RKO's claims to fame: Fred & Ginger... and King Kong, both
of which are referenced at throughout Rocky Horror.
For today's lecture in postmodernism, the professor selected The Rocky Horror Picture Show as his subject. There is nothing wrong with this in and of itself. In fact, I would go so far as to say that perhaps Rocky Horror is one of the best examples of postmodern cinema there is. It's all there, a pastiche simulation of pop culture (Charles Atlas commercials), science-fiction and horror B pictures, musicals, canonical art and any number of other elements (the "Rose Tint My World" sequence at the end exists because at the end of every RKO musical, the characters put on a show). If there is another film that better defines bricolage, I haven't seen it.
However, there is another aspect of the film that has a lot to do with its popularity with its audience. It also has one of the most pluralistic views of sexuality one will ever find in cinema.
"So, you got caught with a flat...
Well, how 'bout that?"
Unfortunately, there is also a large portion of the males in this class that weren't quite ready for that last bit. There are a lot of freshmen and sophmores, and just plain bigots, who weren't able to get past the fact that the film has a very blasé attitude about homosexuality. In fact, my obvious amusement at certain parts of the film caused a student behind me to ask whether or not I was gay. I was forced to explain to him that, while I wasn't, what was going on up there on the screen didn't bother me (I would much have preferred that he not ask me, and just gone along his merry way assuming that I was). On the other hand, I did notice that most of the females in the audience were quite tickled by the "same room, different filter" sequence.
Furthermore, I felt that the presentation of this film in an academic setting was sort of missing the point. Under most circumstances, I absolutely adore seeing a film I love as much as Rocky Horror in a class, knowing that there are people that haven't seen it already, and riding the wave of cumulative enjoyment that one can only get from watching a movie with an audience. While obviously a field trip to the cinema for a Saturday midnight showing would have been beyond the scope of this class, the fact was that it just felt like the totally wrong venue for this film.
Esther Williams, whose water-based dance routines served as the primary
inspiration for the "Don't Dream It, Be It" sequence in Rocky Horror.
Oh, well. I guess it just goes to demonstrate how important venue is to presentation.
Okay, I'll admit it. Tim hasn't picked up his XBox yet, and I'm pretty impressed with Knights of the Old Republic. And not just because it's funny that a Sith version of Skitty sluts around in a bar on Manaan. While the combat portion of the game was a bit of a pain in the ass to learn, once it has been it becomes part of the fabric of this game, which is great fun. Some of the problem-solving is a bit odd, but overall if you're into tooling around in the Star Wars universe, this is one of the best ways to do it.
Interestingly, there are aspects to this game that are much more dark, and at times raunchier than anything George Lucas would have allowed in his newer movies, which is actually quite refreshing given the stifling atmospheres of the prequels.