Saturday, 2 June 2012

Seasonally classic

Old Hollywood, the grand old dame, an era with gilded golden edges, imbued with an elegance and class that no longer exists.  The time glows like the youthful face of Marilyn Monroe (who, I learned recently, achieved the look by maintaining a fine coating of facial hair which reflected light making her appear luminescent).

On a chill winter or autumn afternoon there are few things better than curling up and watching your favourite film for the hundredth time.  I have watched many of them from the comfort of my couch on my reasonably sized television on such afternoons (and evenings, and even not so chill days, and often not just limited to winter and autumn…).

But, finally, thanks to Dendy, I’m going to get the chance to see these films on the big screen.  The cinema has just finished it’s Autumn Allure season classic films, with the winter season Winter Wonderland to commence on 4 June. 

M and I saw three movies from the first program (M may have seen 4, but it doesn’t count because this isn’t his blog!).  There is something special about seeing old films on the big screen akin to meeting an old friend for the first time.   Despite it being the umpteenth time I’ve seen some of these films, on the big screen it was a completely different experience.

Isla in Casablanca appears more vulnerable, her love for Victor more evident, her longing for redemption from Rick more palpable.  Rick on the other seems less smooth, more barbarous but no less magnetic.  Like the layers of its characters the movie charms more on the big screen, offering up more secrets, hinting more obviously at motivations, long seeded regrets and resentments.  It is, in essence, more beautiful and complex.

 The opening scene of Gallipoli is magnificent on the big screen. 

Jack:   What are your legs?
Archy: Springs. Steel Springs.
Jack:   What are they going to do?
Archy: Hurl me down the track.
Jack:   How fast can you run?
Archy: As fast as a leopard.
Jack:   How fast can you run?
Archy: As fast as a leopard.
Jack:   Then let’s see you do it.

The arid, red, West Australian dessert is more expansive and desolate, almost endless.  This sense of space translates well to other parts of the film too, like the claustrophobic WWI trenches and the winding alleyways of Cairo’s frenetic souqs.  It’s easy to see that this patriotic film is classically Australian, from its back drops to its tale of mateship.

Our Cabaret adventure made me feel like Alice falling down the rabbit hole.  Everything in the movie seemed more magnified (yes I know, TV to cinema = magnification).  The exuberance and levity with its sharpened unnerving edges seemed more effecting this time. 

Set in 1930’s Germany, the world seems to be tilting forward into oblivion.  But in the uncertainty of it all the lead characters reckless throw caution to the wind in some case for love in others out of fears of loneliness.  Cabaret is a poignant story that takes you on a wild, wild ride.

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