Tag Archives: films

Bad movies mess with your brain

Yet again, neuroscience validates something I’ve been telling people since I was about fourteen. Via io9, we discover “that achieving a tight control over viewers’ brains during a movie requires, in most cases, intentional construction of the film’s sequence through aesthetic means.

In other words, terrible trashy films make your mind switch off. This will be a familiar theory to fellow scholars of the world as a harmonious interlaced system; indeed, you may have observed the “Bullshit In, Bullshit Out” effect in other spheres of human creative endeavour.

To balance that outburst of smug curmudgeonliness, allow me to share an example of human creative endeavour from the other end of the scale. This piece of music is called “Never Loose That Feeling” by Swervedriver – and if you’ve had a fairly decent sunny day today, and harbour a lingering penchant for early nineties alt-rock, I recommend you turn it up extremely loud.

The three stigmata of science fiction

I’ll let you decide your own list of three, but I’d submit Trekkies as one of them. Wired has a piece on a phenomenon that will be more than familiar to most readers of this blog – the “oh no, this brilliant piece of literature/cinema isn’t sci-fi; it’s too good for that” reaction, which often comes from the creators of a successful work just as much as their marketing people.

Personally, I’ve started to stop worrying about it in recent months. As a long-standing rock music fan, I’m accustomed to being mocked and denigrated for my cultural choices, and I figure a bit of personal pride in our underdog status is definitely the way to go. Stand up for your bookshelves, brethren! Say it loud – we’re geeks, and proud!

Tobias Buckell seems to agree, though for slightly different reasons. I really like his idea of marketing science fiction to kids as “the stuff your parents, pastors, teachers and straight arrow khaki-wearing friends don’t want you to [read]” – because I’m positive it would work extremely well.

(Thanks to long-standing VCTB habitue Trollop23 for the Wired tip-off.)