The Tom Hanks produced series The Movies aired its final episode, The Sixties, which ends with where the series began. It clocks in at a hour and a half runtime. The episode delves into the cultural events of the 60s. And how those events found their way onto the cinema screen.
We see the studios trying to find their way as counter cultural movements became more prevalent. American films begin to experiment more, and auteurs, once again, begin to arise. The movies try to walk the balancing line tearing apart what seems to be an ever dividing society. And the studios struggle to keep those groups within its reach.
All the while, it still tries to combat television and a growing, educated, and increasingly disillusioned audience.
Once again, there are titles that are missed, or not given their due attention, but that may just be personal preference of the viewer. Having said that, the series continues to put the films, its influences, and what in turn they influenced in perspective.
And while titles may be missing, this series has been such a joy to dive into, to examine, to relive the moment iconic scenes blazed across the screen. Those moments demand reliving and revisiting, and that is the beauty of the movies of any decade; they take us in, wrap us up in their narratives and transport us.
This series is great for introducing people and blossoming cinephiles to films of the decades, highlighting things to watch. It will also continue to fan the flame of those movie lovers who have seen these films countless times. It lets us watch filmmaking icons talk about the movies that influenced them and how it affected them sitting in the darkened theatre. And it speaks to the important communal significance of the movie-going experience.
We still share stories around the campfire. Only now, they are the enchanting flicker of led flames and frames, sharp images that beguile us as we give ourselves over to the narrative.
I still believe the series should have been broadcast in chronological order. But this way, ending with the 60s and leaping into the 70s, it also demonstrates the cyclical nature of film. And those who make them, guiding us on the journey through the dark, while we dip our hands into popcorn.
Let’s all go to the movies, and celebrate the art, the entertainment, and the shared experience, which feels more important now than it ever was. Start with a classic, start with a new to you film. And discover why movies, from silent, to talkies, to animated, to musicals, and beyond are so important to us as a culture.
Then get out there with a camera and tell your story!