You know those movie series where the sequels do little more than ride the success of the first movie? There’s the same title, and sometimes the same star, but the similarity, continuity, and usually the quality end there. But, man, it’s probably going to make everyone lots o’ money. I think Hollywood needs more of those. And so does this blog.
Like those movies, this sequel’s got the same title and the same painting, but beyond those, it’s all downhill.
Downhill. Uphill. It reminds me of traveling through Ecuador this summer. Ecuador’s a small, mountainous, jungle-ous, coastal-ous country, and the easiest way to get from one end to the other is by bussing it. Luckily, unlike Greyhound, Ecuadorian busses believe in en route entertainment and lots of opportunities to buy snacks. The snacks are sold by vendors who get on and off at seemingly random times – in town, outside of town, or smack-dab in the middle of nowhere. The entertainment comes in the form of club-style dance music at club-style decibel levels or en route movies via pirated DVDs. During one trip, my bus-mates and I were lucky enough to see the 1980’s classic, American Ninja. If you haven’t seen it, let me tell you, that movie was awesome! – when I first saw it at the age of eight. Almost three decades later, it didn’t quite hold up under the scrutiny of a second viewing. But it was better than American Ninja 2. And #3. And #4. I watched them all – eight hours of ninja dubbed over in Spanish. Or maybe I should say all four were played at club-style decibel levels while I read The Hunger Games 1, 2, and 3. While semi-watching all four movies, it occurred to me that life is punctuated by sequels, or maybe life is lived between sequels, or maybe it’s bookended by sequels. I was going to refine that thought and ponder it more in depth, but I didn’t want to miss an important ninja plot point.
This painting above, it’s a sequel or at least a continuation of the underpainting from last week. I started adding some color – some red, some blue, some pink, some green; I don’t know what all’s in there. I get a little excited at times and throw whatever’s laying around at it. I build and build with layer upon layer until the painting’s where I want it to be. The goal to all these layers is a finished product with a depth that’s difficult to achieve otherwise. It takes time, thought, effort and hopefully some skill – just like sequels.
And you? What’s your favorite sequel? Let me know in the comments.