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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

12.20.2001

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lights! camera! boot camp!
a beginner's guide to classic film by Diana Goodman |
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continued from page 3

This attitude has defined so many films since Jaws and Star Wars that it's what we've come to expect from our movies, comedy or drama. When you're raised on the "Gladiator"s of the world, this is what you define movies to be. 

Which is why the easiest way to get the taste of older movies, is to start with what's most similar to what you're used to, then work away from it. Next thing you know, your favorite movies are The Matrix and Metropolis (1926), which has arguably better special effects.

Oh, but what of entertainment? Aren't movies supposed to be for entertainment? Hey, pal, I never said they weren't. But they're more than that. Think about your favorite movie. It entertains you, but it entertains you by making you feel something. There are 80 years of film prior to Star Wars that did both, too. Only their thrills won't always be visceral, like raptors chasing kids or $200 million worth of sinking Titanic. They'll be emotional: love, honor, sacrifice, desire, fear, confusion, frustration, hate, happiness, longing. A woman with her life torn apart by the Civil War. A colonel who follows orders so tightly he commits treason. A frigid upper class woman who becomes a hooker. A silent film idol who breaks reluctantly into talkies. Samurai fighting for a town. A movie star driven mad by delusions of her own fame. Lovers who sacrifice their love for the greater good. A man whose best friend is an invisible 6-foot-tall rabbit. The greatest thief of the Casbah.

Think about it: the best movie in the world is the story of a man who owns everything but has nothing: no love, no home, no sled. There's no effect in the world that can rival that sentiment. There's a world of cinema out there waiting for you to find it. All you have to do is start looking; the rest takes care of itself.

o

Diana Goodman is a second-generation movie snob who managed to make it through film school without killing any of the brainless Tarantinites she was surrounded by. If she had it her way, Katharine Hepburn would be beatified, Groucho Marx would be on the hundred dollar bill and "The Critic" would be on every night at 9 p.m. (8 Central and Mountain). She is 57 days younger than Star Wars.

check out these related articles: 
suddenly satan | in praise of sloth 

more articles by diana goodman: 
painting 101 | cd decor 

looking for a recommendation? 
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