Why do we love pirates?

Uploaded by UniversityofMinn on 23.05.2011

[music playing] "Death lies before us as we sail off
to the fountain of youth.
You could guide an expedition.
You are Jack Sparrow.
There should be a Captain in there somewhere."
Well I think we're drawn to pirates
because they are figures of rebellion.
They don't live under the rules of civil society,
they don't usually adhere to any sort of political system.
They don't listen to any kings or rulers, they're rebels and we
in America are really tickled by the idea and seduced
by the idea of the rebel.
The rebel, a pirate is basically a cowboy on the ocean.
The moment he hits land he gets on a horse and becomes a cowboy
and part of our idea as Americans about that frontier,
about always pushing boundaries, about always being independent
in an ocean of freedom really ties
into this iconic figure of the pirate.
The pirate movies are not usually successful,
so this is an unusual situation.
Cut-Throat Island bankrupt its production company
and so not all pirate movies are this successful.
I think what makes it successful is that it is part
of a Hollywood machine and it's part of a sequel.
So it's one right after another.
There's a formula that it places in,
which places far more emphasis on computer graphics
and wisband technology than storytelling.
I think the thing that is selling Pirates
of the Caribbean is Johnny Depp because he is riveting
to watch and is interesting.
He's the most interesting thing to watch in any of these movies
and Johnny Depp is a rebel.
He's a Hollywood rebel.
He's always maintained this persona about himself
that is outside of Hollywood even though he lives within it
and makes all this money in it but his whole projection
on the industry is that he's this brooding outsider
and if Johnny Depp's this outsider then he taps
into that idea of the pirate rebel that we
as Americans love so much.