Classics and legends

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by strantor, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. strantor

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    I just came off of a 6hr road trip with a coworker and we filled about 5 of those hours with a discussion about movie stars. We were trying to decide / agree upon current stars who we thought would be considered "legends" and current movies that would be considered "classics" in decades to come.

    Neither one of us came up with much. I think we both agreed that Mark Wahlberg had enough variety in roles, acting talent, personality, and acclaim to be spoken of after his time, but we both agreed he didn't deserve to be in the list with John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Charlie Chaplin, and all those other names that will never die.

    My takeaway was that the entertainment of current just isn't legendary enough to immortalize anybody. But the more i think about it, the more i wonder if it's just impossible to know a "classic" or a "legend" when you see it.

    Is it time that turns these movies and stars into legends? When you saw Rocky for the first time, did you really think that the movie was that awesome, that it would still be a favorite of so many, so many years later? Did you have any expectation that Sylvester Stallone would still be making movies today, because the people still crave him over newer celebrities? Or is this common recognition of his "legend" status something that arose many years later?

    When you first heard Proud Mary on the radio, did you expect that 45 years later there would be a radio station in every major city dedicated to it and other songs like it, and that it would still be played several times per day? Or was it just another song, and for some reason, decades later, people just decided it was awesome?
     
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  2. GopherT

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    I wrote something earlier but, after reviewing it, realized that I was wrong and I deleted it. After considering your question a bit more, I think it is because the movie and music industries have moved to niche marketing. They push content to you as an individual and all of society doesn't even listen to it or see it. Few movies or songs are broadly marketed.

    For example, I was discussing recently about how segmented the FM radio stations are. The only stations that play Rock Music are playing classic rock all day - how do you identify a future"classic" when everything you hear is already defined as a classic. Even with the thousands of songs written in the 60s-early 1990s, only a select group of about 200 songs ever get played on these stations.

    From 1990 to 2010, pop songs, so heavily produced and marketed that they are released based on focus group results, not talent. Songs selected, voice selected from the studio's stable of voices, marketing campaign developed, ...
    There is no connection with music produced that way. Luckily, there has been a move to talented people (singer songwriters) that are truer performers. I think the shift has been made since it was too expensive to carry a large stable of talent and that real talented people can easily start their own recording studio and release their own music (Lady Gaga, Katie perry, Taylor swift all come to mind. Not my style but I can appreciate them as talented people.

    Movies are becoming irrelevant. Fewer and fewer people go to movies. Note the prices go up by 10% per year but studios still only reference a movie's success by dollars, not number of people who have seen the movie. Such a small fraction have seen a movie that it cannot make an impact on pop culture like movies of the past. Ditto for actors/actresses.

    Note, the movie with the biggest fraction of Americans seeing it in the theater was....

    Take a guess
     
  3. tracecom

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    I think Tom Hanks and maybe Robin Williams will be "legendary" someday.

    Tom Hanks seems to be convincing in every part he plays, despite the diversity of the roles. Legendary actors like Humphrey Bogart seem to always be the same character just in different clothes. (I like Bogart, so don't flame me.)
     
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  4. GopherT

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    To finish my thoughts from above, I think you need some type of Critical Mass or a Tipping Point of interest from the viewers. In other words, you have to get enough people at the water cooler who have seen the movie, heard the song or recognized the actor/actress for a legendary status to start. There are just too many types of entertainment, and that is diluted with people watching or listening to classics instead of new.

    The big record companies and movie studios have much less influence on the American public than they did in the past. The dollars flowing in are small. Apple and Netflix are taking too big of a cut for distribution and the movie studios are not after mass-appeal movies - they are after niche audiences with recycled plot lines.

    For the current generation of 15 to 40-year-0ld men, you might not want to ask about actors, songs and movies that are classics - you should ask about video games. Video games are more likely to hit the $1B mark in sales and achieve a critical mass of popularity with your peers than a song or movie.

    From a June 2014 article...
    The whole article can be found here...
    http://consumerist.com/2014/06/09/i...-industry-like-the-21-billion-business-it-is/
     
  5. GopherT

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    Shawshank is already 22 years old. And picking Star Wars V (1980), is like picking Gone With the Wind (1939) or Casablanca (1942) as "current" in the mid-1970s.
     
  6. Kermit2

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    Mel Gibson has had a long fruitful career filled with a lot of big hits.

    Harrison Ford as well, and Bruce Willis. All could be considered for future superstar status.
     
