The Geography of Everywhere

"How in the face of all moving and intermixing, can be retain any sense of place?" - Doreen Massey

"Place" has become something strange in the film industry-- every sucessful film must pertain to and somehow make money off of someone in everyplace, the result of a globalized economy that depends as much on dollars from Russia and China as from New York or Idaho.

A blockbuster has to achieve some sense of universiality: the stuff that puts butts in seats everywhere. Violence, sex, action that doesn't require any particular enculturation to understand. Essentially, movies that appeal to the average 6-year old boy.

That's all fine and dandy-- many of us are 6-year old boys at heart. "Big, dumb, loud" movies should be made as long as an audience appreciates them.

But what if you want something with more of a sense of place? A film that may not speak to the Czech Republic, but could sell tickets in New Orleans?

Movie capital comes from India, the UAE. It's been removed from its place of origin and tossed into a global system, where product must meet everyone's needs... and ultimately no one's.

Because really: when was the last time a recent blockbuster changed your life? (Yeah, I know about the TDK, but I mean, really seemed to speak to you personally?)

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of "big, dumb, loud" movies and the idea of "home" or place, find a review and, if you can, a plot summary of the new Nicholas Cage movie, "The Knowing". In recent memory, I have not seen such a pastiche of movie cliches pasted ever so scrappily together to make a "coherent" film. I caved to a friend and saw it last weekend and I now get to hold it over his head in perpetuity. Next blog post: How we judge others by their taste in movies!