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TopBilled

Why do some classic movie fans bash newer films?

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29 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Some Oscar programming has included a lot of 21st century films (though they've cut back a bit). 

What I like is that usually when they show newer films they at least sort of have a classic Hollywood "theme" to them like they have shown the Artist (influenced by silent era movies) and Chicago (influenced by 1930s musicals and Kurt Weill). 

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1 hour ago, Gershwin fan said:

What I like is that usually when they show newer films they at least sort of have a classic Hollywood "theme" to them like they have shown the Artist (influenced by silent era movies) and Chicago (influenced by 1930s musicals and Kurt Weill). 

or Hugo just last month, which was a valentine to the pioneering days of silent cinema.

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20 hours ago, TopBilled said:

So unless he's saying the 70% is an average, it's not always 70% each month.

The statement does say approximately 70%.

("Movies from the ’30s, ‘40s and ’50s, Tabesh says, make up approximately 70 percent of its programming.")

I am quite pleased with those numbers. I am also fine with movies before 1930 and anything from the 1960s. Anything after 1970, and I become more selective. Lastly, I am fine with TCM doing as they please with that other 30%.

Since TCM is the only game in town for me to simply turn on the channel and watch, I hope they stay doing what they do.

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On 4/13/2019 at 5:16 AM, TopBilled said:

The word is overused because on some level it's a marketing tool. Like in the mid-80s when we had New Coke and Classic Coke. It became fashionable in the 80s to find comfort in things from the past-- even if the past wasn't so great. And that wave of nostalgia has carried forward.

The superhero movies and NOW VOYAGER are almost two different species. But people in 1942 probably didn't think NOW VOYAGER was classic. They thought of Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton silent films from the mid-1920s as classic.

Very true. I certainly think the word "classic" is overused because it evokes that sense of nostalgia we all crave on some level (in my opinion). But is it right to call something a classic as soon as it releases? 

In my opinion, I don't think so...a classic is something that withstands the test of time and probably has something special about it. 

You're quite correct in that Marvel movies and Now, Voyager are almost two completely different species. The only reason I bring them together is that, even if superhero movies are enjoyable...I don't consider them classics (yet). Will some of them be classics? Possibly. At the very least they contribute to a unique time in film history. 

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11 minutes ago, lpetiti said:

Very true. I certainly think the word "classic" is overused because it evokes that sense of nostalgia we all crave on some level (in my opinion). But is it right to call something a classic as soon as it releases? 

In my opinion, I don't think so...a classic is something that withstands the test of time and probably has something special about it. 

You're quite correct in that Marvel movies and Now, Voyager are almost two completely different species. The only reason I bring them together is that, even if superhero movies are enjoyable...I don't consider them classics (yet). Will some of them be classics? Possibly. At the very least they contribute to a unique time in film history. 

How much time has to go by, before it's been long enough to call something a classic?

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11 minutes ago, lpetiti said:

In my opinion, I don't think so...a classic is something that withstands the test of time and probably has something special about it. 

I'd say twenty years from today would be a good benchmark.

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1 minute ago, TopBilled said:

How much time has to go by, before it's been long enough to call something a classic?

That is a good question. 

I don't know if I'm in a position to say that, as even what the definition of a classic is is quite subjective. It's a poor argument on my part to say that I can't quite verbalize what I mean at the moment, yet it's the only one that comes to mind. 

I'm more interested in your thoughts on that. If you agree that there has to be a time element to a classic, how long? If not, why? 

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2 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

I'd say twenty years from today would be a good benchmark.

Makes sense. In the case of some movies, could ten even perhaps be an adequate number? 

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Just now, cigarjoe said:

I'd say twenty years from today would be a good benchmark.

That seems like a good mark. Especially since 90s films already feel so much different than today's offerings.

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2 minutes ago, lpetiti said:

Makes sense. In the case of some movies, could ten even perhaps be an adequate number? 

It's tough to say...2009 was an exceptionally bad year for movies, in my opinion, and I'm not sure if I'd call any of them "classics", even if I liked a few quite a bit (Inglourious BasterdsA Serious ManBlack DynamiteWatchmenMoon).

