After writing 10 posts for this blog (perhaps a sort of milestone), I think now is an appropriate time to reflect — to hopefully better grasp what my purpose is behind these posts.
So far, we’ve examined, compared and contrasted multiple classic and modern films. I think by now, it’s obvious I see the value in cinema history, so I interviewed three unsuspecting family members — my 17-year-old younger brother Andrew, my mom and my dad — to also see what they think about modern and classic film and the importance of cinema history.
Do you prefer classic or modern films?
Andrew: I prefer modern but appreciate classic cinema too.
Do you think there is a benefit to watching classic films in addition to modern? If so, why?
Andrew: Yes, all good art has value. Seeing the progression of a relatively young medium is important.
Mom: Absolutely. Just like you can’t really have a knowledge of history without understanding a nation’s beginnings, classic films take you back to beginnings — before technological perfection takes out the reality.
Dad: Classic films seem to be more about the acting and less about technology, so I think in many instances they are more thought provoking. Ideally, a mix of great acting [like in the classics] paired with the newer technology is most enjoyable.
What are your thoughts on the value of cinema history?
Andrew: All well done art — both classic and modern — has intrinsic value because of the humans that express it, so very valuable.
Mom: Cinema is a reflection of the culture and time period it is from. From a nation’s perspective on war to civil rights and suffrage, looking at film helps us learn about times where no living person exists could describe it to us.
Dad: Cinema history sometimes reflects society but may also reflect the power to influence one’s thoughts, which may or may not be positive,
To close, what are you favorite classic and modern films?
Andrew: I don’t really have favorite movies but the first two I thought of were 10 Cloverfield Lane for modern and The Maltese Falcon for classic.
My mom and dad had a harder time nailing it down to just two, so they gave me several of her favorites:
Mom: My favorite classic films are It’s A Wonderful Life, Gone with the Wind, It Happened One Night, Casablanca and Citizen Kane. My favorite modern films are Secretariat, Toy Story and Star Wars.
Dad: I like a lot of the John Wayne westerns because it makes me think of watching those with my dad. The Natural with Robert Redford never gets old . . . and 1977 Star Wars. I love Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. It’s a Wonderful Life. Of the newer movies, I would probably pick something funny with Kevin James.
Cinema history is important because it can help us understand our past, but also better understand the present. Throughout writing these posts, I, myself, have found it beneficial to compare and contrast the old and the new. I highly recommend exploring classic films, in addition to going to the theater to check out what’s currently showing. If you don’t know where to start with the classics, the American Film Institute’s “100 Years . . . 100 Movies” is a good place to start.
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures