A slightly different blog from me today. Quotes from five films that defined the era or generation in which they were made and set.
Context: Made in 1942 during the second world war at a time when an Allied victory was far from certain. A year after Pearl Harbor, The U.S. had joined the war but were suffering in the Pacific. The war in Europe was ongoing and the extent of the holocaust was not known.
Victor Laszlo: “And what if you track down these men and kill them, what if you killed all of us? From every corner of Europe, hundreds, thousands would rise up to take our places. Even Nazis can’t kill that fast.”
Rick: “Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that. Now, now… Here’s looking at you kid.”
Context: Two Years after the summer of love. The Vietnam War has “expanded” under Lyndon B. Johnson. Nixon had just become president. The 60’s and all they stood for were over!
George Hanson: “They’ll talk to ya and talk to ya and talk to ya about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ‘em.”
Wyatt: “You know Billy, we blew it.”
Context: The 1980s was the decade of excess, the Wall Street crash known as “Black Monday” happened after the film was made and shortly before its release.
Gordon Gekko: “The richest one percent of this country owns half our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It’s bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you’re not naive enough to think we’re living in a democracy, are you buddy? It’s the free market. And you’re a part of it.”
Gordon Gekko: “greed, for lack of a better word, is good”.
Context: The end of the 90’s. The world economy is booming and the world (particularly the west) is embracing a disposable throwaway culture as things become cheaper to manufacture and purchase. Obesity, including childhood obesity is becoming a problem but who gives a shit, we live in a bubble of happy consumerism.
Tyler Durden: “You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis”.
Tyler Durden: “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
The Dark Knight
Context: Seven years into the so called war on terror and the optimism of the 90’s is long forgotten. Personal freedoms are being eroded in the name of safety and security and just to add to the sense of despair the world economy is on the way down the pan!
Alfred Pennyworth: “Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
James Gordon: “Because he’s the hero that Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we’ll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.”
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