19 May 2008

By any other name

If you refer to movies as “movies” you sound normal. If you call them “films” you sound knowledgeable. If you use the term “cinema” you sound pretentious. If you say “flicks” you sound like a dolt.
My mother, who grew up in the US during the 20's and 30's, referred, as did many of her generation, to going to the movies as going to a show. Probably because in her day it was much more than one movie preceded by too many previews and perhaps some ads. Back then you usually got a second feature and newsreels, cartoons, travelogues maybe a short. Plus there were giveaways. It WAS a show.
When I was a kid in the 60s there were still double features and some of the other what not my mother enjoyed was still around. I don't recall so many previews and we sure as heck didn't have to sit though ads. Of course this was also the time before the multiplex when you actually went to a movie "theater." Some were quite grand. There was loge seating, ushers and plush lobbies.
You don't know what you're missing if it doesn't exist so we didn't realize how bad off we are as we lacked the capacity to record movies on TV or rent them or -- can you imagine! -- BUY them. Being a film buff is so much easier today. The internet contributes by providing wonderful sites like imdb.com (best website ever) so you can read more about your favorite films, discuss them with others and figure out in what movie you'd previously seen the guy who played the younger brother.
And for the record, I prefer the term "film."

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