The importance of classic films on the big screen
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It’s perhaps not what first comes to mind when friends bring up a cinema trip, but screenings of classic films on the big screen are increasing in appeal, according to industry professionals. Attending a classics screening day at Curzon Cinema, hosted by Park Circus to celebrate their 15th anniversary, the scheduling included a panel discussion making the case for classics viewings in cinemas. Some sung the praises of old cinema, particularly in relation to today’s content. “Everyone’s favourite films are old films,” one said, most likely speaking for a very specific generation. She also claimed that old films were more honest; they concentrated on the craft, did not rely on special effects, forced the audience to look at the acting, were shorter and more to the point – contrary to modern films, she seemed to imply. It seems her point is that cinema today just isn’t of as high quality as it used to be, that there are more ‘bad films’ today than fifty years ago. And yes, that’s true, but the ratio hasn’t changed. There are more bad films today because there’s simply more films being released. Proportionally, there were just as many bad films ‘back in the day’ as there are now. Others were more accepting of cinema in its modern form, emphasising instead the need to show classic films as a way of contextualising new films. It’s definitely the case that film appreciating can grow from understanding its genre context, and marketing older films in a modern light can bring back forgotten gems and create new audiences.
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