At CES 2014, Michael Bay was invited, and one presumes, paid to make an appearance on the Samsung stage at its press conference. He was to talk about a new TV and his directing work. When he got on stage, he got lost on his prompter and then couldn’t get back on track.
Mostly, the Internet laughed when he made his excuses and left the stage, but one friend of mine, Nate Lanxon, suggested that it might have been a panic attack. Of course that’s true, although I don’t think it was that. Bay doesn’t really have of value to add to a discourse about technology. Sure, his films end up displayed on a TV, but that doesn’t mean he understands technology any more than I understand filmmaking.
But, if it was a panic attack, does that mean we were wrong to laugh?
Well, perhaps, but consider this. Michael Bay makes movies that Mark Kermode described as leering. Lingering shots of the female body that add nothing to the story, and represent a small cross-section of the physical form.
He makes movies that are all show and very little meaningful content. He is a man who though his movies tells us the only thing that matters is how an object looks. A car, an explosion, a robot or a girl.
He therefore damages how normal people view themselves with each movie he releases. Women have that body stereotype reinforced, and even men might feel second-rate in the shadow of the eye-candy he casts in his flicks.
Perhaps the thing that Bay should learn from his on-stage faux pas, is that no one is perfect. His films concentrate on an idea of perfection that is unrealistic for 99.9 per cent of the population. Perhaps we would be more forgiving if he thought a bit more about the people he casts, and how he’s affecting our daughters and sons and their image of one another.
Also it wouldn’t hurt if he made a film that wasn’t utter dogshit. Fuck me, how did he manage to blow up that much stuff in Transformers 3 and STILL send me to sleep. LITERALLY!