SYNOPSIS: Our choices of "manufactured experiences" in movies reflect a great deal about our concerns in real life.
If we want to see our popular culture depicting the full range of what we long for and who we feel we are, what we need most to look into is whats offered in todays films.
For myself, Im finding it increasingly difficult to approach most movies these days without feeling Ive almost literally stepped into "the feelies" that Aldous Huxley satirized in Brave New World.
I probably first had my eyes opened to this characteristic of movies at a local colleges night school class on screenwriting, where the instructor simply stated it as a given that movies arent about making people think, theyre about making people feel.
Contemporary marketing realities have also augmented this perception significantly. Most of the flicks released into the mall megaplexes these days are not, after all, the finest flowering of the cinematic art. But they still manage to sell prodigious amounts of tickets. How?
Given the amount of importance today's movie companies ascribe to "resonating" with their target market segments, it seems only reasonable to assume that they are tapping into some significant, even primal feelings and needs on the part of their audiencesincluding, most likely, a fair number of which we ourselves are not entirely aware.
To see what the movie business plays to in us, we need step back and reassess what strikes a responsive enough chord in us to generate box office success. What kinds of celluloid surrogate experiences are people willing to pay for these days?
(c) COPYRIGHT 1998 ROBERT WINTER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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