When you’re supposed to be the “guy that’s good at words” as my friend once put it, it’s quite confusing to be left without them. It’s rare yes, but there are times when I’m lost. When I’m left speechless.
The end of La Haine in my first year Film Studies class is a fond memory of mine, not because the ending is particularly happy, more so that it was one of the only times when my entire classroom of loud mouth college kids had ever been quiet.
The second event was when my now girlfriend gave me her phone number instead of giving me her ‘myspace‘ page like I asked for (I figured it would be a way of saying “I like you”, without being the creepy guy that makes a move on a girl in a club).
The third time was when I saw Jeff Wall’s ‘Beyond The Invisible Man’ at the Tate London as an aspiring photographer/creative. I can remember gawping at that one image for at least forty five minutes trying to take in every little intricacy in the photograph. If you haven’t seen Jeff Wall’s work before, I highly recommend it. It’s an art director’s dream!
Lastly, and most recently, was during half time at the Super Bowl. No, it wasn’t brought on by Madonna’s performance, although I was definitely silent through out, this moment of wordlessness was brought on by Chrysler’s stunning half time advert;
This ad couldn’t be more perfect if it tried. Granted, it was lucky as hell that at the half time break the game itself was still wide open, but maybe there was another version if it was a one sided score-fest? Either way, I could listen to the advert over and over, and that’s for two reasons; the delivery of the script by Mr.Clint Eastwood, gravely voice in tow, and the nature of the script itself, and more importantly, the way it’s written.
I’m obviously not American, but I like most mid twenty-something kids grew up with a huge American influence. It was always seen as “The Country“. Everything cool came from there; The Power Rangers, TMNT, Batman, X-Men, and countless other heroes of my childhood. Manhattan is my holy grail of cities, and will always hold a dear place in my heart for the way it’s mesmerised me through out my lifetime. The video games that I play and watch have huge sport like status in the USA, and I am constantly captivated by streams and events shown live at ridiculous times in the morning just to be a part of something.. so I think what I’m trying to get at, is that while the script may not be directed at me, not only can I understand it, but I can relate to it. Ladies and Gentlemen, give that copywriter a raise. A fucking enormous one.
The script is just flawless. Take the word America out of the script, and change Detroit for any other major city in the world, and it can be about any where. That’s the pure genius of the writing. It can be perceived by anyone as being about their lives. Everyone is hurting at the moment. Jobs are hard to find for anyone. I’m the one stuck in a retail job when I want to be writing, so hey, it’s about me! It’s not so much of a wake up call, but a reassurance that everything is going to be okay, and isn’t that all everyone needs to hear once in a while? Doesn’t everyone need a pat on the back and a point in the right direction?
Three people at my place of work have had panic attacks recently about the state of their lives. Stuck in what the perceive as a dead-end job with no prospects, but without the ability to leave said job to chase their dreams, as they’re lucky to even have a job at this moment in time. Every time this has happened I’ve been the one to calm them down, and politely tell them that everything will be okay, they just need to work hard at what they want to achieve. If only Clint Eastwood would follow me around and say the same.
This ad though, makes me feel a little safer inside. Maybe that’s stupidity on my own behalf, but I’ll listen again and again, amazed by the script, the delivery, and the way it makes me feel. It’s one of those ads that makes me proud to be interested in this field, and for every person who brings up Bill Hicks, they’ll be another one moved by this little 2 minute short.
Overly sentimental? Maybe.
Do I care? Not in the slightest.