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Jennifer Butler

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Old Movies and Classical Music
By Jennifer Butler
Tuesday, August 23, 2005

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The Interests of a Fairly Old-Fashioned Girl at Heart ...

Not all old movies are my favorites, and not all classical music is beautiful to my ear, but there are many classics that I enjoy from previous generations and that are still cherished by a deeply appreciative audience of loyal connoisseurs. My husband, although perfect in other ways, does not greatly share these interests with me, although he has promised to enjoy listening when I pick up my violin again.

My reasons for having my own particular tastes are substantial in my mind and heart. Since I never happened to fall in love with a classical musician or a fellow old movie connoisseur, it has never occurred to me that my husband should be found amongst those niches of my personality. I enjoy these things on my own, and I think I am appreciated for my quirks as much as I appreciate my husband in his enjoyment of some more masculine activities that he prefers.

There are many films still around from the movie era in which the excitement of the new art form truly emanates from the screen, and where the thrill of the project can be felt in the performances, the unique greatness of film-making is glorified as an art in it's first decades. Movie stars were held in higher esteem in those days, and the roles they played often reflected that place of honor. Frequently in the old movies, the homes were grand rather than common, the clothes were truly something to imitate, and the plots, characters and storylines were fresh and original.

There's something about a black and white movie that makes me think that stories told in black and white were in a clearer perspective in reality as well. The good were irreproachable, and the evil were truly evil. The gray areas were simply those minutes or hours spent finding out who was truly good and who was truly off course, and in the end, a completion of circumstances usually left us grateful for the outcome.

I do not impose my Vivaldi and Pavarotti recordings upon unwilling listeners, and I have at times felt the need to conceal the depth of my appreciation for the old movies from my husband, who has even insisted on several occasions that I watch something in color made within the last twenty years. I'm not sure exactly what his concern could be, other than a fear that I am drawn to something so culturally different from everything that his life has been as a simpler and more modern man of technical rather than creative abilities. But even when the plot is bad, I'll watch an old picture happily and study the clothing and the furniture for ideas of anything I might someday succeed in incorporating into our severely lacking modern decor.

I usually watch the old movies while my husband is at work, and I usually listen to my favorite musical masterpieces when I am in the quiet seclusion of my car, driving to and from the bank and stores. But knowing that he is somewhat repelled by the excessively old-fashioned, I never force the classics upon him. I realize that it is I who am behind the times, and not he, although I do wish the times had not become so very rock and roll ... He married me because he loves me, and I love old movies and the sound of great voices and singing violins.




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Reviewed by Felix Perry 8/23/2005
Nothing wrong with either of your hobbies and that is what makes each and everyone of us unique.
Good write.

Felix


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