Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cameo Within a Chameleon 

From Peter Theatre
What exactly is going on here?

Some time ago I saw this trailer for the film "Rango". Dumb name. Apparently it concerns a chameleon with an identity crisis. Perhaps a pet lizard escaped into the wild? Who knows? The trailer doesn't give much away. Yet I noticed said lizard was voiced by Johnny Depp. A lizard wearing a floppy hat and a Hawaiian shirt, walking in the desert. Kind of like that film based on the work of Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, when Depp portrayed Thompson's alter ego (or a caricature of him at least). Then, in a slashing cut, there it is, the adorable mutt, Rango is flung head long into an oncoming red caddy coupe, driven by a thin necked fellow in a floppy hat and Hawaiian shirt, just like in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Is this a pop-culture nod to Depp's work? To Thompson's? Or is it just a throwaway created by an animator who noticed the resemblance and made the connection? Are they messing with our heads? Why did I even notice it?

The word "chameleon" is derived from the Greek, "khamai", meaning ‘on the ground’.

The word "cameo" from the medieval Latin, "cammaeus", thought to mean "engraved gem", or not. It's disputed.

Ok, I really thought there would be a stronger connection there. Nope. Cameo, chameleon? Though I think maybe the film makers thought there was a connection. Maybe they even think cameo, chameleon and camouflage share the same root. To be honest, that's what I thought, but it just isn't so.

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