How Understanding Film History Impacts Your Film Appreciation

film history

Hollywood’s Golden Age

 

While watching Marlene Dietrich’s sultry performance of “The Laziest Gal in Town” in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1950 thriller,”Stage Fright”, I asked my husband if the song and performance seemed familiar. BecauseĀ I’ve raised him right (on film history that isšŸ˜Ž), he remarked, “of course, Madeline Kahn’s performance of “I’m Tired” in the Mel Brooks satirical Western comedy classic, “Blazing Saddles” (1974).

Marlene Dietrich “Laziest Gal in Town”

Madeline Khan

Madeline Kahn “I’m So Tired”

I loved hearing his response because it’s the main reason I pen this post; for the history and appreciation of films. Understanding a writer or director’s references to past movies in theirs adds to the richness of the production. It helps young people comprehend that few things in life are original and imitation can be the sincerest form of flattery.

 

film-history-the-history-of-cinema-

History of Film

 

Sometimes the homage in a movie isn’t to a particular scene in a film but the music. I love Minions period but I especially enjoyed the “Minions” movie’s 1960’s soundtrack that made the perfect nod to James Bond type villains (“Minions” Scarlet Overkill) and the time period of the setting.

 

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As a child of the ’60’s I remember turning to my husband in the theater saying, 99% of the people in here weren’t even born yet and I wonder if any of them appreciate the inclusion of the classic songs of this era.

 

The song is “Hair” from the iconic 1968 counter-culture and controversialĀ stage and film productionĀ “Hair”

 

 

Hair poster.jpg

 

I’ve spent my lifetime watching and loving the cinema and have educated my children with a more sophisticated palette for black and white films and how they just don’t make them like that anymore.šŸ˜Š

Hundreds of full-length films were produced during the decade of the 1940s; during Hollywood’s Golden Age. The great actor Humphrey Bogart made his most memorable films in this decade. Frank Capra’s masterpiece It’s a Wonderful Life and Orson Welles’s cinema genius production ofĀ Citizen Kane were released. The film noir genre was at its height. Alfred Hitchcock made his American debut with the film RebeccaĀ and made many classics throughout the 1940s. (Wikipedia)

 

1940's/ 1950's Movie Stars

(Top) Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Marlon Brando (Middle) Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly (Bottom) Humphrey Bogart, Marlene Dietrich, Clark Gable

Movie Stars of the 1940’s & 1950’s

 

Of course, I want you to visit my website as a source of reference material, but if you want to see these full-length gems for free, I recommend tuning into the Turner Classic Movies channel. They show everything from the great silent films, Chaplin, Buster Keaton, etc. through Hollywood’s “Golden Age”.

 

turner classic movies

 

These classic films bring me great joy and I hope you’ll find a special place in your heart for them, too!

 

Related image

 

 

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“Hair” A Time for Peace and Love ā¤āœŒšŸ¼

hair-poster-1

Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical with a book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermotĀ is a product of the hippie counterculture and sexual revolution of the late 1960s. Several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement.

Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen
Ā 
Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy
Ā 
Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair!

 

Hair poster.jpg

 

The musical’s profanity, its depiction of the use of illegal drugs, its treatment of sexuality, its irreverence for the American flag, and its nude scene caused much comment and controversy.Ā The musical broke new ground in musical theatre by defining the genre of “rock musical”, using a racially integrated cast, and inviting the audience onstage for a “Be-In” finale.

 

Controversial – Yes! Statement of the times – Yes! If I were doing a time capsule this is one of the films I would include. A snapshot of changing times and a declaration of pride in being who you are and standing up for what you believe.

Hair,Ā the 1979 musical war comedy-drama film is anĀ adaptation of the 1968 Broadway musical Hair: An American Tribal Love-Rock Musical.The film focuses on the lives of two young men in the Vietnam era against the backdrop of the hippie culture, race and class issues of the 1960’s.

 

 

Set in the late 1960s, Claude Hooper Bukowski (John Savage) is a naive Oklahoman sent off to see the sites of New York before beginning his enlistment in the US Army. On his arrival, he hooks up with a group of hippies lead by George Berger (Treat Williams) which results in his questioning everything he was brought up to believe.

 

hair film

John Savage (Claude), Treat Williams (George)

Claude has to decide whether to resist the draft as his new friends have done or toĀ succumb to the pressures of his parents (and conservative America) to serve in Vietnam, compromising his pacifistic principles and risking his life.

The film was directed by MiloÅ” Forman, who was nominated for a CĆ©sar Award for Best Foreign Film for his work. Cast members include Treat Williams, John Savage, Beverly D’Angelo, Nell Carter, and Charlotte Rae.

 

Dance scenes were choreographed by the legendary Twyla Tharp and performed by the Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation. The film was nominated for Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture ā€“ Musical or Comedy and New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture (for Williams).

These are the social times and political issues I grew up with and I wear my hippie status with pride. The revolution for love,Ā peace, and equality has been hard fought but what we’ve come to realize is that the struggle will always continue.

I think we need to shake the world up again with this eternal message of peace and love. Yes, I’m a “liberal progressive” and I believe love is love, women’s rights are human rights and Black Lives Matter.

Just like in the 60’s these social and equality issues are still pressing. Every time there’s progress, there are those who want to take us back. We must acknowledge these forces and continue the fight for ALL of our rights.

 

PEACE AND LOVE

Image result for 1960s counterculture movement

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
The age of Aquarius
Aquarius!
Aquarius!
Ā 

The Struggle Continues…

Related image

How Understanding Film History Impacts Your Film Appreciation

film history

Hollywood’s Golden Age

 

While watching Marlene Dietrich’s sultry performance of “The Laziest Gal in Town” in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1950 thriller,”Stage Fright”, I asked my husband if the song and performance seemed familiar. BecauseĀ I’ve raised him right (on film history that isšŸ˜Ž), he remarked, “of course, Madeline Kahn’s performance of “I’m Tired” in the Mel Brooks satirical Western comedy classic, “Blazing Saddles” (1974).

Marlene Dietrich “Laziest Gal in Town”

Madeline Khan

Madeline Kahn “I’m So Tired”

 

I loved hearing his response because it’s the main reason I pen this post; for the history and appreciation of films. Understanding a writer or director’s references to past movies in theirs adds to the richness of the production. It helps young people comprehend that few things in life are original and imitation can be the sincerest form of flattery.

 

film-history-the-history-of-cinema-

History of Film

 

Sometimes the homage in a movie isn’t to a particular scene in a film but the music. I love Minions period but I especially enjoyed the “Minions” movie’s 1960’s soundtrack that made the perfect nod to James Bond type villains (“Minions”Scarlet Overkill) and the time period of the setting.

 

Related image

 

As a child of the ’60’s I remember turning to my husband in the theater saying, 99% of the people in here weren’t even born yet and I wonder if any of them appreciate the inclusion of the classic songs of this era.

 

The song is “Hair” from the iconic 1968 counter-culture and controversialĀ stage and film productionĀ “Hair”

 

 

Hair poster.jpg

 

I’ve spent my lifetime watching and loving the cinema and have educated my children with a more sophisticated palette for black and white films and how they just don’t make them like that anymore.šŸ˜Š

Hundreds of full-length films were produced during the decade of the 1940s; during Hollywood’s Golden Age. The great actor Humphrey Bogart made his most memorable films in this decade. Frank Capra’s masterpiece It’s a Wonderful Life and Orson Welles’s cinema genius production ofĀ Citizen Kane were released. The film noir genre was at its height. Alfred Hitchcock made his American debut with the film RebeccaĀ and made many classics throughout the 1940s. (Wikipedia)

 

1940's/ 1950's Movie Stars

(Top) Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Marlon Brando (Middle) Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly (Bottom) Humphrey Bogart, Marlene Dietrich, Clark Gable

Movie Stars of the 1940’s & 1950’s

 

Of course, I want you to visit my website as a source of reference material, but if you want to see these full-length gems for free, I recommend tuning into the Turner Classic Movies channel. They show everything from the great silent films, Chaplin, Buster Keaton, etc. through Hollywood’s “Golden Age”.

 

turner classic movies

 

These classic films bring me great joy and I hope you’ll find a special place in your heart for them, too!

 

Related image