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Swinging London - 1963-1967

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documents in English
4 pages
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  1. Introduction
  2. Presentation of the Swinging London culture
    1. The importance of music
    2. Other aspects of the mod lifestyle
    3. A critical vision of Swinging London: Blow-Up, by Michaelo Antonioni
  3. Conclusion
  4. Bibliography

The Sixties are usually seen as a period of joy and optimism, especially in England, where they take place between two tougher periods of British history. The Fifties had indeed been quite difficult in the United Kingdom, socially and economically speaking. And during the Seventies, many problems occurred, that were often linked with the economic crisis of these years and the decline of the British power. So the cultural movements of this period were often more pessimistic and violent, such as the punk movement. Whereas the cultural movements of the Sixties seem to have been much more joyful.

That's why Christopher Brooker, a historian, says that ?one of the most obvious things that have built our vision of the 1960's is the fact that these years have been idealized as a kind of golden age that has been lost.? (The Revolution in English Life in the Fifties and the Sixties, Pimlico, 1969).

But behind the Beatles, Carnaby Street and the flowers on the shirts, some of the protagonists of this fascinating time have since adopted a more pessimistic view, and think of all this as nthing but a huge illusion: the illusion of prosperity, freedom and happiness, according to Bertrand Lemonnier. Even Ray Davies, the leader of the Kinks - one of the major bands of that time - said in 1981: ?The Sixties were a lie, a total lie?.

So the Sixties finally seem to be a quite ambiguous period. In order to understand it better, I will therefore first try to present them objectively, and then I will use the famous movie Blow-Up, by Michaelo Antonioni, as a support in order to adopt a more critical point of view.

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