Friday, December 30, 2011

The Wonderful Season And "It's A Wonderful Life!" [Pt 2]

            Part 1 of this two part series----> click on link
                                                   Below is Part 2

Now, concerning the film "It's A Wonderful Life"  something just this year caught my attention. The basic story line was concerning one, George Bailey taking over his father's "Building And Loan" which specialized in providing mortgages for those of questionable means. Bailey's gracious character is contrasted with a measly, penny pinching banker, one Mr Potter, who's intent was to overlord and totally monopolise the  town.  Most fascinating was that on May 26, 1947 the American FBI, declared that "It's a Wonderful Life" was an obvious attempt to discredit bankers, a propaganda trick used by communists. Wouldn't you have to wonder what people today would think about that?  Watching, as I say, the film this latest time I really came to the conclusion that "It's A Wonderful Life" perhaps indeed could be considered...the most wonderful film ever made.

Yes, I fully appreciate there are many different and various genres and it could be said no one particular thing is everyone's cup of tea.  When one considers however the basics of what makes life enjoyable and worthwhile the "It's A Wonderful Life" most certainly does touch on all the bases---self sacrifice, being kind and gracious, and doing things together for the common good---all the ingrediants one would hope to see in a good and caring society. It's a film as well which inspires one to ever seek to look at the bigger picture in life. One can see George Bailey learn such a wonderful valuable lesson that no matter how big a problem which seeks to envelop our lives...there may indeed be things one should consider to keep things in proper perspective.

On my latest viewing this wonderful film,  I picked up on something  most ironic. The age old question has always been can money buy happiness. The standard answer is no. If one considers all aspects of the story however it should be noted the "Building And Loan" was all about giving people a sense of security and happiness by granting them the means to purchase a home. Any way one looks at it---that required money, so can money buy happiness? And what was the thing that actually brought the solution to George's main dilemma in the end? Wasn't it community giving, pooling resources and using money as a tool in solving the problem?

I'm sure we can safely conclude therefore that financial capability does connect to a certain aspect in making people "happy". Perhaps we could consider "happiness" likened to a structure of a building. One needs various pillars in holding it. Money is merely one such pillar  but it takes more than one to hold it up.  A person could have all the money in the world but if they've trouble in their homes, strife and turmoil between relatives and friends---or if a physician has relayed to one a not so good report---well what good is money to buy happiness then?   Now concluding I'd have to say there's one thing I'm not too happy about. I happen to notice "It's A Wonderful Life" in 1946 was nominated for five Oscars but didn't win one. However the American Film Institute has it as one of the 100 best films ever made and have it as number one on it's list as the most inspirational films of all time! What else could be said except, "That's Wonderful!" And may you all my readers have,  A Very Wonderful and Happy New Year!!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Wonderful Season And "It's A Wonderful Life!" [Pt 1]

Well, it appears were moving now out of the Christmas theme and the consciousness of New Years has taken over. I for one don't like to think of Christmas as a mere day, but rather a season. I heard recently of one particular culture that have designated things to do in October, November and then December---all related to Christmas. Since the month of January seems in my opinion to lack a certain sense of character who knows---maybe we can add that in too! I'm looking over the last few weeks and can truly say I've had a blessed time this holiday season. I ask myself one thing though, and that is will I ever really tire of watching the grand ole classic Christmas movies which many in my north american culture, delight in viewing?

I think not. I guess they've become engrained within our mindsets that Christmas or the Christmas season, without them just wouldn't be the same. Interesting however , that on Christmas Eve itself, I didn't watch the traditional "Scrooge movies" but I found myself viewing the new "Rise Of The Planet Of the Apes" Will it ever be considered a Christmas classic?

I wouldn't count on it for without a doubt there sure is a considerable difference between 12 reindeer transporting a jolly ole man in a red suit to towns and cities around the world filling everyone's children with glee. Besides, would parents really care to have their children hearing little thumps on the roof and consider they're maybe apes, or monkeys going on the attack? I'm not sure about that. Having said that, "The Rise Of The Planet of the Apes" was an incredibly well done film, and in my opinion 100 X's better then the remake of 2001. 

I did watch in this Christmas Season, Frank Campa's "It's A Wonderful Life" starring Jimmy Stewart, which just happened to be Mr Stewart's all time favourite. Here's some interesting trivia concerning it. To begin with the idea for the film was actually derived from a 4,100-word short story by Philip Van Doren Stern which he wrote in 1943, entitled "The Greatest Gift". Apparently Stern was unable to find a publisher so you might say he gave it out as a freebee, as a 21 page booklet to friends for Christmas.

It eventually came to the attention of a Hollywood film producer who then purchased the film rights for $10,000. Speaking to writers here, I wonder if that answers a particular question some continue to ask---that being, if you've released a particular piece out to be read to an audience, does that necessarily substantiate as a fact that no official publisher will henceforth entertain the notion of publishing the piece? As you can see that wasn't the case with "It's A Wonderful Life". Stern released for free the story and surprisingly it became of monetary value at some later date.

Part 2 of "The Wonderful Season/Wonderful Life" coming soon!