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I'm In The Mood For...


WaldoLydecker
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I think I?ve come to discover that movies that we classify as ?classics? often attain that stature because of things like impeccable casting and sensitive direction but oftentimes, a quality that is equally important is the atmospheric ?mood? of a movie. I think the truly memorable films that endure down the decades are those that establish and then sustain a certain mood about them. For example, in ?Mildred Pierce,? you can really feel Mildred?s desperate determination to succeed in society and finally win Veda?s love ? that sense of unrelenting ambition really drives the whole picture. In ?Breakfast at Tiffany?s,? almost every scene has a haunting, bittersweet ambiance about it even when being played for laughs; Virtually every frame of ?West Side Story? is dripping with the humidity of a sweltering summer in an overcrowded New York City; In ?Laura,? the obsessive longing for someone that doesn?t quite belong to you is pervasive throughout. Most movies today seem to be missing the mood?among many other crucial elements.

Am I on to something with this or only in one of my moods??

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I think you are right. Moods or atmosphere have a great deal to do with any film. Like your point about "West Side Story" when I originally saw "Das Boot" I felt like I could almost smell the mildew in those wet wool sweaters.

 

Characters moods often carry a picture. Whether it's desperation, jealousy, revenge or even a temper they can give an edge to a movie. So maybe it was one of your moods that brought it up but that's a good thing.

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You're on to something in that mood is an important part of a film, but I think you're off-base when you say "most movies today seem to be missing the mood." I've found a pattern on the TCM board of posters attempting to pit today's movies against those of classic Hollywood. As an art form cinema reflects contemporary society. So movies today should be different from classic films. They're not better, nor worse -- just different.

 

So there were classic films that depicted a mood, such as Billy Wilder's The Apartment with its constant underlying pathos. But "mood" was one of the primary stars of many recent films: Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain where the passage of time is an important figure of the film, Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation and its beautifully evoked sense of alienation, and Anand Tucker's Shopgirl. Peter Webber's Girl With A Pearl Earring is all about the mood. So this is not a lost art, but you're right: mood is a very important aspect of good cinema.

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STOP! You're both right! It's a breath mint and a . . . .

 

Oh, sorry.

 

What I am trying to say, Waldo, is that mood is an essential element in film. Black and White film, or the Silver Screen, was a mood in itself. Old Hollywood developed that mood and was able to carry it through to color, but it eventually died.

 

But, Jack you are right, too. Without mood, film is nothing. I don't care much for the mood in most modern films, but I do like it when they try to capture that "old feeling" of B&W films. They were my favorites, and to this day still are.

 

Well, that's all I have to say. I'm not in the mood for this discussion. I am going back to GARBO!

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I like what you said wordmaster .It is so true that the mood of the movie is what reaches out and grabs you and keeps you captivated. I am always drawn in with

the music as well .It's amazing what a great piece of music will do for you when it is put with a story.Inglis

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Hear, hear, inglis!

 

Right now, I'm in the mood for some Anthony Mann film magic [and a bowl of pineapple sherbet...].

 

I'll be back in a while [if I can find a time for intermission...].

 

Message was edited by: wordmaster

wordmaster

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