Saturday, April 08, 2006
Our Own Private Paradises
Do you remember the movie What Dreams May Come?
This 1998 film certainly was no blockbuster with only a 15 million dollar domestic box office gross. But who was really interested in a heavy handed movie after suicide, the death of children, and the afterlife?
It was heralded with an Academy Award for its cutting edge and unique visual effects (and an art direction nomination.)
Yet I remember watching it for the first time and thinking it was so cool. Upon rewatching this film with teenagers in my film class recently I was amazed at how much they loved this film. I think this film was ahead of the curve because it enforced an idea of "Private Paradises."
I have realized recently that this generation has become very interested in creating their own private world that they have created. Why else have iPods, MySpace, Facebook, blogging and private Yahoo radio stations become so popular. No more do we want to listen collectively with others to music on the radio, we want our own music, chosen and arranged by us. And we want our own spaces in our life. We are quite content to plug in our earphones and listen to music while being in the same room as someone else.
And in the same way that Robin Williams in "What Dreams May Come" what excited to be joined by his family and dog in his afterlife heaven, he certainly didn't think about being apart of his children's paradise or anyone else's. Because we want everyone to partake in the perfect world we create. That's why we want people to visit our blogs and post our preference, likes, and dislikes and even what songs we're listening to today.
And movie theaters are wondering why we just want to watch the DVD...Can't the see it's not a problem with the movie theater, it's just that we want to enter our own perfect environment for enjoying media...We want our own movie snacks, and to sit on our own coach and press pause when all the diet cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper catches up with us.
And what about TiVo and recordable television...It's not about commercials, it's about being in control and creating our individualized world.
Will there ever be a point where the pendulum swings back and we once again look for collective experiences? Or will we continue on this trajectory of creating our own private paradises?
Related Tags: Private Paradise, Ipod, Tivo, myspace, facebook, Blog, Blogging, Music, Entertainment, Yahoo Music, Web2.0, Movie Theaters, DVD sales, What Dreams May Come, Isolation, Youth, Culture