Monthly Archives: August 2016

Dreaming in a “Sky Full of Stars”

Coldplay is really good at playing warm tributes.

In similar fashion to their 2012 tribute to the late Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys during a show at the Hollywood Bowl, Coldplay showed their respect and admiration to the life of the inspirational Gene Wilder at a recent show.

The visual of confetti stars falling to the tune of “Pure Imagination” is a genuinely nice tribute by the band from across the pond. Sometimes, simplicity can speak volumes and this is one of those moments. What’s incredible is that those two words will forever be linked to the late Gene Wilder, bringing a smile to the face of anybody that hears the magical phrase.

As it turns out, any ticket bought to see a Gene Wilder movie was a golden ticket.

Advertisements

RIP Gene Wilder

One of cinema’s favorite sons, Gene Wilder, died yesterday at the age of 83.

To list a few of Mr. Wilder’s most popular film credits:

  • The Producers (1967)
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
  • Young Frankenstein (1974)
  • Blazing Saddles (1974)
  • Stir Crazy (1980)

To illustrate the impact of an actor, whose acting portrayals far precede my birth, is a challenging task. How did Gene Wilder forever bring joy and fuel an imaginative engine inside the hearts and minds of children (now adults), especially those of us who did not even experience his cinematic works of comedy until a decade or more after the initial release?

The only explanation I can muster is revealed in bright colors, accompanied by a beautiful song in a scene from the 1971 masterpiece Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. This film not only defined a decade, but flipped the switch on who an adult could be in the eyes of a kid: a childlike dreamer.

If that nostalgic trip down Wonka’s way doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, get your tissues ready.

“There were times we would go out to dinner as a family and children would light up at the sight of him and smile. And because he never lost his instinct or sense or sensibility, it occurred to him that if that disease were made public … that then after that smile, some parent may then say something about disease or sadness. And he was such that he could not bear to be responsible for one less smile in the world.”
–Gene Wilder’s nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman on his uncle’s choice not to reveal he had Alzheimer’s disease.

I’ve said on a few occasions that when I finally have a house with a family, on Halloween, I will dress up like Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka and decorate my house like the Wonka factory, ready to hand out world-altering chocolate and candy.

That was Gene Wilder’s everlasting gift: Pure imagination.

RIP Gene Wilder.

Happy Monday!

Just another Jimmy’s Daily Planet electronic letter.

Seizing the opportunity for a viral video moment, Marvel creatively filled in the narrative gap for where the mighty and powerful Thor was during the 2016 movie Captain America: Civil War. The general tone of the Marvel cinematic superhero universe is bright, explosive fun with comic book dialogue. And this lighthearted aura opens the door for marketing strategies that play on that entertaining dynamic.

Exhibit A:

By the hammer of Thor, that’s awesome.

Have a Mighty Week!

Back When Romeo & Juliet Were Kids

Is there such a thing as an end of summer song?

Music man Ryan Tedder is back with another hit single, this time with his band OneRepublic. The group from Colorado Springs, Colorado filmed and produced a music video that is set in what appears to be Mexico City’s best impression of Verona, Italy. The romantic thrill of Romeo & Juliet is an interesting choice for the song “Kids.” On the one hand, this storytelling choice fits and on the other hand, the decision to highlight young love seems a bit off for the lyrics.

And yet, the brand new music video and song are great in equal measure.

What do you think of the music video?

What I know is that I want to visit that movie-like alleyway for a late night dinner with a special girl, followed by a rocking concert.

Well played, OneRepublic, well played.