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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: when product placement works

It’s the rare film that can be so blatant with its product placement… and simultaneously make it so necessary to the story and character. And no film has ever done that better, that I’ve seen, than Cast Away. From my review:

But more disconcerting than the actual crash is the feeling of how utterly wrong such an event is. A few years ago, a FedEx plane caught fire on the tarmac at Newark Airport, and I remember how unsettling a thing that was — it wasn’t that people had gotten hurt (as I recall, the crew evacuated safely) but that all those nice white boxes with their purple and orange logos had burned to a crisp. That’s not supposed to happen — FedEx planes simply do not crash. How can they? FedEx promised to absolutely, positively deliver my package overnight. The very idea is absurd, like saying that Santa Claus disappeared off radar somewhere around Point Barrow. FedEx and their agreeable employees are so damn reliable… so to see one of their missions so abruptly interrupted, it’s all the more disturbing than if, say, it was a U.S. Postal Service flight that went down.

review of Cast Away, posted 12.20.00

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