A Guide to Properly Hating Old Movies

There are films you read about your entire life, and then there are films like [CLASSIC MOVIE TITLE]. I’m not quite sure how I avoided seeing [CLASSIC MOVIE TITLE] for so long. Maybe I had always been subconsciously turned off by the film’s negative approach to [SOCIAL ISSUE]; why waste your time on a half-baked attempt at representation when modern movies like [MODERN MOVIE] are better worth our consideration? What I do know, though, is that by the time I finally sat down to watch [CLASSIC MOVIE TITLE], I was looking forward to seeing the masterpiece that everyone else described.

Yeah, no. Look, I know that it’s not fair to approach a movie released in [YEAR OF RELEASE] the same as a film released today, but I’ve spent years hearing about how [CLASSIC MOVIE TITLE] was responsible for bringing [SOCIAL ISSUE] into the twenty-first century. Is it wrong to expect [CLASSIC MOVIE TITLE] to tackle [SOCIAL ISSUE] with a little bit more [CONTEXTLESS READING OF SOCIAL ISSUE]? I’m not saying that [DIRECTOR] had to completely reinvent the wheel, but at the very least, he could have [IMPOSSIBLE FILMMAKING CONCEIT GIVEN HISTORICAL CONTEXT]. Maybe things would have turned around a lot sooner if they’d thought for ten minutes about how they were telling the story.


From: A Guide to Properly Hating Old Movies

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8 thoughts on “A Guide to Properly Hating Old Movies

  1. “I’m not saying we’re necessarily smarter and more enlightened than they were back then, but look at how oblivious they were to other people’s socio-cultural context!”


  2. This article is just going to get dismissed as man-splaining. People are bad about putting media of their past in the historical context, especially if they have strong opinions about things.


  3. It’s not the same thing, but this inspired me to plug James.Nicoll’s blog’s series “Young People Read.Old SF”.

    It’s Just What It Says On The Tin. Current students are handed a period work from e.g. Heinlein, Joanna Russ, etc. and no particular historical context, and review it through current goggles.


    • I found a link!

      Haven’t read all of them, especially since I now want to go back and read some of the stories I haven’t read or don’t remember very well. One thing I noticed is that the readers often tried to avoid the [NEVER ADD HISTORICAL CONTEXT HERE] trap by inferring it from what they were reading.

      Also, I’m a little disappointed he didn’t point them at “The Cold Equations”, just because it’s a classic that’s so polarizing.


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