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  7. strantor

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    @GopherT
    So do i understand your theory correctly: that movies /music/art of the past was blasted to the masses in a format that was universally appealing, and now marketing has funneled it into slots that are targeted only at certain groups? And that stars from these groups don't cross lines enough to gain universal acclaim?

    If that's the case then the most important factor for an actor these days would be to bulldoze the lines and infiltrate all the niches. It would be more important than talent, good looks, or anything else. We could be witnessing the birth of a couple of unlikely immortalized stars in Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen. Both those guy threw me for a loop when they broke out of pothead comedy and made drama movies.
     
  8. GopherT

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    That is generally my theory but, there is still the issue of critical mass across an entire generation of audience. The number of people who see top boxoffice hits is shrinking in terms of number of viewers and, shrinking even faster in terms of Fraction of the American population who sees it (since the population continues to grow while the number of attendees shrinks).

    Look at this list, it may be dated (2013 or so) but still is representative because there are only 5 movies in the top 100 from the most recent 5-year period.

    Here is the 2013 data. Hard to get a critical mass of the population when few people see a movie. It is also interesting to see how the definition of Blockbuster changes over time based on the percentage of people who have seen the movie.

    http://mrob.com/pub/film-video/topadj.html

    Now, to back up a bit. Just because a lot of people see a movie, doesn't make it a classic. It has to be seen and revered. For example, The Dirty Dozen is more of a classic than Porkie's from my point of view but guess which one had higher box office attendance?

    Note that the movie industry tries to hide the attendance numbers and push the revenue numbers because it can make the movie industry seem more relevant that way as opposed to a dying industry that it is. The text above the list of the movies in the link above is an interesting read. Also, the methodology that had to be used to pull these numbers from available data shows how well the movie industry tries to avoid publishing these numbers.
     
  9. wayneh

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    Society has a whole is becoming increasingly balkanized, and it's not just with regard to pop culture content like movies. My parents' generation was predominantly farmers. There were also city folk, but they were considered odd. Now it has flipped the other way. We used to have far more shared experiences. TVs and movies for sure, but also work and family. When I was a kid most adults were married, but that has flipped now too. Most kids used to grow up in two-parent homes. Not anymore. There are so many different paths that people follow in life, and so much custom content they fill their heads with.
     
  10. strantor

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    Oh wow, that list is revealing. I see your point. It looks like Gone With the Wind sold enough tickets for for every American in 1939 to have seen it twice in theater. I don't care how good a movie is these days, you won't get that kind of turnout. The first movie in the list from the last 10 years is The Avengers (2012): 72.3M sales with a US pop. of 314M - enough for 1 in 4 Americans to have seen it once in theater.

    I don't disagree with your theory, but I have something to add to it, a big factor; The movie supply these days is a lot more diluted than in 1939. There were 21 movies released in 1939, versus the 220+ movies (that Wikipedia knows about) in 2012. The population only just more than doubled between 1939 and 2012, but the moviegoer's options increased tenfold. If everyone saw the same amount of movies per year in 1939 and 2012, that would mean only 20% as many views per movie for each movie in 2012 as in 1939... less views per capita per movie these days.
     
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  11. GopherT

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    A similar effect with music. 50 years ago, a handful of recording production companies controlled the industry. Now, every tom, dick or harry can produce music in their basement and get it on the internet. Besides that, most listeners are listening to classic music on the radio (>10 years old). There is little chance that new artists or new songs will become so ingrained in society that they will become classics. The only one my wife could name that could be a classic for the current generation of pre-teen females is "let it go" from Frozen.
     
  12. tracecom

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    I remember in the mid 60s discussing forming a band with some friends, but we decided that the field was already too crowded, so we dropped the idea. (Never mind that we had no talent.)
     
  13. nsaspook

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  14. PackratKing

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    Will Smith certainly shot himself in the foot recently...
     
  15. Brownout

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    In hight school, I was going to be the next great musician. I won tons of awards for music. But I lost interest and took up electronics instead.

    Good thing :)
     
  16. nsaspook

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    Got a picture to show us?
     
  17. Brownout

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    Of....? Me in hight school? That was like 100 years ago.
     
  18. shteii01

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    Eh? What happened? What did he do?
     
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  19. nsaspook

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    Of you in a band as a kid, we know you have one hidden somewhere.
     
  20. GopherT

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    Time to call Mom to dig out the old photo album.
     
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