The other day I decided to watch a movie I had saved on my receiver. It has been a long time since I've watched Hitchcock's North by Northwest.
As I settled in to enjoy the campy dialogue and 50's fashion some kind of uncanny feeling came over me. At first I thought it was me just being crazy. But then I noticed that it had to do with the film. Quite a time passed before I could pinpoint why the film was affecting me in such a strange way. It never had in the past and since it is an action adventure flick, not a horror film, the reaction was strange.
Then the realization came upon me at once, the film was about adults. Real adults. The film was filled with people my age, give or take some years. People like me. Regular people aside from the Grant, Saint Marie and Mason. The uncanny feeling gave away to real joy. It was like being released from a prison I had been unaware I was in until recently.
I wasn't being asked to give two wits about the love lives of teenagers or college students. In fact young people weren't even around to spoil the fun. Hitchcock didn't care if teens wanted to watch or avoid this film. He wasn't forced to give the Grant character a teenaged son or daughter for eye candy. Grant was the eye candy. Thanks be!
Grant's character was a man with a good job and whatever arrested development he suffered from (Mama's boy) was played for laughs. We weren't expected to take whatever backwards behavior he exhibited seriously. As he stumbled and bumbled around in an amazingly suave manner it made me long for those days. Because hell, that isn't what we are being given in today's entertainment industry.
Instead we must suffer through films solely focusing on the problems of teens or young adults (20 somethings). People who haven't even begun to start their lives. People who have no responsibilities. People without full mental development. And is it any wonder why our culture is so stunted?
Our films are filled with children. As soon as they stop being children they are retired and new children are inserted into place. Meanwhile the older people are expected to find entertainment value in the problems of children. I, for one, am sick of this state. I want to see older people again. I want to see films like Hitchcock was able to film. Some do make it through the dreck nowadays but they are few and far between.
And while we are on the subject of childish fantasies, I wish the super hero films would just stop. All these ridiculous paens to the Übermensch whose might makes right is truly sickening. I can't believe people want to watch that crap.
Labels: Alfred Hitchcock, art, commentary, culture, movies