Ageism and Classic Films

I’m angry… And I have to empty my bag.

You know, to love classic films is a thing, but to love classic films as a Millennial is another. It’s a situation that has both its bright and dark sides, the brightest one being that you feel unique with your distinct passion that only a few people of your generation share with you. Because yes, most Millennials don’t watch classic films or only the obvious one, or the not-so-old ones. I mean, who hasn’t seen The Wizard of Oz (the obvious) or Forrest Gump (the not so old one)?

But I want to focus on the dark side. Actually, if Millennials don’t have the tendency to watch classic films, I believe it’s because they are “unconsciously” discouraged by the older generations to do so. I say “unconsciously” because if those people are like “ah Millennials should watch more classics.” They actually don’t do much about it. Maybe it is easier to say than to do…

tumblr_npl0i951pw1rdfgw4o1_500

Take my example. If I started watching classic films, it’s not because of my parents or anyone older than me. Anyway, my parents don’t watch a lot of classics and I know more about them than they do. It’s a fact. No, I pretty much discovered them by my own and this articleexplains more precisely how I discovered them. Basically, just buying a book with beautiful movie star photos helped a lot. And, of course, when you are a Millennial watching classic films, you want to spread the love among people of your age because they are so wonderful (the films), right? My best friend has now seen a few classic films that she truly enjoyed thanks to who? To ME, a Millennial. My mother saw a lot of classic films that she’d loved because I wanted her to watch them with me.

41ETPPv323L

I have to admit my parents made me discover a few classics such a Thelma & Louise, The Birds, Cinema Paradiso, and more. But there aren’t 30s classics either.

Now, I just probably sound like I’m overpraising myself, but it’s just a way to show you that Millennials know about classics, perhaps more than some older generations. And I’m talking about me because I’m my best judge, but I know I’m not the only one. When I go see classics at the movies I see a lot of young people.

And just look at the classic film blogging community. Many Millennials here:

Critica Retrô

The Old Hollywood Garden

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood

Wolffian Classics Movies Digest

The Flapper Dame

Love Letters to Old Hollywood

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies

Back to Golden Days

Maddy Loves her Classic Films

Cinema Cities

And many more! These are just a few examples.

Go read their blogs. These are Mellinnial’s passion for classics is contagious.

Moral of the story, don’t draw conclusions too fast. Don’t put us all it the same bag. Some Millennials do watch and love classic films. More than you might think!

***

But why?Why writing such an article right now when it’s like 11 pm. I just came across a post in a Facebook movie group where someone was asking which classics we should show to Millennials. At first, I had a very normal reaction and thought it was a common classic film group question. Then, I thought ‘hey are you assuming there are only non-Millennials in the group?” After all, Facebook is a Generation Y thing…

Me in my head: “Eh, I’m sure you haven’t seen Give Us the Moon!” Ok, major weird obsession with this film.

And there was this person assuming that they (we) should just stick to Marry Poppins as if we were hopless cases. Ugh. We’re not.

giphy

And it seems that, recently, I’ve encountered a lot of similar situations, so I guess my patience has limits!

While I was writing this text, I came across this article that pretty much sums up my thought on the situation but in a more orderly way. I particularly agree when the author says “ Shaming young people for not doing something is the sure fire way to make them not do it.” Go read it:

Millennials Do Care About Classic Movies, But Need More Exposure to Them

Furthermore, Julia from Cinema Crossroads has some wise advice to give us in her article “How to encourage Millenials to watch classic movies“.

You might think that “ageism” is a too strong word for this situation, but as that particular situation is due to prejudices like racism, or sexism, it is exactly the right word.

giphsy

***

I’ve been watching classic since I was 15 and I’m not ready to stop! And hey, let’s make this clear once and for all, no generation is better than another!

I think that the only persons who can blame Millennials for not watching classics are… Millennials themselves!

when-you-quote-a-classic-movie-line-and-your-friends-20607443

Advertisements

In Honour of Joan Fontaine on her Heavenly Centenary

4653cb58c675f7624bc34494a963c4f0

Do you remember the first time you ever heard about the more than extraordinary Joan Fontaine? I do as if it was yesterday. I was looking at this book called Les Stars de cinema that I had bought for my own curiosity (I was 15 and yet not really familiar with classic movie stars, but I thought the pictures were beautiful) and came across this picture of Joan Fontaine. I thought she was simply gorgeous, and even if I didn’t immediately watch one of her films, I stayed forever fascinated by this photo.

29e8db5b39dff1c7f53d5d7cbb7dd87e

The book mentioned the film Rebecca and since I had always been curious to see more Hitchcock’s film, it obviously was quite high on my to-see list. However, the first Joan Fontaine’s film I saw was Suspicion (also directed by Hitchcock) for which she won the Best Actress Oscar in 1941 (she is the only actress who won an Oscar for a Hitchcock’s film). And then, I watched Rebecca. Two films were enough for her to become one of my favourite actresses. I was charmed by her softness, which is present in her smooth voice, her kind gaze and her her skillful ways. When I watched Suspicion for the first time, I was with my mother who also agreed that her performance was brilliant. She made an observation that I think defines perfectly Joan’s talent: she is able to change emotions very easily.

When I discovered Joan, one thing I found quite nice about her is the fact that she was still alive. That was something rare enough as most of the great classic movie stars are now dead. But, unfortunately, as I was thinking for the x time on how it would be nice (and impossible) to meet her, I read a fatal Facebook post announcing her death. That made me very sad and I didn’t sleep a lot that night. Poor Joan, she can’t be gone forever! December 15, 2013 was metaphorically a very cold day.

obit-joan-fontaine
Photo taken in the late 70s: proof that she aged very gracefully!

Another of Joan’s talents is the fact that she was always able to give the right essence to her characters, her performances. For this reason, I cannot think of a role where she was miscast. She often plays gentle and innocent dames, but movies like Ivy and Born to Be Bad are a proof that she could also play fascinating villain without, however, losing her charm and by staying faithful to herself.

tumblr_nodx38iGAR1tgm8l7o9_1280

If Joan is often associated with one of Daphné Du Maurier’s most famous characters, many will agree that she was also the perfect Jane Eyre. Indeed, I can hardly imagine someone else than her for the role. The only problem might be that Jane is described as someone plain, but Joan certainly wasn’t!

kinopoisk.ru
Poor Jane, alone in the fog

If we continue to discuss her movie roles and how talented she was in their execution, one thing that always fascinated me is how she was able to play teenage girls and be convincing. Indeed, in The Constance Nymph, Joan was 26 when she played the role of the young Tessa and 30 when she played the role of Lisa in Letter from an Unknown Woman. Here, her acting is convincing both as a teenager and an elegant lady. It’s perhaps the innocence that she embodied that made it easy for her to play these roles.

When we hear Joan’s voice narrating the film at the beginning of Rebecca, we are enchanted by this sweet melody. She had a voice that inspired calm and serenity and one of these movie star voices that I could recognize everywhere. I love the way she talks, with an incredible fluidity. I could listen to her all day, even if she was reading the back of a cereal box. The tenderness in her gaze is also something absolutely seducing about Joan. One of the best examples would be this scene in September Affair when she and Joseph Cotten listen to September Song sang by Walter Huston on the radio. The way she looks at Joseph, with nothing but love in her eyes, creates one of the most beautiful scenes of the film.

Capture d_écran 2017-10-22 à 15.59.11

In another tribute I wrote to her, I explained that what I liked the most about Joan, and this time, Joan the woman and not Joan the actress, was her sense of humour. Indeed, this one can easily be seized in her interviews. Even if she didn’t give many of those, her ease was admirable. One can only smile when listening to her laugh and stories. By embodying my favourite quality ever (sense of humour), Joan only gains my sympathy and make me regret I could never be one of her friends. But, she remains a friend at heart and a precious spiritual companion for all those who love her.

There is also this video of an amazing meeting between Joan and another of my idols: Doris Day. The circumstances were indeed perfect for them to meet: Both love/loved animals and live/lived in Carmel.

