World’s Best Commercials: Cannes ‘92

When it comes to TV commercials, I’m not sure what best means: so good that you forget the product, or so good that you remember? Anyway, both kinds appear among the nearly 100 international examplesgood, bad, and indifferentincluded here. Many if not all of the foreign entries are dubbed or retitled in English, which tends to minimize the cultural differences, though a few of the differencessuch as the anticlericalism in the grand-prize winner, a cutesy Spanish ad for gluestill come across. I find most of this as tedious as the commercials I normally see on TV, though a few ads are aesthetically striking (above all the English one for Ariston) and many more have the virtue of telling us how people elsewhere in the world get cajoled into buying things. Still, I would have preferred a wider sampling; most of what we see here is from the U.S., western Europe, Japan, and Australia. (JR)

Published on 01 Jun 1993 in Featured Texts, by admin

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Live With This: Adrift In America

Life on the road with a trio of rock musicians calling themselves Popdefect is the subject of this low-budget (less than $10,000) documentary by Brad Vanderburg, who climbed into a van with the musicians and filmed a whole lot of what they did and said. Which isn’t very interesting, though at least it’s filmed and edited with a certain amount of energy. The biggest problem is the usual historical shortsightednessthe differences between Popdefect and other struggling rock bands on the road and the differences between this movie and other movies about touring rock bands are never really broached, and most of what we see is pretty familiar stuff. But on a modest level it’s all pretty easy to take. (JR)

Published on 01 Jun 1993 in Featured Texts, by admin

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