26 January 2010

Speaking of Bread and Circuses...

It seems Avatar is the 'all time' money maker of movies. I hate that phrase 'all time' which supposedly means insurpassable (as in there never ever be anything as insert adjective here as insert noun here.) No one means that, as there will certainly be another. But that's not what this post is about.

It is about how this certifiable circus of a movie, a Barnumesque spectacular, has so enthralled so many people. I hope, indeed fondly do I hope and fervently do I pray, that it is more about the visual effects than the story. Having seen it, in 3D but not IMAX, I can attest to its sensual delights.

But it is as one dimensional a story as it is three dimensional in appearance. Plot was predictable, characters cardboard, dialogue cliched. In short, it needed no brain work at all.

And that's what is bothering me. But all sorts of folks (forgive me if you are one, but honestly I have not kept up with the details) seem to be enthralled by the message or inspired or threatened (the Vatican among others). As a story, it is just not that good.

To me, this was Rodney King's plaintive nostrum brought to three dimensional computer generated comic book inspired life. I am not the first to say this certainly, but my point is not how vapid it was as a story but that people can be so affected by something so listless in its essence. Are we so bewitched by technology and movies that even the most obvious of stories can appear to be meaningful if enough baubles are bangles are brought to bear?

How many people have joined a religion because the church/temple/mosque was so splendid?

Come to think, I guess it is quite possible.

1 comment:

Revwilly said...

Whether the theater, church or big box store, people have bought into the experience economy. The experience, not the substance is what people crave and they will pay the ticket price and put money in the offering plate to get it. Sad.