Thursday, March 13, 2008

Are You Really Hot?

So with the trailer for Hallam Foe (aka Mister Foe) now up on US iTunes, there was a cool bonus of the high definition version of the trailer (only changes I spotted in addition to the magnolia board at the begining, it reads Mister Foe in David Shrigley's fabulous tree artwork/titles at end of trailer).
( Links are from cause I couldn't get the link to copy right, curses)




There is something rather wonderful to watch footage of this film in glorious High Def. Not sure if we ever will get the film in say Blu-Ray (which I imagine is a hugely expensive thing and certainly too cost prohibitive for many independent film companies) but you can see so many things-I esp love how clear the shots of Edinburgh are, with Hallam and Kate scrambling across the rooftops, Jamie in the clock shot is great too-well all of it frankly.

Now with high definition, in addition to the clarity of the scenery, you of course get far better looks at the actors themselves. I know that many actors and filmmakers aren't too keen on this High Def business as its TOO revealing-too many of the cracks, imperfections and flaws may show more readily. I guess as they adjusted to having to shoot in color, so too the transition for most films being shot in secret-revealing high definition must be a hard transition to make, but one that is inevitable. I understand very little about how much of this works, how widespread and genuinely common it is anymore, but from what I gather most things are shot on high def because that is the industry standard and is needed in order to compete etc.

In my mind, with more detail being revealed, more flaws exposed the more real things are, the more the need and trend grows to hide the flaws and seek the "perfect"-including in your cast. This trend of seeking better bodies, achieving the seemingly flawless looks set by celebrities is a growing one, especially evident I think most here in the US, land of so much wealth and so, well, so MUCH. I wont go into a rant on the dangerous precedents being set by the fashion industry, but I was reminded again how shallow and perfect obsessed our world is becoming when I saw an article pop up in relation to David Mackenzie's Spread.

A casting director for the film put out this call "... currently holding an open casting call for models for the new Ashton Kutcher movie "“Spread”," for two hit HBO series and for the popular show “Rules of Engagement”.We are looking for REALLY HOT female and male models age 18-25. Girls must be at least 5’'8" and guys must be at least 6’ tall. Girls must wear a bikini under their clothes and guys must wear swim trunks (or underwear) under their clothes.

WTF? REALLY HOT? What pray tell is the universal standard casting category description of "really hot?". By whose standard is this?? Is this common casting standards now?? I gather then the traditional categories of say "Blonde hair, blue eye girl" or "brown hair muscular man" is passe? No more attractive, lets just get right down to it and say REALLY HOT (as opposed to your "marginally hot," "occasionally -if seen while under the influence of alcohol- hot" and " hot in remote parts of kazakhstan"categories) good grief! Plus as we know, once you turn 26 you magicially are no longer "really hot" perhaps just a 30 something who is still sorta hot, then middle age with only a vestige of hottness, then of course we become ancient and are only dreaming of being hot. If you are only marginally hot, do you no longer get cast in parts then?

I am cognizant that this is a "sex comedy" and that heh the star is certainly described as "hot" more often than not, but still-would not a simple 'surfer' do? or what about 'swimmer' or physically fit (I am gathering this is for beach scenes and of course its set in LA, land of the beautiful and plastically enhanced people) How does one cast HOT exactly-whose standard of hot or sexy is it? Last time I checked, hot was rather relative. It would be a lie of course to say that general good looks do not matter cause quite frankly-if handed the choice between say Alastair Mackenzie of Sigma and this fellow with the teeth that Colin used as an example of his I Love Luci movie, rightly or wrongly, I believe most would think that Alastair is the more handsome well wait-the word is hot (to say the least!) and the more attractive out of the bunch. This is not to say of course that all things should be based on shallow ideals and standards because if that were the case-my Victoria's Secret encased C cup boobs might make the grade, the rest, including my big ole butt, would most definitely go in the NOT HOT category, and I should resign myself to being alone (and dateless) forever! God how depressing. However, if we are honest with ourselves, most people strive to be attractive in some form or another lol at least once in a while and make do with the genes and body they were given (or at least once in a while make an effort to 'clean up", bother now and then to wear the latest styles etc), hope and seek they are attractive to others say they are hoping or wanting to date, or even as Borat would say, make sexy time!, but still I found this call of the agencies just absurd. And just because it may be the way things are, does NOT mean that is the way things have to stay!

Now I know that in film especially the pressure is on to be thin and beautiful (as the camera adds weight and more scrutiny is there-stop those wrinkles! etc) and I know that you obviously need to cast certain looks for the roles as the part demands (example Colin's 50 Ft. woman for the We are the Physics music video, while who wouldn't want to have long legs fab body and fab hair like this chick, how did he cast his video I wonder? Did he or the casting director say-"calling all tall leggy young beautiful models who are keen to be seen as a raging overgrown femgiant please apply?" lol) True enough, the cast of Hallam Foe are all beautiful people -well maybe some wouldn't put Ewan Bremner in the "really hot super hunk" category equal to say Clooney or Johnny Depp, but still he has his fans and I think he's fab regardless!-but they also look very real and like people I would see in everyday life -still attractive, (Jamie and Sophia fans would totally put them in the REALLY HOT category) but have a real everyday quality-it's the same I think in all the movies of Sigma. yes I know people like Ewan McGregor, Mads Mikkleson, Gerard Butler, Claire Forlani, Sophia Myles, Shirley Henderson etc have all been cast true enough but they are also quality actors and I like to think you can have both without the label 'really hot' a requirement in the casting decision. I think being a casting director must be a very hard job and it must be hard to try and get the right people to match the image in the producers and directors head for the roles, but no part of me thinks that David turned to his casting director and said hey get me hot babes! oh wait-REALLY HOT-no mere hot for me-REALLY hot.

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