I understand that the leading minds of the art world aren't terribly fond of Thomas Kinkade, painter of light. Their criticism no doubt makes him cry himself to sleep every night, on top of a pile of money. Wikipedia claims the man earned $53 million between 1997 and 2005, and that 1 in 10 American homes have at least one piece of his artwork.
Well, I don't know much about art, but I do enjoy movies, and I might have been cautiously optimistic about Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage, later re-titled Thomas Kinkade's Home for Christmas. After all, it stars the Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden, and Lawrence of Arabia himself, Peter O'Toole. (Wait -- Peter O'Toole is still alive?) And who isn't a sucker for gauzily lighted holiday pastorals?
Then I read Kinkade's memo to the film's producers, as uncovered by Vanity Fair. Admittedly, I am not a filmmaker myself. But try to imagine working for someone who gives you instructions like:
"6) Hidden details whenever possible, references to my children (from youngest to oldest as follows): Evie, Winsor, Chandler and Merritt. References to my anniversary date, the number 52, the number 82, and the number 5282 (for fun, notice how many times this appears in my major published works). Hidden N's throughout -- preferably thirty N's, commemorating one N for each year since the events happened."
"12) Surprise details. Suggest a few 'inside references' that are unique to this production. Small details that I can mention in interviews that stimulate second or third viewings -- for example, a 'teddy bear mascot' for the movie that appears occasionally in shots. This is a fun process to pursue, and most movies I'm aware of normally have hidden 'inside references.' In the realm of fine art we refer to this as 'second reading, third reading,' etc. A still image attracts the viewer with an overall impact, then reveals smaller details upon further study."
"16) Most important concept of all -- THE CONCEPT OF LOVE. Perhaps we could make large posters that simply say 'Love this movie' and post them about. I pour a lot of love into each painting, and sense that our crew has a genuine affection for this project. This starts with Michael Campus as a Director who feels great love towards this project, and should filter down through the ranks. Remember: 'Every scene is the best scene.'"
On the other hand, the man's obviously been doing something right. Maybe we should apply some of his lessons to this blog. Remember, every post is the best post!