Most of us lovers of the artistic creations (movies, music, books, etc.) are prejudiced in our appraisal of new music or new movies by comparing them to the old. It is human nature, it is natural, we are programmed to compare it with the familiar, with the proven – is what the usual response to this accusation is. Agreed. However, I believe we do great dis-service to the new artists and their art by doing so. Each piece of art is independent in my opinion, it stands (or should stand) on its own merit. Let’s take an example of music: Too often than not I hear the Amit Trivedis or the Vishal-Shekhars don’t hold so much as a candle to an RD or Shankar-Jaikishen. I ask, why should they be required to hold anything to these composers of the yester-years? RD’s music was his in his day and age, Amit’s is his creation in today’s world. There is no comparison of who is superior to whom. There is no way of knowing how each of them would fare had they been contemporaries. So let each speak his/her language of art independently of another. Let us listen to each without the baggage of another.
Reminiscing and cherishing music/movies of old times are good for nostalgic sensibilities, but once someone starts broad-brushing with statements like – “movies/songs of the past (or a certain era) were so much better than the ones they are made today” – I call it irresponsible comparisons. Maybe the person who says this doesn’t mean to belittle the art of today (9 out 10 times they do mean to). Maybe they are merely alluding that they like or prefer the music/movies of yester-years more than the ones produced today. That is a fair statement, but it also means that these same people refuse to open themselves to the beauty of the art created today. They refuse to measure it by its own merit. That to me sounds like they are deeply stuck in the past.