‘It’ faces an inherent dilemma: it is in danger of becoming a parody of itself. Set in a small town in Maine in the 1980s, where awkward adolescents cycle down wide streets, facing off against unknown evils, ‘It’ is immediately reminiscent of another recent drama: Netflix’s Stranger Things. Yet, while that series was an unabashed Spielberg homage filled with deliberately overt references to the era’s iconic pop culture, ‘It’ is both the originator of said tropes and taking advantage of their resurgence, seducing modern audiences by tapping into our collective nostalgia.
Based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel, the story of ‘It’ is better known by many from the 1990 TV adaptation. Now, 27 years after its last incarnation (in a nod to the lifecycle of Pennywise himself), ‘It’ is back.
Steve Jobs, the third film to be made about the founder of Apple in as many years, has been chosen to close the 2015 BFI London Film Festival. This news confirms what was already obvious: from Howard Hughes to Mr Heineken, Hollywood has an increasing obsession with entrepreneurs. With films about the founders of Google and McDonalds in the pipeline, it’s a trend that shows no sign of abating.
In many ways, it’s unsurprising. The origin stories of many iconic brands contain the hallmarks of the classic rags-to-riches plot that has long proved irresistible to filmmakers.
Whether or not an official studio-brand production partnership exists, films about existing brands inevitably come with a side-order of subliminal advertising that can diminish the power of the storytelling.
At their best, these films present an inspiring tale of vision and fearlessness. At their worst, they become little more than souped-up marketing ploys masquerading as artistic entertainment.
I’ve had a look at four films that revolve around brands and their leaders to decide in each case whether integrity won out over The Man.
I had a little bit too much fun with this article. Sadly, I got excited and published it before I had a chance to add some extra song suggestions for Harry Potter: The Musical (‘Haasssssaaaaathyyyyyythhhh’ – a song entirely in Parseltongue, and a duet by Hermione’s eyebrows, were two highlights that just missed the cut).
Anyway, have a read and please let me know your own suggestions. I could play this game all day!
It’s one of my favourite time of the year – Oscar season! Here are my Oscar Predictions for Indigo Memoirs. Have a read and let me know if you agree!