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. 54 Later, Katzenbergcould give the same kind of insider textual interpretation to his animated filmShrek (2001), a hilarious send-up of Michael Eisner and Disney Studios.Eisnerhad forced Katzenberg out of Disney in the major film industry power shift ofthe nineties.But perhaps the most predictable focus of nineties spin is also the most time-honored, the creation of celebrity, of fame itself.Jay McInerney, author of 1984 sBright Lights, Big City, was the decade-defining novelist of the druggy eighties,but he was, if anything, adaptable to the nineties.As one critic characterizes his1998 novel Model Behavior,  different decades, different themes.The club-hop-ping, powder-snorting excesses of the  80s have been replaced with a more  90s-style obsession: the celebrity culture.Fame is the drug everyone in these pagesis hooked on. 55 This particularly nineties concept of celebrity as  the apex ofconsumer society 56 is, perhaps, the ultimate goal of spin in a society in whicheveryone is constantly watching everyone else.Woody Allen s 1998 Celebrity focuses on  that desirable display space wheretalent and buzz converge. 57 The film places celebrity journalist (read: spinmas-ter) Lee Simon (Kenneth Branagh) at the center of a celebrity universe wherehe is spying on the bits and pieces of the lives of all the models, writers, moviestars, hookers, and clubbers of nineties celebrity culture.Titanic icon LeonardoDiCaprio plays a hot, bratty, and very destructive young star who  juices Celeb-rity with a power surge.Woody knew this and used Leo s celebrity magic.Leo knew of the cachet of a Woody Allen production and used Woody s celebrity %The Decade of Spin 51magic. 58 The language of that evaluation is telling: two celebrity magicians spin-ning their imaginative powers around one another, using one another.In the nineties, everyone is a user and spin is the user s magic.This ninetiesobsession with fame, with the Andy Warhol-cursed fifteen minutes of celebrity,is the reason so many films of the nineties are subtextually populated by journal-ists, photographers, media news anchors, and reporters Natural Born Killers,L.A.Confidential (1997), Up Close and Personal, Mad City (1997), the aforemen-tioned Godzilla and Deep Impact, and The Insider (1999).But if the movies embraced the celebrity scramble of the spin-dominatednineties, so did all the other spin-susceptible media of the culture: TV, politics,journalism, the Internet, and even the academic bastions of traditional, reality-based narrative, such as history.Television, perhaps more than any other media,held the most self-reflexive view of its relationship to the concept of spin.A major late nineties TV sitcom, starring eighties icon of Reaganomic con-servatism Michael J.Fox (former star of TV s Family Ties and the movie BrightLights, Big City), was titled Spin City.The main comic premise of the sitcom waslanguage and how language could be spun and manipulated in order to makethe city work.As Lyotard acknowledges,  in the computer age, the question ofknowledge is now more than ever a question of government. 59 Late in the decade(1999), a much more serious TV series, The West Wing, built much of its dramaon this same theme of the spin of language in the day-to-day functioning of theAmerican presidency.But by far the most spin-conscious and language-consciousTV show of the nineties was Seinfeld.Seinfeld was the decade-defining TV series for two very deconstructive rea-sons.First, it was a show about nothing, about the decentered nothingnessaround which nineties life revolved.Second, the show was almost completelydialogue.As one of the show s supporting actors said,  It s a show where peoplesit around and talk.it s a show about language. 60 And the language thatSeinfeld spoke was the language of spin.Every motive, every interpretation, everyangle, every sound, smell, taste, and gesture of body language was endlessly ana-lyzed, interpreted, and spun in the ongoing game of language that Jerry Seinfeldand his three morally challenged friends, George, Elaine, and Kramer, played.Seinfeld graced TV screens with thirty minutes of nineties spin on nineties lifeevery Thursday night.Strangely enough, an ongoing deconstructive symbiosis between TV and themovies developed all through the nineties decade and was expressed in the campytrend of the made-from-TV movie.In almost every instance, these big screenreinventions deconstructed their TV originals.In the case of Mission: Impossible(1996) the movie, the memorable tag line,  this tape will self-destruct, fromthe 1966 to 1973 TV show might well have been revised to  this concept willdeconstruct.In the movie, the new Impossible Mission Force (IMF) team are no longer theemotionless operatives of the TV show but are a new breed of hip misfits.The vil-lain is no longer a cold war dictator or organized crime gangster as in the originalTV series but Jim Phelps himself (Jon Voight), the leader of the IMF team.And %52 The Films of the Ninetiesthe plot is no longer the working out of a flawless detailed plan as occurred eachweek in the TV series, but a convoluted series of capers gone bad, of betrayalswithin betrayals, of losses of nerve and failures of the best laid plans. With theCold War ancient history, the new Mission: Impossible updates super-spy hanky-panky to the Aldrich Ames era, locating the enemy inside the IMF.And thestory line, as well, turns in on itself.Mission: Impossible is structured as a Rubik sCube that keeps on twisting, one critic characterizes the film s deconstructing, studiously labyrinthine plot about  setups within setups. 61 Another notes how the realities of a post Cold War world add a level of LeCarrean disenchantmentthat the series never envisioned.A key plot development trashes the seriesmemory. 62 Despite all this overprotectiveness for the old TV series, the Mission:Impossible movie spins that clunky, contrived TV series into the edgy, confusing,unpredictable nineties and retools it to the times.A myriad of other made-from-TV movies were produced in the nineties, butperhaps the most successful and the most entertaining were The Brady BunchMovie (1995) and A Very Brady Sequel (1996).What made them so popular withnineties audiences was  the absurd wholesomeness of the Bradys, the quality thatmade them such an enduring icon for the generation that grew up in the  70s,has now been turned inside out.The Brady Bunch Movie is a sly and wittysurprise, a mainstream comedy that s savvy enough to celebrate American popkitsch by deconstructing it [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

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