Saturday, December 31, 2011

On Listening To Too Much Dan Carlin (06)

Movies: Historians also point to another event in Hollywood as a sign of the decline of Western civilization. This event did not take place all at once, but over many years. The hinge point seems to have been the late 1960's. Prior to this, movies were often events, where audiences dressed up and were treated to a musical Overture and/or Proogue, an intermission (where one could stretch one's legs and get a refreshment in the lobby), accompanied by the "Entr'acte" music, more sweeping drama, and a musical finale (which was more than just "end credit" music, but could include an Epilogue and the "Playoff" music). Movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Lawrence of Arabia or Ben Hur were more than just movies, they were events.

With the decline of the event, came the rise of the spectacle where special effects (computer generated or explosions, people and vehicles that defied physics) substituted for quality and substance, much the same as cardboard was swapped for popcorn and salty oil-based "stuff" was substituted for real butter. The West never recovered.

4 comments:

Paul Weimer said...

The first time I came across a movie with an overtures and intermission, I was mightily confused.

Fred Kiesche said...

I think that when movies lost the overture, the intermission, the outro, they lost something that made it an "event".

Special effects (explosions) seem to be what they do instead. A poor substitute.

Paul Weimer said...

Hypothetical: Do you think if Star Wars had employed them, they might not have been swept up in the "let's do everything Star Wars did" and remained as common features in movies?

The newest movie I can think of that had them was the extended DVD version of Kingdom of Heaven.

Fred Kiesche said...

Hard to say. SW did many things that other movies did not follow. In fact, you could say the "prequels" did not follow many fine things that the original three did.