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I find it interestingly coincidental, or not, that there are so many movies coming out these days that are set during Victorian times.

Lincoln, Django Unchained, Anna Karenina, recent past movies, Cowboys and Aliens, The Woman in Black, Sherlock Holmes, The Wolfman, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Prestige, Van Helsing, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Sleepy Hollow, Wild Wild West and many more I'm forgetting.

And, I found this article as well. http://movies.yahoo.com/news/hollywood-horror-returning-victorian-era-193300919.html It doesn't really explain why this return to the Victorian era other than saying it's time to scrap everything and start over again, but I agree.

I think it's because the Victorian era was, or is perceived as being, a gentler, easier, more romantic time. Still full of simplicity, one-on-one honesty, trust and decency. Not complicated by too much over-thinking, both in technology and social strategies. A time when you could trust a person's word.

This is a rhetorical post, but I'd love to hear more suggestions of current Victorian movies as well as your take on why this apparent phenomena......


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2012 07:16 am (UTC)
I think that the Victorian era was also known for its hypocrisy. Dickens explored it very well, where pastors would pray on Sunday and prey on the back streets; that no one knew who Jack the Ripper was, and the rumor was that he was upper class, if not royalty. It was a time when childhood was celebrated, while children were working as slaves. Horror was always just around the corner, as easy as going from Diagon Alley to Knockturn Alley.

Why now? I think themes and troupes just take a vacation from time to time. Vampires are still on the top of the chart, but I don't think that they will be in a few years. I remember a lot of Dracula & Co. in my teens, in the 1970's, with the last hurrah being a side production of Archie television comics, and then they basically disappeared until "Buffy" showed up. Mermaids are now coming to the surface, and who knows what will follow them.

Edited at 2012-12-18 07:20 am (UTC)
Dec. 18th, 2012 07:25 am (UTC)
I think there's a few more, much simpler things the industry goes for. First of all it's looks. You get all the big costumes, highly gendered, the pretty settings and atmospheric fogs. You also get a time of invention and discovery, none other like that actually, which makes the gears in an art director's head grind. It's furnishing movie making, pretty much.

On the other hand, you get a lot of adventure in those times because it frankly was the time of adventure. Advance in science, but also in travel, give a lot of food for hero stories, and if that fails, you still have Jack the Ripper to dig out (ew).
Dec. 18th, 2012 08:32 am (UTC)
Those last four or five aren't exactly "these days". Some of them are more than ten years old. But yes, there's been a lot of nostalgia for the Victorian era since, oh, the 80s at least, just that I can personally remember. Honestly, I suspect that a large chunk of it is, like nostalgia for the 50s, based in privileged people looking fondly back on a time when those privileges were largely unchallenged.
Dec. 18th, 2012 12:16 pm (UTC)
I agree! Although I do love me some big, puffy skirts!
Dec. 18th, 2012 12:22 pm (UTC)
Oh hell yeah. Big puffy skirts are awesome!
Dec. 18th, 2012 02:44 pm (UTC)
You do realize that almost all the movies you mentioned include pretty high levels of violence and some of them, a high level of tech? Which sort of blows away any idea that they would be returning to the era because it was a simpler, more gentler time.

And over-thinking was rife in SH, AL: VH, Presitige, WWW, just to name a few. The Victorian era allows for a setting that is "just familiar enough" to allow for the audience to get drawn in easily (for instance, you are not confronted with unfamiliar terms and language as you would be colonial era, or very strict hierarchical structures as you would be in medieval times), and yet its spans a long enough period of time, generally, that they can introduce (or not) familiar bits of technology (so there might be heavily use telegraphs to allow for easy communication to explain some things. Or, there might not be, if they put the setting in a rural enough area.)

Dec. 20th, 2012 05:04 am (UTC)
I would like to think that the upsurge in Hollywood Victoriana is because of the clothes. Oh, the glorious fabulous cloooootttheeesssss.

Seriously though, I think a good deal of it is in the visual appeal. A lot of Vicotorian-placed movies focus on upper-class characters, which means they are wearing beautiful things and living in beautiful places. It translates well to the screen, and becomes this lovely orgy of color and texture and shine and richness. Basically, humans tend to like shiny things, so movies that have shiny things are appealing and do well, inspiring more movies in the same vein.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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