Being original in today’s unoriginal world
THE “IT” FACTOR COMES BACK TO THE SILVER SCREEN
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 01:09
50 years ago, the entertainment industry was inbred. It was rampant with entertainers who had the complete package. They sang. They danced. They acted. They were glamorous, and the world was theirs for the taking.
Slowly, though, the world became lazy. Auto-tuned rappers and Disney Channel teenagers were manufactured celebrities—incapable of entertaining themselves out of a cardboard box without artificial hype to back them up. Musicians made cameos in films, showing how little they could act. Daughters of millionaires made covers of magazines for no reason, and actors decided that they could sing.
However, the world is getting wise. We are, thankfully, moving back in the direction of true entertainment. While there is still a lot of crap to sift through to find it, true entertainers still exist in our world. And they’re gaining steam.
One of the best examples is Glen Hansard. He has 13 albums to his name, under various bands and solo projects since The Frames of the early 90s. He was the star of the Oscar-winning film Once, which he also wrote and performed for the soundtrack. This film has been adapted into a Tony award-winning musical. Glen released a solo record earlier this June, Rhythm And Repose, which is critically-acclaimed and had the honor of being a Starbucks featured album. His film persona and unique musical talent are almost inseparable at this point, making him a true entertainer.
There was a time when music and film were one and the same. One could not be an actor if they couldn’t sing, and being a singer was useless if they couldn’t dance. Not that every film ought to be a musical, but the viewer should be more selective about who they devote their attention to as an audience.
Megan Fox is sexy, sure. But that doesn’t mean she should get top billing as an actress. Zooey Deschanel strikes a chord as another Glen Hansard-type of classic star. She has several published albums with her group, She & Him, as well as an accomplished list of films and a highly-rated television show, New Girl.
A person cannot corporately fabricate something like that. It takes years of hard work. And that “it” factor. Hollywood needs more “it” factor.
Neil Patrick Harris is also someone with the complete package. His signature role of Barney on How I Met Your Mother is hilarious. His singing for Whedon’s cult Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog is timeless. He dances on the stage of Broadway, is a classically-trained actor, and a human rights activist. And dashingly handsome. He’s the real deal.
That’s what it takes to be truly unique in a world of rehashed Hollywood remakes and unimaginative sequels. When Justin Bieber makes Billboard charts and Battleship is good enough for screenwriters, it is good to know that there are still forms of true entertainment in this world. And that the public is starting to take notice.