Sunday, March 1, 2009

Forest for the Trees

You ever ask yourself why you watched a certain movie? Why you watch the TV shows you watch, books that you read, music you hear? Yeah, me neither, but I sometimes ask myself why others do. I'm not really talking about why you like the things you do, I mean what brought you there in the first place? Presumably, every item of entertainment must have some type of advertisement attached, otherwise, how would you find it? But advertising is massive. If you think about it, the amount of requests for our attention we are bombarded with every day is mind boggling. An unsettling amount of our economy is actually tied up in the practice of informing the consumer group of things to spend your money on, and since entertainment is, often times, big money so is the advertising of said entertainment "big business". A quick simplification of the method of advertising gives us 2 major components. 1, the presenting of the product in question in the most appealing and attractive light and 2, the distributing of said presentation to the largest amount of prospective consumers.

This brings us to (in a dry, uninteresting, meandering fashion I notice as I reread the above) the gist of my question. With so many medias vying, tooth and nail, for you attention, how do you choose? Right now, we are subjected to such a crushing onslaught of information that there is a whole new field of study dedicated to how our brains are evolving to process it. How in the world does anything get watched, listened to or read over anything else? I'm certain it has as much to do with reflecting an appealing aspect of the individuals makeup in the media being marketed as sheer dumb luck. I, also, am certain that if I could manipulate such a force, then I would have many, many dollars to spend on the frivolous things that strike my fancy.

Anyhoo, the impetuous of the above diatribe was the viewing of the movie Coraline, based on a story by the amazing Neil Gaiman and directed by the real talent behind The Nightmare Before Christmas, Henry Selick. The tried and true premise of the new kid in town adjusting to her unknown surroundings and testing her relationship with her parents becomes a fairy tale in the Grimm sense in the hands of these 2 storytelling maestros. The story is a vehicle for Gaiman to explore the phobia koumpounophobia, (the fear of buttons, in this case buttons sewn into the eyes, yummy) in deliciously inventive, mildly horrifying fashion focused through the lens of Selick's formidable imagination. And it's those two elements, imagination and horror, that are, to me, the defining ingredients to an effective fairy tale.

This is a movie I've been waiting for a long time to see, character design have popped up on the blogs I read and at the comic con for years. The movie wasn't accompanied by an sort of media blitz which may account for it's so so 1st week box office, but in it's 3rd week it comes in second with another 11.4 mil (behind Tyler Perry's Medea Goes to Jail, WTF). For me, this movie delivers on all fronts and is as good as purchased when the DVD becomes available. But, just to revisit my opening thought, how did anyone find this gem? I mean, I know how I found it, but my methods of finding things are unconventional at best. What I wonder about is how such an unusual movie with minimal marketing and zero star power ends up staying in the top 3 for 3 weeks? I guess I should just go ask Mr. Owl.

Also saw Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, yeah, that wasn't so great.

The latest episodes of Battlestar Galatica kicks copious amounts of ass. The new Joss Whedon effort Dollhouse somewhat floundered in the beginning (while I love her to death the star, Eliza Dushku, is the weak link) but after catching the 3rd episode, I can comfortably commit to further viewings. Doesn't matter though, it'll be cancelled in 4 more episodes.

The pic is the effervescent Zooey Deschanel, it came out easy but it's got some balance issues and it feels a bit static, I might need to expose myself to some Paul Pope or something. Crap, I missed 2 postings in one month by 3 hours, fail.

Oh, reading Warren Ellis's Freak Angels web comic, it's both free and awesome, please read it, you'll thank me later



naas said...

Damn that's deep Dustin, but yes it has me thinking now.. Why are some people the way they are? Not just in general, but yes in 'that' way.

Firstards are a good example of this, because after seeing it nine dozen times one has to think, why?

My first answer to that is a motive I am familiar with, annoyance for attention. That's what I like to do when I'm in an immature mood. If that's not it then enlighten me, they can't all be stupid children now can they?

Onwards, I haven't even heard of the 2 movies you talk about so I guess I need to get out more. Haven't seen slumdog yet, and until it came to dvd - the dark night. Harold & Kumar 2 wasn't all that I agree. It had a few decent laughs but thanks to viewing it stoned that's probably why. Overall it was waay too faar fetched. Best scene imo was NPH & the unicorn at the roadblock!

That's it from me, great new addition on the drawings!

Dust said...

I may need to lighten the tone of my posts, it's what happens when I post after midnight. As far as the firstards, their motivation may be much simplier. In the excitement of possibly being first they simply don't know what to say. A case of "post fail"

naas said...

Nah don't lighten your tone, at least not unnecessarily. I like when things are told as they are, and with some thought invested in the subject rather than just rant.

If the thought hits you after midnight & it isn't full of
sunlight clap your hands,oh clap clap your hands.

Firsty's.. Hrm. So there's excitement in being first? How? Where? Is there a group of people somewhere in a huge room having a refresh-a-thon on the same website in some airplane hangar or bingo hall somewhere? And - as soon it's updated & someone gets the first comment, is it projected on some giant screen while everyone else cheers & crazy lights & streamers fall?? DO strippers approach the winner shortly thereafter & present some award followed by a reacharound for being the first person to write 'first'?? IF SO then why in the hell am I sitting down here when I could be at this party? ARE YOU THERE right now Hustlin Dustin??

IFSO then please send me the address, so I can send you a machine gun to shoot everyone around you before escaping!

Hey my name is blue now :)