Note: Wrote this a wee while ago, after reading Simon Pegg’s recent comments about the dumbing down of cinema I couldn’t help but decide to publish this.
“If money’s the god people worship, I’d rather go worship the devil instead.” Jess C. Scott.
With “blockbuster season” upon us; you can only look round at the billboards and adverts, the buses and posters in the cinema, and realise how far the movie industry has fallen. Indeed, blockbusters have always been around, but it is simply the quantity of the same, banal trash that gets churned out every month that truly depresses me. Many say the industry is dying, hell, from where I’m standing it looks dead.
Its demise can be summed up in one word: commercialism. The industry has gone too far in its quest for gold, avarice has claimed the integrity of it; everything that made movies so much more than simply images on a screen is lost. There are so many explosive action flicks, superhero movies, and other “epic movies” that cinemas have no space or time for anything else. Smaller, cheaper and interesting films are lost and forgotten, simply because no one knows about them.
I am not calling for the death of superhero flicks, I am not saying that these movies have no place. However, to say that these films are “what the masses want” is frankly wrong. Of course more people are going to see Fast and Furious over a small foreign film like Ida, because no one knows what Ida is. They know what Fast and Furious is because there are promotions for it everywhere compared to the small, inexpensive films. There is a difference between want and ignorance.
The problem here is not the audiences, or even the movies themselves, it’s the whole commercialism behind it all. The businessmen in their glass towers, the ones who funnel millions into a project to simply double their own money. You can say that they can do what they want, their money, but it is completely unfair for them to use their wealth to out-spend the competition by blowing them away with nothing other than commercials. It is even worse when the competition is a small film with a shoestring budget.
The exact same can also be said about the music industry. You now have an excess of glitzy pop stars who produce arguably the same music. Any alternatives, anyone different, daring, is cast aside quickly and lost, doomed to simply be tagged as “cult”. Why? Because they don’t have the same sell value as the pop stars.
The fact of the matter is that commercialism has killed both the movie and music industry. Variety is the spice of life, and it is clear to me that these industries have neither any variety, spice and life in them.