When I was a child, back in the days when we had only four TV channels and no video recorder, Christmas represented a rare opportunity to binge on films. I spent hours leafing through the TV guide and drawing up a packed viewing schedule. But, even back then, I knew that Hollywood was a dream world, not reality. How things work in films is not how they work in real life, and I know the difference.
Or do I? When my first daughter was of the age to be learning animal noises, my partner and I regularly disagreed over the Dutch and English ways of saying animal sounds. “Boe” or “moo”, “waf” or “woof”. And, for a frog – “kwak” or “ribbit”. I was definite in my position – a duck says “kwak”, not a frog! But then my partner hit me with the question – when have you ever heard a frog say “ribbit”? I was stopped in my tracks. I never had.
Looking it up, I discovered the reason I believed frogs say “ribbit”. It was because “ribbit” is the sound made by the Pacific Tree Frog – the species of frog that happens to have its habitat on the west coast of the United States. Right next to the Hollywood studios.
This set me thinking. What other influences from the film world have seeped into my beliefs about the real world, without my realising it? In this series of posts, I will go in search of more ‘Hollywood frogs’. The first post: The Hero.
Disclaimer: I am neither a film expert nor a sociologist, so this series is solely based on the films I happen to have seen and my own opinions about how they have affected me.