The sexual innocence and comedic vulgarity in old movies reminds me that we’ve entirely lost the innocence and replaced it with crude sexual vulgarity.
This is not a post about politics. I need a break from politics. Instead, it’s a post that follows on from a conversation I had via email with a friend who saw Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old. I’ve been aware of the movie for a couple of years now, since it was a project many watched with interest.
Peter Jackson took footage of WWI and brought it to life using technology that not only colorized it but sharpened it as if was filmed yesterday, not one hundred and more years ago. He then added voice overs and sound effects, making the footage as rich and full as if it were a documentary about the Iraq War, rather than WWI. I’ve already bought my ticket and will be seeing the Marin showing on December 27. I’m very excited.
My friend commented that, having already seen the movie, he couldn’t get one song out of his head. Here’s the song — Mademoiselle from Armentières — although it’s important you know that the crude footage is not from Jackson’s movie:
I know that song. I know a lot of WWI songs. My grandmother lived in Belgium during WWI and learned the songs during the liberation. When I was a child, we’d sing those songs with her: Over There, Mademoiselle from Armentières, How’re You Going To Keep Them Down on the Farm, and my favorite, It’s A Long Way To Tipperary. I still sang that last song with my children when they were little. I doubt they remember the song now, but back in the day, they were probably the only elementary school children in America who knew those songs. Judy Garland sings a great medley of some of those songs in an otherwise “meh” movie, For Me And My Gal: