Tuesday, 12 September 2017

In which I watch too many vintage films

(So admittedly I haven't watched a vintage film in a while, but it was an obsession of mine during the uni holidays and I can't wait to get into them again.)




I find vintage films fascinating. They're a glimpse into the past that seem more... intimate? than books. (I'm definitely not bashing books, because I'm pretty sure if you cut me open crumpled pages and ink stains would fall out.) I don't know why, but when I watch a vintage film, especially the older ones, I feel like I fall into another world, another time. And, in a way, I guess I do.

Let's talk about The Astronomer's Dream (1898). It's a French, silent, black-and-white film that follows an astronomer's dream (plot twist, I know). The film is only three minutes long, but each time I watch it's like I've slipped from this world into another, where dreams and nightmares and the waking world are one in the same. The plot throws logic over the balcony and watches it shatter on the tiles far below, and I found myself jumping with it just to see what would happen. It's weird and wacky and wonderful.

Maybe I'm being dramatic. (I probably am, to be honest. (Maybe (definitely) I stayed up too late to write this and none of this makes any sense.)) But maybe by taking away the distractions of sound, CGI, colour, decent characters even, we can catch a glimpse into a time when humans longed to tell stories and scratchy frame-by-frame films were just another way to do it. These films remind us of our surreal, foggy daydreams and of the monsters in our heads, they point to a deeper, simpler version of the universe where logic doesn't exist in a way we can understand it. 

Or, maybe it's just a black-and-white film.

Some of my favourites:

The Astronomer's Dream (1898)  
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Frankenstien (1901)  
Gojira (Godzilla) (1954)
The Haunted House (1908) 
Rebecca (1940)

What's your favourite black-and-white film? 

4 comments:

  1. I don't watch a lot of black and white movies, but have you ever seen Funny Girl? It's old and stars Barbara Streisand as the lead. It's awesome.

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  2. The Astronomer's Dream was cute and funny. :) I've always wanted to see Breakfast at Tiffany's but I haven't yet. I love a lot of Audrey Hepburn's movies. She's hilarious. Have you seen Paris When It Sizzles? I like how they talk about writing and the writing process. And switches on switches! It's hilarious. XD Also, most Cary Grant movies are great too. His facial expressions are the best! I really like his Arsenic and Old Lace and, I think he's in Bringing Up Baby which is great too (it has a jaguar). Also, there's this other black and white French film (it does have audio) called La Belle et La Bete (1946). It's a Beauty and the Beast film. Kinda interesting story-wise, and the imagery of the world is great.
    Loved this post!

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    1. The Astronomer's Dream is gorgeous :) Breakfast at Tiffany's is really good but I found it was decently sexist, which sucked but is pretty typical for movies of that time period. No, I haven't! It's on my list, I want to watch all of her movies. I keep hearing Arsenic and Old Lace come up, I'll have to check it out. ASHLEY ALL YOUR RECS HAVE MADE MY HEART HAPPY!!

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