Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Mirrors

The other day a friend of mine posted this article on Facebook. It speaks of the new generation of moviegoers, starting off with the question of whether the recent Spiderman remake was a little too soon. This, considering that it was only 5 years since the older Spiderman movies. To this, an upper echelon in the movie business brushes it off as a silly question.

Simply, 5 years is 'lifetime in the movie business' for the millennials.

For these new legion of moviegoers who have taken social media as an extension of their lungs, movies have becomes a platform to aid ongoing conversation. A recent addition to whip up the excitement for movies are viral videos, fueling eagerness within. Movies has turned into less of an art form to be savoured, but a fashion to be spoken about.

Every generation not only has its own movies, it has its own aesthetics, and the contemporary aesthetic might be labeled "bigger, faster, louder" because our blockbuster movies are all about sensory overload — quickening the audience's pulse.

    Films convulsing with explosions, sex, visually epic views, psuedo-glory of spaceship coming to rescue you and violence. If it doesn't pound the heart immediately, it is boring and unworthy of attention. Eyes rove in a collective ADHD experience. Conversations are a waste of time, and they ought to only be there to soullessly point out what is next. Visual candies take a precedence over the art of communication and ideas. To have dialogues means that you have to concentrate and engage your mind. Without action-based visual orgasm to occupy the eyes, what is left are the ears and thought to use, which is not wanted. Not thinking is precisely the idea... Escapism is the goal.

    It's not that I disagree with escapism, but there has to be a level of art to it. It has to be believable within its settings, and the dialogue/flow should have at least some finesse to it. When watching the recent movies in the cinema, I found myself cringing at how bad it was. Not only that, the story and character is overly simplified, and well, shallow. A couple of movies like that is fine, but to see it dominate the theaters is a little unsettling for me.

But here's the thing... the audience still enjoy it. Immensely. In that, I get the reasons why scripts don't get the attention as they used to. Why spend money and brain matter on a script when the major audience increasingly have no appreciation for it?(Actually, this is a bit of a 'which came first? the chicken or the egg?')

Here's where I put my little pondering hat on - What does it say of a society that is obsessed with the fascination of the present, where the past of a few years ago is already a distant memory? I see this in the local politics and people's response to it. I wonder of a society that forgoes observing expressions and thoughts in conversation, for the sake of visual enjoyment or big attention-seeking acts; indulging and gorging on distraction and simplified materials? How one is willing to disengage the rational faculties of the mind so easily, to 'escape'... would we be easier to fool by external less-than-virtuous forces because this disconnection is drummed into us, almost becoming a second nature?

Would these be mirrors to which we are able to catch a curious glimpse into the mentality of a person or society? Does it not relate?

----------------------------------

In an episode of a TV series set in olden times, a young upper-class woman enters a marriage with a leader from a brutal and savage tribe. When the wedding ceremony ended, her new husband gifted her a beautiful white horse. Though she has reservations to be betrothed to him, she was touched by the gift and wanted to voice her appreciation. As both sides do not speak the other's language, she seeks a friend's assistance - "How do you say 'Thank you'?"

Her friend turns to her and quietly replies, "There are no such words in their language."

I'm paraphrasing from memory but that is the gist of it. That scene ended at this final blow... but does not the lack of such expression in that culture reflect something about the people?

Does it not act as a mirror to what they are as a culture and person?

No comments: