Archives For Lucky Star

“They sure don’t make ’em like they used to.”

That’s the thought that was running through my head after I saw War Horse for the first time. It took a few minutes before I realized the irony of that notion. War Horse is a brand new film, yet it feels so old-fashioned that my immediate reaction was to think of it alongside old John Ford and Frank Borzage movies. I’m not the only one to have picked up on this. It’s been mentioned in almost every review of the film out there. What I found more curious was the reaction of people to the sentimental and melodramatic aspects of the film.

The most common complaints about War Horse relate to its sap and sentimentality. What’s weird to me is that many of these complaints seem to take for granted the idea that sentimentality is a bad quality in a film. How did this become the case? Why is it a bad thing to be sentimental, or sweeping, or even sappy? The way many critics and film lovers talk, you’d think that for sentimentality to be acceptable it has to be couched in raw reality or ambiguity or even an ironic wit and cynicism. It doesn’t make sense to me that films like Casablanca and It’s a Wonderful Life can be called masterpieces, but War Horse can be taken to task for its sweep and romance. Click to read more

I’m a very heavy user of the message boards. It’s one of the best film communities you’re likely to find on the entire web. Friendly folk who love real, in-depth talk about movies and other subjects. I recently decided to take my forum participation to the next level by starting a marathon. The premise is simple. I gave everyone and anyone on the forum the mandate of choosing five films I had yet to see. Any films. Good, bad, long, longer, disturbing, fun, anything. My first set of five films, submitted by forum member, Junior, consists of five films by Frank Borzage. First up: Lucky Star.

First of all, I have to admit complete ignorance of the work of Frank Borzage. I have not seen a single one of his films, and going into Lucky Star, I was completely unaware that is was silent. No problem, I like many silent films. But I have to say, I was a little worried. In my experience, silent dramas have often been too slow for my liking. A lot of stationary shots of people wildly acting out motions. You get the idea after a few seconds, but the shot just keeps going on and on way past the point of tediousness. So it was with a little bit of trepidation that I stepped into the world of Borzage. After watching Lucky Star, all I can say is, that trepidation has been fully been replaced by a ravenous desire for more.
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