Monday, February 11, 2008

Super Grover

For our first anniversary my wife Ashley bought me a framed poster of Super Grover (as seen above), painted by the indescribably talented Alex Ross. Super Grover's rare appearances were easily my favorite part of Sesame Street, which I chalk up as extension of my life-long love of Superman. I was even Super Grover for Halloween.

What I love about this poster, beyond simple nostalgia, is the combination of Alex Ross' mythic style with a silly little Muppet parody. This is how I imagine Grover would picture himself in his own mind. Not confined to only being seen from the waist up. Free of the those little sticks operating his arms. Soaring past us like the very hero he's imitating.

For me this poster illustrates a common super-hero theme and a belief I have long held: the hope that we can become more than our natural environment would normally allow. No longer confined by the situations or circumstances in which we find ourselves. It's a theme which I discover in all of my films and screenplays. Colin trying to break free from obscurity in Captain Blasto. The lowly office drone responsible for defending the universe in The Mercury Men. And in my own life, trying my damnedest to create a film career.

I can't speak for other arts or careers, but there is one thing that filmmaking has in abundance: criticism. It's nearly every day that you're being told what the value of your work is, that what your doing is foolish, and that you just aren't good enough. No wonder there's so many stories about egomaniacal directors. They had to build themselves up in their mind just to combat the onslaught of their early years.

And so in its own simple way, this poster serves as a reminder to me that even if I sometimes look or even feel like a silly Muppet parody, it's only a disguise concealing something far greater.

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