WEIRDLAND: Digital television, Satellite dishes

Monday, June 21, 2010

Digital television, Satellite dishes

"He's never afraid to appear cheesy, and that's why we love him. Stiller sings ''Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood'' with Telly. He meets a letter carrier and the cable guy, and then decides to dress as a person in the neighborhood, reappearing as a piece of cheese. ''A cheese is a really great fella, call me swiss, brie, or mozzarella''. Source:

"Ben Stiller ("Reality Bites"/"Tropic Thunder"/"Zoolander") directs this dark black comedy scripted by Lou Holtz Jr. An energetic zany performance by Jim Carrey as the cable guy runs amok, as the writer and director can't keep pace with the dark places Carrey takes the script. Its best feature turns out to be its constant zings at crappy TV programming geared to an addicted audience.
"After proposing marriage nice guy but spineless architect Steven Kovacs (Matthew Broderick) is jilted by his girlfriend Robin (Leslie Mann) and forced to move into his own apartment. The over-friendly and weirdo cable technician, Chip Douglas (Jim Carrey), with a lisp, installs the cable in Steven's new crib and agrees to fix it so that Steven becomes a preferred customer with illegal free channels. Steven is roped into joining the aggressive Chip the next day on an outing to the mountain-top satellite dish where all the signals converge". Source:

"Why should I help you...I gave you free cable." "I got you the big screen TV, deluxe karaoke machine, and THX quality sound that would make George Lucas cream in his pants!".
-Jim Carrey's character in "The Cable Guy".
"The film, with many satirical references to television shows, makes a huge leap when it introduces the throwaway concept that everybody is a slave to the tube and that cable is the juice powering their narcosis.
The film's dark emotional tone is reinforced by its look. Downbeat shades of blues, greens, grays and browns, mostly in Kovacs' apartment, fortify a claustrophobic feeling that is truly off-putting". Source:

"There is a final fight scene between Steven and the Cable guy on top of a huge satellite dish during a thunderstorm. The dish has filled with rain water and the Cable guy tries to drown Steven.Despondent, the Cable guy jumps to his "death" from the satellite dish.
"We see that the Cable Guy is beginning to have a hard time telling the difference between TV and reality."The satellite dish represents everything that the Cable Guy is about in terms of entertainment and information and the future," Stiller notes. "Also it represents the lack of personal contact between people. So, that's where the climax of the movie plays out. It's this very angular steel structure that has a really retro, '50s feel to it, which the Cable Guy mirrors in his own way."
The biggest concern for each location used in the "tower/satellite dish" sequence was that rain was called for in much of the footage.
According to production designer Sharon Seymour: "The dish is the real thing. We were lucky to get them because the large dishes are rapidly going out of style. Only two manufacturers still make them. We modified ours to fit the film's needs. Ours has a small reflector in the middle, plus it had to be able to fill with water and move." Source:

Some of the Cable Guy's predictions about what cable will do for the future came true. Like having the Internet, phone and TV through cable.
The Cable guy even tells Steven that free cable is an aphrodisiac.

"Digital electronic technologies atomize and abstractly schematize the analogic quality of the photographic and cinematic into discrete pixels and bits of information that are transmitted serially, each bit discontinuous, discontiguous, and absolute — each bit “being in itself” even as it is part of a system. As well, unlike the cinema, the electronic is phenomenologically experienced not as a discrete, centered, intentional projection but rather as a simultaneous, dispersive, and neural/ “neutral” transmission. " Source:

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