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Just because it's old doesn't mean it's a classic


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I realize that films are not cars, or comic books.

 

But with cars, anything 25 years old, or older, is considered a "classic car."

 

With comic books, anything from the 30s is considered a "Golden Age Classic," and books from the 50s and 60s are considered "Silver Age Classics." These denotations ARE made purely on age.

 

So, although I don't completely agree with that rationale when applied to film, I don't find it that unreasonable, either.

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Valentine's right, we've been over, under, sideways, and down this path multiple times. And that's just in the ( slightly less than) two years I've been participating on these boards.

 

I definitely do get the point. And if we were doing this in person, I would step back, bow, and wave you on, because, whatever makes you happy, TopBilled, baby.

 

 

But me? I just like movies, new, old, black,white, purple, silent, loud, classy, trashy, avant-garde, old-guard, body-guard.

 

 

Sometimes we get kind of poe-faced about all this. Everyone has the right to discuss what they want here, blah blah, yes, yes. But do we have to be so earnest about it?

 

 

Ok, I know I'm being flippant and rude. If I don't want to join this party I can leave the room. And that's what I'm going to do, because, to use one of my personal favourite expressions culled from a "classic" movie, Baby, I don't care.

 

 

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What if we were living in the year 1939 and GONE WITH THE WIND had just come out...would we say that we have to wait fifty or a hundred years before we can call it a classic? I think that film was immediately a classic when it was viewed by its very first audience.

 

Similarly, if something as epic as that premiered today, couldn't we go ahead and label it a classic without it having to age? Let it be vintage right out of the bottle.

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TopBilled, I think you are a Platonist. You believe there is this form or ideal out there, which represents the "classic," and anything that conforms to that ideal becomes "classic." So, in your sense, something that approximates the "classic" in this finite world may be called "classic." And in that sense, it has nothing to do with age, merely with how closely it approximates the form/ideal.

 

 

 

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But since I am not a fan of the Oscars and the politics of Oscar, I am not into TCM's marketing in February. I am just interested in finding films I haven't seen or films I have seen that I think are worth watching again.

 

Well, on that note today I finally saw VOICE IN THE WIND, a film that UA picked up from PRC so it has always had that curiosity factor for me. It was difficult to watch as the print was terrible, and the music score drowned out whatever the actors were reciting. But I'm glad that I had the chance to check it out. Oddly enough, it was nominated for the score and sound recording. It was fun to see J. Carroll Naish doing Chico Marx again.

 

 

Tomorrow is THE NAVY COMES THROUGH which has Pat O'Brien and Dennis Morgan, but amazingly it was made at RKO and not Warners. It's one that I've never seen though and I'm always glad to add one more to the list.

 

 

Other than PETE KELLY'S BLUES, I don't see a thing for the rest of the week worth going out of my way to see. That's OK, I have tons of stuff to catch up on, some of which has nothing to do with movies. ;)

 

But I know where you're coming from. Despite having seen all but one Oscar telecast since 1963, I don't care who wins what because most of the time, the films that mean the most to me never get a nomination. But even the telecast means less to me each year as I become less familiar with the players and I'm no longer at an office water cooler the next day to discuss it.

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I take your point, but *GWtW* is a bad example to use with me, because I think it's schlock.

 

I do think we need some time to decide if something is really a classic, but not 25 years. I saw *Hugo* recently, and think it's a classic. But, I'd have to see it a couple of more times over a few years, to see how it holds up.

 

Lots of people would've called *Titanic* (1997) a classic, and I think it's schlock. I'd say that probably more people then thought it was great, than do today, but that is just my guess.

 

There are plenty of films that have wowed me when new, but not held up. There are others that I thought were decent, but not great, on first viewing, but have grown in stature in my eyes, over the years.

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Yes, thank you for stating that. It helps explain my approach to this subject.

 

I think we need to re-evaluate a lot of the films we watch and really ask if they are classic or if we have been led into thinking they are classic because of the hype and marketing that surrounds a lot of these films.

 

Once we have done that, then I think what we call classic will stand the test of time.

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Surely there must be "classic schlock?" That may be part of the point, there are classics of genre. For me, King of the Zombies is a classic. I've never been a big fan of GWTW, though.

 

 

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When I watch a film, I don't for a moment ponder whether it is a classic, or not. I try to get into the film, understand (if called for,) and enjoy it. Its status as a classic, or not, is totally unimportant. IOW, I don't care what Plato would watch, in his cave, or elsewhere... :)

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> {quote:title=Swithin wrote:}{quote}

> *Surely there must be "classic schlock?"* That may be part of the point, there are classics of genre. For me, King of the Zombies is a classic.

