Project Proposal: A Look into the History of D@mn Swearing in F#cking Films

It was a good seven years ago, but I’ll never forget the day my three-year-old sister walked up to our mum and called her a ‘reckless little sl*t’. We realised she had memorised the line from the 2008, PG film Mamma Mia.

streep.jpg
Meryl Streep plays Donna in Mamma Mia (2008)

 

I’ll admit it, I cuss pretty damn regularly, but there’s a limit as to what words I use in various contexts. Whilst I would never say the word myself, I don’t get offended hearing the C-bomb dropped in film, but I do question the necessity of it. Is that particular word the only one that can possibly express a character? Probably not. I’ve been fascinated, over the last few years, to see some really explicit swear words being spoken in mainstream film, but hey, times are changing. Profanity is become more and more prominent in our everyday interactions with one another, so it makes sense that this is reflected in film. An early film, Gone with the Wind (1939), again rated PG, dropped the famous ol’ “frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”, which sparked wide set outrage. The word ‘damn’ in a film nowadays, conversely, would pass without a reaction from most audiences.

 My plan for this digital narrative is to examine the use of profanity in films over time. Why have the use of these words in cinema grown? What are the ethical issues of profanity in cinema? Does it contribute positively to the film’s story? Does it reflect social values of a film’s release era? How are our social values implemented via television rating systems?

I’ll be using a category on WordPress to publish this research, and tap into the ideas I explore using multimedia platforms.

As a parting word, and a promise of what’s to come, I have linked in the legendary Wizard Swears Harry Potter fan fiction below.

 

If you have any suggestions please drop them below!

I’m gonna f#ck off now.

-Claire xo

 

 

 

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