Friday, May 25, 2012

Cultural Death Watch

This week a number of high-budget, special-effects-intensive, probably-yet-another-Hollywood-remake shit sandwiches will be released. Or a great number of such have been released recently. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a large enough metropolitan area, however, you will not be seeing a movie named Moonrise Kingdom, just like you never saw a movie named The Tree of Life in theaters last year (since it was a direct-to-DVD release, even though it has Brad Pitt in the leading role FFS).

If you've paid a reasonable amount of attention to the American film scene in, oh, the past decade or so - in other words, if you are culturally literate enough to name more than a few movies made by, say, David Lynch - you'd recognize the name Wes Anderson, he of Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Along with such names as Lynch, Scorsese, Coen, Malick, and Paul Thomas Anderson, he is one of the most important cinema auteurs in the English-speaking world today. His latest effort, however, is not slated to be seen by more than some fraction of Americans. This new movie has received pretty much zilch by way of domestic publicity; being too busy on a number of matters to pay close attention to the movie releases around this time of year, I only happened to hear about it on a classical music / NPR radio station that devoted a segment to the music used in this and other Wes Anderson films. A song by Nico was used in The Royal Tenenbaums, for example. Who besides the minimally culturally literate have so much as heard of Nico? And who the fuck listens to these kinds of stations, anyway? Certainly not the ones shelling out good money for yet another predictable/formulaic Will Smith vehicle, or yet another Spiderman remake, or yet another rendition of 28 Days Later under a new title.

A people cannot survive on shit sandwiches.

On a completely unrelated matter, how's that 2012 presidential circus freakshow campaign working out for you so far?