Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Novelty Treats: Movie Map

This is a map of the United States.  If you click on the map, you'll presumably be taken to the full-size, legible version of said map, but if not...click here.  Created by Subtonix, this map pinpoints which movies best represent each of the 50 states.  I have no idea what standards they were using to determine this, but I'm going to have to take it personally and assume that this means everything in Illinois is pretty much like The Blues Brothers.  Congratulations, Michigan, your life is Robocop.  Missouri?  Oh boy.  I'd be a little upset if I were you.  Honestly, this map doesn't make sense.  It's sort of like when bands mention the name of a city and everyone cheers; you will click on this map cause something about it is supposed to clue you in to part of your identity.  Really, though, all it will tell you is a film that happened to take place near where you're from. 

Blues Brothers is a great movie, but I can't say I relate to it.  Seriously.  It's fabulous, but I think tourists take more Blues Brothers from their Chicago visits than the natives.  If I were making this map, I probably would have chosen a John Hughes movie.  Ok.  Not probably.  It definitely would have been Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  That may not have been the exact simulacra of my life, but much of it felt tangible.  It could have happened.  This much of it did:

I suspect that for most American teenagers, something about the John Hughes canon rings like an idealized truth.  Hughes didn't take the Hollywood high school fantasy too far out of reach.  His cast of characters, even when they were supposed to be stereotypes (The Breakfast Club) were anything but, they were human.  They looked, generally, like people you could conceivably know (though I must say I never met anyone quite like James Spader's Pretty in Pink character Steff until California transplants started rolling in at college), and acted much the same.  Maybe it's just me, but something about being a suburban teenager just a few towns over from where so many of these stories took place made them feel that much more real.  There's a weird sense of ownership that comes from being a Northeastern Illinois youth post-Hughes.  These movies, and so many of the movies that continued that tradition (Mean Girls), feel like part of our collective identity.  We grew up within the bubble of what it means to be an American teenager to the entire world.  Am I overstating it?  Maybe.  But I don't really think so.  Illinoisians: care to agree/disagree?  Is there a movie you think better reps the state (don't say Dark Knight, it doesn't count if it's a fictional city)? 

[via /film]

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