Big Cinema at the Crossroads
“No matter the guff about the old studio moguls pounding their fists on their desks and demanding excellence, and despite the sob stories about trampled vision, the American film industry has always been a business first. The genius of the system, to borrow André Bazin’s phrase, was that this heavily standardized, technologically dependent industry still fostered creative freedom and produced individual works of art. American movies both gave us an image of who we wanted to be and were instrumental in the creation of who we became.
“But what are our movies saying about us now? “Munich” is one of Steven Spielberg’s crowning achievements, yet despite its accolades it has been characterized as a disappointment. There is a sense that the director hasn’t been able to connect with those who months earlier thrilled to his dystopian fantasy, “War of the Worlds.” Audiences may be staying away from “Munich” because it lacks pop kicks and familiar marquee names. I fear, though, that after being fed a steady diet of schlock and awe, trained to expect less from films that demand little of them in turn, moviegoers no longer expect greatness from Hollywood and may not much care when, on that rare occasion, it shows up at the neighborhood multiplex.
Manohla Dargis. Hollywood’s Crowd Control Problem. The New York Times. March 5, 2006.
Paul B. Brown. The Long Studio Decline. The New York Times. March 4, 2006.
The Smoking Gun. Hollywood by the Numbers: The Tinseltown Money Trail. Feb. 28, 2006.
The Patry Copyright Blog. Oscars and Copyright. March 7, 2006.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the intersection of business, law and technology. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.