and the Poppy on the monument from 11th of November that is dedicated to fallen soldiers of World War One and World War Two. 

When looking at a Warp Film such as "This is England", which is a social realist genre movie and you compare it to the Working Title Bridget Jones film, you can tell that there are enormous differences between the two companies. 

Warp doesn't use this posh aspect of England, but shows a lot of the urban areas and working class, whereas Working Title enjoys to portray the typical English stereotype. These stereotypes are useful to win an audience.

The first few shots you see in "This is England" is of a small room with pinned wallpaper and an alarm clock on a chair, which indicates that there are no real furniture.

Whereas in "Bridget Jones", we see a big detached country house with a huge garden and a sculpted hedge. Through this mise-en-scene, Working Title are emphasising on the stereotypical English house.
When Bridget enters her mother's house, we see a dutch angle. This angle was chosen, because it was the only shot you could use in order for the audience to see the entire entrance of the house. The director wanted the audience to be able to see the entrance to emphasise the old fashioned and stereotypical English house.

The entire mise-en-scene of the antiques, wallpaper, decor and even the mother's flower dress, is used to underline the stereotypical English house and character, which is considered to be very posh.

Moreover, comparing Warp to Working Title, Warp movies use non-diegetic music, however there is never any singing on the soundtracks. BUT in Working Title films such as Bridget Jones, there is non-diegetic music with singing such as the song "Magic Moments" by Perry Como.

In addition to this, the voice and the accent in Working Title films such as Bridget Jones and Notting Hill is very different from the voice and characters from "Tyrannosaur" or "This is England".
In Warp films, the characters use swear words and have a lot of different accents, whereas in Working Title films, the actors all have a posh British accent and say "jolly gosh".
When Bridget is introduced to Mark, she says "Ding-Dong", which is invented film language, that fits into the stereotypical creation.

Also, when Bridget Jones was filmed, Renee Zellweger had to put on a lot of weight to look as if she was slightly overweight. In the entire film, she wants to lose weight and it is about how women should look slimmer. A film company such as Warp who uses the social realist genre in a lot of their movies such as "This is England", would never ask someone to put on weight, or make a movie about it. They would consider it to be a horrible message to send out to women.

Another significant difference between Warp and Working Title, is that every Working Title film, have never used anyone who is black in their film. If they had used an actor who was black, it would have been to create the racist stereotype of a black dumb man. However, in a movie such as "This is England", there are a lot of black people and one of the main characters Milky, is very intelligent. This is why many people like the social realist genre, since it is very realistic and doesn't try to hide anything.

In terms of Warp and Working Title on the market, there are a lot of differences in for example advertising as well. For Bridget Jones, Working Title decided to put only Renee Zellweger on all the posters that went out internationally, because everyone knows her since she is a big American actress and in the British market Hugh Grant, Colin Firth and Renee Zellweger were on the posters because the 2 men were well known to the English audience back then in 2001. Although Working Title films are known internationally, they don't win any awards. However a company like Warp has big success at film festivals such as Cannes Festivals and Venice. They also win awards, despite the fact that they don't even closely have the same budget as Working Title.  

1 comment:

  1. the post is really 'Comparing WT's Bridget Jones and Warp's This is England'


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