Recently, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the future. It’s very strange that in 80 years, people may look back on some of the films of today as overly stylised – a product of the period. That’s indicative of the credit crunch one critic might say; Obama’s election influenced that another might add. It’s also strange to imagine that scenes, characters and events may be regarded as clichés in times to come; perhaps even be spoofed in the cinema of tomorrow. So, in honour of future film making, I present 5 cliches which I feel will epitomise the last ten or so years of Hollywood cinema .
5. The head in the bath scene.
We’ve all seen it. Even Britney did it in that music video with the paparazzi and the ambulances. Wrestling with inner turmoil, depression or drug addiction, the protagonist takes a bath and submerges their head under the water and stares up – directly up into the camera. There’s something suicidal about it, but also something pointless. I only put my head under the water to wash my hair.
4. Psycho Exes.
Congreve told us that ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ but cinema adds that ‘hell hath no fury like an ex who’s undergone psychological trauma and died.’ Leonardo De Caprio’s last two films are all about the horrors of dead exes; whether it be the haunting madness of his murderous wife in Shutter Island or the inescapable, mindshattering, psychological terrors of a French lady in Inception. For Exhibit C, I give you Scott Pilgrim VS the World, a cavalcade of psycho exes.
3. Poor architectural planning.
If Cinema has done anything for science, it has taught man that anything can explode. We now know that most buildings contain one section, at least, which is so explosive that the slightest spark could cause the next Chernobyl. If that doesn’t work then an unnecessary set of ninjas armed with a time bomb will suffice right? And even without the ninjas things can still collapse, flood or melt. Why follow the actual storyline, when you can change Vesper’s suicide into a race for survival in a collapsing/flooding Venetian palace with broken lifts? Yes Casino Royale I’m looking at you.
2. Not so CPR
While we’re slating Casino Royale did anybody notice that Bond’s CPR was rubbish? It was more like one last fondle than a life-saving first aid practice. Vesper’s last thoughts were probably ‘is that it? Aren’t you supposed to keep going a lot longer than this scene allows for?’ CPR sometimes puts the Casual in Casualty with doctors hilariously punching the pulp out of a plastic dummy. Just so nobody reading this does a Daniel Craig in a real situation and ends up neglectfully killing somebody, CPR is supposed to be done until circulation is restored or the body is pronounced dead by a professional, not for 10 seconds with feeling.
1. Manhattan lifestyle.
I abhor this cliché. Romantic comedies seem to thrust it in my face repeatedly. Everything is set in affluent areas, nice flats, huge houses, fashionable bars, everybody has some kind of job in publishing or journalism in offices which don’t look like offices with psycho bosses that give you crazy assignments like ‘go undercover in a high school AS A STUDENT.’ If I see one more awkward romance begin in an lift I may die.