Currently reading, along with half a dozen other books, Leonard Maltin’s 2013 Movie Guide. Put it on my list on Goodreads and it keeps popping up wanting to know my progress. One does not make progress quickly through a book like this. It is a reference book, an encyclopedia for movies. The fact that I am reading it like a book is a nostalgic human journey I am undertaking. Movies are so entwined with our lives that we consume far more of them than we realize. Television has made this a reality, as I could not have afforded the cost of entrance fees for the number of movies I have seen in my life, or the accumulated calories of all those ubiquitous buckets of buttered popcorn that go with movie theaters. As I read through this book and troll through my memories watching for the names of favourites and those that are merely familiar a few things struck me this morning. One, the number of actors who have died in my lifetime…some so very young and well loved. Two, it is fascinating to see the rise and fall, in what seems like a brief span of time, of many name stars. The low budget starter films of a shooting star like Brad Pitt, you watch rise through better quality and, inevitably, the fall through cheaper, low budget, lower billed efforts. Names that were huge appearing in crappy little no name pieces in tenth billing spots and you wonder about what drives them to do it. Acting must be like an addiction. It can’t always be about money. Many of the names are rich but the drive to act in anything even after you are no longer wanted anymore has big names and actors with huge abilities appearing in some awful dreck.
It is sad, in its way, to see the progression…their beginnings amongst giants, their growth into giants in turn and their diminishment among no names and up and comers. That sounds unkind, those no names might someday become giants…it is my perception of the progression of time that says…not in my lifetime, but time moves so fast and new crops of stars appear and disappear faster than ever. I am already falling behind on popular culture and spend my time and money looking back nostalgically. All the award shows are filled with, to me, nonentities. The tabloids and the photographs currently hot are all boring nobodies to me. Was it always like this…that the most publicized were the most talentless? This is why Maltin’s book is so fascinating to read..a reflection on the passing of eras.
Another of those spooky flashes in my life. Was it yesterday I was wondering if Wayne Newton was still alive….don’t ask what brought him to mind. So I googled and found he is still working Vegas. i love google, every passing thought or question can be instantly resolved. Moving on to today and what prompted this blog was…I started reading where I left off last night and halfway through first page was a movie starring Wayne Newton and I was gobsmacked and thinking of coincidences and spooky ether connections and how the mind works and when did Richard Jaekel die and Lewis Collins has been gone one full year and I wish he had made more movies and they do not make actors like Oliver Reed anymore. So I decided to empty my head here and go back to reading…I am only up to the Ds…this is going to take a while.