My Life is the Love of Cinema.
As a huge fan of cinema, I
love classic cinema now! When I used to talk
crap about old movies before, I was just
grouping them all into one category as if they
all more or less suck, which is totally wrong. I
used to think that contemporary movies were
better than older ones, but in my experiment
with watching all these old films these past
years, I was hoping to see them as equal, but it
turned out I prefer old movies more than newer
ones. The problem with today's movies is that
most are just churned out - even the good ones -
too slick and with actors that are too aware
that they are acting (Sean Penn, Streep, Winslet).
I'm sure movie producers were always a bunch of
bastards that loved to interfere with director's
visions, but it seems that more love was put
into each old film. An old movie is like
watching a perfectly innocent child. A
contemporary movie is like watching a phony,
I'm figuring out what kind of old movies I like at least - films that aren't just about the upper-class standing around blabbering in suits, con-artist stories, and generic film noir (detective "who done it"-type films) - all filmed in a claustrophobic set. I do like the movies about the average folk!
I'm still trying to figure out if the majority of people that love old movies just automatically love everything from that time period. When I hear people talk about old movies (pre-1960s), I rarely hear criticism of respectable directors. As I watch these old movies, I'm watching them with a clean slate regardless of what a certain film did for the film industry. I'm not a fan of Hitchcock (I like him but I'm not a worshipper), Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Bogart, Katherine Hepburn, Lubitsch (but I need to see more), Gone with the Wind, for example. Have you met any other old-movie fans which are selective and don't automatically just love the time period?
I see Jean Renoir as I see Steven Speilberg - they are both great directors. I love some of their best films AND I hate some of their best films. I wonder if there are Lubitsch fans that only like his German films and not his highly respectable American ones?
I just get a sense that movie fans are more positive about the past and more critical of the contemporary. It is understandable because I do believe now that older films are overall more special than contemporary ones. But not every single "classic" is special.
My favorite oldies are now Nightmare Alley, The Night of the Hunter, Sullivan's Travels, Miracle of Morgan's Creek, L'Atalante, French Cancan, Sunrise, City Girl, Modern Times, Bigger Than Life.
I have not been impressed with The Rules of the Game, Gone with the Wind, The Lady Eve, Trouble In Paradise, The Maltese Falcon, Citizen Kane, Double Indemnity, Rebel Without a Cause, Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, Kiss Me Deadly.