My life in movies

Saturday, May 08 2004 @ 04:06 AM PDT

Contributed by: matt

You all know by now my predilection for associating movies with real life. For me, movies are more than just an escape; they are also a learning tool. Ignoring the whole cause/effect debate for a moment, I think it's safe to say that there's a reasonable correlation between social trends and movies, and by keeping abreast of one you're effectively keeping abreast of the other (for better or worse).

Let me give you an example. The Crow was a good movie, right? I think the majority of people who have seen it feel that way, so, by applying the principles of democracy (and common sense), it was therefore good. Now, my contention is that that movie had to have been made at or about 1993, and not because that happens to be true, but because it could only have been made at about that time, and still be a good movie. Putting release timing in qualitative terms is by necessity applying a continuum, so let's take a decade as an arbitrary increment of time to apply to our little thought experiment here.

If The Crow had been released in 1984, would it have been a good movie (ignoring the vagaries of special effects technologies and such)? I believe that in an era whose other cultural markers include new wave music, crap-pop (I guess that hasn't changed), pre-gangsta rap and jelly bracelets, I don't believe that the majority of people would've really felt that movie. The darkness just wasn't really there in the eighties culture. In fact, between a brief resurgence of tie-dye and an inexplicable and pandemic use of gratuitous neon colors, you could make an argument that the mid-eighties were diametrically opposed to the neo-post-industrial almost-neo-neo-goth mise en scène proffered by that particular movie.

Now, if we ignore the fact that The Crow undoubtedly had a strong influence on modern movies (see also: The Matrix, Underworld, Van Helsing, etc.), if it had been released in 2004 (that'd be this year, for all of you playing the home game) it would've been an also-ran. In fact, I'd venture to guess that people would think of it as a rehashing of The Punisher, with a Matrix-esque clothing fetish.

Anyway, point made, right?

All of that was a long way of revealing (to the approximately two people in the world that hadn't already realized it) that the reason that any conversation with me, given enough time, will invariably end up about movies is that they provide the vast majority of my cultural reference, and therefore become the means with which I relate to other people.

Weird, eh?