Telekinesis And The Carrie Remake
During the last week, I’ve been thinking a lot about telekinesis—being able to move objects with the mind—and telepathy—mind reading, or the ultimate experience of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes from a sensory standpoint. It all began when I watched the publicity stunt released for the upcoming remake of the film Carrie.
Src: 2013 © The MegaMind Videos via YouTube.com
Why anyone would even think of re-creating that Stephen King classic is beyond me. The shy, innocence of Sissy Spacek starting to crack under vicious bullying is pitch perfect. It’s a film that stands the test of time.
Honestly, I’m tired of sitting through all these movie equivalents of fan fiction—not that I’m opposed to really well done fanfic. It’s perfectly natural to be inspired by a brilliant story or characters, but don’t try to co-opt the name just to sell your modern, debased plot. Be creative and make it fresh—call it something entirely new.
Where was I? Oh yeah, telekinetic powers. As a promo for the new Carrie, some folks in a coffee house were fooled into thinking that a girl who got extremely angry over a fellow patron knocking coffee over on her laptop flipped out enough to begin moving things with her mind, from lifting the guy who spilled the coffee to pushing away tables and chairs and knocking books off shelves with her screams. Fellow actors help her to shock regular folks. It’s a silly prank, but the effects are entertaining nonetheless.
Now You See Me, Now You Don’t
Then a few days ago, I watched Now You See Me, a film about illusionists who pull off a real bank robbery on stage. Among them is a mentalist, played by Woody Harrelson, who is able to hypnotize people to do things that will distract from the dastardly deeds the criminal illusionists are up to. Harrelson’s character acknowledges that much of his talent as a mentalist comes from intuition—being able to read faces well allows him to know when he’s struck the right note in his calculated guesses about a client/target. The power of suggestion through his hypnosis, on the other hand, is pretty darn impressive, though he’s no Marshall Sylver.
Over the years, I’ve learned never to underestimate the power of suggestion. As a communication major with a certificate in nutrition counseling, I have developed a keen eye for in marketing ploys and advertising tactics. Even subtle cues like using a specific color in a print—purple, for example, suggests luxury, elegance and passion—or blatant devices, like using popular cartoon characters in a children’s cereal commercial to create familiarity and serve as an endorsement, all work on the mind to encourage purchases.
It’s All Just Smoke and Mirrors
Src: Flickr/The Illusionist- Red Light by Elena Gatti
Whether we realize it or not, the majority of us are fooled, even if just a little bit, every day. Media draws our attention to the stories it decides are important to share. Politicians use smoke and mirrors to set forth their own agendas. Presenting a carefully crafted curriculum, schools typically only reward a uniform approach to math and sciences and a one-sided interpretation of literature and history. And yes, plenty of us fall prey to our own illusions—including master magician David Copperfield and his supposed fountain of youth.
Folks, flexing our critical thinking muscles make us far less susceptible to the illusions. Being mindful of our vulnerabilities when watching media is key—sometimes it’s best to just cancel that newspaper or magazine subscription and shut off the TV. It's so crucial not to take simply one source as gospel. Keep your eyes and mind open for all possibilities. Who knows—the Carrie re-make might not be so bad after all...but I doubt it.