When was the last time you went to a ‘sold out’ show? When was the last time you went to a ‘sold out’ matinee? I went to one today. Not a single seat left in the house. What movie was creating this daytime deluge? It was the nearly silent film, “The Artist”. Amazing, don’t you think.
A silent, black and white film, completely filled the theatre/ cinema in 2012. What does this say about audiences in the new millennium? Perhaps we have a little more intelligence and taste than Hollywood gives us credit for. Or is it that we are looking back to a Golden Age now we seem to be in a world-wide recession. Woody Allen’s “Midnight In Paris” suggests that train of thought. Another idea is that we can look back at past achievements with a new perspective, and appreciate yesterday’s art with mature eyes. This is one of the themes in “Hugo”, or rather, that something old or broken, is actually perfect, just the way it is.
Oh, look at that, I’ve managed to implicate three Oscar nominees that all look back to the Twenties (roughly). Swing music, flapper dresses, and silent films. What is our sudden fascination? For me, it’s not sudden. I’ve always enjoyed looking back. As a teenager I watched, and cried with laughter, at old B & W comedies. At university, I studied history and art history. It’s not not that I don’t like the present; I do, but somehow I find the past beautiful and elegant.
Look at how we dress today; look at the fabrics, the ‘styles’. For the most part, we look like bums. Do I want to go back to a time when men only wore suits and women only wore dresses; no, of course not, but like a Bernini or a Vermeer, those other periods in time are visually appealing and wonderful to look at. So after all that rambling, I think what I’m trying to say, is that maybe Hollywood has caught up with its audience; not the other way around. We don’t want to live in the past, but we love looking at it.
If you haven’t seen any of the movies listed, you might want to check one of them out. I thoroughly enjoyed all three. Let’s see what the Academy thinks…