Sharknado - Bootleg Romantic Nonrealism?

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Sharknado - Bootleg Romantic Nonrealism?

I kept encountering buzz about a film with an odd title: Sharknado. Then I read a few tongue-in-cheek articles.

But it just occurred to me that there is no category for this kind of... er... art in The Romantic Manifesto at all.

It's not supernatural. It's kinda like Hitchcock's The Birds, except it's raining sharks and they eat people.


It looks like there are heroes fighting them. And the public is going nuts over the movie. Here's just one article:

'Sharknado' premiere a Twitter home run
July 12, 2013

From the article:

Did you watch 'Sharknado' last night?

Actress Mia Farrow and writer Philip Roth did.


They even tweeted about it. As did just about everyone else watching, apparently.

Check out the trailer:

Rand called Hitchcock's work "Bootleg Romanticism." She also called reality-oriented but stylized heroism "Romantic Realism."

Well what the hell do you call it when it's raining sharks from a tornado?

I came up with Bootleg Romantic Nonrealism.


I'm trying, I really am...



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Don't know how/where to classify it (Sharknado)? How about "Humor"? Or "The Garbage Pile"? The movie was mocked on one of the Bloomberg Financial cable channels, yesterday. They interviewed an executive from the SyFy channel about it, in tongue-in-cheek style, referring to it as a "classic." Essentially, the SyFy producer (or whatever he is) stated that the SyFy execs gather in sort of a b-s session (I hate to use the term, "brainstorm," here) and come up with as an outlandish title or subject line that they can get away with, and that can fit in to their budget. The budget, incidentally, for SyFy's made-for-TV movies is in the range that Aglialardo (sp?) spent for Atlas I.

And yes, because of all the comments Sharknado engendered on other cable channels and the internet social networks, there will be a sequel.

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I don't see this kind of film happening anywhere else in the world except Hong Kong, where they would include a Kung Fu fighter against the sharks, or Japan, where they would unleash Godzilla or a giant spider along with the terrifying flying fish.


For some reason, this reminds me of the Pet Rock when I was growing up. People went to the grocery store and there was a pile of Pet Rocks on a display. If I remember correctly, they cost about five bucks. They came in colored boxes that had air-holes in them.

I worked with my father in a factory back then and I remember this being discussed on the radio (generally the Harden and Weaver show) as he took me to work. They were always riffing off of things like how to train the rock (potty training, sit and stay, and so on). They did this for months. Some dude got the idea to open a psychiatric clinic to deal with the anxieties of abandoned Pet Rocks and people actually showed up with their Pet Rocks in hand and paid him for sessions.

I wonder how Rand would have categorized this. :)

I believe the Pet Rock (and Sharknado and Killer Tomatoes and so on) reflects a certain kind of playfulness in the American spirit you don't see much elsewhere. There's still a lot of creativity going on around here--even to the point of taking the most absurd ideas and making commercial successes out of them.

Idea --> Reality --> Market

We do it. Yes sirree, we do it and make it work.

I see this kind of humor as an approving smile and chuckle about that spirit. Notice there's always groaning about how lame the thing is right before the consumer lets go and starts having fun. I suppose this is to indicate that the person is not a fool. But they still have fun and make the absurd product successful.

In a funny way, it's a total emotional validation of capitalism and the creative spirit.


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In the too-long history of the SciFi/SyFy channel, I don't think that they have ever produced anything of quality (although Firefly may be an exception), in series or in one-shot made for TV movies. I sam glad that they renamed themselves, "SyFy" because they were giving science fiction a bad name.

A few examples: Their remake of "The Andromeda Strain", directed/produced by Ridley Scott's son - with daddy's assistance, which didn't help.They added a buch of ecological crap to an already abysmal production.

And then, there is the AWFUL attempt to remake "Flash Gordon." Too awful to comment on.

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I think there is something fishy about the premise of "Sharknado" The premises do not balance on the scales of my judgment.

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