How Digital Has Changed Movie Clichés

by Vicky Frank
Digital has changed in our lives in so many ways, but a long plane ride recently gave me the uninterrupted reverie time to think how digital has changed the movies. I don’t mean CGI and special effects. I mean movie clichés. In the old days of my movie going youth (60s, 70s, 80s), certain clichés were standard fare to move the plot along. But technology and the digital age have blown these out of the water. Here they are in no particular order:
Microfilm machine

Microfilm machine

MICROFICHE
In the old days, you used to see truth-seeking characters scrolling furiously through microfiche to find the key to a mystery.

Now they just Google it.


The elusive phone booth

The elusive phone booth

PHONE BOOTH
In the old days, you used to see desperate characters hunting for a working phone booth.

Now they hunt for a signal.


Lifting weights in prison

Lifting weights in prison

GETTING EVEN AFTER PRISON
In the old days, you used to see prison inmates lifting weights or studying law so they could get even with the people who put them there when they got out.

Now they learn to hack in prison so they can get even while still inside.


Following someone covertly

Following someone covertly

TAILING PEOPLE
In the old days, you would see characters covertly following people on foot or by car. Many times they would lose them.

Now they attach a GPS tracker.


Spy camera

Spy camera

COPYING FILES
In the old days, characters would break into someone’s office late at night to Xerox or take spy camera photos of incriminating documents.

Now they copy computer files to a flash drive (in the movies, this happens FASTER than using a spy camera or Xerox, but in real life, it takes MUCH longer!)


Black clothes rule

Black clothes rule

Movie chic

Movie chic

MOVIE WARDROBES
In the old days, characters dressed in colorful and chic wardrobes, designed by Edith Head.

Now they wear black.


Fax machine

Fax machine

POLICE FAX MACHINES
In the old days, the grainy driver’s license photo of the killer would be sent to the local police station via a very slow fax machine, which everyone would be too busy to notice.

Now they text a photo of the killer to all the cops at once.


Mistaken Identity

Mistaken Identity

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

In the old days, many movie plots turned on a case of mistaken identity (e.g., Hitchcock’s “wrong man” themes).

Now anyone can quickly find a photo and bio of anyone thanks to Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.

Siri to the rescue!

Siri to the rescue!

A hit on the head produces amnesia

A hit on the head produces amnesia

AMNESIA
In the old days, characters who suffered a whack on the head developed amnesia and wouldn’t know their names.

Now they can just ask Siri.


Print This Post Print This Post

Explore posts in the same categories: Technology, Technology Trends

Tags: , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Comment:

Security Code: