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Old movies can take you back in time

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POSTED: February 2, 2011 12:39 p.m.

How many times have we sat down to watch old movies, and what does this do for us?
For one thing, it brings back scenes and memories we have long forgotten. I search for certain old movies with a particular title that I remember watching in my childhood. We identify some of the stars by the characters they play, and with that they become part of our family.
No one can say these old movies have not influenced our lives. They change our attitude. We compare lifestyles of yesterday with those of today.
I certainly prefer the original versions of old movies. The newer remakes do not produce the same effects of putting me in the scene as the originals did, and this will not do for me. I don’t know what it is, except to call it just plain art having its effect on me.
I watch for marks of quality, noting the studio logo, the actors, directors and titles. My wife adds to this the musical, costume and make-up directors. It’s the same as shopping in stores for certain products with such marks that must be there or we won’t buy the product.
We went to the movies almost every Saturday when I was in high school. We sat with our favorite girls and boys eating popcorn, watching certain movies that really turned me on. They were not the passionate movies, but the ones that influenced my outlook on life of establishing goals.
Surprisingly enough, for me, I discovered something that I really never cared for until later in life. That was the effect and significance of the art of making a movie.
I believe watching movies places us in a scene where we want to be at a particular moment. I search through the many stacks of old and new movies that we have collected, looking for a particular movie that will put me in that scene. It’s like an escape to a world that once existed, and that’s where I want to be at that very moment.
I will always remember the movie “The Wolf Man” played by one of my favorite actors, Lon Chaney. It puts me in a scene in the early morning hours where I am walking through an area sort of warm, very quiet and very foggy. Any moment, I expect to see the Wolf Man appear suddenly from behind a tree.
In my mind I’m in that scene in a different world getting my kicks. There has been a remake of this movie with, of course, different actors, but the movie lacks the effect of the original.
Maybe there is a course on how to watch a movie. There are courses for learning how to listen to music, how to look at artistic paintings, etc. When most of us watch a movie, we pay attention only to the story. Other parts of the movie are just as important, such as the characters in the movie and the actors who play these characters. Most of us are not consciously aware that they are the very reasons we watch a particular movie over and over again. The actors are so talented that they can move in and out of a particular character with ease. I have discovered that is what I call “disguised awareness.”
My wife and I had the privilege of being in a couple of movies, the last one with a very well-known star who recently passed away.
There is one dreadful thing that bothers me about watching the old movies. Throughout my childhood and sometimes afterwards, I saw some of my favorite actors play a part that moves me, and I remember that particular scene. Then comes the time when I see some of these stars in a later movie. It’s hard for me to accept that, and I want to cry. But then, aging is a characteristic that exists among all of us, and it’s what we have to accept when we watch old movies.

Bond lives in Richmond Hill. He can be reached at fsb007@aol.com.

 

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