Thursday, January 23, 2003

ONE SMALL QUIBBLE: With the latest Jesse Walker article in the WSJ:

[Ridley] Scott has made movies that are genuinely good: "Alien," "Blade Runner," "Thelma and Louise." But for all he's done at the cineplex, the one film he's most likely to be remembered for may be his dystopian ad for the Macintosh, in which a lone athlete stands up against a sterile and conformist future society. Part Orwell and part "Metropolis," his stylish (if somewhat trite) ad debuted in 1984, during--of course--the Super Bowl. It ran only once, yet people still discuss it more than most of his feature films.

Blade Runner is a highly influential movie whose oppressive cityscape shows up basically in every situation that calls for a futuristic, brooding dystopia. Los Angeles, 2019 guest-starred in The Matrix and Dark City and the last Star Wars--so I can't be the only one wh carries around little snippets of that movie in my head all the time. So--yeah--ther're no way that Mac ad is getting discussed more than Blade Runner. But it's a fine column otherwise, in which Jesse makes the Pagliaist point that ads are Art. I didn't know this:

Consider those invisible lovers in the jeans ad, removing their Levi's to the strains of Marvin Gaye. Try to imagine the program it interrupted finding the gumption to include such a gloriously bizarre scene.
That Levi's spot was directed by Michael Bay, the man behind such big-budget turkeys as "Bad Boys" and "Pearl Harbor."

That ad officially becomes Michael Bay's finest moment. That and that scene in The Rock where Ed Harris is arguing with the SWAT team that's out to stop him before he and his men cut down the SWAT team who chose death over dishonor.

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