…The Stewart Lee book, ‘How I Escaped My Certain Fate‘.
There was a passage in it that caught my eye:
‘Whether something is a homage or an act of theft depends on the relative fame, status and wealth of the homager and the homagee. When advertising scum rip off Bergman or Wenders or some obscure brit artist for a campaign and say that it was a homage, the real effect is that simply by virtue of the mass audience their adverts achieve as opposed to the minimal audience enjoyed by most actual art, it immediately renders the subject material a cliche by association rather than validating it in some way.’
I have to admit that I can see where he’s coming from. You do a nice little scene in your classic movie and someone ‘homages’ it up the arse, suddenly transforming it into a work of turdage.
And it’s hard to justify. Someone creates a little bit of genius, you borrow it and it becomes, to some degree, a scene out of an ad that you borrowed because you couldn’t think of something yourself and in the process devalues the original work to the point of shitterama.
Instead of choosing a recent example of this, I thought I’d find the highest ranking film in the IMDB top 250 and its most pathetic rip-off.
I know most of you are too young to remember this, but the throbbing cunt-faced cheek of this ad was the talk of the town in the mid-nineties:
You might also be too young to be aware of the point of homage:
Anyway, I guess that’s the tricky thing about art: once it’s out there, it’s out there, and there ain’t much you can do about it.
UPDATE: Sorry, I didn’t realise that the Schindler’s clip I originally chose had no red girl in it. The new one is much better.