Monday, February 12, 2007


Gina writes in response to this post:

I think I saw the same Stanwyck documentary (I like her too), and another one about how the poor women were so oppressed once the Production Code came in and they weren't allowed to play floozies anymore. Piffle. Women's roles got STRONGER during those post-floozy years, as anyone could see if they had half an eye. They actually got to play women who used something besides their, er, assets to get ahead.

I totally agree, Gina, and have always felt that one of the unintended consequences of the Production Code was better films. Don't get me wrong, I'm opposed to censorship, but sometimes good things can come from bad things, and I think better movies came from this censorship. It forced filmmakers to find creative ways to explore sexuality and the darkest parts of the human condition. On-the-nose is the worst. And when censorship simply won't allow you to be on-the-nose, you have to find a better way. And when you explore anything with metaphor, atmosphere and nuance, it's usually superior than the in-your-face.

Now, that's a general rule. On the other hand, you can't deny that filmmakers like Tarantino make the in-your-face it's own kind of art.

Movies of the 30's, 40's, and 50's were better than at any time in history for another reason: Silent films. Most silent actors weren't able to transition to talkies but the producers and directors did and silent films had taught them how to tell a story visually. And showing instead of telling is when films are at their best. So, by already having this skill there wasn't the over-reliance on exposition that bogs down so many films today.

But that roles and films and star-status was better form women in those days is an absolute no-brainer. And what's sad about that fact is that men ran everything then, and women are in executive positions today. It should be just the opposite.
I love talking movies even more than about myself. So, you know that's a lot.


Blogger Gina said...

I hadn't given the silent-film angle much thought, perhaps because I haven't seen very many silent films. Interesting point.

10:29 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home