Moving Pictures - Book Review

Moving Pictures - Book Review

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Posted 2023-06-27 by PerthKelfollow
Terry Pratchett's Moving Pictures is a satirical novel that uses the film industry to poke fun at Hollywood and the entertainment industry as a whole. Published in 1990, the novel tells the story of a small town called Holy Wood, which becomes the site of a film studio that produces "clicks" (movies) with the help of magic.

The novel is set in Discworld, Pratchett's fantastical universe, and features a host of memorable characters, including the hapless hero Victor Tugelbend, the ambitious actress Ginger, and the wise wizard Ridcully. Through their experiences in Holy Wood, Pratchett explores themes of celebrity, fame, and the impact of mass media on society.

One of the key themes in Moving Pictures is the idea of fame and celebrity. The characters in the novel are all striving for fame and recognition, whether it be through acting, directing, or producing films. Pratchett uses the character of Victor Tugelbend to explore the allure of fame and the lengths to which people will go to achieve it. Victor is a former student at the Unseen University, Discworld's premier school for wizards. However, he is dissatisfied with his life and yearns for something more. When he discovers the film industry in Holy Wood, he becomes obsessed with the idea of becoming a star and will stop at nothing to achieve his dream.

Through Victor's journey, Pratchett highlights the dangers of becoming too focused on fame and recognition. Victor's pursuit of stardom leads him to neglect his friends and loved ones, and he becomes increasingly selfish and egotistical. He is willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead, even if it means betraying his principles or putting others in danger.

Another key theme in Moving Pictures is the power of mass media and its impact on society. Pratchett uses the film industry in Holy Wood as a metaphor for the way in which movies and television can shape our perceptions and beliefs. The films produced in Holy Wood are not just entertainment; they have a powerful effect on the people who watch them. The characters in the novel become obsessed with the movies, and their behaviour is influenced by what they see on the screen.

Pratchett's portrayal of the film industry in Holy Wood is both hilarious and insightful. He pokes fun at the superficiality and shallowness of Hollywood, but also highlights the way in which movies and television can be used to manipulate and control people. This is particularly evident in the character of Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, a fast-talking entrepreneur who is always looking for ways to make a quick buck. Dibbler sees the potential of the film industry to make money, and he uses his skills as a salesman to convince people to invest in the studios in Holy Wood. However, he is completely oblivious to the real impact that the films are having on the people who watch them.

One of the most interesting aspects of Moving Pictures is the way in which Pratchett uses magic to comment on the film industry. In Discworld, magic is a powerful force that can be used to create illusions and manipulate reality. In Holy Wood, the filmmakers use magic to create special effects and bring their movies to life. Pratchett's use of magic as a metaphor for filmmaking is particularly effective, as it highlights the way in which movies can be used to create illusions and manipulate our perceptions.

Through the use of magic, Pratchett also explores the way in which movies can be used to tell stories and convey meaning. The films produced in Holy Wood are not just mindless entertainment; they have a deeper significance and meaning. The characters in the novel become obsessed with the films, not just because they are entertaining, but because they offer a glimpse into another world and allow them to escape their own lives. In this way, Pratchett shows how movies and other forms of media can be used to explore important issues and ideas.

Another interesting aspect of Moving Pictures is the way in which Pratchett subverts traditional gender roles. In Holy Wood, women are allowed to be filmmakers and actors, and gender is not seen as a barrier to success. This is particularly evident in the character of Ginger, a talented actress who defies societal expectations and proves herself to be just as capable as any man. Through Ginger and other female characters in the novel, Pratchett challenges the idea that women are only capable of certain types of roles and shows that they can excel in any field.

Finally, Moving Pictures is also a love letter to the power of storytelling. Throughout the novel, Pratchett emphasizes the importance of storytelling and the way in which stories can shape our perceptions and beliefs. The films produced in Holy Wood are not just a form of entertainment; they are a way of telling stories and conveying ideas. Pratchett shows that storytelling has the power to bring people together, to inspire them, and to help them make sense of the world around them.

In conclusion, Terry Pratchett's Moving Pictures is a witty and insightful satire that uses the film industry to comment on a range of issues, from fame and celebrity to the power of mass media and the importance of storytelling. Through his portrayal of the characters and settings in Holy Wood, Pratchett shows how movies and other forms of media can be used to manipulate and control people, but also how they can be used to explore important issues and ideas. Moving Pictures is a must-read for anyone interested in the film industry, and a testament to Pratchett's unparalleled talent for weaving together humour, satire, and social commentary.

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220991 - 2023-06-30 10:34:17

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