Sunday, October 25, 2009
The Wizard of Oz (1937) - The 1930s was the era of The Great Depression. There was much to be sad about, and life in general was not so bright or optimistic. This film brought color not only to the silver screen but also to the drabness of everyday life in this decade. Oz does not bring us the most complex characters in cinematic history but this fantasy endures because of the innocence, hope and positivity of its story.
Casablanca (1942) - Set in the unoccupied African city of Morocco, during the era of World War II, again a backdrop of not the happiest of times in history. The characters are war escapees--most former idealists who have become cynical and bitter as the war progresses. The overall attitude is summed up by Bogart's character, Rick, in his "don't trust anyone" attitude towards life.
Saturday Night Fever (1977) - The 1970s fashion, dance and music time capsule movie! One synopsis I read also mentions the main characters disillusionment with lifestyle. They each want to "move up to better things" in life. In many ways this is evocative of the general atmosphere of the late 70s moving into the 80s decade--also known as the "ME" era.
The Breakfast Club (1985) - I mentioned it in class, and had to include it here. Another classic example of an era time capsule--fashion, music and attitude. The 80s was a very self-serving decade which fits well with the time in life that we all experience--being a teen. The five main characters in The Breakfast Club just highlight the angst of the teen of their era. I was in high school at the time this movie came out and to my friends and I it seemed just about perfect.