My boss lent me a bunch of old movies after having found out how much I love Grace Kelly‘s last movie, To Catch a Thief. Do not ask me why, but I’ve decided to watch the films in chronological order starting from the oldest, which in this case was Frank Capra‘s It Happened One Night (1934).
The next film I watched was also directed by Frank Capra and was based on the 1933 book of the same title. Lost Horizon came out in 1937 and was reissued during the WWII era 7 minutes shorter. Kudos go to the UCLA Film and Television Archive and Columbia Pictures for trying to restore the entire 132-minute first public release. But even with the foreword, it was jarring to see the stills they inserted to make up for the missing frames.
I did not like this movie as much as I enjoyed It Happened One Night. It was too dark (yes, I found it dark) and too utopian and I just could not understand what is effin’ wrong with Robert Conway’s sniveling brother. Maybe he’s the necessary villain, I don’t know, but I do know his character was underdeveloped and just didn’t work for me.
What I do like is the concept of Shangri-La. In this fictional place, people have everything they need and because they are content, there is peace. Everyone does their part in ensuring there is enough food and provisions. Nobody wants to leave.
Unconvinced, diplomat Robert Conway asked Chang, the guy who seemed to be in charge of the lamasery, if there are no quarrels about women. There aren’t, but if it were to happen that two men would want to be with the same woman, somebody will give way without a fight.
These all sound a lot like the precepts of communism, except this one did not have people killing other people. I do wish that utopian community is possible in the here and now. I wish we didn’t have to break our backs working for companies that do not care one whit about their employees just so we can fend for ourselves. I wish we didn’t have governments that are run by politicians who seem to be concerned more about themselves than the people they are supposed to be leading and helping. I wish we can just do what we enjoy doing without worrying about the financial backlash.
I do believe that there remain employers and politicians who do care, just as I am sure there are opportunities out there for people who want to do what they love and get paid well for it. I just wish they’d come my way sometime soon.
In other news, can anyone tell me where I can get my hair permed to make it look like this?