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19 hours ago, lpetiti said:

That is a good question. 

I don't know if I'm in a position to say that, as even what the definition of a classic is is quite subjective. It's a poor argument on my part to say that I can't quite verbalize what I mean at the moment, yet it's the only one that comes to mind. 

I'm more interested in your thoughts on that. If you agree that there has to be a time element to a classic, how long? If not, why? 

I don't think there has to be a time element. Some movies (in my experience) you just know they're a classic the minute you first watch them. 

I'm sure when people first saw Lon Chaney Sr. in the 1925 version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, they felt the same way-- even if they didn't use the phrase 'classic film' at the time. 

With some movies, there is no way they are not going to be revered for generations to come. It's like the filmmakers have captured lightning in a bottle, and it's clear to everyone.

Other films do require more time, especially the so-called cult films that gain appreciation and gain fans as the years go on. 

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Getting back to your original question which by the way was one of your more thoughtful premises, I’d like to take a few minutes to try and explain what I think may be happening.

First of all I do think most people especially on this message board “bash” newer films. Not all, but a quite a few.

Second of all I also think most people I run into through my daily travels “bash” older films.

In fact I think the second group of people bashing older films is an area that is more relevant for today than your original statement.

But lets go back to your original statement.

Skimpole’s first response was a very good thought.

Quote

To answer your question (a) some fans believe older movies have been vindicated by time, and are upset that many people are ignorant of movies before the very recent past (b) some fans either admire the craft of particular classic directors, or the general tone of classic movies.  Among such qualities are greater subtlety, less vulgarity, sometimes more emphasis on women. 

JamesJazzGuitar’s response was also very good:

Quote

But I will 'challenge' people that claim to be really into film that have only seen a handful of films made before they were born.    Often these people will make statements like 'this is the best film ever made in this genre'; but they have a very uninformed opinion since they haven't seen any 'older' films in that genre.


LawrenceA also had a very good response:

Quote

And some people prefer the social structures on display in older films, a mythologized view of when things "were right in the world." Modern films reassert where we are, while older films take you away to the way you wish they were. The uglier aspects of life were usually hidden away due to the Production Code. And many viewers prefer things the way they were when they themselves were a child, as the world seemed to make more sense then, not realizing that the reason was because they were a child and were unaware of those more-unsavory aspects for the most part. So, many viewers like visiting those older times via classic films, and it serves as a sort of fantasy/wish-fulfillment/escapism from the worries and uncertainties of the modern life. T hese viewers would naturally be less open to watching or enjoying modern films. These people oft en (but not always) seem to fall into conservative political viewpoints, and they see their preferred worldview in classic films more than modern.

If I were to add anything to the above three responses I would tend to agree with all three. To some degree.

I think that basically many of the members of this message board have shown over a period of time their dislike for newer films. And based on what the three replies from above have stated I think this proves that point to some degree. But I also think that many people who post here do like newer films if those films somehow represent some sort of connection to the past. Like good storytelling; good production values; good photography; good music scoring; good acting, and so on. Since we all know to some extent some members of the message board feel about newer films, I think a more relevant conversation could be about those people who “bash” older films.

This is not to say that people who write on the message boards do not appreciate newer films and or their production values, rather I think they may object to the harshness of these films. The way they represent speech, nudity and violence. Older films did not have this and I agree wholeheartedly with Lawrence on this.

The members who post here on the message boards I think are real cinephiles. They have invested a great deal of time not only watching films but have also invested a huge amount of time digging into certain films, actors, production people, and production facts about movies that does not exist anywhere else. In many respects the average filmgoer of today is NOT a cinephile like the rest of us are on these message boards.

Due to my not having a regular full-time job at an office like I have had for the past 30 plus years, I have been driving for Uber since November. Since most of my drives (over 1,600 now) have been less than a mile or so, I rarely get a chance to discuss films with my riders. But there have been several instances where I have had very interesting and thoughtful conversations with riders about films.

