A Thousand Words Essay

1385 words - 6 pages

A Thousand Words
Some time ago our culture realized that our eyes are much quicker at
processing images than they do words. This realization has saved many
from countless hours of paying attention to words and to then having
to interpret such words. After all, “a picture is worth a thousand
words” (Arlen, 1067-1). Some time ago the film industries realized
that if they could take a thousand words and turn it into a single
picture, perhaps even a motion picture, and distribute it on a massive
scale, countless individuals would tune in to view it. And so it
began, “The Tyranny of the Visual”, as Michael J. Arlen so delicately
put it. It seems people are no longer interested in the long,
romantic soliloquies of the Shakespearian era, but rather they want
fun, adventure, pretty lights, bright colours, dark villains
(preferably with horns), etc. But, most importantly, no one wants to
think when they sit down to be entertained; they don’t want to
interpret and rate the believability of any one picture, thus, the
assumption is made that the work must be accurate with history,
literature, or just life in general. And so, it is these assumptions
that are responsible for the intellectual depletion of recent culture

Though visual effects began as an intriguing new medium, it has
somehow monopolized into a culture with little or no verbal
intellect. It is so easy to be dazzled by flashy images, which either
take us to a happier place or remind us that our own lives are not all
that bad, that we rarely bother to weigh the quality of the
information being conveyed. Take for instance the film, Zoolander,
which actually came with a recommendation to set your brain aside for
the duration of the film. The film constituted of a harebrained male
model (Derek Zoolander) out to save the Malaysian president from an
assassination plot by the corrupt model industry. To demonstrate:
after carefully securing the computer with all the information that
would provide all the evidence necessary to prove there case against
the evil modeling empire, Derek’s counterpart, yet another moronic
male model, attempted to retrieve the information from the computer by
dropping it a few hundred meters from a second-storey balcony.
Needless to say, he was at a loss when the information could not be
found amidst the wreckage. Though such blatant stupidity cannot act
as a reasonable basis of comparison for all films, the fact that it
still grossed 43 million dollars does indicate certain standards among

However, a much more formal movie, Gladiator, which won the Best
Picture award, had much more of the heart-stopping, pulse racing, and
edge of your seat flashy images and minute dialogue that captivates an
audience. Aside from a great deal of yelling and blood,...

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