Saturday, July 30, 2011
State Of The Kaijyu: Exceeding The Obvious
Was recently explaining to a podcast cohort my thoughts on film, and realized that in many ways it only felt proper to share them here as a sort of spiritual backbone to The Wandering Kaijyu as a whole. A means of helping illustrate where I stand with the kinds of works that comes out on a regular timeline, without having to crank out a review here and there for everything under the sun. I still see the blog itself as something of an experiment in seeking out the rare, along with just a taste of what the mainstream is eating. And while the last several years have been flushed with works tailor-made for cult enthusiasts, it does ring false notes all over, leading to me either watching them and having things to share (ala Scott Pilgrim last year like crazy), or watching it, and not feeling enough passion to write about it with the right kind of vigor necessary for a giant monster traveling the wild. This is an adventure blog, designed to not only shared what I've found, but to illustrate a deeper need to challenge via the visual arts. Particularly in the worlds of genre.
So here are my words regarding film, and what I often seek out..
It is important to see film as a wide realm, and like anything else, has a certain criteria to meet with the public at large. Anything deviating from either tried and true formulas, or common sense tends to fall into bad because they fail to connect on a deeper level than merely candy. A distraction. I give it more of a pass when it has a low budget simply because without the backing, it is imperative that a work maintains some kind of integrity and intent. The larger the budget, the less excuses it has because these productions have a great deal more support, and should strive to a higher caliber.
My whole reasoning in a nutshell is closer to the idea that film can be more than a distraction, and that it can actually mean something to those who made it as well as the public. And one doesn't get this with most major studio productions. It clearly just looks like work.(IE-80% of Hollywood films in the 90s) Passion is clearly the objective here. And there are few places better to find this than in low-budget productions. One feels the pressure with this when the budget is low. One has to have passion to make it work then. It's very rare when a studio production has that same level of fanaticism & yet obvious care. Without it, much of this doesn't really matter at all.
With major studios now taking the idea of comic books as film material, it truly now feels as the inverse of my growing up has become the norm, which can only signal a need for the normal to again exceed the obvious. It all comes back to the concept of precedent, and a need to perpetuate motion beyond each new plateau. Otherwise it's all spinning wheels, idling simply for the fact that it pays the bills. And while the current climate can only hope to achieve this, it's also equally as important to continually inspire new generations of viewers with stories, no matter how wild, and unusual. Imagination and the ability to connect are of incredible importance, and is always in danger of being ignored in favor of what keeps the lights on for another month.
And it can be a Japanese monster film, and anime, a horror piece, a science-fiction drama done on the cheap, or a foreign hybrid work. The point is that the Kaijyu is here to help that passion flow, even when it occasionally gets clogged by any number of random variables.