Perspectives on Pop Culture and the Arts

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Will you still remember me in 50 years time?

Will I be watching Crash in fifty years time? Recently, my local film critic engaged upon a discussion about what makes a 'classic' film, and he contended some interesting choices...

-Reservoir Dogs would be remembered, but Kill Bill would not
-Old Mike Leigh films would be remembered, but the 'Middle' and 'Later' Mike Leigh wouldn't
-Clint Eastwood would be remembered both as a classic actor, and a classic director
-James Cameron would be remembered for Terminator, not Titanic

He also contended that foreign, or more obscure left-of-field films, qualify more easily for classic status: In some cases, because we think the country concerned is cultured, and in other cases, because the country concerned is cultured, and does have a long-standing tradition of great film making. It's quite controversial, but he actually felt that a popular French film is that bit closer to attaining any sort of 'classic' status than a popular British film simply because of all the connotations that France has - ie as a nation of culture, and as a nation with a proud film history.

Is this the film equivalent of the Bell Curve Theory? Is it wrong to say Black people can run faster than whites over 100m because they have done time and time again, and they may be physically better prepared?!

It also begs the question: who is doing the asking? Which critics are defining the 'classic', if indeed any are nowadays?

All in all, it was a hell of a highbrow argument for me to wake up and eat my beans on toast to: especially as it was written in what is essentially a local advertising paper in Hampstead - one that doesn't even have a proper name or, as far as I can tell, a website!


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