One consequence of the pandemic is that I’ve been seeing a lot of old movies. I am having a lot of fun, and I suspect many people are having a similar experience.
Seeing so many offerings from different decades provides an opportunity to think about the vastness of the cinematic arts. You start to see the ways in which each film is a reflection of a very particular time in cultural history.
In a sense, cinema constitutes a parallel reality that moves alongside our evolving culture. It is a reflection of our culture, but it also influences our culture.
So in an important sense, the reflection goes both ways. Cinema not only contains a record of how culture continues to evolve, but also helps to cause that evolution.
Maybe that’s one reason I’m having so much fun watching old movies.