The Post-Modern Reality of Hollywood
The shower of bullets leave white grooved funnels in the air, as the hero in slow motion leans back to avoid the deadly aims of the gunmen—all the while his black trench-coat billows underneath him. The saddened husband in heaven spans the chasm of hell to be reincarnated with his soul-mate wife. The young business executive places the pistol in his mouth, his blood-shot eyes rolling upwards as beads of sweat trickle down his grimy face. Moments later, after the bullet has been released into his head he turns to see that his nemesis, his alter-ego, is now dead on the concrete. Sound unbelievable? Perhaps, but when realized as scenes from famous movies such as The Matrix, When Dreams May Come, and Fight Club, they seem not quite so unreachable as before.
In recent years, Hollywood has been inundating the American public with movies that question the very essence of reality. While set in highly entertaining, thrilling, and spectacular films, the very foundations of reality have been challenged, and some unsettling questions have been left unanswered in the minds of the American public. When did Hollywood become such a philosophizer? But more importantly, why has Hollywood taken to creating powerful films that manipulate the emotions and beliefs of their viewers as specifically concerns reality and their understanding of it?
Surely the foundations of reality have not always been so heavily emphasized in Hollywood in years past. Looking to motion pictures such as Casablanca, The Sound of Music, Clint Eastwood Western’s, Indiana Jones, and James Bond 007 (a handful of famous films), we do find questions posed and important scenarios of life brought to the screen. However, such movies were meant to be dramatizations, and interpretations, of everyday life—the girls wore more elaborate dresses in Casablanca, the cowboys rode faster horses in the Westerns, the timeless battle between good and evil was set in a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars, and the fights were a bit more exciting in James Bond. It wasn’t until the last two decades that Hollywood began to seriously, and drastically, introduce films which deviated from the such “simple” screenplays. What was the cause of this increased emphasis on topics concerning reality?
Many agree that the philosophies of the time directly influence the products of the time. Could Hollywood, through its film, be questioning reality due to the philosophical era that we are in, and banking on the very questions which society is currently asking itself? Many cultural analysts and philosophers belive that we are currently living in a society of post-modern philosophy. It is this post-modern philosophy which directly affects our thoughts and beliefs concerning absolute truth and reality. Therefore, it is no wonder that Hollywood is questioning reality as well, and purposefully doing so in such a way that earns a nice profit. To further understand and support such a...