Viral Video: Pure Testosterone and Mahem
The clip above is "Pure," an action movie montage from professional film editor Jacob Bricca. In his words, it's a "meditation on genre, a commentary on visual cliches, and a celebration of the visceral pleasures of cinema." Sounds a little like master's thesis mumbo jumbo to me, but the final product is worth a look. It is interesting to notice the "predictability of certain images" as he cuts from fifty (or so) modern action films. (link)
Note the swagger, the stride, the sideways glance of the contemporary tough guy. Then watch all hell break loose. Including explosion-propelled jet skis -- and helicopters flying at extremely low altitude. Watch out! Oops, too late.
I won't suggest that these films are for straight guys only, as a previous post on destructoporn identified fans on both sides. But this is obviously also a study in modern masculinity. So, where are the women? Well, few of them are cut in just after the three minute mark. Was it me or were they all screaming in terror? Ugh. I get the trappings of the genre, but that point seems a little dated given how deconstructed that stereotype has become in the post-Buffy age. Especially considering that a few of the clipped films already have great examples of ass-kicking female protagonists.
I guess I get the bigger point. But if Pure is "commentary on the ubiquity and predictability of certain images in contemporary cinema," then why do I fall for these films again and again? The good ones anyway. Speed 2 and the first Matrix film might share a few visual cues, but one is rubbish and the other is art (please tell me you can guess which is which, GG).
Any proven formula will have repetitive elements, right? Who said "All art is derivative"?
For our readers who don't click with the action genre, I have recently become aware of the Mo Movie Measure (or Bechdel Test) which allows some lesbians (and many women in general) to screen films and watch only those that meet the following criteria:
1) there are at least two female characters
2) who talk to each other
3) about something other than a man
Good luck with that. I'm sorry it's so hard. Seriously.
I don't have that many rules. And by the way, action is not the only genre that I dig. But I'm still not ready for the Merchant-and-Ivory-a-thon that GG keeps threatening to put together.
UPDATE: Almost forgot to mention the Samberg/Ferrell spoof: "Cool Guys Don't Look at Explosions." LINK
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