Thursday, June 24, 2010

The ramblings of a golden-holic

The other day I went to a local store that had a massive DVD sale. I purchased six DVDs, all of which (excluding one which was Princess and the Frog- heh, what can I say? I'm a kid at heart) were from the 'golden era of Hollywood'.

When I got to the counter the woman who served me asked if I was buying these movies for my mother or my grandmother or some other older female relation. When I replied that they were all for me, she looked at me in this sort of disbelieving way as though she didn't know whether to believe me or not.

I get this reaction quite a lot.

For some reason a lot of people in society think that just because I am young means that I can't possibly appreciate things from so long ago. And more importantly, I can't appreciate things that the majority of society has seemed to have forgotten; in this case, old movies.

I know a lot of people don't understand my obsession with the golden era of Hollywood- hell, even I don't understand it. There are plenty of modern celebrities, badly written romance novels, brainless movies and TV shows, etc out there that are currently being obsessed over by those of my age group; but instead of swooning over Justin Bieber flicking his hair in that I'm-so-nonchalant-yet-cool way or sighing over the latest Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart love story, I am busy frantically looking up facts on old Hollywood and constantly searching for new movies, new stars to watch and to admire from that era. I guess that sort of makes me a geek.

Not that I mind overly much, in fact truth be told, I rather enjoy it a lot.

In History I learnt that in order to prepare for the future, you have to first understand the past. I think this also applies to film.

I appreciate some of the good quality films made in modern day even more then the average viewer, because I understand all that the very first stars, directors, producers went through to make today possible. The techniques, effects, acting and the general idea of a ''star'' was all created so many years ago. It’s through viewing the beautiful movies of that era that you begin to realise how much of an effect old Hollywood has had and still continues to have on our movie industry.

I have posters, cds, pictures, dresses, clocks and countless of other things that call back to the old days.
My collection of old movies (silent’s AND talkies) grows more and more almost weekly, thank god that most of the time old movies are being sold for cheap or else I'd be living in a cardboard box, broke, surrounded by all my classics, not unlike a crazy cat lady. But I'd be a crazy classic DVD lady or something to that effect.

I realise that I am probably coming of as a bit strong here- but hey, what can I say? I'm obsessed.

Give me Peck over Bieber, Audrey over Kirsten, black and white over colour, good story over special effects, a kiss on the hand over obscene adult scenes, screwball over vulgarness, any day!!

I guess my rant is over, I had to get that of my chest I do apologise if it did not make any sense, or if it was over-the-top stupid.

I guess all I wanted was to really say was this;

I'm a golden-holic. But unlike most ''holics'' I never, ever want to be cured ;)


  1. Oh no, this woman is awfully petite-bourgois! Bet, she thinks, it couldn't be normal developing 'cause you have such interests at your age. But I don't wonder, most people are anxiously trying not to differ from the common rules of majority. If you would go there in 30s clothes, with net-hat, she wouldn't ask any more ...

    Nelly, you must meet this French girl! She's so cute and feels pretty much like we do. And she is about your age:

    I think she's drawing quite a long time over the week and doesn't go online every day: Mostly she's drawing faces of the 20s and 30s.

    „... in order to prepare for the future, you have to first understand the past.“ That's true and it has to do with history of film, but to me it means even more: A few years I 'spent' lots of time 'in' the early 18th century – I never met anybody who got that deep into that. I knew so much about common weekday there, because I was reading the books and news-papers they read at that time - some people thought I was just memorizing a former reincarnation. But one thing I couldn't do and I really regretted that: I couldn't see films of that time. I couldn't really look into the life there and hear people talk. And here I see the greatest merits of Hollywood: They conserved time, people and their fashion, talking and behavior. I appreciate this so very much, because I missed it before. If you want to present the year 1730, people and their behavior, you've got to guess. Well, I could tell you what they would've said, but not their pronunciation and color, sound, 'melody' of the voice, and expression. I know what they wore, but not how they moved in the streets, or their gestures. But we do know all that from the 30s. If you see those old films daily, you know everything. It's truly a journey to the past. And theoretically it would be possible to rebuild this past.

