Nothing Better Than The Real Thing: 'Museum Hours' and 'This Is Martin Bonner'
Image: Little Magnet Films

Last month, a short film won praise from animation fans and film critics. The big surprise? It was a commercial for Chipotle restaurants.

In it, a scarecrow discovers cruel and unusual practices happening behind closed doors at a fast-food factory. Machines pump livestock full of chemicals. Sinister, robotic crows spray crops with pesticides. And consumers line up to swallow the toxic results, oblivious—perhaps willfully oblivious—to their part in an ugly enterprise.

The scarecrow goes home and starts cooking the old-fashioned way: growing fresh, pesticide-free produce and raising healthy livestock. Soon, he's serving fresh, nutritious meals—personally—to diners who can enjoy real flavor and real nourishment without any corruption of conscience.

Chipotle's commercial went viral, earning better buzz than many of this year's feature films.

But why?

Chipotle's brilliant pitch (whether or not it accurately represents their product) appeals to an increasingly popular appetite. Even though consumer culture gives us more options all the time, at greater and greater convenience, we're hungrier than ever for something real.

This also applies to moviegoing.

Talking with other film fans, I find that by September, many of us are feeling a little regretful, a little sick. We've spent the summer consuming big-budget, committee-designed, factory-made features. They're like microwaveable burritos stuffed full of shouting, chases, gunfire, showdowns, explosions, and end-of-the-world scenarios.

So we start looking forward to the opposite—a parade of pompous, overly serious, "important" features known as Oscar Bait. And here they come: films that shove hard ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Tags:
Read These Next
Current IssueThe Fight for Social Justice Starts Within
The Fight for Social Justice Starts Within Subscriber Access Only
What Jason Russell and John Ortberg learned about the souls of activists.
RecommendedWhy We Need Wonder Woman
Why We Need Wonder Woman
Even when it falters, the new female-led film brings freshness to the superhero flick.
TrendingFinding My 'True Self' As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
Finding My 'True Self' As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
In my young-adult struggle with sexual identity, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me floundering.
Editor's PickForgive Us Our Debts: How Christian College Grads Pay the Price
Forgive Us Our Debts: How Christian College Grads Pay the Price
Evangelical schools work to capture the real cost of student loans.
Christianity Today
Nothing Better Than The Real Thing: 'Museum Hours' ...
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

October 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.