The Mystery Box


Rumor has it that J.J. Abrams is known to approach strangers, hold his finger beneath their nose while stifling a laugh and then ask them if they can tell which box it smells like. That probably isn’t true, but the man most definitely loves a good mystery. As writer, director and/or producer he’s been attached to dozens of films and TV shows featuring mysteries both big and small. The secret to Lost‘s island, the reveal of the monster in Cloverfield and the alien in Super 8, the explanation as to why Felicity cut her hair… all mysteries we eventually saw answered after a glorious period of intense curiosity. Hell, we’re still eagerly awaiting an answer to what exactly he was thinking while writing Gone Fishin’. Abrams famously explained his attraction to the idea of a “mystery box” during his 2007 TED Talk, and it basically boils down his belief that “mystery is more important than knowledge.” There’s a semantics argument to be had there, but the core point is a sound one that more often than not gets lost in an online world used to having all of the answers and information available 24/7. People who read books don’t (usually) read the ending first, so why do so may of us want to know as much as possible about the plot points, casting and cameos in the movies we’ve yet to watch? Abrams simply prefers as little as possible be revealed in advance of our eyeballs actually seeing his work […]

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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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