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Take out your time machines, ladies and gentlemen, we’re about to go on an adventure. But do we have to? The end-2012- is starting to have an uncanny resemblance to the beginning. The film, music and fashion industries look very similar to the olden days, and though we would like to think we’re in drive maybe we are actually in reverse.

Lights! The set looks the same. Camera! The costume hasn’t changed much either. Action! The movie industry has been entertaining audiences for more than eighty years, but a better part of that time has been spent copying the first few years. A prime example of the lack of change we see in cinema is present in the new French film, “The Artist.” Beautifully executed, acted and shot (it’s unlike anything we’ve seen-recently); everything about it is perfect. Except for the script. Oh, right. That’s because it doesn’t have one. “The Artist” takes us back to the early twentieth century- the era of silent films. Getting rave reviews at Cannes, Sundance and, most recently, the Oscars prove that audiences appreciate the past and don’t necessarily like the recent changes in film. As Maureen Dowd, writer for the New York Times, says, “It was clever to do a silent movie…as an antidote to our modern plague of pointless chatter.” And the “pointless chatter” is one of the many side effects of the worse changes we see in film. The modifications in cinema, although well-received, as box office numbers confirm, often lack the flawlessness and elegance that great films achieve. 3D glasses give the audience a headache, while green screens and live action animation undermine the beauty of film. To capture the flaws and imperfections of life is what makes a film appealing, to show an audience a rosy-cheeked, plastic faced, could’ve-come-out-of-a-box lead character is to underestimate their intelligence. The end result is only appealing to children and bored parents. So, although “The Artist” and “Hugo” earned the same number of Oscars this year, it is clear which film will stand the test of time.

The return to old, however, is not only present in film, but also in music. It doesn’t need to be plastered all over the internet for anyone with ears to know that Lady Gaga is just Madonna reinvented. I mean, have you ever seen them in the same place at the same time? And then there’s pop/soul singer Bruno Mars who, through his singing and performances, echoes Sammy Davis Jr. from the 1960s Rat Pack. Music constantly recycles the old and makes it new again, but every once in a while there’s a snag and a new song turns out the exact same as an old one. See: “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga and “Express Yourself” by Madonna. However, repetition is welcome once you consider how bad the changes in music are. I’m talking about auto-tune, drum machines and synthesisers- none of which sound remotely real or pleasing to hear. If you need to make your voice sound better through the use of a machine then I assure you, singing is not your destined career. Listen closely and you’ll realise that your dad’s playlist sounds a lot like yours- only better.

By far the best example of old trends being revisited exist in fashion. Writer Lynn Phillips said, “[In fashion] they play ironically with some earlier era’s notion of ‘modern.’” In other words, what is old, and was once modern, is continually reworked to become new again. Even the new black was old once. For example, Coco Chanel started the androgynous look in the early 1900s, and now, in 2012 we see this look, in the form of bow ties and tuxedos, on the likes of Mila Kunis, Dianne Kruger and even the Kardashian sisters. Fashion models are also recycled; Miranda Kerr is the new Heidi Klum, never mind the fact that Klum still exists. Even Zoë Kravitz, muse to Alexander Wang, is eerily similar to Karl Lagerfeld’s ex-muse, Blake Lively, and that ‘muse-lationship’ only ended a few months ago. (She’s already on to the next one: Stella McCartney ads are on the way.) Your street style was old once too. Those crop tops and skinny jeans you wear religiously? Hello, 1970s. As television series “Project Runway” so eloquently states, “In fashion, one day you’re in and the next day you’re out.” But don’t worry because the day after that, sure as anything, you’ll be back again.

To say that society is constantly moving isn’t a lie, but to say that we’re moving forward is. Film, music and fashion are in a constant cycle of rewinding and fast forwarding but the picture remains the same. Although we’re making all these changes with technology, maybe some things should remain the same because new doesn’t mean better. So, unbuckle your seatbelts and open the door, because the old is already here. What you see everyday isn’t new, it’s just revisited.



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