Sunday, January 25, 2009

Beginnings of Cool, Film, and the Merging of the Two

This week, we spoke of the origination of coolness. With so many people today striving to be thought of as cool and even so many other people going against the norm that they feel cool is something completely different. So what is cool, and where did it come from? According to F-John, the concept of cool came from the slavery era. Being cool for a slave was to be able to take whatever was thrown at him and still be able to keep his composure. These actions are considered a type of ironic detachment, which has been a key concept of being cool until the present. Cool kept evolving, got picked up by white people, and lead the way for the establishment for different scenes to come along and let people escape from reality. These escapes have led to many different ways that objects in our society can be seen as cool. There are many types of cool that have come to the fore front. Dissident cool (which is associated with people such as James Dean, is about rebellion, irony, and anti-establishment), transcendent cool (associated with impassioned and constructive people), nostalgia cool, geek cool, and the list can go on. Anything that a person sees as cool can be in one or many of these categories. But is there a point where something cool gets to over played and no longer is cool? I answer this question with a resounding yes. Many people know something that they thought of as cool, but when many people start doing it, the coolness just seems to fade away and loose every bit of cool it ever had. Most of the time, this seems to happen when a "cool" idea becomes corporate. It is my feeling that there can be a circular pattern in coolness. When something is obscure it is not cool, but then it gets a small following and poof cool, but then it starts getting too many people liking it and then it is just some played out fad. Later, those things make a rebirth in society and have a sort of nostalgia cool behind them. Cool can be complicated.

We also learned some of the early history of film. The earliest of films were simply made and just a few seconds long. Pioneers such as Edison, the Lumière brothers, and a magician Georges Méliès created the film industry, and it grew very large very fast. Companies started putting out movies at a very fast and almost industrial pace. The film industry learned new techniques very quickly. Many techniques that we take for granted were huge break through when they were thought of. Stop motion, double exposure, close up shots, point of view shots, and many more that we see in every movie that is made now.

So, when the movies came out they were almost automatically cool and very popular. This is usually what happens when something debuts. Most of the time people will find a new advancement very cool and exciting, but then people have time to make there true opinion of the new object. Then it is just a waiting game. Luckily people love the movies and continue to find them cool. So was the creation of the motion picture and the start of the film industry cool? I would definitely say yes.


  1. The way that cool movies operate now is often quite different than from the past. Then movies were cool for existing practically. Now for a movie to be cool it has to have something special.

    This means that movies have experienced both sides of cool! How might movies ever experience becoming uncool?

  2. Good recap of what we went over in class. I can't wait to see you dive in and explore what we talk about in class and in the readings.

    I like the formatting and URLs! Way to implement some of the techniques for adding more depth to your blog.

  3. Thanks to both of you. I don't know if movies them selves could ever be uncool, just the subject matter. I personally love movies and would never think they were anything but cool.

  4. I absolutely agree! Movies are so cool. Anything that can take you away from the mundane or tiresome everyday life for a moment is cool. That could be the hold movies have in cool; they can take us to places in such detail that plays never could.