 

Okay, you got me there! :D I enjoy that stuff too.

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> {quote:title=Swithin wrote:}{quote}I actually would be interested in what Plato would watch. I just don't understand what the Isle of Wight has to do with it! :P

 

Yeah, I guess what Plato would watch would be interesting in itself, but not a concern to me, while watching a film.

 

Isle of Wight would be IoW. In other words, :P back atcha... :)

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Just because something is new also doesn't make it a classic either.

 

The Merriam-Webster definition of classic is:

 

1clas·sic

adj ˈkla-sik

Definition of CLASSIC

1

a : serving as a standard of excellence : of recognized value <classic literary works> b : traditional, enduring <classic designs> c : characterized by simple tailored lines in fashion year after year <a classic suit>

2

: of or relating to the ancient Greeks and Romans or their culture : classical

3

a : historically memorable <a classic battle> b : noted because of special literary or historical associations <Paris is the classic refuge of expatriates>

4

a : authentic, authoritative b : typical <a classic example of chicanery> <a classic error>

5

capitalized : of or relating to the period of highest development of Mesoamerican and especially Mayan culture about a.d. 300–900

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Of course. I did not say all new films were classics, but I did say that all new films become older, and eventually are seen as old films, and does that make them all classic?

 

'Serving as a standard of excellence' seems like the best definition. However, due to the political nature of the Academy voting process, I do not think we can say that the Oscar contest necessarily ensures that all recipients are actually upholding a standard of excellence.

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I was looking forward to VOICE IN THE WIND, because it seemed interesting. But when I watched it this afternoon, I came to the conclusion that it was pure junk. Shot in thirteen days and it shows. I am sure there was very little rehearsal time. It does not seem like they had much opportunity to really hone it and put their best work into it.

 

VOICE is sort of a time capsule, showing what a group of artists managed to produce in under two weeks, and here we are decades later watching that document but it is not a classic document. It is rather frayed around the proverbial edges, all scratched up and about to disintegrate in our very hands.

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*I am a bit flabbergasted why people are spending so much time beating it to death.* - TopBilled, in It must be Full-Screen night on TCM

 

*I believe CASABLANCA is severely overrated.* - JarrodMcDonald, in his/her 196-post The anti-CASABLANCA thread

 

It's too bad screen names aren't held onto long enough to become classic.

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:}{quote}

> VOICE is sort of a time capsule, showing what a group of artists managed to produce in under two weeks, and here we are decades later watching that document ... ...It is rather frayed around the proverbial edges, all scratched up and about to disintegrate in our very hands.

 

Now, that's what *I* call a classic.

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When quoting me, please do not edit out certain things I have said and replace it with ellipses. It deliberately takes what I have said out of context and that is surely misleading. I don't think that's an honest way of responding. Thanks.

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I don't know how I feel about TITANIC (1997). I do know that I much prefer the '53 version from Fox though it's certainly dated.

 

I think Cameron's version was definitely over-hyped and over-marketed and over-blown. But at the time, it did seem like a big event and a sudden classic. Can we say that it holds up fifteen years later? Probably not.

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*I don't know how I feel about TITANIC* .

 

*Can we say that it holds up fifteen years later? Probably not.*

 

At least you are honest: how you *feel.*

 

Fifteen years is a long time. Probably not could just as easily be probably so.

 

Jake in the Heartland

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I do remember seeing TITANIC (97) twice in theatres because it was held over for so long. I ordinarily do not go see the same film more than once. I also saw DANCES WITH WOLVES three times, because again, it was in theatres a long time.

 

So I guess we can say I liked both those titles, but I do not have the same fervor for them now as I did when I first viewed them.

 

On the other hand, there is something like MR. AND MRS. BRIDGE that seems more potent with each subsequent viewing.

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:}{quote}When quoting me, please do not edit out certain things I have said and replace it with ellipses. It deliberately takes what I have said out of context and that is surely misleading. I don't think that's an honest way of responding. Thanks.

 

If I had edited what you said without the ellipses, that would have been dishonest. Your full post was just below for everyone to see.

 

If I had not edited out your line saying the film was 'not a classic,' my statement would have meant that I thought the film was a classic, precisely because you thought it was not. That was not my meaning at all. My point was that the qualities you described, (and I quoted,) demonstrated that the film IS a classic, to me. I made my point in the most simple, direct, honest, and NOT misleading way I know how.

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