Classic Films Don’t Seem So Classic Anymore

“I don’t like those old movies.”

“If it was in color, I’d watch it.”

Why do people love to hate on black and white films? Many young people I have been around refuse to watch an old movie, regardless of the praise, simply because of the lack of color. Classics like Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Psycho…they’re all overlooked by so many people from the younger generation.

There’s just something so romantic, so classic to me about seeing a film in the original black and white. As a film geek, it makes me nostalgic for the simplicity that making films used to be. Of course, Casablanca was released about 50 years before I was born. But I think black and white helps us romanticize classic film making and dream about the beauty of the past. It boggles my mind that people simply won’t watch an amazing film because of a lack of color.

Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, and so many others…they’re part of the reason I’m so incredibly in love with film. They helped make movies what they are now. Whenever I attempt to explain this to my friends, I’m met with shrugs and eye rolls. I’m told that classic movies are “boring”.

I suppose a lot of the themes of classic films are hard for the current generation to grasp. A major one was inherent goodness…which is not what we see in the theaters now. Take Gone Girl, for example. Can you imagine if an audience in the 40’s had seen half of what was in the film? Sex, brutal violence…people would be outraged. Rosamund Pike would be shunned. Audiences now want to be shocked. They want everything immediately and that want it big and in your face. Simplicity and understatement isn’t appreciated anymore.

The current generation of movie watchers doesn’t expect every character to be good. They don’t want to see a wholesome movie full of family and religion. They want the bad. The sex, gore, violence, drugs. But that’s exactly why I love classic films. They don’t have that. They’re full of romance, optimism, an inherent good that is completely foreign to us. I think we all need to be reminded of happiness and wholesomeness from time to time.

This generation has its flaws with movies. There’s only so many ridiculous action flicks we need. I mean…we’re on Fast and Furious 7. How many explosions or racing cars are we going to watch before we get tired of that and ask for something even more shocking?

I’d take Cary Grant over Vin Diesel any day.

-B

 

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