Saturday, September 27, 2008

What can you say?

One by one, all the old legends are dying off. It's unfortunate that Hollywood people are demonized to the extent that they are, given that so many of them have done so much for society. Over and over again, Hollywood has been ahead of the curve, but because the well-known ones are wealthy and do something "superficial" like acting, they are convenient targets for the forces of regression. I'm not a huge fan of Newman's early work, but the stuff that he did as he aged was very nice; he brought an intelligence and wisdom to the parts he played, a humanity tempered by worldly realism, that not too many people ever know themselves, let alone have the ability to express onscreen. It was as if he needed age to strip away the pretty boyness of his image and let the man shine through, which it did -- brightly.

Who's left? Kirk Douglas, Sidney Portier, Redford is a tweener, but you can throw him in there, and I really can't think of anyone else. And then there's a big gap until you reach the present day, where guys like Clooney are doing some of the things that pretty much all of Hollywood's big stars did in Newman's glory days. Maybe the obscene money changed everything, or maybe the 70s - 90s just didn't need social activism. We sure need it now.