The Classics

We’ve been watching the classics lately- I mean, the real classics, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, The Razor’s Edge. The more we watch, the more I feel the immensity of the gulf between the classics and modern-day films.

It starts with the length of time the camera stays on a single shot. A whole scene can be played out without the camera cutting to a different angle even once. The characters, dialogue, dramatic tension keep you riveted to the screen. These days, the constant readjustments your eyes have to make to the spastically changing camera angles are enough to throw anyone into an epileptic seizure- even if you don’t have epilepsy. But that’s what holds our attention, the movement, the explosions, the adrenalin. Without these elements, there would be no distractions to protect us from the lack of substance in what we’re watching.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my fluff. The latest superhero flicks are a great way to forget the world and take a ride into adventure. It’s just that there is a serious lack of movies with meaning, ones you can discuss for hours, ones that cause you to reflect on your own life, your own character, and perhaps even make a real life change.

When I look back at my time here on earth, I want to see moments where I did something meaningful, something that really mattered. I wished that more movie makers would want the same.

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

Spotless

A concealed black spot taints her otherwise charming personality. It’s the scar left from a few short years spent outside of the regular flow of society. How could something like that not leave its mark?

She does well, though, smiling, engaging in conversation, moving forward in her life. As long as no one probes too deeply, her new life remains intact. It’s the eye contact that lasts too long, or the question that reaches too far into the past that cause her to check the time, make an excuse, and find the nearest exit. Nausea, the heightened sensitivity to light and noise, and the crash of her heartbeat follow.

This is what fugitives must feel like, she thinks. And she knows that she indeed is one- a fugitive from her own mind.

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8 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Writing

8 responses to “The Classics

  1. I agree with you . . . sometimes the camera and plot moves so fast that it becomes tiring to watch. :D

    While not necessarily destined to be a classic, you might enjoy Another Year: http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/another-year/

    No diversions or distractions from the “inner workings” of the main characters.

    I found the movie strangely soothing and satisfying. At first, I wondered why Gerri and Tom (G&T) surrounded themselves with so many needy and demanding “misfits.” Surely, they could find “better” friends?

    In time, I realized that G&T were willing to “be there” for their hopeless and “helpless” friends because they were secure in their own lives:

    * G&T knew NOT to waste time trying to change their friends
    * G&T accepted their life-sucking and energy-draining friends “as is”
    * G&T tossed out “lifelines” to avoid getting dragged under by their friends’ emotional baggage

    And time continued to flow from one season to the next. It’s not an uplifting film, but it stayed with me and made me want to “talk about it” with others.

    • Thanks for the link, Nancy. I watched the trailer and read your post. It does sound like a movie that carries a certain atmosphere, and is very real, relatable to our own lives. What a great attitude- to just accept people…

  2. I do so agree with you on the movies, Zoë, particularly during the school holidays when there’s nothing but fluff! We do have some arthouse cinemas further afield which always save the day when we get a little desperate :)

    • I just finished watching Wings of Desire. Wow. That’s about all I can say. I had seen parts of it many, many years ago and was so glad I watched the whole movie now. That one goes on my top ten of all time.
      Happy arthousing :-)

  3. I love black and white films end-to-end throughout a whole day. I love them not because of the visual side, but the courteous way in which we are allowed to draw our own conclusions. These days every angle, every shot is designed to tell us how to feel about the plot. It’s very Big Brother.

  4. What a great way to look at it, Kate- the courtesy to be allowed to draw our own conclusions. So true. Sometimes in those old black and whites it’s more about what’s happening outside the frame than in it.
    End-to-end throughout a whole day- a little taste of heaven… :-)

  5. if you like classics, you should totally watch ingmar bergman!

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