Forget putting a bird on it. Put on a dinosaur on it for a surefire hit in our market-driven economy. Director Stephen Spielberg certainly didn’t skimp on the “terrible lizards” when adapting Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park for the screen, and things turned out pretty well for him.
Mike Rugnetta, the fast-talking host of PBS’s Idea Channel, theorizes that the 20-year-old film is a great, possibly inadvertent commentary on the dangers of global market capitalism. His merry spoiler-packed video touches on such phenomena as risky investments, the subprime mortgage crisis, and the havoc that can be wreaked by a disgruntled employee. He hales both Richard Attenborough’s park owner character and Director Spielberg as egotistical madmen chasing monstrous profits. His kitchen sink approach inevitably leads to appearances by both Barney and Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek.
Rugnetta is quick (of course) to point out that he could come up with similar hypotheses for such comparatively fresh releases as World War Z (wage slavery), Iron Man (glory be to the world-saving entrepreneur), and Pacific Rim (the global market will unite us all)… but why, when Jurassic Park’s got enduring, market-tested crowd-pleasers?