Thursday, October 19, 2006

Recent Obsession

Since starting this blog, and getting back into my old cinephile ways, I’ve been kind of obsessed with why and how some people develop a love for old movies (and with old movies being a pretty elastic term, I mean roughly movies made before the late 60s/early 70s). For my own part it had a lot to do with my mom and her love for old movies, but it can’t merely be a question of exposure, since my brother was, arguably, more exposed to old movies than I was (my mom didn’t work when he was younger so she was home more often, watching movies on tv). Why did I fall in love with old black and white studio pictures, while my brother couldn’t be bothered to watch anything except Star Wars?

Obviously, some people are just more predisposed to like old things. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I also like old music of the 30s and 40s, and that I’m generally interested in the history of the earlier half of the century. My attraction to all things WWII-era began fairly early, first with Indiana Jones, then Dick Tracy (movie and comics), Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, A League of Their Own, and The Rocketeer. These movies all came out around the same time, and they were all set in that era of swing jazz, fedora hats, private dicks, and pretty dames and I fell in love with it all. These movies led me on a quest for more; I wanted as much of my grandparents’ era as I could get. So where do you turn if you want to experience the 1930s and 1940s? For me it was jazz and the movies. And what better way to experience that time period than to watch its movies. To watch not only movies set in the 40s but movies made in the 40s.

But this can’t be how every old movie lover came to be. And not every WWII-era buff falls in love with the era’s movies either. And I certainly branched out beyond that late 30s/early 40s time period (into silents, foreign, films of the 50s and 60s, cult, etc.). Obviously, dozens of things factored into my love for old movies, and obviously, the path to “classic movie lover” status is different for everyone. But how is a cinephile born? Why is it that some of us love this old stuff while others could take it or leave it? Since I’m obsessed with these questions of why and how, LeaJo has been kind enough to be a sort of guinea pig for my experiments. She’s agreed to watch some old movies and answer some questions I have, both about her opinions of the movies in particular and old movies in general. It’ll be a semi-regular feature here at the blog, and we’re calling it “Old Movie Dialogue,” since it’ll be formatted as a dialogue between LeaJo and myself. The hope (on my part) is that LeaJo will develop an appreciation, and perhaps even a love, for old movies. But at the very least I think it’ll be interesting to read LeaJo’s thoughts on these “classic” films – a fresh perspective from someone fairly new to the old movie scene.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a fantastic idea!

The Derelict said...

Thanks! We hope it works out as well as it sounds.