I took myself on an artist date the other day. If you're not familiar with the term, it's what we call avoiding actual work to sit at the movies all night and eat skittles from a vending machine. Except that I sort of killed it by inviting Nichola because duh Leo crying; thereby voiding the concept of dating oneself via cultural immersion and subsequently gaining inspiration. But whatever, she was the one that bought me the skittles.
We saw The Great Gatsby. While visually gorgeous and all the rigamarole that comes with spending millions on a two+ hour extravaganza, I'm not sure how I felt about the experience. If I sound conflicted, it may be due to the jarring aftershock of unnecessarily loud music accompanied by unnecessarily crowded imagery. On the Rocks In A Dryer scale, it would rate just under Transformers. I mean I like glitter as much as your average stripper. Just please don't play Jay-Z out of nowhere, that loud in my face. I'm just getting over Beauty and the Beast.
I admit that the anticipation of this cinematic event has prompted me to actually read The Great Gatsby. I've gotten through half -- mostly because the annotations in Katie's copy remind me of being in High School, when I was an idiot, and nobody really wants to be reminded of that when ingesting one of the greatest literary excursions of our time (or so they say). On a more important note, Daisy is a dumb whore.
You don't let Leonardo DiCaprio go. You just don't. And you most certainly don't let him die of hypothermia in freezing ocean water so that you have to pry his cold, dead hand off your own since he's let you live when there is CLEARLY ENOUGH ROOM ON YOUR RAFT.
|This photo is stolen. As if you hadn't seen it already.|
Despite the questionable outcome of The Great Gatsby and all its floating text -- lest we forget while Lana Del Ray bemoans her sagging sweater monkeys that you actually read this in American Lit garblegarble years ago -- it reminded me of why I am never disappointed in spending upwards of ten bucks for a flick. And 50 cents for those ten skittles:
The previews. Obvi.
Previews are this magical sub genre of filmmaking that have the ability to make something like Grown Ups 2 look like cinematic mastery. I'm fairly certain I've cried at more previews that the actual films they accompany.
You've got to hand it to the folks over there slaving over a drafting table splicing bits of film together -- or using computers or whatever these newfangled techno nerds do nowadays -- to shove all the best, most enticing portions of a two-hour experience into a 60 second epic. I literally wanted to see Premium Rush so hard when I saw the preview in theaters that I almost forgot how stupid the premise sounded. I still haven't seen it. Therefore, Previews = Totally Fulfilling Singular Experiences.
Which leads me to wonder; are we archaic visual artists nothing if not composers of the highly concentrated movie trailer? Were the cavemen of Lascaux actually the first marketing houses for Premium Rush: Hunt of the Mastadon? Or am I getting it backwards again, seeing as those cave drawings are our first records ever of humans doing cool shit like stabbing the air with sticks and ruining their real estate values? Or is it forwards, seeing as so many of today's films explore past events -- like how dope Lincoln's beard was? Do I have to figure out if the chicken came before the egg before I can eat it with bacon?
I was looking through an old yearbook yesterday, in which my former art teacher quotes, "quit thinking!" Regardless of what the point is, being immersed in a few moments of concentrated theatricality reminds me that making art doesn't always mean thinking art. Or thinking life, for that matter. Sometimes all it takes is removing the extras enough to get at the meat of the thing. In the same way that watching movie trailers gives enough away to create a reaction, so does a good painting. Or portrait. Or suspiciously red bust-thing.
There's an audience for it all. The real point would be to remember that whatever you're doing, make it the most stimulating experience you've ever had. Because nobody cares if you don't care, either.