Monday, October 12, 2015

If Life Imitates Art, Let's Up The Art Game

It is said that life imitates art. And we certainly know that art often times is a direct reflection of life.

If that is the case, then we are in big trouble in America. We are in grave danger of perpetuating cheap stereotypes, tired and outdated narratives and the "progress" we say we want, keeps slipping further and further into the future.

How many of you have seen or heard about the film Spare Parts, released in January of this year in a joint venture between Lionsgate films and Mexican media giant Televisa? Too few to count, I'm sure and that is the reason for this rant of a post.

Let's suppose that life actually imitates art and up the game on the art we consume.  Yep. I said it.

After watching the incredible based on a true story motion picture about 4 undocumented Mexican high schoolers who defied all odds and resource constraints to beat an MIT team (and other well funded university program teams) at a UCSB  Underwater Robotics competition, I am convinced that we need more.

More tales of defying odds and making a way out of no way.

More stories about the actual lives of undocumented people living in the shadows among us.

More narratives of what matters most, teamwork, collaboration and tapping into everyone's talent.

More accounts of humans striving to belong and contribute in marvelous ways.

One reason the bigoted and ignorant rhetoric we see soaring to the tops of the current GOP presidential race is because of a lack of widespread exposure to precisely these types of stories. We can't get every person in every corner of this nation to have actual relationships and/or  interactions with people who different from them. That would be ideal.

Actual exposure to people, ideas, places that are very different than ourselves, our neighborhoods and our own ideas is costly and impractical. But to make better use of the channels we have would be marvelous. Wouldn't it be great if Hollywood started making movies that disrupt rather than perpetuate stereotypes and outdated narratives? What about TV shows - comedic and drama - that better reflect the actual lives of the many extraordinary people across our great land?

Go out and make Spare Parts the "Pitch Perfect" of 2015.  Rent it. Buy it. Pass it around. Spread the word like we all did for the 2012 comedy that, like Spare Parts,  was released on a very limited low budget and sent to DVD within 120 days of its release. The momentum and word of mouth for Pitch Perfect hit its peak in the fall of 2013 when its DVD sales and popularity was at an all time high due to the rapid fire social media wave of interests.  We spread the word on Pitch Perfect because it moved us. It was clever. It was a funny story about a a group of misfits who banded together to make valuable contributions toward a greater goal. It was about healthy competition and the role it plays in growing us. It was about the power of teamwork and honoring everyone's contribution and talent.

Spare Parts is that kind of story - a story worth sharing. When Hollywood sees interest, it responds and gives us more. We need more movies like Spare Parts. Join me in sharing this great tale and demanding that entertainment companies like Lionsgate and Televisa give us more.

Get Spare Parts today!

No comments:

Post a Comment