My wife and I watched “Bird Man” the other night. It made me realize just how insular the movie industry really is. Here was a movie that movie insiders could watch and think, “I know someone just like this character or just like that character.” I’m sure several of them just loved it when the “bird man” let the NY Times theater critic have it.
It’s true of so many industries. When I was an insider in the high tech industry, I frequently ran into engineers who would dream up new products that had very little real incremental value over existing products. I would question them why anyone would buy this new product, and the answer was “because I want it. Everyone’s going to want it as well.” Of course, everyone didn’t want it.
Take sports. An ex-NFL or NBA player watches a game far differently than we average folks do. If someone made an movie from that inside perspective, they probably would love it although we might not “get” a lot of the scenes.
“Bird Man” reminded me of something a college freshman might write. Once I had such a person who was high on pot write an essay for me. It was filled with “truths” that apparently were self-evident. Once the student lost her buzz, she couldn’t explain any of these “truths” because they no longer made any sense to her either.
So, we watch a “method” actor go way over the top and scream and rage. So what? I know about method acting, and I still found that Ed Norton went on and on and on. In fact, the movie was filled with much too much talking. Everyone talked and talked and talked. It would have been refreshing if the daughter and the method actor had actually had sex, but no, all they did was talk and talk and talk. The fact that he couldn’t maintain and erection was symbolic to me of this entire picture that apparently most critics just love. The actor couldn’t get it up because the entire film was a orgy of self-love. He didn’t have anything left for the woman.