Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A "different" movie? Wait a minute!

"A very "different" film". How many clowns have made this claim in the recent past with absolute trash unleashed on the audiences? So, after suffering through a few and not having been redeemed by even one, here is my retort to these uncreative dungheads trying to be "different".

If I am travelling in a new country, in a very explorative mood, and I come across a fruit I have never seen before, now that is something "different" I am willing to try. A new way of life? Sure I am willing to give that a try as something different. But the big difference, pun intended, is that the fruit has been years in the making, has paid its dues to the evolutionary process and I am the one who is new here to the experience. Same with hearing and trying to talk in a new language. The language has been there for a while and has been "effective" before I got there. Compare that to a crap artist trying to make a movie without a clue what the art is about, and you know how indifferent I have become to something "different" coming from these punks who should be lined up and shot without any mercy.

First of all, who the f*^k asked for anything "different"? A really good movie is about how effective and engaging the story is, how well the performances go with the narrative, and how cinematically unobtrusive the visual experience is. Greatness is built upon these basics, not with a mandate to be different. If I got ice cream for breakfast just to be different, I'd be mad as hell. There are certain things a breakfast has to deliver, and it better deliver, no matter what is served. I'd be delighted with my usual breakfast if it "involved" something different if interesting.

Aha! The magic word - "interesting". Only creative people can do the most interesting things. If you are an uncreative slob trying to be different, please, for sanity's sake, give it up. We can see through that lousy attempt of yours. That said, it doesn't take much to start something interesting. A little boy goes missing! You've got my interest. A married woman flirts with a man her husband doesn't know about. Interesting! But you give me gas about "human trafficking" or "global warming" and tell me you have a "different" film based on one of these incredibly "important" issues, and you've lost me totally. What the heck is your film going to do about any of these? Absolutely nothing. I can see you have no story and are trying to be a parasite on an issue that might get some people to pay attention. Trust me, if I am coming to see a movie, I don't want an issue. All I want is a freaking movie.

Now, if you must be "different", you need to become a master first. A master who can weave a story so convincing and so engrossing that I don't even know I am being led up a new path. I can't see what's coming because I have been set up so well. Conventions exist for a reason. Storytelling is a craft that uses conventions a great deal, just like pace bowling. Every batsman knows inswingers and outswingers and so do the bowlers, but they put in a hell of a lot of practice to get it right so that the suddenly unexpected fast inswinging yorker, which also everybody has heard about, can uproot the stump. If a bowler bowled one to the fourth slip, and then a loopy full toss that lands straight in the wicket keepers gloves just to be different, he would be laughing stock, which has its own value, no doubt, but I shouldn't have to buy a ticket to watch this tomfoolery, should I?

It isn't easy to make a film. It is even harder to make a good film. It is much harder to make a great film. There is nothing accidental about any great film. It takes creativity, knowledge, and paying your dues to the world of art. You really should not take cinema so lightly as to imagine that any clown behind the camera can be a cinematographer and every moron who can yell "Action" and "Cut" can be a director. It is a combination of various well developed knowledge streams that need to come together to create cohesive cinema. And yes, it does take time. If you don't have it, don't waste mine.

Please, just be cohesive in your work, and coherent when you talk about your film. We don't want unqualified "genius talk". We just want movies that work. Not intellectual tripe in interviews, clueless actors and actors in female bodies who hate to be called actresses talking through their heads about things that are not true about the movie in the name of promotion. Everybody promotes their film, and we're tired of that nonsense too.

You know what? You can be different from the crap out there. Try being sincere.

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