I Can’t Make It Through A Black And White Film And I Don’t Understand It

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I Can't Make It Through A Black And White Film And I Don't Understand It

Last night I tried watching Casablanca for what seems like the one hundredth time, and like every other time before this one, I didn’t make it beyond the forty-minute mark without falling asleep. No matter how eager I am to watch this classic, I cannot help but fall fast asleep. No matter how hard I try, I can’t stay awake during most black and white films. I think it’s one of my biggest character flaws. I can’t appreciate the classics because they are all so mind numbingly boring.

I pride myself on my taste in movies. I love all genre’s, whether it’s a three and half hour drama like Blue Is The Warmest Colour or an hour and twenty minute comedy like Joe Dirt.

I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to what I qualify as a good movie, but just like everyone, I too have some guilty pleasures. Case in point, Joe Dirt, which not only features smokin’ hot Brittany Daniel (Brandy), but also has very underrated cameo appearances by Kid Rock and Christopher Walken.

I can’t lie to you-when I choose a movie to watch I need at least a sixty or seventy percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes or I’m not even considering it. I refuse to acknowledge the existence of any Fast and the Furious movie past number two and I can’t stand most of the new superhero movies that have been produced for the drooling masses these past few years. Although while we’re on that subject, I’d like to make it known to all who read this that Joe Dirt having an 11% fresh rating is borderline criminal. That movie should be locked in a vault somewhere so that in 10,000 years some kid like me can sit down and be reduced to tears and uncontrollable fits of laughter.

What’s strange to me is that the abundance of very highly rated movies on sites like Rotten Tomatoes are all from the days of yesteryear when there were 2 or 3 really big movie stars that did every single movie.

I’m talking about people like Grace Kelly, Jean Harlow, Cary Grant, Laurence Olivier, etcetera and so on. Yet I don’t know a soul under forty who can genuinely tell me they like watching movies with these people in them. They’re too old. They’re not relatable. And most importantly, they’re just outdated.

Watching movies is one of my favorite things to do in my spare time. I’ll crawl in bed after a long day at work and rip off a nice two and half or three hour movie if the mood really strikes me.

With the advent of high definition television, we’re able to see the actual pores on an actor or actress’s face. I think it’s just hard for me, as a person who doesn’t really remember a time before high definition television, to sit through some grainy black and white movie with actors who have been dead since before I was born.

Now I’m not exactly sure how or why this phenomena happens, but whenever I sit down to check out a black and white film I’m pretty much guaranteed to be out like a light before anything of real significance can happen in regards to plot development.

I can count on one hand the number of black and white movies I’ve sat through the entire way and actually enjoyed. I’m talking Schindler’s List, Good Night And Good Luck, Dr. Strangelove, Citizen Kane, and Psycho (which, personally, I found to be a tad overrated).

I swear to God I’ve tried watching The Artist, the 2012 Best Picture winner, ten times. Never gotten past the ten minute mark without groaning and turning it off. It’s just something about that black and white that I can’t get past. I need some bright colors. I need to see the beautiful backdrops in each scene.

Maybe it’s my trashy millennial brain that is preventing me from enjoying the classics of yesteryear. Maybe it’s those weird accents that every actor seems to utilize pre-1970. Even I know for a fact that Hollywood forced all of its actors to speak like that back in what we now refer to as “the golden age of cinema.” It was an homage to a style of speech that was taught in Northeastern boarding schools, and if you think about those old movies for a second the people in them almost sound British don’t they?

Whatever the case, I just can’t seem to help my eyes from getting heavy whenever those shitty graphics for Paramount or Universal come across my screen.

Film and television does not hold the same weight as literature does. Think about it. Shakespeare, Dickens, Thoreau, Hemingway-all of these guys are still widely read even by millennials. But it seems that this sentiment doesn’t translate over to cinema. Most people my age have never seen a Hitchcock movie and don’t ever care to. And honestly, I can’t really blame them. I just wish I was a little more tolerable of the classics because I so desperately want to be able to like them. Now if you’ll excuse me, Joe Dirt is about to start on TBS.

Image via Shutterstock

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