Saturday Night Movie

Each saturday night in our house my 2 little girls have the opportunity to watch the weekly Saturday night movie. The expectation of the upcoming event begins earlier on in the week with the advertisement on our local TV station. More than likely, the movie has been shown countless times already but once in a while they come up trumps with a cracker. You always know that it’s a cracker due to the hush that descends on the house as the movie begins. The twinkle in their eyes as the story unfolds. The anguish or fear as the adventure begins to step up a gear…they just get lost in the moment of the movie. They seem to have no problem with their suspension of disbelief at this stage in their lives. There have been rare moments when a movie just fails to capture them and for good reason. But if there is any Disney executive reading this at the moment, feel free to show any new movie’s in production to my two little ones to gauge how it will perform!!

When I was younger there always seemed to be a similar kind of season of movies except they were always in Black & White. A gangster movie with Jimmy Cagney or a tear jerker with Spencer Tracy. They just don’t show these movies any more. Not because they aren’t any good. They were some great movies…good stories..action..all round good entertainment. The reason for the absence is that the youth of today have no tolerance for the B/W medium. It’s just alien to them. They tune out when they happen to stumble across one on the odd occasion that they might be on.
What a pity this is for the youth of today …to never know the great stars of yester year. I still get lost in these movies if I happen to watch them…usually scheduled very late into the night. I mean when you think of it there are young people out there who may never see a Jimmy Stewart movie or James Cagney or for God’s sake Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney in “Boystown”. They will never have the experience of seeing Bette Davis delivering one of her great performances!

A terrible shame. Maybe that’s why the values that we held so dear in our youth are slowly disappearing. Listen to me now….I sound like my Dad! How many times have I listened to him tell me of the times when he went to their local cinema as a boy to watch those serial westerns they used to show in the thirties. Titles like “The Lone Ranger”…”Flash Gordon”…”Hopalong Cassidy”! Full of kids with the seats of their pants hanging off and mouths full of cheap toffee. His eyes always light up when he remember’s those movie theatres they went to each weekend to escape the poverty that they survived through just before the war. The movies were an escape for the youth back then just as it is now for the youth of today.

I don’t want to sound all Bah Humbug now …..the cinema now is probably more prevalent than it was back then. In fact, tomorrow my family and I are going to see the new Pixar movie “Up” and would you believe that this is my first time to experience a movie in 3D. I am so excited about the whole prospect. My wife tells me it will be a life changing event for me. I know it’s not a new technology but this seems to be an ever increasing technology that the big movie companies are using to get bums back in cinema seats. After all, you just can’t do 3D at home unless you have an inbuilt cinema with 3D technology. To my amazement I found out from a local neighbourhood kid that there is in fact a 4D experience to be had, which lets the unsuspecting cinema goer experience the elements as they watch their favourite movie…stuff like the breeze on their faces……pausing now to gasp and marvel ………………

Do not get me wrong …I absolutely love the movies of today but I think we can learn so much from the classic’s of the past. Some of the cameramen from the forties were geniuses… The new ad for Sky Plus with Anthony Hopkins gives a new perspective when he comments on the significance of the first “Rocky” movie that was released in the 70’s.
“people thought it was hoky …but so what…life is hoky!!…”.
I remember watching that Rocky movie for the first time as a child and the way I felt when it ended. I ran outside to our back garden and started punching the air in triumph just like the hero of the story. It seemd to empower me in a way that I had not experienced up until then!! The flippancy of youth you may say, but each time I watch the same movie on an a rare occasion, that feeling still returns to this day. I hope I never lose that feeling. Long live the cinema…

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