Abolishing the ‘Ing’ Flick.

October 15, 2004

I’m seeing ads for this Affleck/Gandolfini flick, “Surviving Christmas,” and it’s depressing me for two reasons–

First of all, the unstoppable sprawl of the Christmas season, having breached Halloween, is now marching inexorably toward Labor Day. Not that I dislike tiny twinkly lights or tinsel.
Secondly–there is a cancer on the entertainment business. It’s the ING movie. “Saving Silverman.” “Chasing Amy.” “Finding Forrester.” Et al.
For some reason, I find three-word ING movies less objectionable–“Kissing Jessica Stein,” “Breaking the Waves.” Especially if there’s an article in there–the ‘the’ in the latter title–the rhythm, it seems to me, is less generic.
But can we please, as a society, abolish this practice? Fire the marketing departments? Force filmmakers into poetry classes at the Learning Annex?
Among the reasons I’ve neglected to finish my novel, “Ray Slape Is Dead,” is a fear that if I do find a publisher, they’ll force me to call it “Killing Ray Slape.”
(Well, OK, it’s more for the terror of embarking on the task–for a songwriter, used to terse, four-line verses, it’s like scaling Kilimanjaro. As a novelist–I forget who–said in an interview, “It’s like trying to cover the Empire State Building in text.”)
Also–another grammatical note–how do I do italics in HTML? Such poor form, on my part, to put film titles in quotes!! Gentle readers, advice please?