    So you do have “posters, cds, pictures, dresses, clocks and countless of other things that call back to the old days“ ... Nelly, that's swell! And you're not alone, I mean not just only Camille, I also think of Zoe Walker and many, many other fellows, who seem to be much 'too young' for classic movies. Well, I'm a bit older, but actually still 'too young' for the 30s. But I know a lot of people over 30, who do understand me. At the age of 17, I was a „geek“ too. In ten years many people of your generation will have started to think different about classic movies – blieve me. You won't be a 'geek' all your live. So enjoy it as long as you are!

  2. I have often the same reaction. People doesn't understand why I love movie made 80 years before. I have a friend who loves Pattinson and all that romance in Twilight, and when I say "If you like romance, look at Gone with the wind!" "Oh non, it's too old". It that case, you feel lonely, because they all talk about "Twilight" or stuff for teenage in lack of sensation. But I have the luck to have a little sister (13) who loves as much as I do classic movies. She says a thing like you "Give me Cary Grant or Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert or Ginger Rogers, a white background, a sweet romance and film it in black and white, and I'm satisfed!"

  3. Clarissa- yes you totally just hit the nail on the head, I forgot to mention that it preserved that time perfectly. We can always watch the movies of that time to see how people acted, dressed, their general morals, etc. Whereas with things like the middle ages, Austen times, etc, we can only rely on portraits, scarce accounts and other things to form a vague picture of life as it was back then. We are very lucky indeed to have that at our device, that we can put on our dvd and literally watch a film made nearly 100 years ago and observe their customs. Pity we still do not retain some of that old school charm. Thank you for linking me to Camille's blog I'm quite in awe of her talent.

    You are right of course, in ten years the classic era will probably be the ''cool'' thing to get into. I remember reading that during the 60s-70s re-sparked interest in silent films and that people would ''bootleg'' silent movies. The studios put a stop to this, however. Which I think is the greatest shame for who knows what sort of silent films we could have had at our public disposal at the moment? I hope that a similar re-interest sparks in the old films of hollywood. though obviously not with the same outcome- I don't think the film studios of today would come down so hard however. I hope...

    This is a bit random but you mentioned the pronunciation that was used back then- I absolutely love the polished sounding voices of that era, particularly from the 1930s. I know that many of them had to endure horrendous amount of time in speech lessons, but the end effect was totally worth it.


    Camille- Two things instantly make me like you, 1. Clarissa has linked me to your profile that made me aware that you have a fantastic talent in art. and 2. You like Gone With The Wind.

    Twilight is the bane of my existence at present. I don't really have anything against the text itself, I find it very simply written and childish, but I don't begrudge those liking it. I do however begrudge anyone saying how it's a classic piece of literature, that it's films are ''epic'' and how thier love story is one that can span generations. Because to be honest their love story has NOTHING on those that were around particularly in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. (And nothing on Pride and Prejudice, even though it's constantly compared to it -.-)

    Hahahah ooops there I go ranting again.

    You are very lucky to have such a sensible little sister! I have a friend who is sort of interested in old films but not enough to watch the majority of them;only the really famous ''classics'' and certainly not enough, she tells me, to devote 4 hours to Gone With The Wind... Alas, it is her loss.

  4. Don't we "retain some of that old school charm"? I don't care how other people behave. I always try what I see on screen and all the actresses of the golden era are my teachers. If someone shows intolerance, I show him how pretty much tough 30s' women could be. And that 30s-irony hurts like 1000 cactus needles!

    GONE WITH THE WIND is rather risky. If I like it too much, Jean may be mad at me. She was supposed to be Scarlett, before they discovered Vivien. Jean really mourned quite a long time after that heavy disappointment.

    I had to link you to Camille - you reminded me too much of her.

    After all we're not alone.

    Greetings to the other side of the globe. I figured out, the globe is right between the two of us. If the earth was made of glass, I'd see your chair and feet from below and same on your side ... Very funny to imagine that. :D

  5. LOL it is VERY funny to imagine that. And also rather cool, if only I was good at art I'd paint that image down, ah well.

    Oh I totally agree 30s irony hurts like hell.

    I am sure she would not begrudge you liking Gone With The Wind, it is after all one of the biggest movies of all time. No disrespect to Jean, but I cannot imagine anyone else but Vivien Leigh as Scarlett. However I have no doubt in my mind that she would have made a brilliant one had they not found Vivien Leigh in time.

    It is a small comfort to realize that we are all not alone, that there are others like us out there,obsessed with the ole days of yesteryear XDD