The Trouble with Classics

Got around to finally seeing two great classic films. Trouble is, despite having never seen either of them before, I sort of felt like I had. First off, Citizen Kane, sometimes heralded as the greatest film ever. I had been wanting to see this film for some time due to this respectable distinction. I deliberately did not do too much research into the film because I like to see a film unspoiled as much as possible by the opinions of others. Afterwards, I love nothing more than to compare and contrast thoughts and opinions, but not beforehand. So the DVD arrives, into the player it goes, and I’m excited. I’m stoked to finally be seeing this greatest of all films. I haven’t even put the remote control down and what do I hear?

“Rosebud……”

Oh, shit…  Damn!

Everyone knows about Rosebud and the symbology and cultural references yada yada yada surrounding “Rosebud….” I just never knew, or bothered to know, that they were associated with this film. So now I’m watching this film, enjoying it nonetheless, but always cognizant of the fact that there is no mystery in it for me. I will never be able to watch this film as it was intended, never be able to experience the A HA! moment at the end. I feel gypped.

On to Soylent Green. At least I knew going into this one that the surprise had already been ruined. The same who recommended it spoiled it, but I needed to see it nonetheless. The thing which really caught me off guard right off the bat was the music. I don’t really know what I expected, but for some reason I always thought this was an earlier film, 50’s or 60’s for some reason. The whole 70’s thing just threw me for a loop, but it was good. At least there was some surprise left for me! I find it hard to take anything from the 70’s too seriously (they don’t ever seem to take themselves seriously…, or is it that they take their ridiculous selves too seriously?), but I really enjoyed the film anyway. There were several scenes I found myself cringing at, or ridiculing for their unbelievability, but the heart of the film was genuine and touching, if a bit pessimistic. I do feel the need to specifically mention, or ask, rather, why, other than in the area of food synthesis, has there been no technological progress whatsoever from 1970 to 2022?? Maybe that’s why they’re in the trouble they’re in! ;)

One comment

  1. “I will never be able to watch this film as it was intended.”

    This is always my problem with classics. I feel so hampered down with the cultural significance that I can’t enjoy it and judge it they way I might have otherwise. It’s a pain.

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