Some of my riders have either been going to a movie theater or were ones I was picking up from a movie theater and taking them home or another location. In those rides I usually start off the conversation by asking them what movie they are going to be going to see or what movie they just saw. Almost all of the people I have picked up have seen the latest release. I do not recall one rider telling me that they just went to see an older film at a theater that shows those films.

For example I just last week picked up a mother and a daughter who had just seen the latest remake of Dumbo. They loved it. But when I asked the mother if she had ever seen the original Disney film from 1941, her reply was about what I had expected. She had never known of the older version. This type of reply is a reaction I get most of the time when I tell people of older films.

When I told her of the original Disney animated film she seemed like that film could not even compare to the newer film. Of course the original film was only 64 minutes and was animated so that in and of itself could not even hold a candle to the newer film. She told me that was her reasoning.

Other riders when asked about what they liked were usually similar. Newer high tech films with lots of CGI effects. The Marvel films and many of the outer space adventure films of today. I will often ask people what they think their favorite film from the past is or if they can come up with the title of a “so-called classic film” is. Often they answer with The Godfather, any of the Star Wars films (although many people claim they have never seen the original Star Wars trilogy), or any film that has a comedian in it (from the recent past).

Some riders when I asked them to tell me their thoughts on older films turn it around on me and ask me to name my favorite film or a top five or ten list.

When I say The Adventures of Robin Hood is my all-time favorite film, they often think I am talking about the Kevin Costner film from 1991. But when I tell them that what I mean is the 1938 version with Errol Flynn, they often reply that they had never heard of that film and do not know who Errol Flynn was.

And this is the problem.

I think on the whole, the average person of today is mostly ignorant about the films from yesteryear. They have no clue to the most part and are not willing to invest precious time or effort into watching an older film. As much as it was back in the thirties and forties for movie audiences to go to the theater to get away from the depression or world events like WWII, to get away and enjoy a few hours away from those events, much is the same today. Current audiences probably want as well to get away. But today’s audiences want everything now. Many now watch movies and tv shows on their mobile devices. And I think eventually movie theaters will go away and be replaced by mobile devices or tvs all together.

But I digress.

I just think there are many more people who “bash” older films than there are bashing newer films. Most people who go to the movies today are satisfied with what they see on the big screen. Irregardless of whether the film they are seeing has been reviewed positively or negatively. Many people I know could care less what a reviewer may write or say about a film. They want to go and see action, especially like the Marvel franchise for example. Again an escape from normal everyday humdrum lives they may be leading.

This is my take on your original question. Any thoughts?

 

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A very good post fxreyman. So your Uber passengers are not put off by the patch? I couldn't resist. It is hilarious, in a sad way, when people don't know older movies.

Your Robin Hood comment is classic. I can hear it now. "Why would I watch a movie with dead people in it?"

I am not well educated in movies, but seem to know what I like. Same goes for music. Just ask JamesJazzGuitar what real music is. I'm a country music fan, a classic country music fan. Just like movies on TCM, the newer music gets, the more selective I am. Many of the best artists in music and film are no longer with us.

Some young people have no clue how to relate with older films. I am 60+ and have knowledge, maybe not personal, but the words from parents and grandparents, who explained their past.

I just searched Golden Age of Hollywood.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_Hollywood_cinema

I did not expect something so involved. Wow!

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When I was a kid we had theaters showing the current Hollywood offerings, and we had this new thing in the house called TV. I don't remember not having TV. And what the TV had was a lot of older Hollywood films as content filler. That's where I first saw Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and Three Stooges, shorts, Abbott and Costello films, Sword and Sandal Epics, and lots of Westerns and some Film Noir.

The broadcast channels were Channel 2: WCBS-TV - (CBS), Channel 4: WNBC - (NBC) and Channel 5: WNEW, Channel 7: WABC-TV - (ABC), Channel 9: WOR-TV, Channel 11: WPIX  and Channel 13: WNET - (PBS). Most of the films as content were on channels 5, 9, 11, and 13. 

