Monday, June 1, 2009

Five Reasons I Love the Classics

I'm sitting here watching "Roman Holiday" instead of doing my work, and I'm trying to put my finger on a few reasons I love classic Hollywood cinema. Here's what I've come up with so far, in random order:

1. Intonation: It seems everyone speaks with the same inflection. The girls all enunciate with faux British staccato, unless they hail from the Deep South. The gentlemen all talk either like Jimmy Stewart or the Old Prospector, both of which are equally entertaining. I wonder if studio speech courses were a requirement in order to appear in "the talkies".

2. The Sets: These ridiculous fake sunsets, the most audacious of back lot city streets, not to mention the background behind the car while driving.

3. The Kiss: That momentous moment when the leads realize they cannot live without one another, gaze into each others eyes. The music builds, the edges blur, and the actors press their faces together with such force you almost expect a perma-meld of the cheeks. The woman's head inevitably tilts back and the man enfolds her in his strong dominant embrace. Nobody move, hold it, five more seconds AND...release.

4. The Pacing: I love old movies that I have never seen, because I never know what to expect. The formula is completely apart from the typical 90 minute Rom-Com, where I can guess the next scene simply by looking at my watch. I love being surprised, and the unexpected knocks on my door so seldom these days, that being in the dark is refreshing.

Alright, I tried to go for five but its an even number kind of night. Feel free to hit me with some of your favorite (or least favorite) elements of classic cinema.

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