Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Professional Erroneous Writing

I do like James Franco; he is unique, seems to pave his own way, and always surprises. One surprise that wasn't so great was his recent article published here. There were many grammatical errors, and when you are a PhD candidate at a few well-known schools and with confidence (some say arrogance) throw your education around Hollywood and other parts, you're going to be held to a higher standard. Or even the standard of a publishable quality piece. Is it his fault or the editors thinking he's intelligent enough to not need editors? 
I could throw around old, stodgy talk and question what the world is coming to, but then I'd be committing my own grammatical errors by ending on an infinitive. 
SEE Below a few of the errors (highlighted in pink):
The new Planet of the Apes film, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, belongs to Andy Serkis. Narratively it was always his film: I play an emotionally stilted scientist who in the process of mistakenly unleashing a lethal virus on the human race, learns to care for others; Serkis gets to play Caesar, essentially Che Guevara in chimp form. There is no question that his character arc is much more dynamic and fascinating, it is the story line that takes the franchise’s central theme of culture/racial/species clash and turns it on it’s head by making the maligned apes the unequivocal heroes.  We get to watch the fall of mankind and enjoy it because we root for the underdogs, the apes.
When Serkis was hired to play the inimitable character, Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy it was initially only for his voice, the character was meant to be entirely animated. But Serkis got so physically involved in the production of thecharacter’s odd voice – Serkis was inspired by his cat coughing up a hairball – that Jackson decided to find a way to capture the performance so that it could be translated into a digitally rendered character. This was the birth of performance capture as we know it, the process that led to the nuanced performance behind King Kong, the blue things in Avatar, and now Caesar. Audiences are used to large scale effects: impossible explosion, space travel, fantastic fairytale worlds, boys in tights swinging around New York, men with Squids for faces, but there is still a disconnection that happens when a character’s outer surface is rendered in a computer like Caesar’s was. We want to forget that there is a human underneath, the effects are so  well rendered we either forget that the spark of life in it’s eyes and the life in its limbs is informed by a breathing human or we are so drawn into the ontology of the character we can’t grasp its artistic origins or exactly how it was created. What this means is that we can enjoy such a character – enjoyment testified by the response to such films as Avatar, Return of the King, andPlanet of the Apes – but we don’t give artistic credit where it is due.

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