How are drugs represented in film and do they encourage drug useThere is a relationship between films, society and drugs. They influence each other, how drugs are portrayed in films has an impact in the society. Sometimes the government influence how drugs are portrayed in films. Drugs have been appearing more frequently the past 20 years. Films• Easy money, swedish drug film, Daniel Espinosa 2010 • Den gode strømer 2004, Denmark• Maria full of Grace 2004, Columbia • The snitch cartel, 2011 ColumbiaVisual Fade into a shot of a film projector in a room. Film projector starts up.
Long shot of drugs.The documentary opens with an establishing shot panning over an image of the first Chinese Opium Den from 1984. The camera zooms in on the door of the opium den before fading black.
Title credit for documentary: do movies… Montage of images depicting drug use from Easy cash (2010), Den gode strømer (2004), Maria full of Grace (2004) and The snitch cartel.Long shot of outside of cinema showing people walking in under the advertisers sign for Easy cash (2010).Graphics of globe spinning on screen, globe slows down as camera zooms into the location of Europe. Archive footage depicting Eurpean director Ernst Ingmar Bergmann on set directing actors and camera. Globe spinning on screen, slows down and then zooms into SwedenFade through black close up shot of main character in easy money with drugs. Audio The first drug film ever made was called Chinese opium den 1894 (Thomas EdisonNon diegetic sound of Jazz music playing.
Creaking sound of door opening followed by drum beat match edit as shot fades to black. Soft jazz music to accompany credits. Narrattor voice over:”Drug use in films has been a controversial topic for decades. Whilst in recent years it appears to have become more acceptable in mainstream Hollywood cinema, with audiences showing less objections to it. European cinema and audiences have subjected to drug use in films for longer. Stereotypically European film is seen by the film industry as being more open, realist and free. Whilst more mainstream Hollywood cinema has been subjected to years of strict censorship, the censorship of European films appears to have been less strict.
Narrator’s voiceAn example of this is the Swedish film easy money.Between 1894-1920 drug use was rampant by the goverment. This era is also known as “silent era”. Drug use on screen was negatively presented during the 1930s-1950s code era Both filmmakers and politicians agreed on that film could shape and control people’s opinions. 1960-1970s was a changing eraDrugs could be seen more often in films during this timeAn example of this is the 1969 film “Easy rider”1980s was known as the Just say no eraThe war on drugs adminstration by the American Reagan led to an decrease in cinematic potrayals of drugs.Drugs were glorified in the film Scarface 1983.
It then showed the downfall of the lifestyle.1990-2010s was also a changing era, it was a so called modern drug cinema eraDrugs were portrayed in a new way “Requiem for a dream” showed the highs and lows of drug addiction.How frequently drugs appears in films has to do with the social and governmental trends. Since the 90s there has been more than 546 films showing drugs The most popular drugs used in films are cocaine, heroin, marijuana, meth, lsd and opium.
A study at Columbia university study found that children seeing a film that is not suited for people younger than 17 are 6 times more likely to try marijuana.The release of “Breaking bad” led to high school science teachers trying to manufacture meth. They were inspired by the show.Non digetic sound. Film music (low volume) playing in the background. Footsteps can be heard.Narrators voice:In the film easy money, JW a successful business student became a coke smuggler. In the film he also had to serve a rough time in a prison.
Behind bars he made an enemy which proves to be an illusion. Fade through black to a montage of clips which cut from one to another quickly. White letters on a black background fade in and out “Silent era”.
Fade through black to a tracking extreme close up shot of heroin on a table. Camera pans slowly around from cocaine to lsd with chariscuro light. A rapid moving shot gives a sweeping overview of the drugs on the table.The panning settles on the table where a photograph of politicians can be seen.
Cut to a high angle shot of drugs with a man talking with his back to the camera, the man is blurred and the drugs are in focus.Fade to black.A high angle long shot of the president Ronald Reagan talking.
Cut to a shot of a film projector running in a big cinema. Fade through a scene with drugs being taken in background. The camera focuses on a shot with big letters “Changing era 1990-2010”.
Letters appear in right left hand corner:Requiem for a dream. Extreme close up shot of a bright blue eye watering Scene fades to blackMedium shot of a graph that shows an increase of films showing drugs. Cut to a scene with the camera sweeping around showing cocaine, heroin, marijuana, meth, lsd.
The camera stops on opium and zooms out. fades into a black screen and shows a clip of teenagers taking drugsCut to a cinema screen with titles appearing in the bottom corner: Breaking badA fast moving clip of a science teacher trying to manufacture meth.Black screen Cut to a black cinema screen while the film projector starts up. Fade through a long shot with the main character JW in a suit and tie with a black bag in his hands walking away from the camera towards a table full of people in a busy restaurant.
The camera lens has blurred out the background.JW stops at a table and exchanges words with one of the men sitting there. The man stands up and walks away from the table to a bathroom while speaking to JWCut to a scene where JW can be seen sitting alone in a prison cell.