D-Day + 63 years.
I watched “The Day the Earth Stood Still” last night. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen it all the way through because I did not recognize hardly anything past the first five minutes. Among the interesting extras on the DVD was a 1951 newsreel clip. I watched it first so it set the tone before I watched the movie. I have a couple of thoughts about the film.
One, the movie is a perfect reflection of its time. The Korean War was raging, the Communists seemed to be everywhere, the Soviets had the A-Bomb, and a sense of unease permeated the country despite the happy diversions of radio and the then-emerging TV. It makes me wonder what the equivalent movie and story would be for 2007. Is there a way to illustrate our current malaise in an SF allegory or trope? That might be the new question of the summer.
Two, the nostalgic longing. I rarely get nostalgic for something I never knew. I have always enjoyed living in the time I have lived. That said, the seemingly ‘more simple time’ aspect of TDTESS was nice. Heck, I even liked the communal aspect of the boarding house in which Patricia Neal and her son lived. Granted, as a parent, the fact that she’d let her son wander the city with Klaatu (‘disguised’ as Mr. Carpenter), a man who just moved into the boarding house the previous day, a little disconcerting but that was the time. That was the time before JFK was killed, before MLK and RFK were killed, before