Does anyone else had the impression that creative talent has dried up today? In the first half of the 20th century you had all kinds of new musical styles, song lyrics, film ideas, script writing the best of which was so much better than the stuff churned out today.
It's pretty rare now for a piece of music or movie to really make a mark on culture where you say to yourself, that's a keeper.
Maybe that is just my perception. It's certainly a strong perception though. Even my kids like watching Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin movies on Youtube as compared to modern films.
Pixar have turned out some gems like ToyStory but most Hollywood kids movies are crap. Whereas most Laurel and Hardy films are funny and entertaining. Seems like the writers and creative directors back then had more talent and knew how to entertain.
I struggle now to find movies to watch. I think I have watched everything worth watching twice and even watched a lot of middle of the road movies hoping to find something entertaining. I usually end up watching B movies from the 40s and 50s.
You're not alone in that, Greg.
Becoming a father has made me acutely aware of just how abominable the garbage that passes for children's entertainment today is. And it's getting worse at an exponential rate. Even music and films from my childhood (1980's), while it was still mostly crap, was crap of a distinctly higher order than the utterly worthless trash being churned out today - Compare, say, Star Wars
to The Hunger Games
or Peter Gabriel to Justin Bieber and this becomes apparent; it's the difference between the moldy bread at the top of the trash heap and the putrefactive sludge at the bottom.
Catholic influence is what kept Hollywood's output relatively wholesome from the 1930's to early 60's. The bishops were faithful to Church Teaching, the laity were obedient to the bishops, and they voted with their dollars (the only kind of votes that matter to the Tribe in charge of Hollywood). As a result, the films of that period remain or best (or only) option for entertainment.
My son loves the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, the Bowery Boys, the Little Rascals and Abbot and Costello. I am partial to detective films from the 1940's and 50's. And one of my favorite films of all time is at least still widely watched around Christmastime - It's a Wonderful Life
. I don't think Frank Capra was Catholic in anything more than a "cultural" sense, but he certainly made a wonderful film with a message of self-denial and charity that is as Catholic as anything Hollywood's ever churned out, and with a view of economics that is in astonishingly close accord with Rerum Novarum.A Man For All Seasons
is also a great one - probably the last good Catholic themed maistream film until The Passion of the Christ