Everyone, it seems, loves to rant about Hollywood, to viciously mock its saturated and tedious tropes. If, like me, you spend most of your days wearing a string vest covered in bits of fried egg, sitting very still on a stool and watching the walls rot, youre too relieved to be out of the house, in a somewhat clean pair of trousers, watching colourful images unfold in front of you, to rage against the system. And yet rage you do. Ive seen you outside the cinemas, hacking at holly bushes and bits of wood. Of course, the terrible truth of these Hollywood trends is that theyre our fault. Conveniently, I have a list of ten of these terrible trends, each one accompanied by unsubstantiated and entirely subjective reasons why.
10. Emotionally Manipulative String Arrangements
Forming emotional connections with the viewer is difficult for any filmmaker- it requires skill and care and time. Fortunately, theres a shortcut: mournful string arrangements and sparse, plinky-plonky piano pieces in the background are guaranteed to have the audience in floods of tears. Consequently, deep, emotionally driven narratives and quality writing are eschewed in favour of the generic sad soundtrack. And its all our fault, because of our stupid brains having a stupid reaction to stupid music: The listener does not need to know what the music means, only how it makes him feelthe onscreen action, of course, provides clues and cues as to how the accompanying music does or is supposed to make us feel, as Stuart Fischoff puts it. The inherent emotional effect of certain generic kinds of music is well documented. Shame on you and your weakness for a string section playing in a minor key.
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