Saturday, May 22, 2010

Decades of Film-Part 1

Film is often broken down into decades, I guess so hopeless film enthusiasts like myself can have a way to bracket certain films aside from genre.

There's no denial that the times are often reflected within cinema, and I think that is why we're so accustomed to breaking it all down into decades as such. I mean, a film like Easy Rider would be a total miss on today's counterculture as opposed to it being a thriving success in 1969. It's that reflection of the times that very often makes certain films memorable and stand out as timeless pieces of cinema, being a sort of time capsule of the times. Even something like the original Star Wars from 1977 is a time capsule of the hope for a younger generation in the post-Vietnam era, so it doesn't have to be a politically charged film, it can be a fantasy that sweeps you away to a galaxy, far, far away.

Certain decades, such as the '70s, have often been praised as being the best decade that film has to offer. It's hard to argue such points, but seriously, you can't tell me that you haven't ever thought that there was a better decade of film? The glorious thing about being an amateur critic, as well as an aspiring filmmaker, and it's one of those fascinating things about film in general, is that I have my own thoughts, philosophies, and aspirations when it comes to film, the same as any other filmgoer around the world. So what I believe to be the greatest film ever made will not align with a great many others, and why can't the same apply to decade?

So this is the mission, to deconstruct the decades of film to truly narrow down what I believe to be the Greatest Decade of Filmmaking of All-Time. It's a tough mission, but it's one that I am fully up to the task of completing. This five part series will start with this post today, then the next post will commence with me naming what I believe to be the Worst Decade of Filmmaking of All-Time, then I will follow it by listing the Number Three Greatest Decade of All-Time, followed by Number Two, and then I will round it out listing what I believe to truly be the Greatest Decade of Filmmaking of All-Time. And yes, I will be counting foreign films, not just American films for any purists out there.

So which will it be? The much-loved '70s? Going old school to the '40s or '50s, or throwing a curve ball that will surely upset a great many and going with the Aughts or the '90s? It's a battle for the Heavyweight Title. So don't miss it this upcoming week.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea for a series, I'd say for me, it would be the 30's, 70's and 80's. Thirties because it was the depression and people ran to the movies more than any other time in history to do what we all do today: escape, it's when movies really started becoming art and not just novelty.

    Then I'd say 70's cause you can't really talk about film without referencing something that happened back there. The first blockbuster, Scorcese, the rise of auteurism, the rise of film schools, the rise of corporate owned studios who in their ignorance let the studios be run by people who knew what they were doing?! It was also the decade that big megaplexes first started appearing in order for corporate exhibitors to cash in on the money generated by all the new blockbusters.

    And lastly I'd wrap it up with the 80s as my favorite decade because those movies probably affected me most as a child and despite there being a lot of crap made in that decade there were some really truly great flicks, especially comedies. It was the John Candy decade, the SNL decade, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, Sally Fields, Jennifer Grey, Kevin Bacon and Patrick Swayze,. It was probably the last time in the history of cinema that studios had a free reign in making films unhendered by conglomerates and their interests, though this would slowly erode by the decades end. It also captured America in a time machine, it's the vision of America as Reagan saw it and one that was tired of the end fighting of the 60s and 70s. Movies of that decade reflected a time when we said: "hey, we can be great again."