Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Be Kind Rewind

AG posted an article which really struck me.

One of the linked articles had a primer for Science Fiction writers and this quote from the "Jar of Tang" entry was especially memorable for me. "This is a classic case of the difference between a conceit and an idea. "What if we all lived in a jar of Tang?" is an example of the former; "What if the revolutionaries from the sixties had been allowed to set up their own society?" is an example of the latter. Good SF requires ideas, not conceits"

Of course, the same could be said about movies in general as well.

When I read the description of the new Jack Black movie, Be Kind Rewind, those words seemed to ring especially true. The premise is that Jack Black suffers from headaches, and it turns out his brain is magnetized, and he accidently erases all the video tapes in the small video store his friend works at, and to cover their ass, they decide to refilm all the movie.

Yes, Michel Gondry is directing, so it may be artistic and surreal, but the two ideas together just don't seem strong enough. If either of them were the sole premise of a movie, it would probably be more interesting, because they both lead to a much better question. With a magnetized brain, one wonders "How would someone with such a condition function in our modern society that is so reliant on modern electronics and security measures?" and the remaking classic movies makes me wonder "How does artistic work, no matter how questionable it is, filter through the psyche of the average person?"

It may be a good movie, but at the moment, I don't think it can work the way it is presented. Knowing Michel Gondry's work, he may answer those two questions despite my objections.

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