Oldies but Goodies
(Totally spaced titling this one first time around...Need more coffee....)
Though not an afficianado, I've been on a classic movie kick of late. Yesterday, I watched The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon back to back. Yes, I loves me some Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Sidney Greenstreet, and even creepy Peter Lorrie. I'm also a fan of the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, the Thin Man series, and anything with Katherine Hepburn, particularly when she's paired with Spencer Tracy. Or Cary Grant. Or anyone, for that matter.
Today, you'd be hard pressed to find such great banter between the sexes as many of these films offer. I'm not saying more recent movies aren't fun or sexy. But to have the interplay, the subtext, and the sexual chemistry come through without actually using certain words or the physicality that is present today is a lost art. When was the last time you got the impression a couple was hot for each other when, on screen, all that was shown was some snappy, not suggestive give-and-take and a 3 second kiss? (Side note: back in the day, screen kisses could only last 3 seconds. No kidding.) I'm sure they're out there, but it's not the norm.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude, and I like more graphic movies too. But there is a part of me that smiles and is deeply satisfied by the dance between men and women as shown in those old films. When the raciest lines are like this, from The Big Sleep:
A female taxi driver, who has followed a car with Marlowe in the back, hands him a card.
Driver: Call me if you need me again.
Marlowe: Day and night?
Driver (putting taxi in gear): Make it night. I work during the day.
Will that sort of interplay ever be popular again? I don't know. I'd hate to think we always have to be hit over the head with sexual content. I'd love to hear about recent films you've seen that defy typical "in your face" sexuality. Any suggestions?
Labels: on my mind