Movies Buff or Maniac. A Writer’s Obsession of Cinema

A writer explains his love for cinema and film making.

Movies buff - TimelyBuzz

Movies are the love of my life, I eat movies , I drink movies , I walk movies and I talk movies. If movies were a religion I would be one of its leading and ardent devotees. My passion for movies is hereditary as my father was also a great fan and most of it rubbed off on my brothers and myself.

Hollywood movies of course were and are my favorite as right from an early age I was fascinated by Hollywood movies of every genre, war movies, action movies , courtroom dramas. Swashbuckling epics and last but not the least those magnificent westerns .

Movies are probably the greatest form of entertainment for movies let the viewers enter a fantasy world where they temporarily forget their worldly troubles and tensions. They are indisputably an outlet to release our frustrations and vent our troubles however short lived.

If the movie is a comedy viewers roll over with laughter and joy which is very therapeutic. If the theme subject is a tragedy then the viewer tends to relate and emphasize with the characters portrayed.

Movies move people without a shadow of a doubt, they have been many cases where movies have brought tears to the eyes of the audience leaving them teary eyed especially women. War movies arouse and instill a deep sense of patriotism in people.

In the early stages when movies were first invented , there was no sound recording so most of the subject matter was a comedy. Despite no dialogue or music being heard the silent movies featuring the legendary greats such as Buster Keaton , Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy and many others.

Charlie Chaplin ‘s name is more synonymous with the silent movie era and film comedy itself than Charles Chaplin. Even those who have never seen a silent  movie in their lives relate to the man in the shabby suit and Bowler hat.

Buster Keaton-like Charlie Chaplin was a king of the silent movie comedy era although Keaton’s style was different where Chaplin appealed to the emotional and sentimental Keaton’s appeal was more cerebral.

Buster Keaton was not only a comic but a stuntman par excellence. In the movie like The General and Our Hospitality – where Keaton almost drowned. Another stunt feature was in the movie in the final scene Steamboat Bill Jnr. It features Keaton lost in a hurricane during which the front of a house falls directly for him. An open window in the roof of the house saves him.

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were duos who gave both silent comedy and talking comedies entirely new dimension and perspective. The duo paired up in 1927 about the time sound was introduced and literally had audiences falling off their seats in rapturous laughter in movies like The Battle of the Century featuring probably the most over-the- top pie fight in film history. , Another Fine Mess which was Ollie’s catch phrase in all the movies was yet another hilarious blockbusters.

With the introduction of sound, the comedy greats of the silent era faded into history, however, It can be said that Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy held their own.

With the introduction of sound in 1927, the concept of movies went through revolutionary changes and movies got better, greater, and more expensive . Initially, movies were made in black and white in 35mm celluloid but later when color was introduced black and white movies started fading away.

Movie buff hollywood cinema - TimelyBuzz
Color in Cinema – TimelyBuzz

Colour was introduced in the late thirties and the first few movies in technicolor were mostly used for filming musicals such as the Wizard of Oz (1939), such as The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Down Argentine Way (1940).

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and Gone with the Wind (1939), and animated films such as Snow and the seven dwarfs were filmed in Technicolor.

Gone with the Wind, is an epic love saga set in the South during the turbulent civil war. The story revolves around a Southern Belle brilliantly portrayed by Vivien Leigh and Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), a blockade runner.

Set against the beautiful Southern landscape the setting is beautiful, the chemistry between Gable and

Leigh palpable. Some scenes of the movie are breathtakingly captivating such as the burning of Atlanta and the scenic plantations of the South.

The movie initially received mixed reviews although it won 10 academy awards but later on, it became an epic blockbuster and one of the highest grossing film of the times.

Filmmaking is an art, a creative talent that can not be excelled or achieved and while writing on movies it would be remiss of me not to mention some of the greatest filmmakers of the times.

Here are some  great filmmakers of the times.

Cecil B Demille-TimelyBuzz

Cecil B Demille: (The Ten Commandments, Samson, and Delilah, The greatest show on Earth) was a brilliant filmmaker who carved a niche for himself in the history of filmmaking. His movies are still a delight and wonder and the parting of the Red sea in ‘ Ten Commandments was considered a movie marvel for generations.

