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Old 08-10-04, 12:16 AM   #151
FinkPish
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Quote:
Originally posted by eedoon
I tend to believe that watching movie is all about expectations. I tend to watch all of my movie with no or little expectation. That works sometimes - and when it doesn't work when I watch critically acclaimed movie (such as what happen when I watched Lawrence of Arabia for the first time), I usually re-watch it to understand why people praised them. And it works effectively. I enjoyed other classics such as The Third Man, Casablanca, The Children of Paradise and so on only after I re-watch them, sometimes after the third or the fourth screenings.
I think this is a really good attitude to have when approaching older/foreign films. There is a big difference between watching a film just to get to the end and watching the film to really watch it. I think people use different parts of their brain when they only watch to get to the end vs. when they watch it to experience it. I'm not saying that people don't do the latter are somehow dumber, I'm just saying that sometimes you have to fight the impulse to not shut off your brain when watching, like it is so easy to do with more and more films nowadays.

I think studio films today tend to be more safe in dealing with characters/story/etc than they used to be. That's not to say that older films didn't sometimes play it safe, but it seems that more modern films tend to want to explain every little detail and provide an answer to every question.
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Old 08-10-04, 01:49 AM   #152
eedoon
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Thank you FinkPish. It is too bad that studio film today just want to play safe and think about how to rake more dollars from teenager instead of making quality movie. It makes movies more like a product instead of art. But anyway, I'm 23.
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Old 08-10-04, 10:08 AM   #153
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There are only a small number of good films made in any given year. Maybe three to ten. The rest are all junk, and will be justly forgotten. Since they've been making movies for about a hundred years, most of the good films will be more than thirty years old.

This does not mean that all old films are good. No one is going to watch Blondie Goes Shopping. The same with foreign films. There must have been a dozen Lemmy Caution films made in France, none of which will be R1 releases. Take that, Robo.

However, it does mean that there are only around a thousand 'good' movies. They have different characteristics than today's films. Chaplin films look like they used cardboard sets. The actors in Metropolis are always screaming and carrying on. The rolling rock at the beginning of Raiders looks like a tennis ball. But if you can get past these comparatively minor details, there is a lot to enjoy.
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Old 08-10-04, 11:15 AM   #154
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No one has yet brought up the fact that most of these older "classic" movies (from the '30s to the '70s) were made mostly for adults from an adult perspective. Back then, a studio's prestige picture would be an intelligent drama geared towards adults and those were the films that would get the bigger budget and attention. Lower tier films (B-movies, sci-fi, action), would be more for younger audiences and would get smaller budgets and less attention.

Now a-days, this is all reversed - what was once considered a B-movie, has now been elevated to A-movie status, because they are geared towards younger demographics, which bring in the most money right away (older people don't make a movie a hit, whereas younger people will see a movie right away). This sort of wider movie distribution, where the first weekend is "make or break" has only been around since the mid-'70s. Intelligent, thoughtful movies don't have a chance in this environment - they still get made, but they are the independent films, with lower budgets and smaller distribution. If Citizen Kane were made today, it would only play in select cities, in the art-house theater. 90% of my theater going is done at the art-house, not because I'm a snob, but because few films at the google-plex appeal to me.... and it'll happen to you!

This goes to show why most people under 30 don't necessarily go for the classic films - they weren't made for them. Of course, I'm generalizing - I'm sure there are plenty of people under 30 that enjoy a lot of the thoughtful classic movies - but they are definitely in the minority.

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Old 09-21-04, 06:02 PM   #155
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Its not so much as Classic films are overrated as Classic actors are. Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart always played the same style of character. It wasn't until the Brando era that there was a diversity in roles.
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Old 09-21-04, 06:25 PM   #156
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ruderic
Its not so much as Classic films are overrated as Classic actors are. Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart always played the same style of character. It wasn't until the Brando era that there was a diversity in roles.
If you believe that, you really need to go watch more older films. It's true, those two did tend to get typecast as the suave socialite or the smart-ass detective, but they did plenty of other kinds of roles. Just like a lot of actors get typecast today too, but if you look for it, you'll see that they aren't always doing the same role. And Brando was the first person to have a diversity in roles? Please.
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Old 09-21-04, 06:46 PM   #157
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Not sure if this was mentioned already, but another reason the classics might not come off so well to modern viewers is that some of what was interesting/shocking/new about the classics has been so thoroughly integrated into the media of today's culture that when you finally see the original source, the classics, it seems "done" already. Kind of hard to get excited about something when you've already seen it's themes in several other movies.

