For a long time I have tried to figure out what aspects of a movie, a video game, a book or a song are important to me. I just couldn’t find a coherent thread – until now.
I am a passionate music fan. And though I love Heavy Metal, I would not consider myself a metalhead because I don’t like all of Metal music, just a few bands. But I also love Hard Rock and Rock music and I would not want to live without the occasional classic piece, folk tune, country song. I have not even started to really explore the latter genres but I already know these offer music that deeply touches me.
In order to dive into something, there needs to be depth – makes sense, doesn’t it?
It’s not so much different for other media: My taste is not restricted to a particular genre and that makes it terribly hard to find new art I love. I recently started to read high fantasy books again, which I hadn’t done for about 15 years. Quite soon I noticed that I enjoy this a lot as well. Do I like everything high fantasy? Certainly not.
And so I came to the conclusion that for me it’s not about genre, theme or medium. It’s about depth. I like depth and in order to dive into something, there needs to be depth – makes sense, doesn’t it? That’s why I love the music of, let’s say, Blind Guardian: Because it’s so deep, there’s so much to explore, so many details to adore. And I think that’s the reason why movies like The Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter series, even years after their initial release, are so breathtakingly successful despite their lack of (then-) star actors in main roles: The creators took great care of each and every detail. Every aspect of the world has been thought of, corners of the sets no one will ever see in the final movies received the same attention and love as the main features. Sure, a lot of money was spent on marketing. But what about Eragon? Star actors, big marketing budget, big PR but no longevity. People will not talk about Eragon five years from now. But everyone will still talk about the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy (not to mention the book itself).
It occurs to me that in the long run it really is all about the depth of a piece of art. No matter what medium, no matter what technology: Without depth, there’s nothing to dive into. In a world and society as crazy and messed up as ours, people are looking for ways to escape their daily routine every now and then. Modern TV and most of the internet hypnotize and control but they do not offer refuge the way deep art does. Art created by individuals who love their work passionately. Art that inspires not only us but also our kids, motivates them to pick up the pen, brush or guitar themselves and create new worlds for others to relish.
It is depth that prevails in the long run. Not size, not quantity, not volume.