What is it with the demand for ‘realistic’ movies all of a sudden? Case in point: Roman Polanski’s new film The Ghost.

Sidney Perkowitz suggests that every film should be allowed to ask us to suspend our disbelief on one occasion only. Currently, movies fly seemingly permanently in the face of what would actually happen in reality. Misguided attempts to recreate or re-enact what we’ve seen on screen notwithstanding, what’s the harm in letting the special effects department use it’s collective imagination to entertain us for 90 minutes? Have we become so entranced and convinced by Hollywood cataclysmic disaster movies that NASA is forced to assure us that the world won’t end in 2012?

It would appear so.

The reason that we have science-fiction and not science-fact is simply one of entertainment: one is and the other one usually isn’t. Watching a hacker craft a buffer overflow exploit – while more realistic and non-offending to computer professionals – isn’t exactly going to make for edge-of-the-seat thrills.

One of my old flatmates used to scoff at virtually every movie at least once, using phrases like “Pfft! As if!” or “Well that’d never happen” to the point where I stopped going to the cinema with him.

‘Realistic’ exists already: it’s called a documentary.

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