Lady Gaga, We Are Cork and the crisis of originality
The same story told over and over? Connecting the dots between A Star is Born, the #WeAreCork place brand project and the challenge of creative originality in art and branding alike.
THERE’S a line in A Star is Born, Bradley Cooper’s $100m-grossing musical melodrama, that should strike a chord with anyone engaged in creative endeavours – from musicians to filmmakers, copywriters to creative designers, and all in between. It’s a line delivered by a grizzled Sam Elliott as Bobby, the surly and long-suffering older brother of Jackson Mane (Cooper), an arena-famous country rock star ravaged first by childhood trauma and second by subsequent decades of substance abuse.
“Music is essentially 12 notes between any octave… 12 notes and the octave repeats,” Bobby tells a wide-eyed Ally (Lady Gaga), the rising star to Mane’s fading light. “It’s the same story told over and over, forever.”
It’s a thought that neatly sums up the challenge facing all creatives – how difficult it is to build something new, something original, something fresh, out of a limited set of building blocks. Peel back a layer and you note that the film itself, and its central narrative – one star shines as another is beginning to fade – is based on a story previously told. Multiple times, in fact, including with Judy Garland and James Mason in the leading roles (1954) as well as Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristoffersen (1976).
Discussing this challenge around the office table this week (two of the team having coincidentally been to see the movie on the same night), dyjaho Head of Design Dave Flanagan labelled it the ‘crisis of originality’ – from notes to words, images, colours and ideas, every artist and creative professional must confront the difficulties in building something using tools and materials that for the most part have already been in play for centuries.
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