Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ten Great Films of the Sixties: Part 1

            Film history is often simplified into eras notably The Golden Age of Hollywood between the nineteen forties and fifties, and New Hollywood in the seventies. The sixties takes place in this weird transfer between the two eras, which is bitterly called The Fall of Hollywood; but a more optimistic critic would simply call this new wave.  The reason it was called “The Fall” was because so many changes happened spontaneously that it looked like the film industry was going to crash.  At the time, television was becoming a competitor; foreign films were in vogue, and the infamous censorship codes were being replaced by the more lax MPAA rating system.  In this context, it makes sense for Hollywood executives to think that the sky was falling, but they did not have the foresight to expect the creative explosion that would occur in this decade.  It was the moment when the filmmakers began to push the idea that film is not just entertainment, but also an art form.
            That being said, it is impossible for me to even talk about these films without sounding esoteric. Heck, a drinking game can be made out of the number of times the phrases “at the time” and “for its time” is used in this article, but is that not the point?  First of all, because so much of what made these films has been copied to death so it is required for me to provide context. It is not enough to just say that a film is good and a must-see, a critic must examine the themes, ideas, and subtleties in order to explain why a film is great. Like what Roger Ebert said "It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it." So what if these post sounds stuffier than usual, at least it shows that actual thought went into these films.