You didn't have any choice but to be entertained on rainy days with whatever they offered. That is where I acquired my love of films from all eras past. I'm sure it was the same for all big cit TV audiences.

Today with all the channel choices available you are not going to get that basic "nothing else available for your entertainment" introduction to Hollywood Classic films or any other eras of film.

But the same can be said of 60's exploitation/experimental cinema, 70's independent cinema, and so on and so forth. Nobody is seeing this stuff by accident, (it's not on basic cable). 

TCM should be like the old broadcast TV stations, show everything from silents, early precodes, Hollywood Classic era, 60's exploitation, 70's independant, blockbusters, SyFy, Neo Noir, Westerns. foreign films, etc., etc. They should just mix it all up, don't hide stuff late night, just get it out there in your face with fun hosts that can explain the films and say why they are just as worthy of restoration and preservation as anything else. Right now there are niches that probably 50% of TCM audiences have never heard about.

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well.......... In my opinion, newer movies don't have the "umph" that made classic films. yes, of course, they are brilliant modern films, but I feel like a lot of the charm isn't there like it is with the classics, you know?

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However, speaking about classics, not all classics were all warmth and sweetness. I saw Nightmare Alley on a rental DVD today, and even by classic era, mainstream major studio noir and or horror standards, that film had a unusually cruel, mean edge to it. Very shocking really.

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1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

However, speaking about classics, not all classics were all warmth and sweetness. I saw Nightmare Alley on a rental DVD today, and even by classic era, mainstream major studio noir and or horror standards, that film had a unusually cruel, mean edge to it. Very shocking really.

You've got a point there! Haha. 

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On 4/12/2019 at 2:00 PM, cigarjoe said:

There were some Neo Noir gems in from 1981 - 1987 but the output really jumped in the 90s

Body Heat (1981), Thief (1981), SyFy Noir Blade Runner (1982), Period Noir Hammett (1982), Vice Squad (1982), Blood Simple (1984), Paris, Texas (1984), Tightrope (1984), To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), Black Comedy Noir After Hours (1985), Blue Velvet (1986), Supernatural Noir Angel Heart (1987).  
 

How is Paris, Texas a noir?

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On 4/17/2019 at 4:12 PM, CinemaInternational said:

However, speaking about classics, not all classics were all warmth and sweetness. I saw Nightmare Alley on a rental DVD today, and even by classic era, mainstream major studio noir and or horror standards, that film had a unusually cruel, mean edge to it. Very shocking really.

This reminds me of an experience I had. A few summers ago I spent a weekend visiting a young couple I know. They're about ten years younger than me and their kids are elementary school age. After they send the kids to bed, they like to stay up late and watch really violent horror films.

The third night I was there, they told me to pick a movie I wanted to watch. I noticed the noir 99 RIVER STREET was available to purchase, so I chose that one. They'd never heard of it. I thought, boy I am going to have to sell this movie to them, because it's surely quite tame compared to the blood and guts they're used to watching. I was afraid they'd be bored with it.

But that scene where Evelyn Keyes tricks John Payne into helping her with a "murder" in the theater really grabbed their attention. Then when Payne's wife (Peggie Castle) gets killed and is stuffed into the trunk of the cab, it starts to really get interesting. From that point forward, the movie does become a lot more sinister.

By the end of 99 RIVER STREET, I could tell my friends had been really caught up in it. It was grittier and darker than any recent horror movie they had watched. 

The experience told me two things. First, never underestimate the power of a classic film to grab the attention of a new audience. And second, some classics from the 40s and 50s are very bleak and not exactly feel-good stories; they're almost more shocking than a lot of the newer stuff.

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10 hours ago, Michael Rennie said:

Your Robin Hood comment is classic. I can hear it now. "Why would I watch a movie with dead people in it?"

Some young people have no clue how to relate with older films. I am 60+ and have knowledge, maybe not personal, but the words from parents and grandparents, who explained their past.

