Saturday, November 7, 2015

Old Isn't Bad: Spreading the Love for Classic Film

Entering the film world in college, I expected to hob-knob with classmates over movies we loved, hated, seen recently, and so on. Disappointingly, I realized so many students don't actually like or even love movies - or if they do, so many have only seen newer releases from the past five, maybe ten years. Even more disappointing, is that teachers, as well as student, had a distaste for Classic Hollywood films, mostly because they are just old.

The disturbing trend about film is that apparently, it has an expiration date. Anything beyond 2005, or 2000, or sustains a Star Wars-like reputation, is not worthy or interesting to watch.

In and out of the classroom what is disheartening is not only the lack of interest in classic films but the disconnection of what they are: out of date, not worthwhile, useless. So, I'd like to put an end to the stigma about older films with these simple steps.

1. Don't Add 'Well It is OLD'. With Facebook status posts and tweets every nanosecond, often my generation likes to go for what is new, current, and so not fifty years ago. If you add 'It's Old', or the old 'Back in my day, kid', our attention is lost. There's no need to make a big deal about age - whether it is relatively young or entering it's senior years.

2. Don't be surprised if they haven't seen it. Ever not listen to a certain type of music or never gone skydiving, and made to feel like you are the biggest outcast in the world for having missed out on that once-in-a-lifetime, life enhancing opportunity? Yeah, when you mention a classic film someone hasn't seen, don't go for the big gasp, hand to the forehead, "Oh my gosh, you haven't?! WHY NOT?!". You just turned a potential fan into someone carrying a sour attitude towards classics forever.

3. Share but do not preach. John Brunner once said, "There are two kinds of fool. One says, 'This is old, and therefore good.' And one says, 'This is new, and therefore better.'" When we talk about classic films, there's no need to go off into film lingo about the production, cast, etc. To a fan who hasn't seen many classic films, talk about them like you always do with a movie you just watched last weekend; conversational and fun.

4. Tell them where to go. Old Hollywood films are rare but don't have to be completely dismissable. Suggest where they can be watched. Turner Classic Movie channel plays all classic genres uncut and commercial free. Suggest your friends to check out The Essentials to ease their way into the genre. There's also Netflix, Amazon, and even YouTube. Try to sound like the movies can be at your friends' fingertips ready to watched like so many modern movies are.

5. Don't be ashamed. I'm often guilty of this. When talking to other students, and they have no idea what the heck I'm talking about, I'm often interrogated about why do I like classic films, aren't they in black and white and so on... Well, yes, they are. Soon I'm shamed or quieted because other students find it weird I like older movies. Simply, don't! Share your love for them when you can...and don't make a big deal that they are old(er).

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