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Brittany Ashley

About Escapism

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I have been really enjoying all the talk of Depression era musicals and our topics so far. My favorite aspect of musicals from this era is the sense of escapism and fantasy. I love the froth, fluff and fun.The incredible thing is that  I watch these movies and musical numbers now and feel what audiences did decades ago. These sense of letting you imaginations go and wishing to live vicariously through these scenes and songs. Where nobody has problems, everybody is and dresses attractively, love and happiness abound. 

In fact, I often have one of these songs come into my head or I just play it on Youtube while  I am scrolling my Facebook timeline. Theres so much bad and negative stuff I see and consume but I have noticed that when I play these songs or think about them, I am transported into the fantasy world the songs invoke and are about. And for the few mins the song is playing or I am watching a scene on Youtube (and not also scrolling Facebook on my phone) suddenly the real world, real life problems of the world and society don't exist. What exists is the I can just sit back and dream of how life should be. And when the song/scene is over and I'm back to reality, life doesn't feel so bad. 

 It says something about the artists/actors who were part of creating these wonderful songs, scenes and films. It also says something about the emotional and psychological needs and wants of people not just in the 1930s in the Depression era but anyone living in any era. The longing for escape from crushing realities of life and wishing real life was like the movies. 

Its potent. 

 

This is my favorite piece of escapism. 

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I'm right there with you.  We are living in a pretty crazy time (I guess they all are, but the last couple of years have been exceptionally nuts for a lot of us) and I feel like diving into these classic musicals is exactly what I needed right now.  I don't know that I would have gotten quite as lost in them a few years ago as I am today.  

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37 minutes ago, lmzeigler said:

I'm right there with you.  We are living in a pretty crazy time (I guess they all are, but the last couple of years have been exceptionally nuts for a lot of us) and I feel like diving into these classic musicals is exactly what I needed right now.  I don't know that I would have gotten quite as lost in them a few years ago as I am today.  

Oh absolutely. I've always been a fan of this period and appreciated the escapist aspect of the films and loved it. But same as you, I have this  sometimes overwhelming desire to watch a clip literally so I cannot be in 2018. All eras have their struggles and we are not living anywhere close to the Great Depression, but these are the times we're in now. And I have felt more of a sense of needing to watch these things and not just wanting to watch because I always enjoyed these movies. Personally, I am feeling more of a longing for the kind of fantasy and dreamlike images now than I ever did before.

The reason why I like this song so much is because its literally about a party and one of the lyrics is "heigh ho the world's alright/we won't be singing the blues tonight" speaks to me. If we (or I) could just be at this party and hanging out where the darkness that surrounds real life doesn't exist then I would be happy. Because real life isn't happy but we all wish it could be. Its simple but that simplicity is powerful for understanding these film's appeal then and now. 

Then there's also the point that so much of our pop culture is pretty dark in one way or another. Granted I like many movies and tv shows but there really isn't anything I can think of that even approaches the escapist, fantasy world element Depression films did. The closest I can think of is La La Land which I like but its just not the same. 

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