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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Aging Gracefully

You know those horrible pop-up ads that show a beautiful young woman and then the cursor moves over her face and suddenly she's a hag? I hate that ad. Talk about a scare tactic. The truth is, no matter how much you spend on products, some people just don't age well. Now, Robert Downey, Jr. - he has aged well. Has anybody seen him on the cover of Rolling Stone this month? Sweet mother of god. Why is it that some men just get more and more handsome like that? Totally unfair.

Someone commented on the Rouge Wave the other day that HIGHLANDER (1986) is very dated. Man was he right. But STAR WARS (1977) doesn't feel dated to me. Either does ORDINARY PEOPLE (1980). Or CHINATOWN (1974). But BEVERLY HILLS COP (1984), with its awful synth, 80s incidental music gives me hives. Not THE BREAKFAST CLUB (1985) or BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985). To me, those movies still stand up.

THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) - has got that gritty, fast-paced 70s thing going on but I don't find it distancing. The movie is still powerful, even if it is definitely marked by the era during which it was made. Like NETWORK (1976) or TAXI DRIVER (1976). Time and place movies don't make a movie feel "dated" in my experience. I love PILLOW TALK (1959), REAR WINDOW (1954) and GILDA (1946).

BLADE RUNNER (1982) feels a bit dated to me but I still enjoy it. HAROLD AND MAUDE (1971) and THE GRADUATE (1967) also fall into the category of kind of dated but I don't really mind. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969) is hopelessly dated although still a classic. THE STING (1973) holds up like nobody's business. Or does it? How much subjectivity is going on here?

What do you think, Wavers? What makes a movie feel dated to you and why?


The deadline for the Pineapple Express Short Scene Competition is 12am, Pacific Daylight Time - that's only 8 hours from the time of this posting. Quite a number of Wavers have submitted but there's still time!

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Luzid said...

Heck, I just watched The Thin Man (1934) last night for the first time, and it's just as charming and fun as I imagine it was in its initial theatrical run!

Not sure I agree about The French Connection, though. It was good, but (to me) not great, I think mostly because of the jarring ending.

Julie Gray said...

I LOVE The Thin Man - it's so boozy and irreverent - oh, that's because it's pre-code. But what makes some movies charming and others dated? What is that ineffable thing?

meg said...

I was talking about this with a friend just this morning. The best we could do was think that maybe the strong characterizations over ride any dated references. Or maybe the theme is so engaging or maybe it's so entertaining we willingly overlook its flaws.

I am about halfway through the archives. Oh, that I had read a few more before submitting my scene for the contest. Dang learning curve.

But I'm giving myself a cupcake because I didn't become paralized with fear and loathing as I hoped for the perfect scene to send in. Sometimes just doing it is an achievement for me.

Anthony Peterson said...

OK - Im just going to come out and say it; I love The Sound of Music.

Call me old fashioned, I just find it a very moving story.

I have a musical background, I love my kids, and I'm a hopeless romantic.

I love it. I've always loved it, and now that Im a father I get so much of the fathers perspective in the story.