On Saturday night, Russell and I watched Stage Door Canteen (1943), a World War II era propaganda piece with a very long list of stars and a number of big bands (Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Kay Kyser and others). It was fascinating to watch: part time capsule, part musical, part socio-historical study. The thing that really stuck with me was the difference between stars of the 40s and earlier and stars of today. Watching Ray Bolger perform tap, movement, comedy and mixture of all of the above while singing makes Hollywood offerings of today pale in comparison. How do the Lindsey Lohans of Hollywood obtain star status when their creative output (or even potential) doesn’t even come close to the Ray Bolgers of yester-year? Is the media machine at fault or is it a generation of rabid culture consumers who aren’t familiar with American film and theatre heritage?
There are times when Russell’s mountains of old movies are a nuisance (only when they are piled on the floor after we’ve run out of shelf space- again) but at the moment, I’m very grateful to have such an incredible movie library at my finger tips.
Also watched this weekend (’cause the weather was cold and crappy and we’re both sick): Stardust, which was very good, and a number of episodes from the Incredible Hulk series (surprising entertaining, really!).