Both films on Friday, involved selling in one form or another. The first was a new Oz feature called Sleeping Beauty, directed by Leigh. It follows a girl who seems disconnected from most folk around her and holds down several jobs to make ends meet, ultimately selling herself as a sexual plaything (“penetration is forbidden”). It’s described in the programme as being an erotic fairytale and I found it to be the opposite; devoid really, of emotional tension or engagement. While it was hard to engage with, it flowed well and finished effectively.There was a good team involved and as the director commented, they used a narrative that sort of represented blowing into a balloon: it slowly inflates, until it eventually explodes. The lead actress bit by bit, continued through, compromising herself a little more each time, until she hits breaking point.
The second film was from the US, directed by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) and called: POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The basic premise was to create a film exploring the role of product placement and thereby educate in its use and importance in visual media; not to mention explore truth in advertising. The interesting twist to this was to fund it entirely through product placement and commercial endorsements, hence the extended title. The movie was very much about the making of a movie about product placement following Spurlock, as he tries to get sponsors and folk willing to put money into something that was effectively educating the audience about how advertising works. There are a few times there where I was concerned he might not pull it off, and would end up crossing the line, or perhaps ridiculing his sponsors too much. But it worked. There were ads and product placements in the movie, and it was clear what they were and why they were there; all being treated in a humorous manner. Yet, I have no doubt, it was effective for the promoters and sponsors too. Still some stuff to chew over for that one, as Spurlock comments: buying in vs selling out.