Last year, there was quite the pearl-clutching over the classic 1939 motion picture Gone With the Wind. The woke puritans demanded the film receive some type of censorship over its depiction of slavery, plantations, and the Mammy (played by the fabulous Oscar-winning actress Hattie McDaniel). The industry caved to the digital mob, triggering broader discussions over the next film to be banned.
Of course, it is safe to assume that most of the people calling for the film’s deletion from cinematic history have probably only viewed clips on YouTube – if that. These folks are similar to the individuals who wanted to ban D.H. Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover, despite not reading a single page.
But film buffs are not giving up without a fight.
Turner Classic Movies, the premier channel for showcasing old films from the Golden Age of Hollywood, has launched a new series, “Reframed Classics.” It examines 18 culturally significant films from the 1920s to the 1960s to explore various topics, from transgenderism to racism to misogyny. Some of the titles on the list include Swing Time, Psycho, My Fair Lady, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.
The purpose behind this venture is to push back against the modern trends of canceling or dismissing these movies because they showcase values or depict characters that offend today’s ultra-sensitive filmgoers. In other words, the network is appeasing the perpetually outraged to ensure yesterday’s pictures survive the test of time.
TCM host Jacqueline Stewart said in a statement:
“We know millions of people love these films. We’re not saying this is how you should feel about ‘Pyscho’ or this is how you should feel about ‘Gone With the Wind.’ We’re just trying to model ways of having longer and deeper conversations and not just cutting it off to ‘I love this movie. I hate this movie.’ There’s so much space in between.
“I think there’s something to be learned from any work of art. They’re all historical artifacts that tell us a lot about the industry in which they were made, the cultures that they were speaking to.”
It is not a black-and-white issue, although some of the greatest films ever made were black-and-white.
TCM’s programming quality has somewhat declined in recent years, choosing to broadcast a Jay-Z concert for whatever reason. But the channel is the only option to view Barbara Stanwyck marathons, high-quality silent pictures, and vintage foreign cinema. So anything you can do to ensure they live on for future generations is welcome.
Perhaps, to paraphrase the line in the 1933 picture King Kong, it is beauty that kills the woke beast.
Read more from Andrew Moran.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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