Last night as I was watching a film called Benjamin Button, and enjoying it immensely, I began to wonder why such a an intriguing and well done film was not a hit.
There were some simple things that might explain the initial resistance it experienced at the box office, to wit: it’s length, nearly three hours; it’s star, Brad Pitt (www.bradpitt.com), who is essentially known as a box office hunk and the spouse of Angelina Jolie, being cast as an extremely old man who slowly becomes young. So for at least half the film, you are seeing an old and infirm Brad Pitt. Perhaps the fans didn’t want to see him like that? Perhaps his fan demographic couldn’t even comprehend old age? Who knows?
Here’s what I do know. Everyone in the film did an extraordinarily good job of bringing a very difficult, not to mention impossible, plot line to life.
For those of you who don’t know the film is based upon a short story by F Scott Fitzgerald. The protagonist is born old and grows young physically, while his mind ages the same way any normal human would. An imaginative stretch to be sure.
But the film was enriching and fascinating and very well done and I loved it.
Which brings us to today’s topic. Letting people know when something is good.
Too many times we see the media celebrate incomprehensible situations, people, events, projects while something that we recognize as being truly great is completely ignored. While the likes of Sarah Silverman (www.sarahsilverman.com), Elvis Costello (www.elviscostello.com), Kanye West (www.kanyewest.com), Patti Smith (www.pattismith.net), Lady GaGa (www.ladygaga.com) , etc, get tons of press, airtime, support, and distribution, many artists that we recognize as being truly great are more than ignored; they are nearly shunned.
So I’m charging you with being a vocal advocate for the music / art that you believe in.
If you’ve read a really good book; heard a great song; gone to an exhibition of a remarkable artist, then let people know. Let everyone know. Call the newpapers, radios, tv stations. Write them. Put the website addy of some artist you love in the signature of your emails. Do everything that you can think of to support what you believe in.
We don’t have to put up with what these out of touch mega corporations have decided we’re going to be fed. We can make our own choices. And, thanks to the internet, it’s all out there and available.
Tell your friends, and ask them what they’ve discovered. There’s a whole new world out there. Existing on its own terms. Cool.