Holly-wood spellcasting, one hundred years of shaping public opinion

People love to ‘go to the movies.’ Ever since the first movie theatre opened at the turn of the last century, the public  has been enthralled and captivated by this new technology of entertainment and has fallen under the spell of the large movie studios who busily create and maintain an entire industry of ‘celebrities’ and ‘stars.’ To this end, the studios employ vast numbers of directors, producers, technicians, advertisers, marketers, actors, movie ‘reviewers’  and various hacks. The owners of this huge entertainment complex, the studio moguls, have used the public’s insatiable thirst to be ‘entertained’ not to enlighten and uplift humanity, but to dumb it down and offer it little more than gratuitous sex and violence, sprinkled with heavy doses of propaganda and mind control.

The public has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it will consume anything that Hollywood produces, no matter how shallow, trite, boring, hackneyed, and infantile the product. Even though the mindless fluff that Hollywood cranks out today, in 2014, is a far cry from movies in the heyday of moviemaking in the 1970s, the public utters not a word of protest, so great is the addiction to ‘going to the cinema.’ Indeed, many youth around the world like to spend their weekend afternoons at the movies. Mostly, they do not bother to pick out a movie beforehand, but simply show up at the cinema complex and buy a ticket to whatever movie has the coolest poster and advertising. Endless repetitions of comic book stories,  regurgitated myths,  recycled James Bond movies , Harry Potter, Godzilla, plastic kids toys made into films (Transformers), and special effects-laden blockbusters starring Johnny Depp are the entertainment ‘food’ that the public consumes. It is the mental equivalent of junk food and anyone who wishes to preserve their mental health had best stay away from it.

The sheer number of directors and actors who have sold their soul to the devil to work in Hollywood and achieve their fame is so numerous that it would require a book to list them all. One of these directors stands out in his utter depravity and deserves special mention and that man is Quentin Tarantino.

I can still recall my experience of viewing his film Pulp Fiction in 1994. This film generated an enormous amount of publicity  leading up to its premiere. All of the movie reviewers were going gaga over it and the street buzz was palpable. It was a ‘must-see’ movie. I remember sitting in the movie theatre and feeling extremely uncomfortable, almost to the point of walking out. On the screen, I was watching characters who were unrealistic and cartoonish, thuggish goons who reveled in senseless violence and had a knack for uttering clever one-liners whenever they blew someone away. In one scene, one of the main characters accidentally discharges his gun and blows the head off of the man in the back seat of the car. Needless to say, it was  graphically violent, but because the Samuel Jackson character was such an inept idiot, the audience actually laughed. I looked around me and wondered why they were laughing at some guy who just had his head blown off. But that was , and is, Tarantino’s gift: getting audience members to laugh and revel in his endless portrayals of graphic violence. Media and Hollywood hacks even invented a term for the director’s style: the ‘aestheticization of violence.’

That’s not all. The movie also featured plenty of torture scenes, along with male on male rape and sadomasochism. There was not a single character who was either believable or likable.

Grotesque: 

Django Unchained - UK Premiere - Red Carpet Arrivals

I started going to far fewer Hollywood movies after that experience with Tarantino in 1994. If this was what was now consider ‘hip’ and ‘cool’ , I wanted nothing to do with it. The success of Pulp Fiction propelled Tarantino  to stardom and he went on to make numerous movies in the following decade, all of which used the same themes which had worked so well in his first blockbuster.

It was interesting to observe the professional movie critics discuss Quentin Tarantino. While they acknowledged some of the disturbing aspects of his movies, they said it was all ok because he was such an artistic genius. Siskel and Ebert, not surprisingly, ate it up. Playing their dutiful role of Hollywood pimps, they sang the glories of this new kid on the block. In Pulp Fiction, the only original thing Tarantino did that I could tell was starting the movie in the middle of the storyline. The critics thought that this ‘non-linear’ storytelling was so, you know, avant-garde. Yawn. Tarantino is not an artist, nor is he even a particularly talented filmmaker. He simply hires big name Hollywood actors, copies scripts from real masters like Akira Kurosawa, choreographs lots of stylish fights (ripped off from famous Hong Kong fight directors), inserts hit songs from the 50s and 60s, and claims that he has done something original.

That a director like  Tarantino has been able to achieve such a degree of fame and wealth shows the enormous power and influence of Hollywood’s marketing apparatus. Indeed, the spell casting gurus who live in Southern Californian mansions can pretty much get the public to believe in anything. For example, how is it possible that Adam Sandler has a job? This guy is completely bereft of talent. He knows it, the studios know it, everyone knows it except for the movie-going public who continue to go see his movies. His movies are not merely bad, they are horrible. He’s never made a worthwhile movie in his life, and he never will. He wasn’t even funny on Saturday Night Live. This guy is so bad, so over-the-top annoying, and so talent-less that perhaps it’s fitting that he’s found a home in the one place on Earth that rewards such attributes: Hollywood.

We could also add Samuel Jackson, Sylvester Stallone, Keanu Reeves, Steven Seagal, Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Vin Diesel, Ben Stiller, Rob Schneider, Will Ferrell, Hayden Christensen, and Jim Carrey to our list of ‘actors’ who cannot act.

And how about the so-called actresses who grace the covers of the celebrity magazines and are the ‘epitome of beauty’? What a joke. Again, this is a clever mind-trick, getting people to see something which isn’t there and to not see something which is there. Julia Roberts? She wouldn’t have even made the cheerleading squad at my high school. Jennifer Aniston?  There’s a dozen girls who I work with who are far more beautiful than this average-looking female. Angelina Jolie?  She looks like a freak. Even though all of us know women who are far more beautiful than these Hollywood tramps, when asked ‘who is the most beautiful woman in the world’, most people continue to name a famous actress. We prefer, I guess, to let others do our thinking for us.

2 thoughts on “Holly-wood spellcasting, one hundred years of shaping public opinion”

  1. Unfortunately it’s often said that Hollywood feeds the masses with what they want to see as many times as they want to see it, They study the public and use the sequel and the prequel strategies when possible for more of the same. They reflect the population’s wants. Scary to think so but ……………………… how many Die Hard’s, Texas ChainSaws, Fast and Furious’s, Rambo’s, Terminator’s, Nights of the Living Dead’s, Jason’s, Carry’s, etc. can they make? The answer, all you want.

  2. You’re right. Soon we will see Batman part 10, Spiderman 15, Superman 12, X-Men 25 and so on. It never stops. I’m eagerly awaiting the next Rocky installment.

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