It's weird. By all standards, it's Geek Movie Paradise out there. There's a Robotech movie on the way (note that it's Robotech and not Macross, hint hint), new Star Wars and Star Trek installments in the hopper, more and better comic-book adaptations than have ever been filmed. So how come my sum total of emotional reaction to this cornucopia of culture going pop is "Wake me when it's over"?
My first impulse is to face the mirror and throw a j'accuse: I'm being a spoilsport, a party pooper who's pooped because it isn't his special little pop-cult goodies that are getting the treatment. Well, some of that I will freely plea-bargain to, but only because so much of what I know I'd love to see splashed all over a big screen is either unfilmable or uncommercial.
I 'spect Jimmy the Greek himself would disdain laying odds on whether or not we'd ever get Claymore or Vampire Hunter D in front of cameras, to say nothing of my little fistful of lit-SF darlings that wouldn't be bankbreakingly tough to film: We, More Than Human, or Adolfo Bioy Casares's The Invention of Morel. And a few that would break the bank, but be oh so delovely for it: The Stars My Destination, or that live-action version of Paprika we were teased with by the likes of Wolfgang Petersen but never got. And a few that are just plain crazy, but a man can dream, can't he?, like the Cosmos-esque TV series adaptation of Gödel, Escher, Bach that I kept mulling over.
Sure, it's always an annoyance when there's a pop-culture party being thrown in the multiplex and your own pet projects weren't invited to strip and jump in the pool. You feel that much more excluded from the funfest, and you see yet another exhibit for the prosecution in the ongoing trial of your taste vs. everyone else's.
This is all personal, and I don't doubt that for a second. But isn't the whole point of having personal tastes to be able to argue from the point of view they give you, one which other people might not have any way of knowing exist? It's not that I want everyone currently cutting deals to be hit by a bolt of psychic geek lightning that makes them drop to their knees in repentance and run outside and start feverishly scaring up funding for movie versions of William S. Burroughs's Nova Express and The Soft Machine (not that you'd ever get that last one filmed without it being banned in every country in the world, but you get the idea).
It's just that from where I sit, there's more of a thrill to be had from seeing things come to the fore that previously had no recognition at all -- something I got in spades when I heard an animated adaptation of The Rabbi's Cat was on the way, or when Michel Gondry (!) filmed Boris Vian's Foam of the Daze (!!). The fact that someone was willing to take the risk and create something that quirky -- and something I'd enjoyed, to boot -- was the source of far more excitement to me than the idea that some mega-conglomerate with oodles of liquid cash was creating a guaranteed moneymaker from something I was completely familiar with to the point of indifference.
And once you have a taste of that -- no matter what your declared fandom allegiances -- everything else pales in comparison. When we heard DAVID CRONENBERG FOR GOD'S SAKE was filming Naked Lunch, even if the results weren't what we expected -- no, even because the results weren't what we expected -- the news that Tim Burton was getting back into the director's chair for another Batman film just seemed, well, minor. And again, while that was me, this kind of lightning can strike for anyone.
It all goes back into what I said before. I don't want "the next Star Wars". There is no "next" Star Wars. There's just whatever's next. Which deserves to be better than any follow-up we could name on our own.
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Other Lives Of The Mind