Now that the South Carolina primary’s over, what’s The PR Guy’s take on The Force Awakens?
OK … so those Star Wars people can MARKET. (Woot to the box office receipts and all that.) But here’s the thing: “The Force Awakens” picks up where the rest of the franchise left off (twice) with an ascendant fascist state-like actor trying its best to stomp out a ragtag band of free-wheeling resistance fighters and in the bargain no small amount of unregulated commerce. Sort of like happens in a lot of movies these days (think Hunger Games, et. al.).
The PR Guy is just old enough to remember a Hollywood where the bad guys yanking the levers of power were quite different. Think dystopian/chaotic futures painted in films like Silent Running (1972), Soylent Green (1973), and Rollerball (the real one; 1975). In these Aquarius-era classics we find the suffocating force of the establishment coming not from a power-hungry state, but from a global corporate structure now calling the shots.
So what? So regardless of whether one thinks it a good thing or a bad one, the steep decline in deep (or even just paranoid) suspicion of corporate power in major motion pictures over the past four decades has coincided remarkably with the growing corporatization of Hollywood, which itself tracks pretty closely with a receding public trust in government. And here we sit in Election Year 2016 on Planet America facing the real possibility of an anti-government billionaire (or just an anti-government millionaire) actually running the country. Now the PR Guy’s the first to say that correlation is not causation. But it does make one wonder. Like we say around the office, “Seize the story, drive the solution.”