I’ve just been asked by friends to go watch a movie at the cinema and I’m sitting here asking myself whether or not I should go. Do I really want to go watch Fifty Shades Darker or is this just going to be another 2 hours of my life lost in the panties of another woman’s fantasy?
Then it hit me… Would my Grandmother have refused such a glorious opportunity to watch moving pictures gloriously coloured on such a big screen with surround sound, CGI, comfy seats, a bucket of popcorn and a large soda?
Probably… she would say it was expensive and nothing like the ‘old days’, which is true! I remember watching the Wizard of Oz on VCR back in the 80s and being completely mesmerised as a child. Despite it being one of my favourite movies of all time, teens today would look at these movies and wonder what all the fuss was about. There are no huge explosions, futuristic sounds or technology (mobile phones)… Just a house in a tornado, Dorothy, Toto, her red ruby slippers, friends and the yellow brick road!
*insert ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’ song here as I make a cup of green tea*
Considering the movie was made in the late 30s, one has to give Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer credit for sprucing it up so much since its predecessor released in 1925. If you haven’t watched it, I don’t suggest you do… unless you’re studying film development as part of your university degree. In this case, you can find it here on YouTube. If not, it’s black and white, silent and uses words such as “able-aide” “thru” and “arousing the crowd”, with characters wearing an array of different clothes from different fashion eras on a shaky screen.
Fast forward 5 years. Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, Gone With The Wind, Casablanca and Wizard of Oz are released are just some of the movies released in the 30s.
We have colour in some, synchronised sound and picture in all, they’ve removed the narrative boards in between each scene, and audiences are given a magical experience. This was the Golden Era of the Hollywood Movie Industry. So classy, creative and beautifully directed.
Male actors are dapper and female actresses are demure. Each Hollywood release was an escape for the American people from the Great Depression which was leading up to World War II. If you could afford to go to even go to the cinema, you would be considered crème de la crème.
I wonder what they would call this era of Hollywood? With all this technology and affordable cinema tickets, you would think the Hollywood industry is pumping with money and ideas to project onto the screen for the enjoyment of millions across the world.
‘The Lego Batman Movie’ is a huge leap from the beautifully scored cartoons like Snow White. I was reminded of ‘Shutter Island’ with more of a horror twist when I watched the trailer of ‘A Cure for Wellness’. ‘The Great Wall’ leaves me wanting and ‘Fist Fight’ is the obvious brain-fart of a movie suitable for high school students getting knocked down too many times in a playing field. With every silly movie, comes the evident romance stories, ‘Everybody Loves Somebody’ and ‘La La Land’. ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ and ‘Rings’, both proving that writers at Hollywood are running out of ideas. Wasn’t the first one enough? If you want to see any of the above mentioned movies, check out Fandango.
With just a couple of hundred films being released in 1930, it would have been so much easier to keep up with the stories. Today’s times have changed and we’ve got at least 5 new movies, in English, coming out of America alone.
The Golden Era of Hollywood is now lost in excessive use of CGI, animation and techno-music, trashy outfits unless the actors are appearing in movies about historical events. And don’t forget the numerous remakes being made as original concepts become harder to come by.