Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Look At That!!!


As I watched It Follows, a tense horror film well worth anyone's time, I pointed at the screen and proclaimed, "Hey, that's The Redford Theater. Oh my gosh, that was filmed in Detroit. That was the theater where Evil Dead previewed, although they didn't call it that at the time. I was there. Raimi and Campbell were there. You know they were from Michigan!"

And thankfully the theater was near empty. But nonetheless, I kept looking for and spotting landmarks from around the city and suburbs, delighting in each discovery.

Why? Why do we Midwesterners respond that way? I'm sure Californians don't exclaim.."Look, that's the Hollywood sign!" and people from New York don't point out what route a police chase is taking by noting familiar landmarks flashing on the screen. And surely people about Washington D.C. don't freak out when someone is filming a political thriller.

So what's with us Midwesterns? Why do we take the hokum factor and blow it up times ten? Why do we take such childlike delight in the familiar?

And it's not a new factor. I remember in the seventies going to see The Betsy, a story based on Harold Robbins' potboiler about the auto industry, and Beverly Hills Cop, and in both instances doing the same thing in a theater, along with the rest of the audience. "Hey, did you see that? Eddie Murphy is driving down the John C. Lodge! I know that overpass!!!"

It's the way it is. and it says something about Midwestern culture. We don't expect the extraordinary. We don't think of life as exciting. We work. We go home. We go to work the next day. We delight not in seeing the sensational, but in recognizing the ordinary. It's who we are.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have a keen sense of the obvious.

Angie said...

I think everyone does that, at least initially. It's just that if you live in LA or New York, you see your area on the screen pretty frequently, so the shiny wears off.

The next layer of fun is pointing and laughing at the mistakes they make when filming stuff. Streets of San Francisco was notorious for that. They'd show a car chase barrelling up Market, then suddenly they'd screech around a left turn and BAM! they're passing Fisherman's Wharf. :P You had to be familiar with SF geography to laugh at that sort of thing, but being able to do so is kind of fun. :)

Angie