Comparison and Contrast
Professor Wright EN115
I have been enjoying going to the movies for over 20 and have never stopped loving the experience. I even remember the name of my first movie “The Land Before Time.” It was about a baby dinosaur that had lost his mother and had to make a great journey to the Great Valley to find his grandparents. In the end he does find them, after a great adventure with friends. I have always love movies that have a happy ending and also a little adventure. Another story that I read that had a happy ending was an essay called “Going to the Movies” by Susan Allen Toth 1980. In this essay she writes about what type of experiences she has with four different friends when she goes to the movies with them. Also, another essay I have read recently is called “A Century of Cinema” 1995 written by Susan Sontag about the history of the films and how is it started. She explains to us the first one hundred years of movies and how they changed over time. Even though both stories are about the cinema they also have some differences.
These two stories are from two completely different time periods, but both essays show that they are very passionate about films. Some may even say that both writers are “cinephilia”, which is to be passionate about the movies. Susan Allen Toth wrote about her fun experiences of going to the movies, while Sontag wrote about the ups and downs of making movies. “A Century of Cinema” explains to us how the movie business began, starting all the way back to 1895. Allen informs us that there were two different types of films first made. The first films were about as she called it “the transctption of real, unstaged life,” (Sontag, 1098). The second type of films made was about fantasy, illusion, and artificful. Some of Toth’s movies that she mentions in her essay “Going to the Movies” are similar to what the first films were about, but she is the only one that goes and watches the black and white movies and prefers them to have a happy ending. Point being that “A Century of Cinema” is more of a research essay, where as “Going to the Movies” is a short story about going to different movies with friends or by yourself.
Sontag is mostly talking about European films and Toth talks about movies in the 60’s and 70’. Both authors seem to name a lot of different films that turn into big classic movies that can still be seen on today’s TV. Just to name a few are “The Sound of Music” and “The Wizard of Oz.” Both writers also understand that not everyone can be pleased by all the movies that they see just because of good reviews. Although Toth’s friend Sam will only see movies that “the Minneapolis Tribune loved and either Time or Newsweek rather liked” (1106), but I guess I am the same way that if doesn’t have a good review then I don’t go to see it. A difference between the two essays is that Sontag feels that young people are not “cinephilia” enough in the way that we don’t mind if a new version is made of a 1930’s movie into a 2010 film. In Toth’s last part of the essay she tells about herself and how she loves to go to older movies if the 1950’s. So some people do not like the fact of remaking movies sometime, but as the industry continues to get bigger and bigger they sometimes run out of ideas to make new films so they just remake the old. Now with all of the new techniques some directors are just itching to re-do films.
It seems to me that both authors really like the movies. They both go above and beyond to let their readers understand that they do care about the movies and that they will do anything to keep the magic alive in the theater. I hope that they continue to keep all the cinemas open, some have already closed because of the economy hopefully that won’t continue to happen. The fact is I really did enjoy both of the essays; it gave me a history lesson as well as funny story about one girl’s trips to the movies.