Our satellite package costs a pile of money even though it is not the best one available. There is a great deal of duplication in what is scheduled each day. You can watch the same movie on umpteen different stations at the same time. More useful to the viewer is when the same movie is scheduled for different times. One time is bound to be more convenient than the others.
Overall though, the choice of movies is pretty sad. It seems the mediocre ones (like Did You Hear About the Morgans?) or popular box office hits (anything by Adam Sandler?go figure) are always on the rotation. Most of these flicks do not warrant a second viewing. Or even a first look sometimes.
That’s part of the reason we subscribe to Netflix. To up our viewing options and have more control over what we see when. Even Netflix offers no panacea. It’s definitely not the place to find classics, those movies that have withstood the test of time, fads, and fashions.
Historically movies have reflected us back to ourselves. They cover current cultural issues of interest. They provide a pictorial reference point for the era they are depicting. We can tell by the cars being driven, the colour of the shag rug, and the hairstyles exactly when the story was set. Some decorators love Nancy Meyer’s movies like It’s Complicated and Something’s Gotta Give because of the way she styles her interiors.
When I saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s was scheduled to run one Sunday I made time to watch it. This 1961 movie starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard was a wonderful nostalgic treat. We are reminded why and how Hepburn became a style icon what with her little black dresses, kitten heel pumps, statement jewelry, avant garde profiles, and flamboyant hats. It doesn’t surprise me that Truman Capote created the capricious character of Holly Golightly and the dilettante jet set New York scene. Isn’t that the way he lived?
Recyclers today claim creative genius when they make a sofa by cutting out the side of a claw foot tub and adding a cushion. Hah. It appeared in this movie, as did the stacked suitcases and minimalism. With smokers having become pariahs it is odd and disconcerting to see everyone with a cigarette in hand throughout the movie. Smoking in bed, restaurants, cabs, anywhere is a culture shock for today’s viewer. Watching people use rotary telephones is so quaint. Innocence permeates the whole movie. No nudity, no locked doors, no evil schemers with diabolical plots, or cheap, contrived laughs.
Maybe this need to look back is what led me to watch Hitchcock starring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren. It chronicled the making of Psycho that premiered in 1960. I’ve never considered myself a history buff. Perhaps I’m just sick of the current parade of look-alike, sound-alike, same-old, same-old offerings of my TV listings. Looking back has never been more satisfying, from where I sit.
Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.