Picture This

There lies a world behind the cameras,  

Doors opening to brand new visions,

Into the age of optimism, resilience, ambitions—

Into the staples of iconic, All-American movie magic.

Now, film has moved past its era of soundlessness

Unraveling a renaissance of entertainment open to all who seek it,

A whole orchestra behind a screen,

A host of laughs and cries and human uproar

With all of this,

There’s music to match the motion picture.

But don’t look now,

Because silence is still the norm.

Movies speak but never the people—

Dorothy walks down the yellow brick road only because they stifle her run,

Less like a girl on her way to the Emerald City,

More like Tin Man,

Ferrous and heavy, 

Heartless as she is drained,

Preyed on by black suits with paychecks, despairs muffled into oblivion,

As the magic of the industry casts a spell of quiet

Upon those who dare say a word against it

Not long after, cinema witnesses another development.

Suddenly, film is daubed with the splash of technicolor,

Life-like and never before seen,

Shocks of hue bursting through the screen,

Once monochrome images are awash with vibrant yellows and brilliant blues,

Now, every scene before you is tinted bright,

The golden age of Hollywood can now be painted 

Into a shiny, golden gleam

Still, don’t look now,

Because only one shade of color dominated media

They demanded light and only light, 

Prestige and honor in favor of the fairer,

They speak of evolution, evolution, evolution,

Declaring to paint motion picture, 

To dye it radiant and dazzling

There’s no distinct black and white,

But white over black and white over brown—

Film’s color remains particular.

It’s picture-perfect.

Think of glamour, fame, and fortune,

You indulge in red,

As you walk down red, draped in red and sipping a glass of red,

Lights flashing as far as the eyes can see,

all blending into blinking, blinding red

The scarlet path you saunter is sheer luxury,

A promise of opulence dipped in carmine.

But don’t look now,

This rosy wonder flickers and sputters,

The smoke and mirrors crack open,

Shattering, picking at your skin,

Royal red at the forefront, blood-red out of sight,

Every drop from you drawn out,

Fame is all blood, blood, blood

Tainted and darkened and dripping with red.

Picture this—

The sorrows of your time fade to the back of your mind, 

Drowning in the film before you as it rolls,

You forget of the silence and the monochrome and the illusions.

You forget all it took to get there.

But hey, that’s Hollywood.

What are you looking for?