Everyone has a favourite film, even if they are not your thing; there is one cinema experience that stands out in your mind. Seeing it elicits that same rush of enjoyment, a fondness grows at even the mention of the title and every time it comes on TV, no matter what else is on, it is watched to completion. More often than not a film that creates such a strong connection with its audience is considered to be a classic film.
We here at Cine2DVD Transfers have a lot of experience in transferring cine film to DVD and so we know the value of the moving picture. But, how do we discern a classic from just another run-of-the-mill film? There are a number of factors that together make for the perfect classic.
The Re-watch Factor
The recent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens likely prompted a re-watch of the whole saga by any true fan (yes even Phantom Menace) and a catch up on the original trilogy at the least for the more casual viewer. But, even prior to that this series is undoubtedly played again and again no matter whether there is an impending release in the series or not.
There are a number of reasons why a may stand up to for countless viewings: an engaging plot, memorable characters, a positive message, incredible costumes and perhaps there is something new to discover with every re-watch. The reason doesn’t matter, it’s simply that the more a film is watched, the more likely it is to be passed down through generations, from parents to children, and able to cement itself as a classic even decades later.
Stunning (or not so Stunning) Performances
They might not have won any awards in reality, but boy, were they a winner to you. The way they embodied their character, delivered those key emotional highs and carried the movie makes it an instant classic even in spite of the so-so plot. Or perhaps they just have a way about them that is insanely quotable and able to send a message to the masses regardless of the quality of the rest of the film.
It could even be that it was a terrible performance that makes a film memorable, prompting the question ‘was it really as bad as I remember?’ Only for you to then re-watch it and discover yes, yes, it was just as bad as you remember. Terrible movies as a whole can become their own strange version of a classic. We’re not saying that Sharknado is a classic in any way, shape or form; however this awful movie has somehow spawned multiple sequels and had many people watch it merely to satisfy a morbid curiosity. Perhaps in some way this is also the nature of a classic, the satisfaction of curiosity as to why people always go on about a certain movie.
So, your favourite movie is a cinema masterpiece, but when it was originally released it was a worldwide flop, what gives? Many films that now hold the esteemed cult classic status were once disregarded by their contemporary viewers. Shockingly, this includes films like Citizen Kane, The Wizard of Oz and the Shawshank Redemption. In the case of Citizen Kane, perhaps it was because at the time of release in 1941 the themes of the movie were too polarising – the idea of the American dream was still an important aspiration of the American population and the film’s portrayal of it as a lonely and cynical venture wasn’t something they wanted to see. Despite this, it received nine Academy Award nominations for its innovative style and structure, living on as a seminal classic, proving that cinema performance isn’t the be all and end all of a film’s longevity or classic status.
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