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Monday, July 2, 2012

Cinema is growing old

When you see someone in a painting from the previous centuries, you do not think about whether they are dead or alive, they have a timelessness to them that freeze them in time. Nevertheless they are. I usually watch contemporary movies, movies for the oldest from the 80's. Recently, I came to discover more classics, even going to the black and white ones. You see the life of characters in motion, with their youth, and in a way, it only looks like a period piece, played by comtemporary actors. Well, perhaps they speak a bit differently, perhaps the style is sometimes odd, the lighting artificial, the technology poor. But still, they remain very much alive.
Then there are those actors we all know died, in tragic incidents, or getting older, they are separated from their role, and become these persons, with lives of their own, and they happened to die, just like everyone else.
Lately, I have been watching intensively the whole retrospective of the movies staring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. I think I've already watched five of them. They were in chronological order, so I saw them evolve, both in their acting, but also how the cinema industry was evolving as well. And then it stroke me. They are growing up, growing older, and eventually, all these people in the movie died, they all did, it was too long ago. But they are so alive, still, almost like the painting from the previous centuries. But this is a first, a document that is as alive as you and me, with people speaking, moving, laughing... Cinema is growing old, the first generation is already dead, so is the second one. We are creating those memories, documents of our past which seems more and more palpable, as if we could finally travel in time. It is beautiful, and sad at the same time. They gave their emotions, we feel attached very much to them, as if they were alive, close enough, growing old, but slowly, reachable. I would have loved to meet Katharine Hepburn, she looks like she was a wonderful lady, very creative, very devoted to cinema, with ideas that belong so well to our present time, almost as if we all were born too late, she was early, but she belongs here, now.
But all this is a fading image in a screen, it is the magic of cinema, the feeling for an hour or so that you are traveling, sharing, loving new people in a very intimate way, all characters of a bigger and longer story, humanity.

4 comments:

  1. Took me some minutes to find this particular post and as requested will share my thoughts on it.
    I think quality pieces will remain.A lot of contemporary movies are missing the mark these last years.And I have been watching all kinds of older movies.And most of them still hold up today amazingly well.And with me there are a lot of movie lovers out there who will never forget or ignore the classics.Some themes in movies are universal.Take for example: It's a wonderful life from Frank Capra (1946).It features a theme where James Stewart thinks he hasn't gotten out of life what he planned to do.And the way they show the situations how certain events get in the way is so recognizable.Then there are movies like Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon filled with scenes,one liners and quotes still used today known to people who haven't even seen them.The Maltese Falcon is undeniable the template for the Film Noir genre.What I like about these classic movies is that they present us with themes every man has to deal with in life without making it to complicated.There are contemporary art house films touching the same themes only often told in such abstract fashion or lose focus that make them not appealing at all.So yes,maybe some older movies won't stand the test of time and many of the actors and actresses might not be with us today.Their influence however has made their marks and is edged in time forever.

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  2. Thank you for the beautiful reflection.

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  3. What I love about cinema is that good work lives on. Charlie Chaplin was a Genius. Katherine Hepburn always holds a place in my heart. Those old black and white movies kept me sane and hopeful during my teens. When bullies made my real life hell, I could always count on Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Alfred Hitchcock to provide me with the escape and joy I needed to stay hopeful there was something more to aspire to experience than the crap I dealt with.

    http://dreamingtiliwake.blogspot.com/

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    1. thanks again Kevin for your message :)

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