[The] Volkswagen Jetta ad in which the cut-out bodies of Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor “dance” “in the back seat” of a Jetta … comes from about the 5:45 point in this performance that Kelly and O’Connor did on a TV special, where you’ll see much of what you see in the ad. All they did was remove all the context.
That’s the funny thing about Gene Kelly, and really all the big dance scenes of the time — they were all context. … Dancing in movies in this era was largely about where you were, and about touching real things. Other people, of course, but also feet on the floor, feet in the water, umbrella in hand, hat rack as partner, and by the way, if you want to defy gravity, you’ll have to turn the room.
… something seems tone-deaf and disrespectful about removing everything that affected the physics of the dancing, from the floor to the chairs, replacing the music so they’re interpreting something entirely different, and concluding that you can still get an expression of these two men’s talents as long as you have their floating, context-free figures moving as they did in 1960.
This analysis reminded me of Albert Borgmann’s focal things and practices.
What [The Bachelor] is, at its core, is an extremely effective cautionary tale about the meaningless of all the romantic trappings in which it specializes. … This is what’s so great about the fact that these relationships almost never last and often implode spectacularly. The Bachelor sets up phony love stories, implies they are real love stories, and is then foiled by the fact that none of this ritualistic, overblown horsepucky has anything to do with love.
(Horsepucky. Now there’s a word that should get more use.)
It’s definitely one of [Law and Order‘s] little pleasures to discover in just about every episode one of those people you know wasn’t a big deal at the time, but is at least a moderately big deal now. As a matter of fact, you can get to the point where, if you see an important role being played by someone you haven’t ever seen in anything else, you find yourself saying, “Huh. Wonder what ever happened to that guy.”
Methinks there needs to be a snappy name for the “recognizing people who weren’t recognizable when the movie/episode was made but are now” game. It’s right up there with “Hey, it’s that guy!” for good times whilst watching retro movies/TV shows.