December 17, 2003

So Over, So Played

Movies are a great medium and all, but when it comes to being a barometer of the cultural zeitgest, they are always a touch behind. Inherently, by the time a trend gets pitched as a part of a feature, the feature gets made and then released, that trend is probably already so over it's not funny (see XXX and X-treme sports). Not that movies are the only media killing the cool buzz (see the New York Times Style and magazine sections), to even talk about the trend usually means it's over too.

Cinecultist was thinking about this phenomenom in the last week or so as we watched Honey in the theaters and Style Wars on DVD. Admitedly, one is a fiction film and the other a documentary, but both are trying to capture the energy of New York hip hop culture on screen and both come off as completely square in the process. This is not say they are not entertaining movies, but they aren't cultural windows offering a real look at the trend to their audience. Neither film skimps on the cameos either, most notably Crazy Legs in Style Wars and Missy Elliot in Honey who keeps yelling in a oddly sexual way, "I need Honey Daniels!" So what goes wrong then? It's the voice over of The Man, both literal and figurative, that kills the buzz here. To be told what is cool makes it instantly uncool and there's no way around it. And trust Cinecultist, we know from cool.

Posted by karen at December 17, 2003 8:00 AM