Volume 92, Issue 59

Wednesday, January 13, 1999

sleeping with the enemy


Courtroom overrules Travolta and Duvall

Did Nazis bank on the Swiss?

Surviving the Mc-hype

Surviving the Mc-hype

Think big, think huge, think enormous and then think, why is everything inflated to the ultimate?

In recent years, the hype surrounding movies has exploded into a full frontal assault of flashy, tacky and trashy promotions using music, tours and advertisements. The institutions of music and film have surrendered themselves to a cheapening display of smart and sly profit making.

Bigger and louder bangs are needed to grab the public's attention, as they are bombarded with a vast array of commercial-spewing television dribble and video games which leave the viewer in a catatonic state. Over the past 10 years the tools used to drive through this collective consciousness have become harder, heavier and cleverer.

It began perhaps with Terminator 2 which launched the blow-away trailer epidemic. In recent years, the public has been continually exposed to constant attacks from commercials for such films as Titanic, which was followed by thousands of advertisements and preceded another set of promotions reminding us the film is playing "everywhere."

While Titanic was a huge scale production, other feature films are also guilty of similar promotion tactics. Disney has the brilliant notion of combining their films with McDonald's or Burger King, so you can get a Big Mac, large fries and Moses to go. This commercialization cashes in on sensationalism and tackiness, while it trivializes the film industry by removing the aesthetic appreciation and replacing it with a lust for money.

The movie industry is moving towards large up scale productions, such as Armageddon and Star Wars Episode I, based on the assumption that anything less will be overlooked.

This enlargement is also represented by the construction of new movieplexes, consequently taking businesses away from the smaller, less impressive theatres.

Have we become so enamoured by this new luxury that the size of the screen and the comfort of the seats matter more than the film's message and acting?

The basic desire to view films is fuelled by the promise of escape into an ideal or different world. This pure enjoyment musn't be lost within the hype of sensationalized advertisements or our apathetic complacence.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999