Adrian Martin: "I have spent much of my life looking at the question of Hollywood, and turning it over from different angles. It does not take so much of my time now, simply because I have made the personal decision that I want more to look at world cinema, experimental cinema, and other more overlooked forms. But it is certainly safe to say that I have been through every available position and emotion that a critic can take and experience in relation to the ‘passion for Hollywood’: defending it, rejecting it, rationalising it, exploring it, becoming disenchanted with it, becoming re-enchanted with it. Now, I feel I am ‘out of the cycle’ of this difficult passion. Like many critics, my interest in the resistant streams in world cinema has steered me more towards the true American independents: not the Sundance or Miramax camps, but people like James Benning, Yvonne Rainer, Travis Wilkerson, Jon Jost, and many others. In the semi-commercial cinema, the only Americans I really defend today are those precisely ignored (for the most part) by and in America, and discovered elsewhere: Ferrara, James Gray, Larry Clark, Monte Hellman, Elaine May." (IndianAuteur #7, Nov 2009)
This oblivious approach is, alas, "the easy, lazy way out!" (see : "cinéma d'auteur blasé (1)")
Godard replies :
Paraphrase (replacing the word "worker" by "artist"):
Who "directs" [met en scène] the cinema market in the world? Hollywood controls most of what gets screened, either directly (free market) or indirectly (through appealing propagandist marketing).
The word "direct" is loaded. Even the way I try to "direct", to fight against the law of supply and demand, is strongly conditioned by what I was taught in school, in the media, in the conformist film press.
Oppressed filmmakers are given 15 sec or 3 minutes in the media to speak up : "What do you think of the film market? what do you think of your condition of non-commercial filmmaker?" But who can give an answer in 3 minutes when you've been deprived of visibility and public speech for so long?
Intellectuals who have the means to make CRITICISM, since the exploited artists don't, we must approach them and listen to be able to transmit their words. We know they aren't allowed to speak in general, or in the films, on television.
It shows the three social forces in struggle on the film market : the exploiters, the
oppressed, and "those who are fed up". Instead of describing the individuals beforehand, it first describes the masses, and the power struggle of the masses.
The accusation is often brought against us : "you want to make film criticism for art-cinema but people don't understand". It's not that simple. First, it's normal that seeing the way film criticism is printed, that even well intentioned critics might be considered unproductive. I think our challenge is not to write criticism "in the name of auteurs", we should first speak in the name of cinema.
Where is the right to criticize?
The exploiters (Hollywood) never tell the exploited (non-commercial artists) how they exploit them. So WE tell it. It's precisely us, the news, cinema, television, the press, who enter this discourse of the exploiter, who does tell the exploited.
Because that's what cinema, novels, the press and television do : they tell. Those of us in the field should find a new way to tell, so that we might finally say something else, beyond the conformist talking point and complacent tolerance for spectacle that have been insidiously installed by the crowd-pleaser exploiter : the Hollywood system.