I've said it many times:
Start a conversation with a Millennial about "Why haven't they seen older classic films?", and I'll give you ten bucks if they don't mention "Citizen Kane", and why anyone would bother seeing it.  Five if they don't mention "Forrest Gump".  And twenty if they don't start a high dudgeon about the "racism" in Gone with the Wind.

Millennials are rooted in their own indoctrinated notion (probably not their fault, the fault of overenthusiastically revisionist-history high school teachers) that they can defend their passive lack of curiosity by wrapping themselves in the "martyrdom" that everything that happened in the 20th century was bad, and evil, and wrong, or at the very least, socially or technically "broken" and in need of fixing from scratch by a confused new generation left adrift by tragic history.  It's the first line of defense from publicly admitting that they don't know something, and that that something was made by an earlier generation.  And then watch them turn "expert" and try explain its importance to you ("This was one of the great Oscar-winning classics of all time, and influenced other modern-day movies"), once they discover they liked it.

Me, I just end up finding ways to restate the Roman senator Cicero:
"Those who have no interest in what happened before they were born will remain a child forever."  That's probably why later-20's Millennials have such problems adjusting to, quote, "adulting".

11 hours ago, fxreyman said:

I just think there are many more people who “bash” older films than there are bashing newer films. Most people who go to the movies today are satisfied with what they see on the big screen. Irregardless of whether the film they are seeing has been reviewed positively or negatively. 

(There...IS...no such word as "Irregardless".  😡  I see that picked on all the time, but didn't think anyone actually used it.)

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13 hours ago, skimpole said:

How is Paris, Texas a noir?

How is it not? It's not your typical big city dark alley noir (though it does have some of those sequences) I should have been more specific it's the type of Film Noir the French call Film Soleil, those sun baked, desert/tropical/daylight set noirs, and it does have your obsessed and alienated individual and your visually stylistic cinematography. Classic Film Soleil Noir Examples both B&W and Color (alphabetically). 

Ace In The Hole (Big Carnival (The)) (1951)

Bad Day At Black Rock (1955)

Big Steal (The) (1949)

Border Incident (1949)

Bribe (The) (1949)

Desert Fury (1947)

Detour (1945)

Framed (1947)

The Girl in Black Stockings (1957)

High Sierra (1941)

Highway Dragnet (1954)

Hitch-Hiker (The) (1953)

I died A Thousand Times (1955)

Inferno (1953)

Jeopardy (1953)

Leave Her To Heaven (1945)

Lineup (The) (1958) 

Niagara (1953)

Nightfall (1957)

Scarf (The) (1951)

Suddenly (1954)

The Wages of Fear (1953)

There are others that fluctuate half & half between Film Noir and Film Soleil Noirs like Out Of The Past (1947) They have a lot of outdoor sequences along with Border Incident listed above, and D.O.A. (1950) the first half is filled with light, the second half is darker. On Dangerous Ground (1952) the first half dark city second half bright snowfields Nightfall listed above is similar, even New York City set Naked City (The) (1948) aside from it's opening sequence and one chase sequence out of an apartment and up to an el is pretty much set in daylight.

Some Neo Noir that fit the Film Soleil Noir category off the top of my head are:

Darker Than Amber (1970) 

The Getaway (1971) 

Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) 

Road Movie (1974) 

Night Moves (1975) 

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

Siesta (1987)

Kill Me Again (1989)

Delusion (1991) 

Red Rock West (1993) 

The Wrong Man (1993) 

Fargo (1996) 

Mulholland Falls (1996) 

No Country For Old Men (2007) 

Cop Car (2015)

Hell or High Water (2016)

There are more.

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......Sarge...?... Where did you go, Sarge?... Yoooo-hooo......

 

...It feels lonesome here without you... :(

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7 minutes ago, Kay said:

......Sarge...?... Where did you go, Sarge?... Yoooo-hooo......

Yes, I realized earlier today that he hasn't been around for awhile. 

Wonder what happened to him.

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He showed up drunk and/or surly late one Saturday night, insulted some people, tried to argue with a few, then either left or got suspended. It's been over a week, so perhaps he's found something better to do.

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