AlFred Hitchcock: The master of mystery and mayhem is well known for movies Pyscho, vertigo and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. A maker of thrillers he was highly acclaimed. He had a fetish to appear in his own films in minor roles.

Clint Eastwood: The hero of Spaghetti  Westerns  ‘A fistful of Dollars, ‘ For a few dollars more ‘ and of course ‘ The Good, The Bad and The Ugly ‘ and the Dirty Harry thrillers  Eastwood became a  super Hero. Venturing into directing he made  ‘ The Million Dollar Baby’, ‘Invictus”, Unforgiven for which he received an Oscar,  He is in the list of top directors.

Francis Ford Coppola: Anyone who has seen the Godfather series can say without any hesitation that  Coppola is the Godfather of moviemaking . A brilliant and creative director.

Sergio Leone : The man who made Clint Eastwood an iconic gunslinger and hero, the Italian was born in 1929 in Rome, Italy to one of Italy’s cinema pioneers, Roberto Roberti. Director of the movie The Good, The Bad, The Ugly which is acknowledged as the best westerns ever made, his other masterpieces includes splendid titles like Once Upon a Time in The West and For a Few Dollars More. This fact is not very well known, but Leone actually declined the offer to direct The Godfather in favor of his dream project, One Upon a Time in America.

Steven Spielberg: Not the Godfather of filmmaking but the god of filmmaking Spielberg is a genius, the man with a Midas touch as regards moviemaking. Unarguably one of the most influential personalities in the history of Hollywood, Spielberg is probably the most popular film directors of the West. Also, his work has made him one of the wealthiest in the film industry. His work includes blockbusters like  Jurassic Park series, Indiana Jones series, Minority Report, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List and Jaws. However, there are much more to add to that list. Director par Excellence.

martin scorsese timelybuzz
Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese: He is known as one of the most innovative and creative directors of Hollywood. Scorsese’s well-known trademarks are that he usually starts his films from the middle or the end, uses slow-motions, freezes frames and does cameos. His works include films like Taxi Driver, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street, Hugo, Shutter Island, The Aviator, Casino and Goodfellas among numerous others.

Quentin Tarantino:  A director of the new generation his first film as a writer-director, Reservoir Dogs, was released at the Sundance Film Festival in the January of 1992. The film received high critical acclaim and popularity, instantly making Tarantino a legend in the movie industry. After that Tarantino made movies like Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Inglorious Basterds, Death Proof, Sin City, Django Unchained and Pulp Fiction, all of which were highly acclaimed.

As for actors, It would need a volume of or an encyclopedia to list  all of them,  Of the yesteryears one has to mention, Gregory Peck, James Stewart , Spencer Tracy, Gary cooper, James Cagney, and the iconic Humphrey Bogart.

Robert de Niro, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Jack Nicolson, Shahrukh Khan, Ben Kinsley, and two of the greatest Morgan freeman and Marlon Brando.

In the female category Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Meryl Streep, Bette Davis Vivian Leigh, Ingrid Bergman, Faye Dunaway, Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Hilary Swank,  Charlize Theron, Laura Linney. Julie Christie, Tilda Swinton, Kim Novak, and  Gwyneth Paltrow.

The list is as mentioned endlessly.

We now live in the age of digital technology where computer generated imagery transforms a man into a man-eating monster in seconds and the special effects are mind boggling. All one can say that in the 100 or more years of the movie business movies have taught us human values and that good always triumphs over evil.

Movies teach us to be innovative, creative, audacious compassionate and many other virtues. Actors, directors and everyone associated with the movie business have all contributed to the betterment of society. We owe all of them a debt of gratitude.

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Written by Syed Anwer Ali

Ali Anwer is a veteran journalist having worked in Asia’s leading English daily newspaper for almost a decade. A prolific writer, he has contributed articles to different newspapers and established websites. He has also engaged in sports reporting for a brief period.

Having traveled the world extensively, he is a repository of information on world history, current affairs, political events and the entertainment industry. Being a movie buff he is an encyclopedia on Hollywood movies and actors.

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