Fascinating, isn’t it, how what’s old becomes new again — and how writers and artists help fuel this never-ending cycle? Right now, there is a surge of in films set from World War I to the forties. And a number of them, like Red Tails, (about the Tuskegee Airmen) and War Horse are being viewed as examples of old-fashioned moviemaking, with strong characters, bold stories, and historical settings.
Movies like these are probably not going to appeal to 16-year olds, long considered the mainstay of the film industry. That’s good news for us as film goers, but it’s definitely great news for us as writers. Consider the wide open field we can play in if the current surge of interest in historical themes signals a genuine trend.
While some of this may be nostalgia fueled by a tough economy, there may also be something deeper and more empowering going on. Perhaps people are weary of the slam-bang techno thrillers and are looking for stories on a more human, more intimate scale. What incredible opportunities this gives us to stretch our fabulist wings!
Who knows? When The King’s Speech swept the Oscars last year, it may have been the start of something big. Whether it’s the new musical Newsies, which is about to hit Broadway or the revival of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, it seems that there’s an appetite for heart and soul. Whatever is feeding this desire, let’s make the most of it! Write on!