Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fake but Accurate

On the one hand, this pseudo-documentary from the United Kingdom's version of the History Channel is pretty cool. It mixes actual images from World War I with some artificially created ones to show the "history" of an H.G. Wells-ish invasion from Mars that happened during the same years that WWI happened in real life.

On the other hand, the high level of verisimilitude in service to events that didn't actually happen may make you wonder how much of the UK History Channel's output you should trust. If they can make the obviously fake look so real, what might they do with events that aren't entirely fictional but subject to several different interpretations?

A movie review and culture website I read but don't link (they think four-letter words make them edgy and cool) ran an excellent parody a few years ago on April Fool's Day. In it, the writer suggested 1992's Sister Act was somehow the defining film for his generation. He built an excellent case, using all of his cinema-interpretive gifts and language to demonstrate that the Whoopi-Goldberg-hides-from-mobsters-in-a-convent movie was everything he said it was. The essay, of course, was a satire. But the problem was that there was no way to tell it from the site's regular reviews except for the fact that it ran on April 1. The writer's own cleverness pretty much wrecked any reason to accept his reviews for any movie, because his made-up review couldn't be told from his real ones.

Unless of course the Martians really did try to conquer us in 1913. In which case somebody had better call Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith...

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