This morning, on my way to a sound recording gig, I was stuck in traffic behind a car with a vanity licence plate that read "SMRFIN IT."
When I arrived on set, I discovered we were filming in an auditorium called "Smurfit Hall."
I took all of this as a sign and decided to watch "The Smurfs" (2011) when I got home.
What a strange - yet not strange - movie.
It's strange because of what it is: Small blue people running around New York, the gimmicks, the plot line, the acting, the characters - everything, really.
It's not strange, on the other hand, because of what it FUNDAMENTALLY is:
A semi-beloved brand re-appropriated as a giant consumer brainwashing campaign for the developing brain of toddlers.
This movie is entertaining only so far as it needs to be, legally.
More than anything, this movie is an extreme attempt to hypnotize children to become loyal to certain brands, certain experiences, certain products.
And to unquestioningly accept certain values.
This isn't a religious thing or a political thing because I could care fuck-all about that.
This is an aesthetic thing.
It's a matter of function.
What does the thing DO to the spectator?
(In this case, the thing is a smurfin' movie.)
"The Smurfs" (2011) is a ruthless & sophisticated work of aesthetic brainwashing.
I will discuss three specific techniques.
PS: Hurricane Matthew is headed in my direction.