Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mini-rants: Generationism & Re-makes.

Mini-rant # 1: Erm.....how is it that journalists, authors and politicians are quite happy to define traits of generations, "Baby Boomers" is a popular example, yet decry astrology as superstition or nonsense? Any definition of traits found within a generation of people living in the same general background - in this case a developed country in the West, has to be giving a nod, albeit inadvertently, to astrology. Yes? The outer planets define generations as they move very slowly and gracefully around the zodiac. The mix they provide and how they relate to one another, and the charts of individuals is significant.

Having said that, I am bored, irritated and sick of hearing about how Generation X will do so much better than those terrible Boomers. And what a good thing they are all becoming aged, and good for naught, but they'll drain the Social Security coffers and there'll be nothing left for "us". I don't have an axe to grind here because I'm a War Baby from war-torn Britain, and answer to neither the Silent Generation nor the Boomers. I feel bad though about the adolescent schoolyard nonsense being tossed around about The Boomers. In common with every generation since the dawn of time, there are good, bad and indifferent among them, and as a generation they did stuff which has both helped and hindered, as will Generations X, Y and Z, and whoever comes after.

As most of the relevant offending writings originate in the USA, I look on it as just another way to divide the country, a nation already clearly divided by race, colour, politics, religion. As I've said before on this blog, America has in inbuilt propensity to divide itself. For goodness sake, please not another national division - generationism!

Mini-rant # 2

It'd be unthinkable to take a natal chart and play around with the outer planets.
That thought leads on to another. Why do movie-makers insist on re-making classics? I've probably whinged about this before on my blog, but it's a constant irritant! Now they've re-made "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Yes, I know all the arguments about bringing movies up to date for the younger generation. And I guess that, especially in the case of sci-fi movies, there's a case to be made because today's technology allows for surreal scenes, not available to earlier film-makers. The trouble is, with the extra bells and whistles added, the original intent of the movie can get lost. They wouldn't, I hope, try to re-do works of art such as The Mona Lisa, or the Birth of Venus, just because Photoshop offers opportunity for some interesting additions.

Why can't a young audience be educated to appreciate the original version of a movie, and the atmosphere of its time - which is actually a large part of the plot. You can't lift something out of its original setting without losing something - without losing a lot. It's rather like taking a natal chart and moving the outer planets around into different positions ! A whole different animal would emerge.

The movie medium is supposed to be filled with the cream of our creative individuals, it's a shame they so often choose to re-create rather than create.

End of rants.


Jennifer Williams said...

Yes, generational labels are abused and often ridiculous, but at the same time, when used correctly, labels like this help us make sense of ourselves in an increasingly info-blitzed world.

As you may have noticed, many influential experts have been saying recently that Obama is part of Generation Jones, born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and Generation X. Click this link...it goes to a page filled with lots of articles and videos of famous people discussing Obama’s identity as a GenJoneser, and the importance of this to his Presidency: http://www.generationjones.com/2008election.html

R J Adams said...

Aha! You've touched on one my special rants. So far as I'm concerned the concocted term "baby boomer" may apply to Bush, Blair, and other crazed leaders who are quite happy to wage wars and blow up babies by the thousand, but the first American who dares to call me that to my face will very likely retire with a very bloody nose. No doubt the term was invented by a GenX, or a GenJones (whatever they are!)
It's yet another example of how totally foolish and unevolved the human species is. And, given such names invariably originate in this country, proves beyond doubt that Americans are both the most foolish and by far the most unevolved of all. In fact, I've met a few garden slugs with higher IQ's.

PS: Having just experienced Ms William's link (above) I'm inclined to change the wording of that last sentence to, "quite a few".

Twilight said...

Jennifer Williams: Hi, thanks for visiting and for the comment and link......but
Oh dear! I'd never heard of Generation Jones. The content of the link you kindly provided just underlines my rant, I'm afraid.

Not content with the label "Boomer" , even that had to be sub-DIVIDED!

I appreciate your meaning re generational labels "helping to make sense of ourselves", because this is partly what astrology is all about too. What worries me is the way it can be used to divide rather than unite. Uniting a group because of perceived similarities which may or may not exist individually, can, in some hands, be used to divide one group from another. This goes against Obama's stated aim, and I doubt he would appreciate the label if his aims are sincere, which I tend to believe they are. :-)

But thanks for drawing my attention to this new (to me) label.

Twilight said...

RJ ~~~ LOL! I see you're in full grumpy mode today, like me. Must be something in the stars today eh?

I'm toen on this one - it irritates me terribley, yet astrology does define generations, and cycles are discernable - but only up to a point, and only with hindsight. Using this stuff in an oblique way to serve their own prejudices, as journalists tend to do, isn't at all helpful.

We should leave it to historians in the 22nd century (if we survive) to define the contribution of Boomers and Xs and Ys..... and Joneses ;-)

Twilight said...

I'm also butterfingered ----torn and terribly

R J Adams said...

Re: Mini rant #2 -

The movie business has no interest in integrity, or educating the masses, or providing anything that in any way could be considered "art". It's sole concern, it's raison d-etre, is to make lots of money for its investors. Consequently, it's only purpose is placing bums on cinema seats, once the owners of said bums have paid through the nose to sit in a drafty old flea pit, on furnishing that haven't been cleaned since Moses wore a pocket handkerchief on his head and wielded a feather duster (well, someone had to spruce up the Ten Commandments!).
(Incidentally, that'll be on the list for a remake soon, no doubt!)

