Monday, November 29, 2004

The Golden Age of Hollywood

Mike Jericho brought this tidbit to my attention, a historian's view of the movie Alexander:
There is also irony here. If we remember the embarrassing Troy, we are beginning to see, that all for all the protestations of artistic excellence and craftsmanship, Hollywood has become mostly a place of mediocrity, talentless actors and writers who spout off about politics in lieu of having any real accomplishment in their own field. I've heard so many inane things mouthed by Stone that I would like someone at last to address this question - why would supposedly smart insiders turn over $160 million to someone of such meager talent to make such an embarrassing film? Alexander the Great is third-rate Cecil B. Demille in drag.
Miss O'Hara and I were also talking about the pronoucement that Sarah Jessica Parker is the new Liz Taylor (and brown is the new black.. and pink is the new brown.. and green is the new pink and purple is the....). We both agreed: SJP is NO Liz Taylor. Cute, fun, and maybe even a decent actress.. but Cleopatra she could never be.

Related, this weekend, I watched the Collector's edition of Gone with the Wind. I highly recommend it - the color and sound is outstanding. I'm thrilled that it was restored and probably looks better now than it did in 1939. The look, style, scale, and performances are just beyond compare. Now, I know there are things we can do today via technology impossible in the Golden Age of Hollywood, but many movies are leaning so heavily on the technical side that there isn't much of substance there (The Star Wars prequals, Matrix: Reloaded and Matrix: Revolutions standing as prime examples).

This leads the rise of independant film. The major studios often finance some of the better indie films out there but as a whole you will find more creative, interesting, and substantive films at the local art film house than at the megaplex.

Then again, I don't want to see some art film all the time. Sometimes, I just want to watch stuff blow up because that is cool.