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View Diary: Are old movies doomed to obscurity? (288 comments)

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  •  On the other hand (11+ / 0-)

    I agree with your characterization of the potential problems with short attention spans, novelty for the sake of novelty, and special effects over depth.  Still, a little perspective might help us resist the impulse to slit our throats in despair.

    Shakespeare was writing plays at a time that theater was considered a low, ephemeral form of literature, entertainment for the masses, inferior to the high class refinement of poetry.  What do we remember and value today?  Plays that Will wrote for audiences that wanted something at least as new and lurid as last year's stuff.  Admittedly, we don't pay much attention to most of the plays of his contemporaries.

    Similarly, during most of the Baroque and Classical times, audiences wanted new music rather than whatever it was they heard last season.  Somehow, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and many of the rest managed to crank out a few pieces that people have managed to like and hold onto since then.

    Having a lively, engaged, impatient audience isn't necessarily a bad thing, although different artists may respond to the demands in different ways.

    "If they give you lined paper, write the other way." (Juan Ramon Jimenez)

    by bread on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 05:03:27 PM PDT

    •  The great "classics" irony.... (9+ / 0-)

      .... they look great because all the crap churned out in their age has long since been used for lighting fires.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 06:03:45 PM PDT

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      •  Standing on the shoulders of midgets (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Only Needs a Beat

        It may be that dozens of potboilers (movies, plays, symphonies, novels, poems, paintings) have to be made for there to be even one work that people will be interested in a hundred years later.  At least, widespread popular appeal may mean that a lot of potential artists could look at what's out there and think, "Hmmmmm . . . I wonder whether I could do something better . . ."

        "If they give you lined paper, write the other way." (Juan Ramon Jimenez)

        by bread on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 06:14:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True (0+ / 0-)

          When we can identify Shakespeare's sources, we find that there is, shall we say... a quality difference between what he took and what he did with it.

          "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

          by sagesource on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 09:53:10 PM PDT

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          •  It's (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sagesource, Harkov311

            interesting that Shakespeare transformed his sources in such significant ways without (as far as we know) necessarily expecting that people would be reading his versions several hundred years later.

            "If they give you lined paper, write the other way." (Juan Ramon Jimenez)

            by bread on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:28:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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