“I’ve got a great idea!” I was speaking to a film studies tutor who was listening to ideas for new courses she could offer. “How about a course called ‘Films that nobody in their right mind would ever wish to see’?”
“Oh yes”, she said. “That would bound to be a sell-out. I’m sure it would be easy to market a course like that.”
I suggested it as a joke, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought the idea has legs, as they say in the marketing trade. After all, how many times do you watch a film and find it completely ungripping despite the decent plot, lavish effects, well-known cast and so on? I often find myself asking, “What exactly is it that makes this film so unwatchable?”
I think we can as much if not more from stuff that does not work as from that which does. Badly-produced films, badly-written books, poorly-written articles — there’s a course in each of them.
Mind you, I imagine the libel suits could keep one tied up for years and end up in bankruptcy. So, maybe not such a great idea after all.
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