Kids today aren't interested in watching fifty year old movies. They've got all the special effects of the age on their violent video games, and they expect even more realistic blood and gore when they go the cinema. Hence, virtually every film made today could never have graced the screen of 1950's theaters, and not just due to the special effects, but because the censor would have had the film makers jailed for perpetrating gratuitous violence.

As for the industry having the "cream of our creative individuals", who are we talking here? Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie?

Are you comparing the Mona Lisa to "The Day The Earth Stood Still", by any chance?


anyjazz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anyjazz said...

RJ is right. It is just the money. They even save a few bucks on remakes by stealing the old scripts and just paying for re-write.

There are some old movies that are lasting art. Consider Gone With The Wind, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Wizard Of Oz, Citizen Kane, 2001 A Space Odyssey and so on; add your own favorites. These classics can only be remade, they cannot be replaced.

Twilight said...

RJ ~~` Oh my! You're in classic RJ form today! ROFLMAO! You could rant for America and Britian combined!

I agree with all your points, it comes down to $$$$$$$ like most other things in the USA.

But America's Cream of Creativity
(excluding the ladies you name) have a whole world of literature, new authors and screenwriters on their knees before them....begging for a chance to have their work portrayed on the silver screen.Yet the movie makers insist on continuing to produce remakes of movies which are already classics.

They could be as bloody and violent as they like with a new story....alternatively they could wait until all the audiences of the original version have gone to the Great Movie Theater in the Sky before tampering with their honored classics.

Mona Lisa/Day the Earth Stood Still
Hmmmm - She does have a passing resemblance to Gort, now I come to think of it. ;-)

Twilight said...

Anyjazz ~~ Excellent point: re-made but not replaced! Good thinking Batman!

Anonymous said...

The Age of Aquarius, if you let me, does not sound traditional for me, following by the mean that, our new and advanced technology is becoming progressive in the hands of potentials people who can benefit from it mixing creativity with intuition in a way to show how big you can think transcending what is in your mind to the movies. I am totally cool with that, I love watching the movies I used to, now I am 23, I beg for new advanced technology when talking about movie effects.

Wisewebwoman said...

Oh a woman after me own heart today. A double rant, no less. Yes I hate those labels too and Generation Jones? New one on me, though I am familiar with Boom, Bust & Echo Gens.
As to the movies, it is appalling what a dearth of fresh material will do and a woeful lack of creativity.
I don't agree with some of your comments on young people not enjoying the old movies, the young people in my life absolutely adore them.

Twilight said...

Hi The Saturn Top - thanks for commenting.

Oh, I agree with you that modern technology can enhance movies to produce wondrous scenes to a degree never before possible. In the right hands this could produce a modern masterpiece.

My quarrel is with using material which has already been worked in film and has achieved almost iconic status, when there is a mountain of new stuff just waiting to be used.

M. Night Shyamalan comes to mind as one who seems unique, and wants to create rather than re-create.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ It's good to hear that your circle of young people DO enjoy some of the old classic movies. It's probably all down to the input and encouragement of yourself and others in your circle - so many youngsters don't have a similar experience.

There's such a lot of material the movie makers could be using, which is crying out for film. I think there's a dearth of motivation rather than of material. As well as being greedy, they are just plain lazy! :-)

Anonymous said...

Please make sure that Will Smith reads this before he forces his son on us in a remake of Karate Kid.

Here's a list of remakes that I think should happen:

1) Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD. David Hasselhoff? Please.

2) Logans Run. The first one is pure cheese, and I love it, but I think a more ominous version could be quite chilling and adventurous.

3) Brother From Another Planet. Would love to see Mos Def star in it.

4) Day Of The Triffids. I think that the technology is here to make it truly terrifying,

5) Last Days Of Man On Earth. Moorcock deserved better than the camp, early-seventies cult hit.

--Robert Phoenix

Twilight said...

Hi Anonymous (Robert)

Surely not Karate Kid already?!

Those are interesting picks for re-making, the ones I'm familiar with anyway. They were second-class efforts with plenty of scope for improvement.

I don't know the last on the list, (Last Days of Man on Earth)but I'll now be on the lookout for the
70s version - sometimes those B-type movies are so bad they're good!

Logan's Run - true enough - the original was great in its day, but hardly classic and could do with refurbishing.

A book by David Graham, "Down to a Sunless Sea" is a favourite of mine and I've often wondered why some film-maker hasn't pounced on it.

Anonymous said...

I understand! And I agree.
Maybe there will be coming an era that all potentials moviemakers can show how original, unique we can be when having at hands all the necessary materials available not only for those who choose what you should watch.
Re-makes are good for the generation that is at it, it should be interesting how THE MATRIX would be re-make in the next century ;)
Tarantino comes to mind, when the word original and inspiring is at the topic.
Love your posts !

Twilight said...

Thank you, Saturn Top....and may I say that I wish I could write in another language as well as you, a Brazilian, do in English! Congratulations! I would not like to have to learn the peculiar complexities of the English language !

Yes, that is an interesting thought about how they might re-make The Matrix in the future.
By then, who knows, they might be working with holograms and even more wondrous tools!

anthonynorth said...

Generational names are clearly devised to identify a consumner category. Which is what it is all about - selling things.
Although I had a suspicion that Baby Boomer was an instruction to have lots of kids. So I fathered seven :-)

Twilight said...

Hi AN ~~ $$$$$ again! That is probably true.

Yes, I've remarked before about your reproductive prowess ;-). Seven!!
Your efforts balance my own dereliction of duty to add more humans to the race. :-)