'Sunrise: a Song of Two Humans' and 'The Notebook'

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Hollywood, the popular American entertainment industry, since its birth, has always been the center for producing films and circulating ideologies. With its coexistence with modernity, it is no doubt that Hollywood has produced films, which aim to entertain and to give the new thoughts and experience of modernity to its audiences around the world. Hence, in this essay I choose two films, ‘Sunrise: a Song of Two Humans’ and ‘The Notebook,’ which coming from different eras of Hollywood and functioning as vernacular modernism, for the analysis on their representation of modernity, based on Ben Singer’s work on features of modernity, focusing on the change in family, marriage, and love, the shift to the consumer culture, and the rise of mass mobility. The beautiful silent film released in 1927, ‘Sunrise: a Song of Two Humans,’ is directed by the famous German director, F.W. Murnau, and is starred by George O’Brien and Janet Gaynor who take the main characters as the Man and the Wife respectively. It is a story of married couples that have conflicts over the husband’s immoral actions, but however, they become reconciled through their journey in the City. Apart from love, another underlying theme of this film is the experience of human with modernity. Similar to ‘Sunrise,’ ‘The Notebook,’ the all-time famous love novel written by Nicholas Sparks, is adapted into a film by Nick Cassavetes, and is starred by Hollywood popular actress and actor, Rachael McAdams and Ryan Gosling
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