I’ll come right out and say it: the latest film version of Aladdin may be the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. And that’s just based on the trailer.
Directed by Adam Green, formerly of the indie-rock band the Moldy Peaches, the upcoming film, Adam Green’s Aladdin, resembles the Disney version you grew up with about as much as a peach resembles a dachshund. Shot in a Brooklyn warehouse, the film features papier-mâché scenery and stars several of Green’s musician friends, along with a few notables including Macaulay Culkin, Alia Shawkat, Zoe Kravitz and Natasha Lyonne. It’s what I imagine might happen if you decided to drop acid and read The Arabian Nights.
Aladdin isn’t the first film made by Green, whose 2011 The Wrong Ferrari was written under the influence of ketamine and shot entirely on an iPhone. His second feature had a bit more of a budget thanks to a successful Kickstarter, and was filmed with an actual film camera, but it appears to be just as drug-fueled. It’s set in a New York-like city, where Aladdin (played by Green) is a frustrated indie-rock singer, the princess is a Kardashian type, and the sultan is some kind of pervy overlord. Also, the magic lamp is a 3D printer.
“I have a tendency to be pretty abstract in my thinking, so to be anchored by a myth was helpful,” Green told The Guardian. “I could look at the Aladdin story and think: ‘What would a modern-day princess look like?’ The answer was: like a Kardashian. Then the lamp could be a 3D printer and the genie could be like Siri.”
The lamp doesn’t look like a 3D printer – it looks like a papier-mâché lamp (or a gourd), and when a wish is made, items appear out of thin air with a printing sound effect. It’s a pretty hilarious take on 3D printing, actually, as characters begin wishing for useless things which then zap into existence, layer by layer, at the speed of, say, a Carbon 3D printer. As more and more people discover the magic of the 3D printer, the world starts to fill up with clutter printed just because it can be.
“Print me an asparagus chair!” one character demands, and it materializes beside her from the ground up. “Wowww!”
Other elements the film takes aim at appear to be hipsters (“If we had sex, would that be ironic?” asks the princess), godless Americans, reality TV, and Hollywood. There’s also the theme of rampant consumerism. Though the original story limits Aladdin to three wishes, Green’s version seems to have no limit as to number of wishes, or even as to who can make them. As more and more people are drawn to the printer and the limitless amount of things it can give them, Shawkat’s character exclaims, “I’ve created a printing cult!”
“Part of the reason why – that I wanted to make a modern-day version of Aladdin is that I was obsessed with the symbol of the genie and the lamp and the wishes, and I was thinking like in a modern-day setting, like that the wishing would get out of hand because the world would fill up with all kinds of people’s mental garbage, and there would be, like no place for it,” Green said in his Kickstarter video. “So it was a chance to do a kind of meditation on materialism and greed and overpopulation. I think, in a way, the Aladdin idea came to me as like, well, maybe I can make a movie about changing the nature of what we wish for.”
While 3D printing does amazing things for the world in medicine, aerospace, and other industries, it does also tend to feed our materialistic natures – consumer 3D printing, in particular. We can print plenty of useful things, but we can also print plenty of useless things, and we certainly don’t hesitate to do so. In that regard, it looks like Green has nailed the modern “3D printing cult” spot on.
Green also wrote the movie’s soundtrack, which is released today. You can watch the movie itself on Amazon Video or iTunes now, if you so dare. Below, you can check out the trailer (NSFW??). Is this a movie that interests you? Let’s discuss! Head over to the Aladdin Movie with Magical 3D Printer forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: The Guardian]
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