Jun. 25th, 2015

Old movies

Jun. 25th, 2015 08:36 am
clevermanka: default (bangbang)
Serger lesson one went great! I scheduled a second one for the week after I get back from Vegas.

On Tuesday, [livejournal.com profile] fionnabhar commented on my dancing Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor gif and I wondered how many people have seen Singin' in the Rain. Or any old movie. By old movie, I mean pre-1965 stuff. I've seen a lot of old movies.

When I was a kid I didn't much like other kids, so I didn't spend much time playing with them. My parents both worked outside the home and I spent a lot of most afternoons watching old movies on television. From age nine (which is, I think, when my mom moved to day shift at the hospital and I came home to a blissfully empty house every day after school) to sixteen (when I didn't have to come home at all if I didn't want to, except to sleep), I watched probably five to six movies a week. That's not counting the numerous times I watched The Adventures of Robin Hood or Journey to the Center of the Earth on Saturday morning for a change of pace from Looney Tunes and Land of the Lost. I don't know why those two movies in particular were so frequently shown on Saturday morning television in the late 70s/early 80s, but there they were.

Seventh grade year my best friend was Jaime T, who introduced me to noir movies and her mom's romance novels. Let me tell you there are few things that can help develop a personality like a combination of erotic literature and The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. I'm not saying those things made me the way I am, but they certainly sped the process to getting where I was headed anyway. Side note: My favorite books of hers were the Silhouette Desire "Second Chance at Love" series because the women were all either divorced or widowed or something but definitely not virginal and the sex was much more interesting.

Anyway, old movies. Even though there are very few car chases, intricately choreographed fight scenes, or explosions (three of my criteria for seeing a movie in theaters these days), I love them. I think because I saw them as a child outside of the eras in which they were produced, I was able to see them as a glimpse into a slightly more realistic Narnia. I understood that these movies were never meant to portray a world I inhabited. But in spite of that (or maybe because of it), I loved those worlds. Even the bleakest of the noir films had a sort of grim and ruthless beauty that I could admire without actually wanting to share.

Modern movies have a couple strikes against them as far as I'm concerned. One, they're so fucking long. What the hell, people? Ninety-minute movies used to exist outside of kid movies. Just like bands used to start playing before midnight. What happened? The second is that I don't have the pleasant disconnect with modern movies. Modern movies, even outrageous speculative-fictions like Jupiter Ascending, or heck, even the Fast and Furious franchise, all feel firmly set in my current reality. It's a far-fetched reality, but it feels very present to me in a way I can't explain. It's one of the reasons I love modern animated movies. Simply by being animated, they remove themselves from the universe in which I exist and I can enjoy them more...purely? Simply? Easily? Also, they're usually shorter.

Anyone else here an old-movie fan? If so, what were your favorites? Which have you introduced to other people? Which do you still watch occasionally/regularly? Anyone else have positive formative experiences from media consumption (I pretty much assume everyone's got at least some negative ones)?

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