The Representation of Youths in Contrasting films

All media text contain messages. These can be positive or negative. A positive message is a true-to-life representation, where individuals and groups are given a positive image.

A negative message is a untrue and exaggerated stereotype, often see the individual or group from a poor perspective. An example of a positive message demonstrated by media text is the speech given by Tony Blair during the suicide bomb attack on London on Thursday 7th June 05. This message can be seen as positive because in this speech the media text illustrates to the viewers that Britain will not be defeated by terrorism.Other messages can also be formed by media text which may be to do with family, friends, life, ect. These messages are very important because it controls the viewers. The media presents these messages through the use of representation.

This is the process through which aspects of the real world are reconstructed through media text and most commonly the construction of particular individuals or social groups, such as gender, age, sexuality, race, religion, disability and class. The audience’s job is to recognise these e. g. stereotypes. This is a person or thing that conforms to a fixed or general pattern.By the use of a standardised simplistic image.

An example of this would be teenage life is demonstrated with parties, upbeat music, ect. It is the choice of the viewers to agree or disagree with these media text. The following essay will examine the representation of youths in two contrasting films. The films that will be analysed are 10 things I Hate About You directed by Gil Junger in 1999.

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This film demonstrates the modern teenage life with girls and boys falling in love and attending their school prom. The second film that will be analysed is Stand By Me directed by Rob Reiner in 1986.This is an adventure film about four friends who go on a journey to find a dead body to become famous in their town. The two films are very contrasting in many different ways. 10 Things I Hate About You can be described as being a perfect type of film because at the end the two main characters get what they want whilst Stand By Me is more serious as the main character dies which is demonstrated at the beginning of the film.

The start of both films are very contrasting 10 Things I Hate About You starts with a long-shot which shows the setting of the city and high school in a bright and optimistic perspective.This connotates lots of opportunities and fun. The film is about two sisters, Kat and Bianca. Bianca being the most popular girl at school and Kat who no one likes.

Bianca is so desperate to date boys but her father forbids it. Then her father agrees for Bianca to date but until her sister Kat dates, which he knows is highly unlikely. The problem starts when Cameron has to find a date for Kat without her knowing so that he can date Bianca. He finds Kat a date with Patrick Verona he is also a rebel just like Kat. Through out this film the audience can observe a typical American teenage life where boys and girls attend the high school prom.In contrast Stand By Me started as being dull with a long-shot of a solitary car with a man inside it. The man reflects on the fact that his best friend has been killed and from then on wards the audience are viewed with a flashback of his childhood, where he lived in small town with a population of about 1280.

This film is about four friends who go on a journey to find a dead body of a kid aged the same age as them. This story takes place over 1 weekend-2 days. The music of the two films show a huge contrast.

In 10 Things I Hate About You the music is upbeat with pop/rock sounds.This is typical of the setting and time period of the film. When Bianca appears on screen the non-diegetic music played is pop to connotate that she is popular and innocent but when Kat appears on screen the music played is rock to connotate that she is a rebel, this shows a huge difference between the two sisters. In Stand By Me at the beginning, the theme song is played.

It is very calm and peaceful and it shares the name of the film and mirrors the tale of friendship. When the four youths are out on the journey happy cheery music is played. This is typical of America in 1950/60. The families of both films are also very different.In 10 Things I Hate About You the two sisters don’t get on with each other and throughout the film we see them constantly arguing. They have a strict father who is over protective of his daughters because he had a terrible past experience, where his wife left him for another man and feels like he’s daughters are also going to leave him. This illustrates a selfish and not a dominant parent role. Whereas in Stand By Me the four youths have a troubled childhood.

Gordy’s brother was killed in a jeep accident and his parents are not coping really well, therefore he is always ignored by them.Chris is the leader of the gang and Gordy’s best friend. He was not brought up well and has a bad reputation. Teddy’s father is in a mental asylum and does not have a good relationship with his father as he once tried to burn his ear off in a stove. Vern has an older brother who bullies him. These are all the problems which young people face today and don’t intend to discuss with others.

The youths grow up to become successful as Gordy becomes a writer, Chris a lawyer but later dies, Vern has four kids and Teddy tried to get in the army but was later sent to prison.The lifestyle in 10 Things I Hate About You is very wealthy as Kat and Bianca live in a vast estate and their dad is a doctor. They are a middle class family who have many things to do socially such as attend parties. However, in Stand By Me there is very little to do and so they entertain themselves with uncomplicated activities such as card games, adventures ect.

This film was set in 1950/60’s America and there was not much to do at the time. In 10 Things I Hate About You friendship is divided up into stereotyped groups: popularity, geeks, jocks, ect.This is very similar to most American teenage movies. Although in Stand By Me the four youths are very close and like everyone else they wind each other up. These characters have very strong personalities which can cause childish arguments but despite all this they are very close and open about their feelings for example Gordy sobbed to Chris that he’s family don’t appreciate him and Chris cried his heart out to Gordy that he is a failure. The most common ambition in 10 Things I Hate About You is to be popular.

Bianca’s ambition is to date guys and Kat wants to go to university.On the other hand in Stand By Me the only ambition present by the four youths is to be well-known by their community and family also their dream to fulfil this and to appear in their local newspaper, so they set out on a journey to find the dead body. The main themes in 10 ~Things I Hate About You are love, relationship, family, friends and popularity. In contrast in Stand By Me the main theme is friendship and it demonstrates that you should always stick by your friends no matter what the consequences may be. The ending of 10 Things I Hate About You is very positive and lively as is all teenage films.

Bianca and Kat understand what they actually want and so they fulfil their desires. But the ending of Stand By Me is very sombre as Chris is killed which is first viewed in the beginning. The viewers feel a sense of regret and devastation at Chris’ death, Gordy gets his one sense of happiness when he gets his own loving family which he never had when he was a young boy. The message that was in 10 Things I Hate About You was that it represents youth and if you dream for something long enough then one day your dreams will truly become reality.The message that can be found in Stand By Me is I’ll never have friends like those I had when I was 12.

In conclusion I feel that both films had many different similarities with friends and they are both extremely realistic. The differences that these two films enclose are that 10 Things I Hate About You contains less problems than stand by me and it is positive as it represents youth in a positive light. Stand By Me is very negative. This is because it contains issues that the audience find distressing and might not want to accept in reality.