March 06, 2006
The Conservative film blog, Libertas, always offers interesting perspective from outside the Hollywood bubble. Editor Jason Apuzzo goes right to the heart of current problems of the movie biz:
Nobody is seeing these films. Some LIBERTAS readers criticize me and others on this site for writing about films we havenÂ’t seen. Perhaps after last nightÂ’s fiasco youÂ’re beginning to understand what an utterly vacuous criticism this is. Simply stated: nobody is obligated to go see these films. Hollywood seems to have forgotten this. The powers-that-be in this town seem to be under the impression theyÂ’re entitled to an audience. TheyÂ’re not.Go read the whole post here.
Everyone who writes for LIBERTAS, for example, is an avid movie-watcher. WeÂ’ve all seen thousands and thousands of films; I personally am almost cybernetically attached to my DVD player. So why donÂ’t we go to the movies? Do you really think itÂ’s because films these days are Â‘liberalÂ’? Hardly. Â‘LiberalismÂ’ never stopped me from watching Easy Rider or All the PresidentÂ’s Men or Apocalypse Now or Battle of Algiers or anything else. So whatÂ’s the problem?
The problem is that the films stink - and that the liberalism in Hollywood has reached its reductio ad absurdum. Politics now rules everything in Hollywood. Is there any other way to explain Clooney winning an Oscar last night? No, there isnÂ’t. Clooney gave a half-assed performance in a half-assed film this year that just happened to bash Bush & Big Oil - so Clooney got the bling. ItÂ’s really that simple. ItÂ’s a reward for political services rendered, and everybody knows it.
If the Academy wants anybody to care anymore, they will need to turn this situation around. But they wonÂ’t. Why? Primarily because there will be no pressure within HollywoodÂ’s elite circles to do so. The conventional wisdom within these elite circles is that movies exist to enlighten and inform a benighted, ignorant public - and if that public doesnÂ’t show up to the movies, who cares? Just stick the bill to the studioÂ’s shareholders.
For example, there was a point last night when a producer - I believe it was for Crash - ascended to the stage and informed us, in the most unctuous, serious tones, that the Â“purpose of art is to shine light on dark places.Â” It occured to me that the same sort of thing could be said of proctology. But thatÂ’s where HollywoodÂ’s head is right now. TheyÂ’re the Â‘light,Â’ weÂ’re the Â‘dark place.Â’
So here, basically, is my simple thought for the Academy, as they do their post-show biopsy in their offices over on Wilshire Boulevard: The purpose of the movies is to entertain the public - and just occasionally, the public is actually right. Think that one over. [all emphasis is Jason's]
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Posted by: Pam at March 06, 2006 10:41 PM (3ehRw)
Posted by: Gary at March 06, 2006 11:10 PM (KLdKP)
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