Today I was reading something by Fred Blosser about music of Ennio Morricone, and it occurred to me that we don't experience movies the way we used to. I'm sure I've mentioned before that when I was a college student in Austin throughout most of the 1960s, the two downtown theaters (the State and the Paramount) would show their regular features on Sunday evening and follow those with sneak previews of a new movie.
In those days there wasn't a lot of hype about movies. We might've read a review of the movie we intended to see, but that was about all the information we'd have about it. We'd know nothing at all about the sneak preview, so we'd have no expectations. Can anybody experience a movie like that now? I doubt it. We start hearing about them as soon as there's a director attached, and after that the hype builds. Sure, there are some independent productions or throwaway movies that we might not know about, but that's not the same.
So you have to imagine me and Judy sitting in the theater in our preferred seat (first row in the balcony) when, say, A Fistful of Dollars comes on the screen. And when we hear that music. It's safe to say that we hadn't heard or seen anything quite like those two things, and it was great. When I went to the college the next day, half the big bullpen office full of graduate students was talking about the movie. There was an excitement about it that's impossible to imagine now, I think. People get excited about new movies, sure, but not in the same way as we did about something different and unexpected.
Have I mentioned that I miss the old days?