|Cover of Pink Floyd The Wall|
Before The Who's Tommy, Pink Floyd's The Wall, and The Hunger Games there was Privilege. This dystopian British film was made in 1967 and though not particularly well known, this film has influenced many films that followed it.
Here's the premise:
The story takes place "sometime in the near future" in a Britain ruled by a totalitarian government. Pop singer Steven Shorter (played by Paul Jones) is the most popular star in Britain and perhaps the world. He's greater than Elvis, Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, or any entertainer who has ever taken the stage. Everyone of all ages adores him. The marketing machine that drives his fame has turned him into an industry that includes stores, restaurants, dance clubs, and a seeming endless array of products. He wields a tremendous amount of influence and power.
The ruling powers can see the power in the pop star and use him to further their agenda of Nationalism and to subdue the restless youth bringing them to a state of "fruitful conformity". A triumvirate styled government consisting of ruling administrators, corporations, and the church molds Steven Shorter into the image they want him to be. He becomes their puppet and spokesperson to lead the people into a complacent happy society that lacks individualism.
Here are the possibilities:
So many people are looking for their messiah. People want someone to show them the way to paradise. Barack Obama has been touted by many to be the messiah they'd been waiting for. So far we've haven't seen much saving grace from him.
We've seen men and women alike pick their heroes, their stars, their saviors, in the form of entertainers, politicians, sports figures, and other celebrities. People want a messiah. They need a messiah.
What human can fulfill that role? Many have tried and all have failed.
What if there were a talented entertainer--one who could sing, dance, and smile with blinding radiance--whom the whole world loved? The entertainer could be marketed like popular entertainers usually are. This entertainer's visage would be everywhere so he would be recognized by everyone. The love and adulation of his universal fans would give him power--a world changing power that would bring peace, harmony, and fulfillment to the entire world.
Does this sound like the messiah the world is waiting for?
|Cover of Privilege|
The film Privilege might be seen as a bit of a relic from 1967. Many today might find it very dated since it is very 60's. But it is a classic film with a cult status. The ideas presented might make you think and the music is an interesting taste of its era. Privilege is presented in mockumentary style for the most part. At times it has the appearance of a news report and at other times it's staged concert performances. There are also dramatized scenes.
The film's director was greatly influenced by a 1962 documentary about Paul Anka called Lonely Boy. This short film looks at Anka's career and follows him through a few concert appearances. One segment of dialogue in the documentary is taken verbatim and used in Privilege. Lonely Boy is included on the DVD release of Privilege and also makes for some interesting viewing
Privilege is highly regarded by many critics. I liked it and you might too if you like the sort of thing that I've just described in this post.
Here's the Deal:
This post contains clues about the song I'll be presenting in my Battle of the Bands post that will appear on this blog tomorrow. Hope you'll return for the Battle.
Have you seen the film Privilege? Do you think people are looking for some sort of messiah to free them from the drudgery and pain of life? Would you be surprised to see a popular entertainment figure used by a government to help control people? Any idea about the song I've chosen for Battle of the Bands?