Archive for June, 2014

CiNECiTY NEWS: Rebel Without a Cause

To end the term our film club has been watching the classic teenpic, Rebel Without a Cause.

Directed by:Nicholas Rayrebel

Cast:  James Dean

Natalie Wood

Sal Mineo

Jim Backus

Written by: Stewart Stern

Genre: Drama / Romance

Rating: PG

Duration: 106 min

Colour: Colour

Country/Language: USA / English

Year of Release: 1955

Background notes:

  • This film is considered a classic partly because of the iconic performance of James Dean (his last of only three). It first screened at the Astor Theatre in New York on 29th Oct 1955, only one month after Dean crashed his sports car on the highway and died aged 24.
  • After WWII, many films (like The Wild One) demonized teens and portrayed them as wild delinquents. ‘Rebel’ attempted to understand the teenage psyche and portray their feelings of disconnectedness and angst. It also comments on the generation gap as it was in 50s America and criticizes parental approaches to their children.

Things to think about:

  • Nicholas Ray is a master of mise-en-scene. Watch carefully and think about how Ray uses elements of mise-en-scene to help tell the story. Pay particular attention to costume, colour, framing and props.
  • Think about how the family unit is portrayed in the film? What about the roles of men and women? The film reflects the values of society in the USA of the 1950s, is this how things are now?