February 21, 2024

In 2006, the pop star Nelly Furtado proposed the age-old question, “Why do all good things come to an end?” in his song “All Good Things (Come to an End)”. He was probably talking about something more personal, a relationship, but it’s a question that can be asked about many things, including specific periods of history, whether ancient or a little more recent.

Film as an art form allows the audience to be transported to eras in history that no longer exist. One way to drive home the fact that these times are no more is to set the story at the end of that era, or have the characters in the film deal with the end of one era and the beginning of another. These films look at the end of a certain era, often (but not always) being bittersweet and nostalgic about things that once were but are no longer.


1 ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ (2019)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt in 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

The best way to describe it Once upon a time in Hollywood It’s meant to be a hangout movie that presents a laid-back lifestyle that no longer exists. Its narrative is limited given its length, mainly concerned with showing the last days of Hollywood’s Golden Age, the late 1960s: a time when social change was changing the way many things were done, including the film industry. .

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He is very nostalgic in his own right and supports the famous film buff/film maker Quentin Tarantino A chance to explore a period in Hollywood history that fans love. The fairy-tale nature of the film (at least towards the end) also allows history to change for the better, perhaps extending this golden age in the film world.

2 ‘Boogie Nights’ (1997)

Burt Reynolds as Jack Horner in Boogie Nights
Image via New Line Cinema

Boogie Nights take viewers on a whirlwind tour of the adult film industry in the 1970s. After all, things are prosperous and pretty good for his characters in the first half of the film, but halfway through, as the 80s begin, things turn darker, and the film turns more serious.

As the scenes of the 1980s had a significantly grimmer tone, Boogie Nights It is created as a film depicting the final years of the golden age of the adult film industry. A number of factors changed the industry forever in the 1980s, with some movie characters proving adaptable and others, tragically, not.

3 ‘Babylon’ (2022)

Nellie lying on the floor with her eyes closed and a cigarette in her mouth in Babylon.
Image via Paramount Pictures

Very divisive Babylon it’s not a movie for everyone. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty—and make the audience feel dirty—depicting the last, wild, upheaval years of Hollywood’s silent film era, when things changed dramatically with the advent of the talkie in 1927.

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The approach to recreating this lost era of filmmaking is not at all rosy, as some aspects of life may have been funny then, so is violence, suffering and cruelty. I like it Boogie Nightssecond half Babylonit aims to show characters that adapt to a rapidly changing industry, even if it includes far fewer characters Babylon get along well

4 ‘The Wild Bunch’ (1969)

The Wild Bunch - 1969

with that Wild rangeDirector Sam Peckinpah It aimed to send up the Western genre on a high (and violent) level. This iconic Western pushed the boundaries of morality and violence for its time, as there are no real heroes in the world the film depicts, and instead there is (for its time) a great deal of bloodshed.

The narrative is of several outlaws looking to pull off one last big job and go out in a blaze of glory. They certainly get what they want, and it’s also easy to see the idea of ​​a “classic” American western coming out in full glory, given that the genre was losing popularity in the late 1960s, and to some extent would continue to do so as the decade wore on.

5 ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (1984)

Once upon a time in America

However Sergio Leone known for his classic westerns, his latest film was quite different. That movie is a gangster epic Once upon a time in Americawith a decades-long narrative following a group of friends who build a gang of criminals and eventually an empire in their youth, only to be able to tear things apart as they get older.

The end of Prohibition ultimately leads to a darker period in their lives, given how much money they made from the previously dumped liquor. The film isn’t just about the end of Prohibition, seeing as things end in the 1960s, but it’s an important part of the film’s plot, and there’s a scene where the main characters hold a mock funeral across the nation. prohibition of liquor

6 ‘Farewell Lenin’ (2003)

Daniel Brühl and Katrin Sass 'Farewell Lenin!

Not surprisingly, the narrative of a movie with “Good Bye” in the title is more than a farewell to something. Meanwhile Goodbye Lenin it’s not specifically to say goodbye Vladimir Lenin, person, is to say “Goodbye” to European communism, as it is located in what was considered East Germany from late 1989 to 1990.

The characters, of course, must deal with the dramatic changes that come with not living under communism, and the family in their midst must hide what happened from their devoted socialist mother, who was in a coma when the Berlin Wall came down. Down. It mixes comedy and drama effectively and provides a compelling look at the period of adjustment that many families would have endured just over 30 years ago.

7 ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ (1968)

Once upon a time in the west - 1968 - Claudia Cardinale

Meanwhile Wild range says goodbye to the west rudely and violently, Once upon a time in the west he does it in a more operatic and bittersweet way. It is set at the edge of the “Old West” and follows various characters who seek to make the most of the changing times, especially when it comes to the expansion of railroads.

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Those railroads changed the West forever, modernizing places and setting in motion changes that would spell the end of the Old West way of life. Once upon a time in the west The depiction of this change is bittersweet, to be sure, but it still has a level of hope, making it one of the most optimistic “end of an era” films about the West.

8 ‘Roger and I’ (1989)

Roger & Me, Michael Moore, Pointing Camera, Boom Microphone

roger and me It was the film that made the famous documentary maker Michael Moore on the map Mostly Moore is still trying to get an interview with the CEO of General Motors, Roger SmithAfter General Motors’ plant in Flint, Michigan closed, putting thousands of local workers out of work, it had catastrophic effects on the town.

Ultimately, this is a film that advocates the end of an era that is harder to define in strictly historical terms: the end of the American Dream for ordinary Americans. He does so by examining how one company’s decision has caused so much disillusionment and sadness, and suggests that unless a company does so, there will be little to prevent it from happening again and crushing more American dreams.

9 ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ (2022)

Tom Cruise

Top Gun: Maverick it is one of the most triumphant films about the end of an era. In the case of this long-awaited sequel, it’s mainly about how the era of human pilots in the military is coming to an end, with the title characters—and a new team—getting one last chance to prove their worth as a human group. an industry increasingly populated by drones.

If this will be the last ride Tom CruiseMaverick and many other characters, then it’s quite a dramatic finale. Real armies can be steered clear of human pilots, but maybe Top Gun the series will not, given its great success Top Gun: Maverick in 2022

10 ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ (1952)

Gene Kelly dancing with an umbrella in Singin' in the Rain

Babylon it’s a sharp, funny, but ultimately heavy look at the end of the silent film era. singing in the rainwhile it takes a similar narrative framework, a more recent silent film that is very different in tone.

Through good humor, friendly characters and lots of catchy music, singing in the rain It’s a bubbly and fun farewell to the silent era. His characters are largely better off than they were at the end of the film of Babylonalso (though it’s funny, Babylon Characteristics singing in the rain at its end).

CONTINUE READING: ‘Babylon’ and other movies about silent movies that aren’t silent movies

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