Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Gonzo Hollywood

Once upon a time, the makers of porn (oh, great - one of THOSE posts...) took great skill and pride in assembling their product. And it wasn't just about trimmed moustaches and no leg hair, it was about plot. It was about camera angles. It was about making a film, something of substance that just so happened to have two (or three) (or four) people rutting in it. Then came the VCR, and with it, a golden age for Pornywood. But with the advent of the VCR, came a wake-up call for the industry; people were finally able to take things into their own hands. (steady!) They were fast forwarding through the plot and getting right to "the good bits". I'll wager there's not a man who discovered porn in the age of the VCR that could tell you the plot of any of his collection, only who slips a length to whom, how many times, and in which position(s).

Pornywood, ever the innovator, answered this call from their audience who were tired of getting interrupted mid-ham shank to fumble for the fast forward button because they didn't want to watch fifteen minutes of badly acted conversation between "the lonely wife" and "the poolboy". They invented gonzo porn, a genre of the grumble flick that gets straight to the action. No plot, no set-up, no hello-madam-I'm-here-to-fix-the-toilet. It's in, out, and put the kettle on: the wanking equivalent of being handed a steak as you walk into a restaurant without having to wait for the chef make it.

I just watched the trailer for the movie "2012". Take it from me, the special effects in the movie look amazing. Cities blown up, bridges falling on houses, vast oceanic floods towering over civilisation... and aliens. Yes, aliens. But are people going to watch "2012" for the plot? Are there people who will say "gosh, I can't wait for those pesky special effects to be over so we can get to some acting?" I doubt it. Does anyone even care *why* the world is ending in "2012"? I seriously doubt it. I remember how excited I was when I saw the trailer for "Titanic", and how disappointed I was when I found out it wasn't an honest-to-goodness disaster movie, but a bad porno with all the action cut out of it.

Is it time for Hollywood to be as innovative as Pornywood, and give us gonzo blockbusters? Will we see the day when the movie we drop a hard-earned ten bucks to see is ALL special effects, a movie entirely comprised of disaster vignettes? Look, I love cinema. I'll thieve four hours of your life just talking about the lighting composition in "The Third Man", or how innovative the sound in "Citizen Kane" was, but I can appreciate realistic-looking shit blowing up as much as the next person. That's not cinema, that's entertainment you leave your brain at the door for, and there's room for, and value in, both.

Hollywood, I think it's time to ditch the trimmed moustaches and give us 'in, out, and put the kettle on'.


The Film Geek said...

Great, insightful post! And this from a guy who digs his porn gonzo.

Muze Euterpe said...

You know, it's been so long since I "watched" a porn-flick all the actors I saw are dead of AIDS.

So, now you "just push play" and it's up and at it? Where's the fun in that?

But, I also agree that the non-porn flicks I see in today's offerings leave me saying "Come on. Get on with it."

RedZeppelin said...

Hi, I'm here to fix the toilet.

Oh, wait.

Excellent insight. I don't think Hollywood as a whole has gone gonzo, but the ratio has been increasing steadily for some time. For every "Transporter 7: Pew Pew Pew" there's a [insert name of a recent thoughtful, good-quality movie that I can't think of at the moment].

Your comments make me think of the trailer for the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still (Why, Lord, why?). Is there any doubt that the social/political focus of the original will be chucked in favor of lots of saplosions?