Wednesday, February 27, 2002


So you think this post is about segues? Relax, I'll get around to it. It's not about overhyped personal transportation devices either. If this paragraph reads kind of funny, well, that just shows what happens when you don't have segues. In particular, nothing leads into the following.

I've seen a lot about cloning lately, and I'm not sure what I think of it. I'm reflexively biased in favor of further scientific research, but I'm not fully comfortable with this in particular. Maybe someday I'll be able to articulate it in a way that reads better than this post.

Meanwhile (<- at last, a segue) it reminds me of a movie called "Creator". In it Peter O'Toole plays a professor whose wife died young. Over the years he never remarried and has kept some of her cells alive in hopes of cloning her. That's one of several subplots that include Mariel Hemingway as an egg donor, Vincent Spano as O'Toole's abused grad student, and Virginia Madsen in her prime for love interests, pathos and skin. It's sappy in places, but I don't care - I like it anyway.

Did I mention Virginia Madsen's skin? Ah yes - the woman was qualified (sigh). I'd be happy to clone her, but I'd be even happier using more traditional forms of reproduction.

But really, her skin did pose a problem for the movie because a) it was pretty much gratuitous and b) it was inconsistent with the rest of the movie, which otherwise might have been Disney fodder. I suppose there might have been enough skin for the fast-forward types, but even so the movie might have been more successful commercially without it.

Another movie like that was "Grandview USA". You don't remember it? My point exactly. You've heard of some of the cast - Jamie Lee Curtis, Patrick Swayze, John Cusack, Jennifer Jason Leigh, C. Thomas Howell (well, maybe you haven't heard of all of them). Anyway, I think it showed for two weeks in the the town where they filmed it (Pontiac, IL), but then it disappeared.

It might have been beyond help, but I had a suggestion. They could have kept Jamie Lee Curtis' top on (she flashed briefly in a bedroom scene) and left out the incongruous bondage scene. It wasn't raunchy enough to attract anybody on that basis, but it was bad enough to keep out a lot of people who might have liked the small-town family fare which made up most of the movie.

This isn't about being a prude, it's about deciding who your target market is and focusing on it. If you aim for multiple targets, make sure that they're compatible. Is that so hard to figure out? Anyway, Michael Medved has a lot to say about strange decisions in movie making in his book "Hollywood Vs. America".

Oh yeah, segues. They're a lot easier when you write something halfways linear, but I've been clicking links for a while slowly turning into a goldfish.

Also, I've read a lot of James Burke's books and Scientific American columns, which jump topics at the drop of a hat on purpose. But somehow at the end they always managed to link their way back to the beginning.

So bear with me as this post reaches a climax with clues on how to sex a lizard, which itself features a strange segue.

No comments: