Monday, September 10, 2012
Do you believe the image?
Martin Scorceses said of the young people now that, "they don't believe the image".
This was in relation to how young people watch movies and the fact that they don't really believe the image the way our boomer generation and the generation before us viewed movies.
By young people, I would actually go back to GenX who were caught between my generation and not the new generation, with X meaning more or less a confused generation. They are essentially not old enough and not young enough.
It was a GenX'er who caught my curiousity as he described movies he saw as jokes or stupid or uncool. I was interested in how that attitude came about, it seemed that to like movies was uncool. By the way "cool" and "uncool" go back to the 1940's, and it's interesting that the expression is still with us.
Movies for us boomers were major entertainment in the 60's and through the 90's when we began to stop going to the theaters and rather would buy or rent VHS and DVD videos. One of the reasons was that during our 60 years of watching movies we had seen every kind of plot and storyline there is.
Enter the "Millennials"who were born with iPods in their hands and parents who wanted them to be famous.
And they see movies as only one aspect of entertainment. They can watch a movie on their iPhone and stop to text and then actually take a live call. They call it multi-tasking. However multi-tasking really isn't doing two or three things at the same time, despite what people think.
A few weeks ago I was doing several things at the same time; burning a DVD on my iMac, finalizing another DVD from my TiVo, printing labels on DVD's on my laptop and using my other laptop to answer emails.
At the same time.
Well, really not at the same time. Very few people can do two things at the same time. What I was doing was compartmentalizing everything, check the TiVo, walk over to the iMac then go back to my laptop to insert a new DVD to be printed. It really isn't doing 4 things at the same time, it's 4 things in sequence.
The only difference is that kids now can do it faster. In fact they want to get things done as fast as they can.
So what about believing the images.
Sadly, at least to boomers, the kids are missing out on stories and characters because you can't enjoy a movie and text at the same time. I sometimes have my laptop as I watch a movie on TV and realize that I'm often missing some of the story.
But the story isn't really important now either. Movies were magic to our parents and to us and we would enter a theater to be taken away to another world for two hours. That's what it was about.
Movies like Lawrence of Arabia and The Searchers and so many others gave us legendary characters that we would hope to be or at least partially be like them.
Since DVDs began to be sold in supermarkets it was the beginning of the end of the magic, they became just another product and in order to impress anybody they had to be big. Very big.
But even big doesn't work for the audience that much. John Carter (John Carter of Mars) and Battleship both flopped. Batman worked because of Chris Nolan and his use of character and action made it enjoyable.
One interesting thing about Millennials is that they rarely watch the movies of the 1930's to 1950's, which boomers did, even though those movies were made years before they were born. There's still something about Bogart in black & white and Cagney on "top of the world" that make us believe.
So to Millennials, try to believe again, although I also realize that they are facing a world unlike ours, our generation only feared nuclear war, they fear they might miss out on the next generation of iPhones.
And a world of uncertainty.