Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Coincidence? I Think Not.

"The email from Paramount that came in earlier today contained good news -- Stardust opened at Number 1 in Russia, and took 3 million already -- and bad news -- we were Number 4 on Friday night in the USA and took 3 million. Which means, it went on, that the projections are that we'll easily break $100 million internationally; and that as the majority of US reviews are good to excellent*, and the exit polls they've done on people coming out are as good as could be hoped for, that Stardust will hang around for a little while longer in the US (which is, after all, about 40% of the theatrical market) and hope that word of mouth does what the ad campaign has significantly failed to do.*"
-Neil Gaiman, blog

Over the past few days, thinking and talking about Stardust and learning that there's going to be a Serenity special edition DVD, a parallel occurs to me. It seems that perhaps Neil Gaiman and Joss Whedon are actually twins (fraternal, mind you) who were separated at birth (well, and born four years apart). The point I'm working up to here is that both created brilliant movies which didn't quite hit the mainstream. One reason in both cases is that publicists didn't quite know what the hell to do with them. Is it a western? Sci-Fi? Fantasy? Adventure?

It seems having a ready category is all-important, which boggles my mind because I'd rather watch a dozen movie like either of the two I just mentioned over a single viewing of the easily categorizable (is that a word?) From Dusk 'Til Dawn. So, what gives? I can't help but think of a comment John from work made, that he didn't like novels that mix genres. Is that what it's all about? Do we get uneasy when something's hard to describe? I can't hardly believe that, but it's true for at least one person. For me, mixing genres makes a story immediately more interesting. I mean, come on, what are you going to do with cowboys in space? I'm curious already. How about you? What's your take on genre mixing?

Oh yes, another creepy coincidence: Nathan Fillion of Firefly and Serenity (not to mention Buffy) fame has the nickname "Captain tightpants" and I just learned that Neil Gaiman has been dubbed "Scary Trousers." That can't be just coindence, now can it? I'm telling ya, there's a connection...


Mishell said...

I agree. Mixed genre stories are always more interesting to read or watch. That's not to say that I can't enjoy a single genre story, but it always seems to me that even those have, if they're really good, have and extra zip added to them by including something not characteristic to that genre. Take Scream, for example. It's a horror movie with comedy. Now this isn't something new. Lots of horror movies have a bit of comedy, but the comedy in Scream comes from making fun of the horror genre itself; this is what gives it that extra zing.

I know that the genre mixing in Scream isn't quite like that of Firefly (which I loved, Ali, and I'll get your DVDs back to you soon,) but it's still the same principle. Everyone keeps saying that all the stories have been told. Well, maybe if we started really mixing it up in the genre department, we could freshen up the old stories enough that they seemed new again. What da ya think?

Jenny said...

Mixed genres, like mixed drinks, are always good.

And, if you're watching mixed genre movies while sipping mixed drinks...well, it just doesn't get better than that.

P.S. I would put From Dusk Til Dawn in the mixed-schizo category. Is it just me or does the plot change half way through??

Ali said...

Good points, Mishell. Mixing genres opens so many, many doors.

Jenny, Jenny, Jenny. Oi.