Monday, 26 June 2017

Future fiction and realistic fantasy

Because they were rare back in the day, when Harry Potter hit hard (after three books, because nobody knew what the fuck that is until the fourt or so) and the TLDR Fellowship of the Ring came out and there was nothing hotter than lean blonde elves (even my mother knows who Orlando Bloom is and she’s stopped thinking blondes are hot with Lawrence Olivier), kick-ass witty dwarves (only reason to play Alliance side) and secretive, torn-inside heroes (okay, those were kind of the norm even before, but Mortensen's Aragorn sealed the deal) - suddenly you were no longer special needs for reading children's books above the age of nine, pretty much all of what came down on the market early was deemed excellent. Twilight saga, Pullman's Golden Compass, Nix's Sabriel, ANYTHING Pratchett scrapped from the bottom of the barrel... Yes, those have been around for a long time, but nobody admitted to reading comics (even if it was Gaiman), watching Anime (even if it was Miyazaki) or reaching for any kind of science fiction other than Isaac Asimov ... maybe Gibson, maybe, maybe Douglas Adams, but he was basically a Monty Python anyway. 

Those things were rare and they were great. They weren't marketable, they appealed to a thin stack of pencils of nerds who practiced becoming future Nabokovs by means of Star wars or Labyrinth fan fiction and who thought some day, porn, some day I will understand the meaning of you!

Well, times changed. Lord of the Rings was followed by a torrent of movies that attempted to incorporate elements of magic (even some interesting Russian stuff), and is still rolling in the likes of Game of Thrones, where audience will sit agape at teen titties and huge CGI battles, as long as there's a good, deep dialogue thrown in once every four or five episodes. Characters don't even have to do much, just stand in imposing costume and wear resting bitch faces and the nerds and nerd on-line magazine critics will be just fine interpreting the costume, down to the jewelry worn by extras.

Manga and Anime are in such demand these days, their quality is watered down on every level: story, illustration and details. I LOVE Anime, and would read manga if I could get my hands on it, but even I am desperate for at least one exceptional show per year. Is all I ask. One that I won't be TOLD is excellent and highest ranked, but one which I will be able to find memorable on my own. I've seen SO MANY shows and always will, but they are starting to blend together. Comics, western version, which are slightly harder to produce, are slightly more fortunate in this aspect: there has been an up in some superlative content - Wytches, say, and Saga and personally I am very fond of Flight, the Watchmen and I Roved Out.

And yet, looking back now, on the likes or Eragon, Inkblood and shit like that…. Those were fucking retarded. I tried, I tried really hard to fangirl, because it genuinely is my genre and there are things within that genre that will transcend your LIFE… But man. Take a look at that shit again. It’s fucking embarrassing. There are movies in the past with magical realism elements considered bad that are freakishly brilliant by comparison to what we find acceptable today. Enough with the posh realistic fiction, I beg of you. Make one a year, maybe two, and keep those astounding. One big, one indi. Not fifty, the opening act of which is the fucking Mummy. Which makes the Brendan Fucking Fraser version seem okay.

There is a huge HUGE divide between a good idea sold to a rich studio and a movie made for people who actually know what the genre is about. Hint: it is not about hot chicks and space battles. It is not ONLY about hot chicks and space battles. That’s like only eating dessert for the rest of your life.