Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I may be the custodian of the only 14-year-old boy on the planet who adores the films of Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Last night, he watched The Thief of Bagdad--a two-and-half-hour silent swashbuckler, first released in 1924--for the third time. Yes, it does feature "fabulous" special effects, such as a horrible dinosaur-monster and a flying carpet and enormous, elaborate, studio-set Arabian Nights scenes, and Fairbanks does leap around with abandon and grin like Rhett Butler; but like all silent movies, it's about five paces slower than the movies we've now become accustomed to: the subtitle frames pause for too long; the actors' descriptive melodramatic arm waving and terrified eye bulging go on for too long. The whole effect is vaguely like running under water . . . which of course I enjoy, but who would expect a youthful 21st-century lover of The Hunger Games movie to fall so hard for it?


Ruth said...

Custodian is such an appropriate word. My mother said children are only on loan to us. I would expect nothing less from your 14 -year-old son.

Maureen said...

Have your son seen 'The Artist'?

My only loves Frank Sinatra and writes RAP lyrics. Go figure.

Dawn Potter said...

No, he hasn't seen "The Artist." Should he?