Saturday, May 13, 2006

Whose reality? What reality?

Why do we take offence at the drop of a hat? Is it because, like the proverbial spoilt brat, we want the world to run according to our bidding? Of late, so many films have been in the eye of the storm for one reason or the other. For instance: the (erroneous?) depiction of police personnel and practices or lesbianism, to cite a couple of not so recent examples. Why cannot moviegoers (or, couch potatoes for that matter) realise that what they pay good money and spend hours to watch is not reality but fiction attempting to approximate reality at the most. So why impute dark motives and evil intentions to the auteur when (s)he’s offering what (s)he hopes will be an entertainer and a money-spinner? And, even if the movie is claimed to be ‘realistic’, whose reality do you think it portrays? Surely, neither the viewer’s nor the critic’s. There’s an insightful article (Reality Check) on ‘reality television and movies’ at you may like to read. A quotable excerpt: "We are bombarded by fantasy," says Sharon Simpson, co-founder of the Santa Cruz Documentary Film and Video Festival. "The popularity of shows like Survivor, which really have nothing to do with 'reality,' still show (sic!) that people are interested in what is supposedly 'real'."

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