Joan the woman can also be admired for a multitude of other reasons. Indeed, apart from being a gifted actress, she also was a talented cook, a licensed pilot, an expert rider, a licensed interior decorator and certainly a clever woman: at the age of 3, she scored no less than 160 on an IQ test! (IMDB)

444f0b545519b94fd6b0b0c346c0ca82
With her first husband, actor Brian Aherne

In 2015, I read Joan’s autobiography No Bed Of Roses where she tells her fascinating story. However, I think I should read it again as, at the time, I was still not used to reading long books in English and probably missed a few things. the nicest thing about this book is that it has Joan’s autograph inside of it! She didn’t autograph it for me, but just to think that she held this book is quite satisfying. One thing that particularly marked me about her life story is when she tells how she met Evita Peron (who thought they looked alike). Can anyone find a picture of them together??

10997027_1119492804732500_6901684643244041079_o

To this day, I have seen a total of 21 Joan’s films. This is quite good I think, but not even half of her filmography! So, of course, there are much more I have to discover. So far, the ones I’ve seen are Rebecca, Suspicion, Gunga Din, The Women, This Above All, The Constant Nymph, Jane Eyre, The Affairs of Susan, Letter from an Unknown Woman, The Emperor Waltz, You Gotta Stay Happy, Kiss The Blood Off My Hands, September Affair, Something to Live For, The Bigamist, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Island in the Sun, Until They Sail, Ivy, Born to Be Bad and Darling, How Could You! For various reasons, I’ll recommend them all, but I’ll also be curious to know which one you think I should watch next!

8ce0bc1297b6b6c6b5f29b659034564b--hollywood-glamour-classic-hollywood
That awesome haircut! Joan was like the David Lynch of the actresses!

***

It is not surprising that a rose was named after Joan Fontaine because this is really what she was, a true rose who embellishes our screens and seduces us forever. Today, this great lady would have had the honourable age of 100. Unfortunately, she didn’t have her sister’s Olivia de Havilland magic potion and already left us for a different world, but her memory is with us forever.

sh132-joan-fontaine-1

Happy heavenly birthday dear Joan!

457ff7614dc7fe22bd3ac74e5d2da0e2

***

This post was part of the Joan Fontaine Centenary Blogathon, hosted by me (!) and Crystal at In The Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood. Make sure to read the other wonderful entries:

The Joan Fontaine Centenary Blogathon

e2dde3712b0bf14bca7a545c79739d1f

I’ll leave you with this video tribute to Joan that I edited in…2014! Time flies!

See you!

I Fall for Fred Derry

tumblr_oniejaYLPh1trkd46o1_500

The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946) is, without a doubt, one of the best post-war movies that has been made in Hollywood. It’s touching, sad, beautiful, etc. This 9 Oscars winning picture has all the ingredients to be a favorite among classic film lovers. On my side, if Fredric March delivers my favorite Oscar-Winning performance by an actor in a leading role, it’s for Dana Andrew as Fred Derry that I’ve developed a real crush through the years. Today, forget about the cinematography, forget about the editing, forget about the music. We are here to focus on our imaginary love for Derry! Meow!

bestyears

This article is part of the Reel Infatuation Blogathon 2017 hosted by Ruth from Silver Screenings and Font & Frock. A way to finally cry over our impossible love for movie stars and movie characters. I had A LOT of options, but Fred Derry/Dana Andrews it is!

Reel Infatuation 2017

Before continuing, if you haven’t seen the movie and wish to know more what it’s all about, please click here. But, basically, it’s the story of three American soldiers going back home after the war and struggling with the challenges of a new life and a country that has changed a lot during their absence.

***

So, Fred Derry is the first character to be introduced to us, in an airport (that’s an important precision to make since I’ve always enjoyed taking the plane. One point for Fred!). He wears his very chic army uniform that perfectly draws the line of his amazing body. He imposes himself in an impressive elegance.

