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THE THORN BIRDS (Wolper/Marguiles/Edward Lewis Productions, 1983) Warner Home Video

It is one of Hollywood’s minor ironies that television – considered the insidious ‘little box’ in everyone’s living room and the movies’ arch nemesis back in the 1950’s, has today – with the advent of home video - become the movie maker’s best friend; also, tragically, the reason for one media existing at the mercy and expense in artistic integrity of the other. Today’s movies do not look or feel like ‘movies’ anymore; the masterful art direction and stylistic elements of meticulous compositions a la Hitchcock, David Lean or even a Sydney Pollack, replaced by pseudo-video game/music video aesthetics, meant to anesthetize and numb our sensory capacities. Alas, such efforts do nothing to enrich, captivate or ingrain themselves in our hearts and minds. The result – at least two decade’s worth of disposable entertainments – or rather, movies and TV, designed to divert and distract, but hardly to remain ever-present as a fond memory in our collective consciousness. Just as live theater onc…

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