Jim Emerson speaks with great wisdom:
As for the "before I was born" argument, I feel just the opposite. I find very little in run-of-the-mill contemporary commercial movies that interests me, mainly because they're not trying anything new -- they're just making pale copies of sturdier pictures from the past, even if it's not my past. I'm fascinated by popular culture from the first half of the 20th Century, before I was born -- whether it's Jerome Kern or Betty Boop -- and what adults (in their 20s, 30s and 40s!) were into when I was a kid (like fondue and "mood music"). All other things being equal, I'd rather see any old movie from 1950 than any old movie from 2010 if only because I've never actually been to 1950. I can't ever know 1950 first-hand, but at least I can see what other people saw back in 1950 -- and if the 2010 movie manages to sustain my interest for more than a week or two, I know I can catch it later.
Read the whole thing here.