When he later is on the plane to go home with his new friends, Al Stephenson (Fredric March) and Homer Parrish (Harold Russell), and making jokes with them, we can notice his absolutely cutie-pie smile that will make our heart melt. *Sigh. Plus, he seems to be one with a great sense of humour, which is a quality I always priories. I mean, what would be life without some laughs?!

a1ae83ef31b48a500f94affa2b2299e2

Later, when the three friends are reunited at Butch’s (Homer’s uncle’s bar), Fred makes the acquaintance of Al’s wife Milly (Myrna Loy) and his daughter Peggy (Teresa Wright). We immediately know that this one won’t leave him indifferent. Oh! How we’d like to be in her place, drinking a glass with him, very close from one to each other. Hey, they say their love is impossible since Fred is already married, but imagine how impossible it is for me! Ok, I have to give one point to Marie Derry, since she is played by Virginia Mayo. Virginia. Awesome name, isn’t it? 😉 But with my dark brown hair, I’m personally much more the Teresa Wright type. But I like doing the party like Marie. I guess I’m somehow a mix of both!

d122d09999b09041f72cf98998786ed2

At the end of their most entertaining evening/night at Butch’s, Fred once again does everything for me to want to go in the television screen and be on his side. First, when he gets out of the Stephenson’s car to go to Marie’s apartment, he always hurt his head on the car’s door frame. He’s like so cute and so clumsy! ❤ And he apologizes. Poor Fred! ❤ He shows a beautiful vulnerability that we love. Of course, just like Milly and Peggy, I too would have gotten out of the car and bring him home for the night (because it seems that Marie isn’t in here  to welcome him). But, I personally would be less resistant than Peggy on a certain point. When she puts him to bed and he takes her in his arms exclaiming “Peggy!” in an amusing way and she managed to liberate oneself quite rapidly saying “I’m not THAT Peggy”, that makes me think “Well, girl, if you’re not ‘THAT Peggy’, I would like to be her without problem.” Anyway, we later learn that his wife is a real b****, so I personally wouldn’t have felt sorry.

During the night, Fred once again breaks our heart when he has a nightmare. His tears simply make us want to take him in our arms and comfort him. Luckily, Peggy is once again here to take care of him. Because, yes, men can cry too!

Unlike Al who works at the bank, Fred doesn’t make a fortune. He works in the new department store, part time in the perfume section and part time in the ice cream bar. Ok, I have a confession to make: I LOVE ice cream. It’s like my favourite food ever. So, I certainly would have liked to have one prepared by Fred! I love this scene where he explains to Peggy how he used to be such a good soda jerk before the war. He seems very passionate by the thing!

629ba1ba27797c9fbecf0632ec3e7b6e

Finally, we have to give more points to Fred on 3 main occasions: 1- When he cooks dinner for him and Marie. Marie wants to go out, but they can’t as he is too poor. But hey, a man cooking dinner! That’s certainly not something we see often in classic films. Good initiative Fred! I tell you, he is a man to marry. 😉 [SPOILERS] 2- When he FINALLY kisses Peggy. Ok, they kind of regret it as he is married, but how I wish to be at Peggy’s place. He seems to be a very good kisser. Anybody can confirm? 😛 And 3- When he kisses Peggy again at Homer’s wedding, but this time there is no regrets since he and Marie are divorced. (YES!) [END OF SPOILERS]

So yeah, we have all the reasons to fall for Fred Derry, he is at the same time so handsome (that smile! that body!), but also so cute in his mannerisms. He’s also funny, but serious when it’s time to be. Dana Andrews certainly chose a great role for his career. Ok, he was around 37 when he starred in The Best Years of Our Lives, which is like 15 years older than me… Hey, it’s not THAT bad! A girl can dream anyway! Of course, I have a lot of competition against Peggy. Àlala…

***

Before living you, I want to thank Silver Screenings and Font & Frock for hosting this most original blogathon! We never take enough times to talk about our movie crushes!

To read the other entries, click on the following links

Reel Infatuation Blogathon 2017- Day 1

Reel Infatuation Blogathon 2017- Day 2

Reel Infatuation Blogathon 2017- Day 3

See you!

014-the-best-years-of-ours-lives-theredlist