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A CATALOG OF CULTURE & BARBARITY
The problem w/ most films/etc for me, is that they don't look UN-real enuff. I want that sense of heightened 'unreality' where I'm not entirely sure what it is I'm seeing, or how to interpret it.
I think that's why I love Italio Splatter and no-budget z-sploitation fodder so much...the cheepnis, lack of production 'values', the low-grade film stock (or mis-use of cheap video), unconvincing levels of acting, etc all conspire to hint at some sort of 'Otherness', at different ways of percieving or interpreting the world....our Hollywood-induced habitual notions of how films should look is completely short-circuited by Phillipino Women in Prison films, Indonesian Witch/Ghost films or some homemade zombie flick shot for $200 in Seatle by college kids...the least convincing a film looks, or the more it auto-highlights its own processes, the more it becomes, I dunno, something else...
I don't like these films because (groan) "they're so bad, they're good", I loooove them because they are basically sign-posts to other ways of looking at things....they hint at routes we can take to by-pass the consensus Hollywood/mass-media views of 'reality', 'history', etc...
It's great that an old skool director like John Carpenter was recently slagging off CGI recently, saying it was the death of creativity....
Another thing about "realness"...I've noticed that CGI effects actually give films an unrealness that clunkier films (like Star Wars) aren't burdened with. Take the dinosaur chase scene in Kong. It looks a lot like a rubbery cartoon. And the computer driven camera angle swoops (prominent when Harry Potter plays that sport on a broomstick)create impossible shifts of perspective that remind me of the latest video games. There is something very new going on here, I think. Whereas the effects designers working on Star Wars were taking believability strongly into account, it doesn't seem so with Jackson's films. The action sequences are more amazing, but look cheesily phoney (and gratuitous). But this doesn't seem to matter as it once did. The point is to employ the technology not make a point with the aid of technology. By the way where does your horror-in-the-face-of Dolby Surround Sound come from? Do you think F. Jameson didn't pay his $10 and sit among the throng with a popcorn in his lap? How can a person expect to know where we're at if they have too much contempt for our culture to sit right down in the middle of it?
It's not a question of "contempt", mate. Goddamn you people READ TOO MUCH INTO EVERYTHING. It's TOO LOUD FOR ME. I'm a 46 year old who spent the best part of his formative years at dub and rock gigs. For the first 15 mins of every morning I have a high pitched keening noise in my left ear. Ever since an experience with Beverley Hills Cop 2 (of all things) where the volume was so balls shrivellingly loud I had to leave - well, if it ain't a Straub/Huillet retrospective, I just don't go anymore... I.P.
Of course talking about how "real" something in King Kong or Harry Potter is is not-quite-right is it? On the one hadn this stuff is clammily hyper-real, video game derived etc; on the other hand a lot of its formal narrative qualities are BANAL AS SIN. It may be 'realisitc', but here's no 'Real' there (a la Lacan) -which you DO get with someone like Cronenberg...
Can't resist the lure of pointless remakes plus actors doomed to failure when trying to look scary plus Mitchum: there is a remake of with, in the Robert Mitchum role... Richard Chamberlain. Yes, the man best known as Dr Kildare. Beat that.Post a Comment