Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Secret Passion

Old movies. As in having the Turner Classic Movies chanel on everynight from 7:00pm to 1:30am (Honduras time) and it could be longer but then Batman starts and it's in Spanish and I hate dubbing. That passion is one of the reasons why I stalk graphic artist Teresa Dowlatshahi (with her consent, of course) and find her blog to be the most interesting gallery of genuine vintage movie/culture items that represent what society once thought or was wanted to think. That and running the weirdest comic strip ever. And being a feminist. And making me a comic. Yes my stalkerish ways are very effectiveOn the old movies thing. I understand why most people do not pay special attention to them. For one, they're not made for us in the present. So they don't apply to you and me really, they apply to the people meant to watch it. Second, movie-making is now relatively much more available, so many different movies are created and the idea of chosing among a wide variety seems more attractive than sticking to something created for the masses and regulated by a few people, like the Warner Brothers monopoly or the introduction of the Hays Code in 1934. On the Hays Code thing, I always wonder what would've happenned without it. The movie "Baby Face"with Barbara Stanwyck, was released in 1933 and it had a striking sexual content. It's the story of a girl who from the age of 14 was sexually exploited by her father in a bar, then she's influenced by Nietzche's book Thoughts of Season and decides to scape to New York and engage in sex with powerful men to gain wealth and success. Although intercourse scenes are only suggested, still they're assumed to happen. The next year the Hays Code was introduced to regulate sex content in movies and it was forced until 1968, so all movies between 1934 and 1968 had to meet its requirements. For example, "I Married a Monster From Outer Space" (1958)You're right, it's about a women who marries a monster from ousterpace. Ha! I wish all movie titles were like that. Avatar wouldn't be "Avatar", it would be "We Humans Colonize Outerspace" and 2012 would be something like "Mayans Predicted Apocalypse And Only a Few Survived and Then We Didn't Need Pampers Anymore" and then we wouldn't be wasting three hours of our lives anymore. Anyway, this movie is extremely restrictive when it comes to sex and though it is about a marriage, they don't kiss in the whole movie, not even once, not even at the end when the Alien leaves the husband's body and all comes to a happy ending. His wife just sort of puts her lips close to his and then suddenly rests her head on his forehead like she's doing some Maori greetingAnyway, it is exactly THAT what makes old movies valuable to me, because they embody the exact conception of morality, gender, prejudices, aesthetics, norms and many other things present in the majority of society at that time. The arrows that point towards the people meant to watch those movies are clearer to see. Yes, now you have options and that's great, in fact is the only way things should be. What people doesn't realize it's their responsability when labeling a movie "accurate" or "inaccurate" in its representation of a segment of society. And then the task of finding the accurate movies that represent you gets harder, and there's also the fact that you are judged for being represented by them.

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