Me, Ageing and Films

It is the end of the year and I am entering my 79th year.   Time to stop and consider.

‘Archbishop of Canterbury criticises contempt and abuse of elderly people.
Rowan Williams uses final Lords speech to warn of damaging stereotypes and praise older people’s contribution to society’  The Guardian 15th December

On Sunday 16th December   Dustin Hoffman was interviewed on the radio (LBC). About ‘Quartet’ ,  he said that the film business being  reactive will produce more films about old people if they see that they can be popular. After all, he said,  film audiences are composed of old people rather than the youth.

 Amour was released this month and Quartet will be on our screens in January.

On a personal note I know of a few women who are working on a Ph D about older women and films and senior media academics are at long last interested in the subject of ageing and culture.

The Old Women in Film Group started in 1998. It had many  transformations but  does not meet anymore; deaths, moving away, lack of mobility  being the main reasons but also the difficulty of fitting in meetings in busy schedules and diminishing energies. The U3A/Lexi cinema group now programmes classic films and does not focus on old age.

In brief, the reasons for starting a blog ( see ‘why this blog’ page) are redundant

I have considered my options: Apply to study for a PhD ? Use my extensive knowledge of old women on-screen to write a book? a guide? a data base? None of these options really appeal to me.  Too restrictive or boring. I love examining films: How they are put together, but also how they are perceived. In the last years they have been a tool for me to explore with other old women the experience of ageing,  of confronting inner prejudices and fears and appreciate the diversity of our experiences.  Films are for me the main source of intellectual stimulation and pleasure.

I am so appreciative of the digital revolution that occurred since my retirement. It permits me from the comfort of my room  to view films,  read reviews, study academic papers. The blog seems to me the best way of combining pleasure and intellectual work . It also gives me a chance of expressing myself.

So I am taking a break for the end of year festivities and will start in the New Year to see where my fancy takes me.

About rinaross

Born in 1935. MA in Film and Television Studies at the University of Westminster 1998. Studying the representation of older women in film since then.
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2 Responses to Me, Ageing and Films

  1. Elizabeth O'Dell says:

    Rina,
    I’m consistently challenged by your reviews, and am personally and publicly delighted that you intend to just take a break, but not to stop. Part of healthy ageing is carrying on as
    long as you find you are interested and that others are ready to engage with your comments.
    Will be in touch in 2013, though I shall be sorry to see the end of 2012. It has been terrific (yes
    I did watch Sports Personality of the Year last night, as a chance to see some of our wonderful
    summer yet again.
    Come on, 2013, when I’ll be 81.
    Elizabeth

  2. Tina Turner Sage says:

    Thank you for your blog Rina, I read every posting and it’s changed my perception of films, I’m very aware of the absence of older women in films and point out the vacant spaces to my Production Designer husband with every film we see together. I’m glad you’ll be resuming in the new year and I look forward to the next post.
    Tina

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