That's why I thought Scarface, when I finally saw it about a year ago, was kind of boring.
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Old 09-21-04, 07:09 PM   #158
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Bogart character/performance (Casablanca) = Bogart character/performance (Maltese Falcon) = Bogart character/performance (Treasure of the Sierra Madre)???

Okaaaaaaaaaaaay....

I'll give you Gable, though.
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Old 09-21-04, 07:42 PM   #159
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I'll help. Gable performance in Gone With the Wind vs. Gable performance in Run Silent, Run Deep.
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Old 09-21-04, 10:44 PM   #160
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In a nutshell:

Classic movies aren't over-rated, we're just jaded.
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Old 09-21-04, 10:57 PM   #161
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blade
Not sure if this was mentioned already, but another reason the classics might not come off so well to modern viewers is that some of what was interesting/shocking/new about the classics has been so thoroughly integrated into the media of today's culture that when you finally see the original source, the classics, it seems "done" already. Kind of hard to get excited about something when you've already seen it's themes in several other movies.

That's why I thought Scarface, when I finally saw it about a year ago, was kind of boring.
This is definately a relevant point. I saw The French Connection, and while it was good, didn't really care for it that much. Quite frankly, it's been retread with so many other cop movies that this one just didn't seem that special. Neither did the touted car chase.

This applies to many other films also.

Another thing is acting style...the more theatrical style of acting in older films can be off putting to many viewers.

And, quite frankly, people often times jive with films that represent them rather than an era 50 years ago. While there are some great films from a long time ago, they are often times thematically, and very much stylistically nothing like what the modern viewpoint is. Whether that's good or not depends on your opinion, but in general people prefer things that reflect their era as opposed to something that doesn't. I love some classic films, but I could stand not being able to watch modern cinema also.
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Old 09-21-04, 11:23 PM   #162
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ruderic
Its not so much as Classic films are overrated as Classic actors are. Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart always played the same style of character. It wasn't until the Brando era that there was a diversity in roles.
See some more movies.

Example: the Edward G. Robinson of Little Caesar is nothing like the timid, henpecked character he played in Mr. Winkle Goes To War.

Example: the Spencer Tracy of Woman of the Year is nothing like the embittered man he played in Fritz Lang's Fury.

Example: the comic Lucille Ball of Best Foot Forward has no similarity to the air crash survivor she played in Five Came Back.

And I don't think anyone would confuse Humphrey Bogart's Duke Mantee with the skipper of The African Queen, or the character he played in Dead End

Sure, some big stars played similar characters often because that's what the public likes, and nothing has changed. How many times can Jack Nicholson pull off the cantankerous act?
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Old 09-21-04, 11:45 PM   #163
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I think this is a great thread, but I guess I feel that Opti is coming off as arrogant.

A lot of your arguments are based on your assumption that 21st century FX, camerawork, and acting is a great improvement on the first hundred years of filmmaking.

I have never laughed so hard as I did at Miracle of Morgan's Creek.

I have never loved a western more than Red River.

I have never been thrilled more than by Wages of Fear.

What you consider exaggerated acting, I consider style, flair, and panache.

I love film... , I loved Fight Club, Dr. Strangelove, 400 Blows, M, Dawn of the Dead ('78), Sunset Boulevard, Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, Lawrence of Arabia (which really should be seen in 70mm on a huge screeen), La Samourai, Aguirre: Wrath of God, Singing in the Rain, etc, etc... the list goes on and on.

I'm 36, and think close minded film discussions shouldn't be made too hastily by either snobs or Joe Six Packs alike.
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Old 09-22-04, 05:56 AM   #164
eedoon
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ruderic
Its not so much as Classic films are overrated as Classic actors are. Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart always played the same style of character. It wasn't until the Brando era that there was a diversity in roles.
I agree with marty888 on the reply for your comment. The studio of the era believes that certain movie star will sells ticket for their performance on some certain genres, (ie. James Cagney for gangster roles, Errol Flynn for adventure movies) thus they put the performer on their typical movies often. But there's always be some variation such as those marty mentioned.
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Old 09-22-04, 06:00 AM   #165
eedoon
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blade
Not sure if this was mentioned already, but another reason the classics might not come off so well to modern viewers is that some of what was interesting/shocking/new about the classics has been so thoroughly integrated into the media of today's culture that when you finally see the original source, the classics, it seems "done" already. Kind of hard to get excited about something when you've already seen it's themes in several other movies.
Some movies don't age as well as others, but I tend to believe that there's more classic that age better than contemporary movies would age in the future.
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