Cinema is not Dying, it’s Already Dead.

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.

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One Comment

  1. You are most certainly right. But I think commercialism is more of an American cinema problem. In Europe people still make artsy, independent, meaningful films, they always had and they always will. The difference between the two is that while in America film making is business, in Europe it is art. In general of course, there are always exceptions.

    But yes, modern technology in America has turned cinema into a money factory. That’s how they want it. And since sci-fi, fantasy and superhero movies bring money, that’s what they’ll be doing for as long as they can.

    We must also take into consideration the fact that due to all that, Hollywood is currently without scriptwriters. And with the attitude it always had towards scriptwriters it should remain so. It’s not a coincidence that 99% of American movies today are based on books, comics, plays or are remakes or sequels of older titles. They don’t have a single person able to write them an original story and at the same time guarantee box office success.

    Lastly, lets not forget the god damn special effects. Studios love them because they save money. Personally, with all the overuse, I hate them, truly. All those action movies today are fake, and that’s bad for a whole lot set of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that actors have a difficult time acting when they are dressed in a full body green suit, surrounded by green screens. There’s nothing there to make the situation real for them. Give me actual outdoor shooting any day of the week.

    Sorry for the rant, but your post hit a chord, these last few years have been hard for cinema lovers everywhere 🙂

    Reply

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