December 16, 2016

A video store full of nothing but VHS tapes of "Jerry Maguire."

It's an art exhibit by an art collective called Everything Is Terrible! The NYT reports:
The collective’s obsession with Jerry Maguire, which was released on VHS in 1997, the same year that DVD players began to arrive in American homes, is a product of the ubiquity of the VHS version of the film, as well as its status as a somewhat useless object.

The film “sort of called to us,” Mr. Maier said. “We kept seeing it over and over again.” (Wikipedia claims that itis [sic] the best-selling, non-Walt Disney VHS film ever. But according to a 1998 press release from Blockbuster, the film “Titanic” broke records in video home sales, surpassing several Disney filns [sic] as well as “Jerry Maguire.” )
Filns. It's some kind of commentary on where we are now, that on the day — yesterday — that was the 50th anniversary of the death of Walt Disney, there's no article about him in the NYT, just a mention of his name, lifted from Wikipedia, in an article about an art installation about a 20-year-old Tom Cruise movie, alongside the sad typo "filns."

Here's a little video conveying the off-handed art of Everything Is Terrible! Of course, it's terrible. They'd be lying if it were not terrible. Everything is terrible:

JERRY MAGUIRE VIDEO STORE! from Everything Is Terrible! on Vimeo.

The highlight of the video comes at 9 seconds, when the walking pile of "Jerry Maguire" videotapes passes by the Scientology building. The NYT article does not mention Scientology or allude to Tom Cruise's religious nonconformism, which may have been a reason for making him the butt of an art joke:
The Jerry Maguire Video Store at iam8bit Gallery will be a perfect re-creation of a video rental store circa 1996, but instead of carrying thousands of porn quadrilogies and action movie knockoffs, this store will carry only Jerry Maguire on VHS. Seeing thousands of Jerrys finally reunited will forever destroy the viewers’ previous perception of culture, waste, and existence as a whole. The Jerrys are a beautiful thing.

And this is only the beginning. At the Jerry Maguire Video Store, EIT! will be unveiling plans for the enormous, permanent pyramid in the desert where all the world’s Jerrys will live until the end of time....
See the satire of religion?

Disney's deathiversary did get the briefest notation in the NYT, which publishes the AP column "Today in History."
In 1966, movie producer Walt Disney died in Los Angeles at age 65.
Here's the obit the NYT published at the bottom of its front page 50 years ago:

Do you know that the mouse head weighs 8 ounces?


tim maguire said...

Say what you want about Jerry Maguire, but for six months people spelled my name right.

It was glorious.

David Begley said...

To my mind, the death of Walt Disney probably prevented millions of young kids from smoking, I always associate him with lung cancer. It was a shocker at the time.

rehajm said...

That was beautiful, Tim.

Bill Peschel said...

"Movie producer"? That's the best the AP could do?

The decline in journalism continues.

Arthur James said...

I never saw the need for artist centered upon social commentary and activism. Rather than an exterior statement, I view the creative process as an interior process of transformation. Within the transformation a social statement can be made. I think of the painting 'The Scream'. This effort just comes off as adolescent--contrived and overly clever rather than spontaneous and erupting, a failing effort to go beyond art for art's sake. Their was a band who made intriguing music and videos 'The Residents' who I did feel created social commentary efforts of high quality.

MisterBuddwing said...

"Movie producer"? That's the best the AP could do?

The decline in journalism continues.

Maybe you'd prefer how Pauline Kael described Richard Schickel's unauthorized biography "The Disney Version":

"The story of how Disney built an empire on corrupt popular culture…becomes a revealing part of American cultural history."

Grant said...

"Dies on Coast"...proof that the view never changes at the NYT.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

A video store full of nothing but VHS tapes of "Jerry Maguire."

Sounds like crap art.

My art project will be to sneak in there and replace just one copy of Jerry Maguire with Risky Business ( in a Jerry Maguire video case ).

Make Art Great Again!

mikee said...

I recall standing in line at a video store about 2.8 decades ago, behind a guy who was arguing with the clerk. The guy wanted a refund on the video he had checked out the day before.

The clerk asked if there was a problem playing the video. No, the video played fine, but the film was horrible, sez the guy.

The clerk explained that the content of the film was not guaranteed to please, just that the video would play correclty, and there was nothing he could do for the guy about not liking the content of the vidoe that the guy himself had rented. Guy storms off cussing.

Clerk looks at the video in its box. Clerk looks at me and says, "The film was titled 'Jackass' and that guy was surprised it wasn't good."

I have retold this story any number of times to employees as an example of excellent customer service.

Bill said...

I remember the day Uncle Walt died. I was in the second grade in suburban Los Angeles and a mother from our carpool broke the news to us at the end of the school day. It was worse than learning Santa didn't exist.