Thursday, November 22, 2012

Like tears in rain...

The past eventually all runs together into a blur.

Bobbi, in the other room with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade running on the boob tube, hollered "This dance number has the men in zoot suits and the women in flapper outfits! That's just wrong!"

And it is, you know. It's as wrong as having the men in pointy-collared polyester double-knit with snaggletooth necklaces and the women in tie-dye tees, bell bottomed denim, and beaded headbands.

On a somewhat related note, having been stuck in bed watching the incredibly farby Daniel Boone on MeTV, I was reminded that painstaking historical accuracy in the costume-'n'-prop department is a fairly recent development in Hollywood that has largely been made possible by the evolution of the historical reenacting hobby.

16 comments:

Chris said...

I would often hear other kids in school (back before electronics, etc.) complaining, "Why do we need to memorize dates of old stuff that happened somewhere else?"

Well, it turns out that one of the best answers to that plaint is, "So you can make fun of Hollywood's historical mistakes." With a side helping of being condescending to "journalists" and finding mistakes in the few remaining shows about history on the History Channel.

Happy Thanksgiving and get well to the both of you.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

Damn all those historical reenactors! They mess up Hollywood's ability to just make crap up!

Chas Clifton said...

I remember seeing chain mail that looked as though it had been crocheted.

Critter said...

to be fair, a lot of Hollywood screw ups were simply a matter of using what we knew at the time. my favorite example is "Ben Hur". the Roman helmets were designed from carvings on Trajan's column, which we now know were rather heavily influenced by artistic conventions of the day and didn't look at all what we've discovered from the phyisical historical record. second, our hero gets himself sentenced to slavery on a war galley: the term "galley" is middle ages; he would have been on a trireme, and the Romans didn't use slaves to row their war ships, but used professional crews of specialists. use of galley slaves was a middle ages Ottoman and (ahem) French practice. lastly the chariots in the race scene look like they were designed after Roman achitecture not the light, swift wicker baskets on wheels that racing chariots of the day actually were.

the folks who made the flick were trying to get it right but were relying on bad information.

Tam said...

Critter,

Well, to be fair, the reenactors provide two things: Extras, and effectively free crowd-sourced historical research.

Bubblehead Les. said...

But I thought we reached "The End of History" after the last Election.

Happy Turkey Day!

NAVIGATOR said...

RE SHOW BIZ ONE HAS TO HAVE THE ABILITY
TO SUSPEND DISBELIEF AND IGNORE ALL THE
HISTORICAL BLOOPERS AND SIMPLY ENJOY THE
ENTERTAINMENT I HAVE A PROBLEM DOING SO

FOR INSTANCE
IN CASABLANCA WHY DOES MAJOR STRASSE (CONRAD VEIDT) WEAR A LUFTWAFFE UNIFORM WHEN HE IS SUPPOSED TO BE GESTAPO ? WHY DOES PREFECT RENOILT (CLAUDE RAINES)A FRENCH VET OF WW I WEAR A AMERICAN WWI VICTORY MEDAL OUT OF PRECEDENCE NEXT
TO MEDALS FOR VALOR ( LEGION D HONOR COIX DE GUERRE AVEC PALM) ???
AND OTHER BLOOPERS

HISTORICAL ACCURACY MAY MAKE ONE UNPOPULAR BTW I WAS A REVWAR HISTORIC REENACTOR

FEEL BETTER HAPPY THANKSGIVING !

Kristophr said...

Farby-ing Hollywierd and the current media machine is a thankless and toothgrinding task.

But what they hell, everyone likes laughing at them ...

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Dear Leader I recently had to cancel my Dish Network. I proceeded to hook the trusty old antennae back up and auto search turned up MeTv. I love it!

2Dogs

Stretch said...

I commend to your attention George MacDonald Fraser's "Hollywood History of the World."
He posits that, on the whole, Hollywood does a very good job of doing history well.

http://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-History-George-MacDonald-Fraser/dp/0449904385

Critter said...

ah, Casablanca. story of my life.

great movie and such terrible history. i can think of no way to get "chucked in a concentration camp" faster that waving around travel documents signed by General De Gaulle.

Wilson said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

armedlaughing said...

Don't forget all the Indians (who usually weren't) shooting arrows with plastic nocks!
In just about every movie and TV show until...

gfa

Cybrludite said...

Critter, they were actually signed by General Weygand, not DeGaulle. Lorre's accent makes it hard to hear it.

staghounds said...

And Captain Renaults medals and ribbons are correct. Legion d'Honneur first, French (not U. S.) victory medal, then French WW1 medal.

Incidentally, Rains was a WW veteran, gassed and lost the sight of an eye with the British army.

PoppaJ said...

Like tears in rain... I think I'll watch Blade Runner today. Thanks Tam.