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Here’s a pretty interesting examination of why America makes sucky stuff.


John Expounded Thusly:

He’s got a good thesis, but undoes it by claiming that directors make movies. Nothing could be further from the truth. Except for a very small handful of auteur directors, marketers make movies.

Maybe he’s forgetting about things like Legally Blonde 2, Daredevil, Lara Croft, Ben Affleck, Charlie’s Angels, The Perfect Score, Armageddon, I, Spy and way too many others that are dispiriting examples of the marketing-driven mindlessness that passes for “moviemaking” these days.

He may be right about software, I don’t know.

Oh, and most suburban areas of countries like Australia, Germany, Italy and France are just as ugly as America. (There is a stretch of freeway between Paris and Disneyland Paris that looks so much like the San Fernando Valley you’d swear you were there.)

I agree we make sucky stuff. But I think most of the world does these days, too. For proof, just look at a Kia.

Monday, November 22nd, 2004 • 5:38pm • Permalink

Steve Expounded Thusly:

Well, I do kinda agree with you about the marketers making movies, but not really. While marketing made the concept of Pirates of the Carribbean come to life, Gore Verbinsky certainly was the author of that movie, its look and feel and style and humor. And it was good, to boot!

But I get your point. In fact, I don’t really agree with his point about movie and software. First of all, there is so little good software out there that to include that in the things America makes well is a joke. And I think we lead the world in moviemaking because our culture prizes superficiality, so we waste tons of money on movies, most of which are horrible. Usually, the better movies don’t cost as much. And of the good movies out there, America does not have a monopoly.

What we do have a monopoly in is making BIG-ASS movies. We can afford to throw money at an effects-laden spectacle that’s bigger than God. (But not bigger than The Beatles.)

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004 • 12:21pm • Permalink

J Expounded Thusly:

Episode III will be bigger than The Beatles.

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004 • 8:03pm • Permalink


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