14 octobre 2012

Movies History According to the USA

If you can spell "neo" and "new wave", namedrop "Spielberg", "Scorsese", "Coppola", "Tarantino", "PTA", "JLG", if you hate the intellectual elite and indulge in your own personal guilty pleasures, if you can make favourite lists and rate movies with a percentage, you're ready to publish in the NYT or Film Comment or any film page in the USA. Don't bother learning cinema history, or how to think critically cause you'll never have to defend your choices or refer to anything else beyond "Neorealism" and "The New Wave"... Make sure to regularly bash anything going on outside of the USA, like film festivals, festival films, and find everything non-Hollywood boring and slow. Don't read the foreign press, and stay at home watching TV instead of saving your arthouse circuit.
The hardest part is probably to synopsize movies every week without ever dealing with "Cinema" material, only treating each title as pure subjective entertainment, but many succeed, it is doable. Never use the word "Cinema", too elitist. Finally, if you see anybody attempt to open a debate about serious issues, make sure to shut it down right away, with raucous contempt and an air of desperate fatigue. Remember your target readership is the 13-to-24 yold spectacle consumer. Even the 24 yolds aren't adult, they're just regressive adulescents, so keep it simple and fun oriented. If it isn't fun reading, then how else could culture be possibly worth reading???

Hollywood has a short memory, they prefer we forget they made bad movies in the past, or not remember the ones they try to remake today (to get us to pay again for something that didn't work the last time). Sure, Hollywood is focused on making profits TODAY. Why should they care if silent films that are not restored are being lost for ever? These are not profitable items! So why bother? Even old Hollywood classics, aren't screened, or restored, or digitized today, because it would add low-profit titles into an already long list of yearly releases. The Hollywood motto is to save ALL commercial screens available for whatever the big studios put out NOW, so they can rack up the optimum opening weekend gross (take the money and run before the first viewers tell others how disappointing it was and ruin the buzz).

If we could understand the financial logic of selfish Hollywood (although a studio should also care about its past culture, or the cinema culture in general, selflessly, at least for a small part), it's harder to understand why movie reviewers would share the exact same imperatives as studio executives... American movie reviewers only care for whatever the American distribution market (i.e. Hollywood) feeds them. They only care for HERE AND NOW. They dread showing interest for something out of fashion already (like last week's release), and are bored by courageous artfilms that don't make B.O. money... If there is no stars, no fun, no surprising plot twists, no exciting edits... they don't care enough to make an effort, and shout it out loudly to show how demanding is the consumer. 

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2 commentaires:

HarryTuttle a dit…

Things continue to get more and more spooky at the Blockbuster.
A Nightmare on Face Time (South Park; Season 16, Episode 12; 24 Oct 2012)

HarryTuttle a dit…

"Several industry groups, including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, and the nonprofit American Film Institute, which supports cinema, are privately brainstorming about starting public campaigns to convince people that movies still matter.
That seemed self-evident only a few years ago. But the mood has turned wistful as people in the industry watch the momentum shift toward television. [..]
Films, while in theaters, live behind a pay wall; television is free, once the monthly subscription is paid. And at least since “The Sopranos” sophisticated TV series have learned to hook viewers on long-term character development; movies do that mostly in fantasy franchises like the “Twilight” series.
And a collapse in home video revenue, caused partly by piracy, drove film salaries down. Television, meanwhile, raised its pay, and attracted movie stars like Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Laura Linney, Claire Danes and Sigourney Weaver. [..]
But the number of films released by specialty divisions of the major studios, which have backed Oscar winners like “Slumdog Millionaire,” from Fox Searchlight, fell to just 37 pictures last year, down 55 percent from 82 in 2002, according to the Motion Picture Association of America."
Movies Try to Escape Cultural Irrelevance (Michael Cieply; NYT; 28 Oct 2012)