Shining Lights and Smoke and Mirrors
I was looking at old black and whites of Hollywood stars of yesteryear, from candids to set photos – it looked like, and was, an entire world away. Was it that the advent of color contributed to the gradual fading away of that world? Before, seeing images and films was like seeing something several degrees removed from reality. We see things in colour of course, so the B&W aspect was reserved for the stars (apart from your family photo albums – but even then, those were records of ‘special’ moments and occasions) – Hollywood was a special occasion unto itself – for all the rest of the us, it may as well have been permanently in Black and White – the world of celluloid existed within a special moment - they were those characters. (Allowing a moment for a special nod to that equally marvelous Technicolor decades of the 60’s and early 70’s)
Of course Hollywood has long been known as the place of lights and shattered dreams, but that’s not why I wrote this. I want to know if there’s a suitable compromise. At best we’re treated to rare occurrences where a modern film can transcend era’s to offer something that would succeed anywhere and still hold true to that sense of mystery, prestige and allure that was the bread and butter of ‘old Hollywood’.
We can talk about art and life, integrity and business, and how one side of the industry needs the other to survive, and how the audience will watch what they’re given, or whatever the hype machine spews out… the talk of blockbuster tent-pole productions and that Hollywood is no longer so much a community as it once was, the exclusive hallowed league it once was (or was thought to be) – can that element ever be replicated?
It’s the ‘golden woman’ – that complex that promises everything and brings you so far, but still only ‘so far’, always keeping that last little something out of your reach, because as an audience, we can never be satisfied. I am in a position to look upon those old images with nostalgia because I have the benefit of hindsight – looking at a past I was never a part of and can never be… so it will always seem that much more romantic and appealing, or was it just that appealing? Of course it could’ve been made to look so because the world was a different place, with World Wars, dark and unknown patches remained in the world, no internet… and the media was a different animal too, sort of… but the stars still carried a natural air of class and whimsy though.
"I'm not interested in money, I just want to be wonderful." - Marilyn Monroe
“Fame, it’s like caviar. It’s good to have caviar, but every damn day?… [wild laughter]…
Fame, is a fickle thing…” – Marilyn Monroe in her final interview, two days before she committed suicide.
You’re not a mega star, until the people make you one.
I suppose we'll always hope, and we'll always have...
Such things were not meant to last,perhaps, for if they did, we would not hold them in such high regard - (one cannot have caviar, everyday, forever...)
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