‘Camp’ and Hollywood’s mockery through satire

By on March 28, 2002

Contemporary media mocks itself at every turn in the road. It’s nearly impossible to poke fun at a film or television show because they have become parodies of themselves. Film plots are more reminiscent of poor SNL skits then an actual engrossing medium.
“Black Knight,” Martin Lawrence’s medieval, time-traveling tearjerker, sounds like two studio executives joking,
“Why don’t we throw a popular, sassy African-American comedian into a castle, and let the hi-jinks ensue.” Films such as this signify a new level of camp missing from popular media since John Waters’ satires “Hairspray” and “Cry Baby.” ‘Camp’ is an arbitrary sense basically derived on a personal level. Certain things can be campy across the board, where it’s usually an intended motive.
A film such as “The Brady Bunch” uses camp to attain most of its laughter through the culture shock of 1960’s individuals in the wacky and wild 90’s. Other examples of camp emerge unintentionally, and these are my favorite occurrences.
Recently viewing “A Walk to Remember,” I’ve never laughed out loud so much at a film where the protagonist has had a terminal illness. Absolutely every teen movie convention is employed to make this flick stand out from the pack.
There’s the black guy who makes double extenders using breakfast pastry. There’s the southern preacher’s daughter coincidentally obsessed with miracles. Even her father is a cookie cutter facsimile of every overbearing patriarch to grace the silver screen since John Lithgow banned dancing in “Footloose.”
I could not help but remark afterwards to my comrade, who also left the theater uproarious, that whoever wrote this knew what they were doing. Certain dialogue sticks out as straight as a greeting card.
Sentimentality so devoid of emotion, you cannot help but imagine the screenwriter’s devious ideas impregnated to an unwilling script. This film transcends the teen movie genre to end up at an unintentional parody, but it feels so good.
My favorite variety of “Camp” lets the audience perceive something missing from the message. Almost any entertainment medium can figure its way into the camp domain; it just depends on your personal interpretation and perception.
I could turn on “Crossing Over with John Edwards” and be in stitches just from certain terminology he uses. It all depends on if you are able to see things differently. Sure, Mandy Moore has leukemia, but look what she’s wearing. Camp aesthetics could be lurking in your English Muffin’s nooks and crannies.


About Adam Michael