“It is almost impossible to state what one in fact believes, because it is almost impossible to hold a belief and to define it at the same time.”
While searching for one William Carlos Williams quote, I found another. It took me a second to realize it was better than the one I had half remembered. This idea applies perfectly to the way many people treat movies. They have to believe in it but find it very hard to define this criteria.
Not only is it that positive stroke, it is an aggregate. Anyone who can or cares to remember High School, remembers the way cultural items like music are used to define social groups . If fan X and fan Y like the movie Z, they are equal to each other. This equation also extends to the makers of films. Our heroes must be mirrors.
Good luck shaking this model, though. The ascendance of geek culture is built on this. It is not a new development but as always with emergent technology in the mix it gets a boost. It is in the nature of entertainment creators to play up the “I’m just like you” axiom to draw more people in. Social Networking and all its satellite applications intensify this. It only gets ‘worse’ when your target audience is creating the means of its own social encoding.
Fans take their ciphers seriously. It is a filtering method. What does understanding, let alone liking, The Adventures of Buckeroo Banzai mean? Is it the performances, the plot or the misc-en-scene? Or does it have something to do with the people you saw it with, the place it was viewed, or the point in time you made contact with it? Through a matrix of connections, the fan is fused to their object of choice. Like all choices, it becomes personal. In a rush to separate the idolizers from the infidels, definitions come in. And that’s when BIG trouble starts.
No one wants to believe that the maker of that reboot really understands the object of their desire. Or that creator of their beloved movie may have been in it for the money. Or that idiot in the back row of the theatre is having the same film experience as you. Only you and your circle are getting the full aspect ratio,as it were. If that is untrue, how big is your cult (AKA target group) anyways? What are your rules of distraction ?