Saturday, March 1, 2008

[Title of Post]

My good friend Alex Brightman is a self-proclaimed “title snob” (actual title paraphrased). Being in the world of Theatre – often of the Musical persuasion - he encounters things like programs and original Broadway cast recordings. In these instances, it is the job of the title to give the listener an expectation. Often a song-title will be clever or witty…but usually only if those songs are called “Clever” or “Witty.”
A title wants to give some information, but leave enough mystery so that an audience member wants to hear more.

The same goes for any title-bearing works: books, movies, plays, businessmen. If I hear “Guy Who Organizes All the Companies Assets in Places Other Than the United States and Canada,” that’s neither clever nor witty, and you’ve given me too much information. But if I heard “Global Operations Director”, I want to know more. Okay, so the analogy doesn’t really work.

Here’s why I care.
There’s a movie coming out based on a book about Anne Boleyn and her sister.
“But wait,” you think to yourself, “I watch The Tudors on Showtime…I don’t remember Anne Boleyn having a sister!”
But she did. In fact, you could think of it this way: Anne was one Boleyn girl, and her sister was “The Other Boleyn Girl.” But you would be unimaginative. You would also be the author of the book “The Other Boleyn Girl”, upon which the movie, “The Other Boleyn Girl,” is based.

It makes the main character sound like the way most people probably think of Mary Boleyn, as that historical figure that no one really cares to remember, cuz she’s not really that important anyway. But this is your TITLE figure! Maybe if it was The REAL Boleyn Girl, or The FIRST Boleyn girl, then I’m intrigued. I want to know more.

But no. She’s just…you know…the other one.

Apparently the critics agree.


Kim said...

Yeah, this movie is making me kind of sad and I haven't even seen it yet. I've heard it is not good, I've read the reviews...sad.

Why? (besides the fact that it's Natalie Portman as Anne and Scarlett Johannsen-or-however-she-spells-it as Mary) Because the book is REALLY GOOD. Really. Yeah, yeah, I know it's not totally historically accurate, but it's historical fiction, so I can give it some breathing room. It's a good read.

I'm still going to see the movie, but I'm not in as much of a rush as I once was.

Kim said...

PS - I like the new header.