Saturday, January 8, 2011

"What madness is this?"

Nicolas Cage blah blah bad movies blah blah counting his money blah blah blah. You can save this sentiment and re-post it for Drive Angry, due out in February.

But today I want to share a different sentiment with you about Season of the Witch. Namely, that it's not a BBC production, though the first line in the trailer may indicate otherwise.

As the trailer opens -- at least, the one they're showing on TV now -- Ron Perlman delivers a line that made me laugh out loud when I first heard it:

"What madness is this?"

That line means nothing to you, but it means something to me. It was an inside joke that developed among my high school friends. The joke was that any piece of dramatic art that seemed like it originated on the British Broadcasting Corporation was distinguished by the fact that a character spoke the words "What madness is this?" somewhere within. It was the single line that stood for any movie or TV program set in a previous century, populated by people with British accents. According to us, people in such films/shows were always asking each other about the various brands of madness, and which one of those brands was currently present.

Like most good jokes, it's probably totally apocryphal. Sure, that line has probably been spoken in dozens of films over the years, but did we have an actual film as our example? Nah, I don't think so.

And we certainly didn't mean this phrase to encompass something like Season of the Witch. The era is right, but the movie isn't nearly snobby enough to fall under our "What madness is this?" umbrella. Not that I'm saying the "What madness is this?" movies were disagreeable in some way -- in fact, most of them are of a much higher quality than your average Nicolas Cage schlock. But Season of the Witch is certainly intended for a much broader audience than what we were talking about. Back at that age, we were mostly interested in action movies and dumb comedies, meaning that we found BBC productions to be alienating. "What madness is this?" was our way of dismissing those productions as highfalutin pretentiousness.

Other comment about Season of the Witch: Every time I see something about or even think about the movie, I invariably sing the Donovan song of the same name in my head. Which is inevitable, I guess.

You've probably noticed that I've started out slow in 2011 -- it's the 7th of the month and this is only my second post. Been a busy 2011 already. But I will come back strong next week.

Then again, two posts in seven days just brings me to about the average level of output for film bloggers. So maybe you didn't notice after all.

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