A Comparative Analysis of Three Films All About My Mother, All About Eve and Streetcar Named Desire

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Films have a distinctively powerful ubiquity within human culture. The convergent nature of film creates consumption across many channels. Cinema has become a powerful vehicle for propaganda, leisure, education, and culture. In some aspects, the influence exerted by the film industry is greater than that of books and newspapers (Armstrong, 2012). The industry has been boosted by the creativity of actors and actresses in various films. This paper attempts to describe the comparative reflection of insights gathered from three films, namely: All about my mother, all about Eve and Streetcar named desire.

All about my mother shows the struggles single mothers undergo as a result of absent and irresponsible fathers. Mothers are left to undertake all duties in a family: they have to provide for the family; they have to bring up children on their own and they have to perform house chores. This tendency has empowered women and cultivated single motherhood to replace the conventional patriarchal family unit (Martin-Márquez, 2004). Interestingly, regardless of the fact that this film was produced many decades ago, it correctly indicates what is happening to families to the current era as well. All about Eve contains two main currents running through its narrative: ageism and sexism, especially as they relate to celebrity (Smith & Sparks, 2004). For instance, a role suitable for a 24-year-old actress is played by an actress who is twice the age. This makes such a character jealous and insecure about the younger crop, thus destabilizing relationships which could lead to culminate in marriage. A streetcar named desire uncovers numerous social conflicts and the story is narrated in a way to pull at the hearts of the audience. The late 1940s were depicted by fear of government and nuclear attacks. People felt estranged, they could not trust tradition any longer, so they looked for a new stability. For these reasons, the themes within a Streetcar named desire a chord with society (Armstrong, 2012).

A striking similarity between the three films is the diminishing role of men in a family set up. Throughout the three films, men are seen to be abandoning their duties and engage in adultery and drunkenness. This trend has resulted in social conflicts, single motherhood, and absent irresponsible husbands and fathers. These films depict a society in which many families lack male energy, role models and father figures. For instance, in the film: All about my mother, the single motherhood is replacing the conventional patriarchal family unit. In Streetcar named desire, although Stanley is perceived to be a responsible man, he batters her wife. It results in the effects of conflicts that occur when society’s perception of a person and the person’s personality do not coincide (Smith & Sparks, 2004). In All about Eve, infidelity is rampant which reduces the dignity of man as the head of the family. Men involved in the play lack integrity expected of them to lead a stable family.

There are also differences between the three films, especially through their respective themes. In All about my Mother, the theme of authenticity appears only by the extreme plasticity of a frenzied body that gives itself over to the surgical and cosmetic interventions of consumer culture in a delirium whereby pleasure and pain become one and the same (Martin-Márquez, 2004). Agrado in the play strives to remain herself despite numerous temptations to be carried away by the events happening around her. For example, Agrado argues that authenticity is not something which is not conferred by nature, but it is something that an individual should endeavor for and achieve through a process of evolution.

In A Streetcar named desire, the main occurring theme is feminism struggle in a society dominated by men. The culture cultivated in New Orleans requires Blanche to conform and submit to its set-up but she declines. She declines to submit to Stanley’s authority and stands her ground on what she believes. In the era of this film, women were treated as property and men were given higher social status than women (Smith & Sparks, 2004). Consequently, in order for women to get their value in social, they had to be in a relationship with a man. However, Blanche seems to struggle against this order of society and she advises her sister to get out of an abusive marriage.

In All about Eve, the theme of ambition v. tradition for women whereby ambitious women are likely to abandon their traditional roles seems to shape the film. The film suggests that for a woman to be ambitious, pursue career goals and attains success; such a woman must sacrifice her traditional domestic roles as mother and wife (Armstrong, 2012).

References

Armstrong, L. (2012). A Streetcar Named Desire. Network Journal, 19(3), 61.

Martin-Márquez, S. (2004). Pedro Almodóvar's Maternal Transplants: From Matador to All About My Mother. Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 81(4), 497-510.

Smith, A., & Sparks, L. (2004). All about eve?. Journal of Marketing Management, 20(3-4), 363-385.

September 25, 2023
Category:

Entertainment

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Movies

Subject area:

Film Analysis

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3

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