The Silvering Screen and anger (part 2)

From the number of visitors of my blog on the experiences  of ageing and ageism of an old woman,  I must conclude that there are few researchers interested in the subject. I had given up writing but I am angry again.

First of all I need to say why my serious reading is confined to my holidays. Reading  has become very laborious for me these days. The problem has not been diagnosed yet but I do feel deprived when I need enormous concentration to read at all. Spare time during holidays make possible sustained effort.

I am angry. For me films and the consciousness of being an old woman are inextricably linked just like my feminist consciousness was raised by the sexism of Hollywood films.

I am angry. This time it is Sally Chivers’ analyses of certain films in The Silvering Screen that make my blood boil.   How come her colleagues have not  scrutinised them?    Have any of her reviewers seen the films that Chivers quote? As I wrote on my film blog ( ), two (at least) old characters, Indir (Pather Panchali) and Alvin (The Straight Story) are misrepresented. The first is perceived as ‘burden’ and the second as  ‘incapable’ when there is no evidence of this on-screen. I can only assume that Chivers projects onto these films her own ageism. Chivers in both cases ascribes to viewers and characters in the films her own views of old age. It is claimed on the cover of the book that it contains close readings  of films. I am sorry but I do not consider Chivers’  text on The Straight Story   the product of a close reading. At no time, visually or in the dialogue is Alvin considered as being senile and Indir’s body is not left to rot on a public road. 

Back to normal life with its chores I have no time to continue reading and verify my suspicions about  Chivers’ film  illiteracy.  Demonstrable or not her propositions on Hollywood and the representation of old age, disability and death, should no rest on biased data.

I am angry because I feel that I should not be  critical of a ‘Professor’. I feel that if I do I will not be taken seriously because of my status  – non  academic – and my age -77. I feel that I should be more diplomatic. What the hell. Nobody reads my blog anyway.

I wish without much hope that this post would elicit some response.


3 thoughts on “The Silvering Screen and anger (part 2)

  1. I think ageism is alive and well, people automatically think you get uglier and stupider once you’re fifty. The amount of prejudice around on that score is amazing,f or instance I had a boyfriend (54) who used to call all women over 55 ‘old biddies’. For Chrissakes! And on the score of comments, blogging is a cheaty process, you have to go round and comment on other people’s blogs for them to find and comment on yours, but if you do, you will find that most people return the favour. It’s a bit incestuous but that’s the way it seems to work. there are quite a few older bloggers about – try LetsCutthecrap, she’s always a very good read.

  2. Interestingly people do come to your blog, but, like mine, there is no telling when someone will stumble across it. Today I was searching, and while I am unfamiliar with Chivers, I understand very well the misconceptions people can bring to their writing. I am sure you already know well, people do not understand ageing until they have aged well themselves. My topic this week was ageism so I am glad I found you for some good reads. By the way, my search actually started when I saw an interesting video blog (vlog?) on ageism, by a teenager, no less.

  3. Rina – stumbled across this whilst doing some internet research into the Chivers book. I will try and get hold of it, as it is relevant to my area, but you have certainly flagged up some telling issues. I’m glad that anger makes you blog though!

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