Monday, August 07, 2006

Why Hollywood Must Die

Well, they make shitty movies, naturally. If you're like me, and you enjoy directors like Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, John Ford, or even directors like John Sayles or Cassavetes, you know that most of these directors had to make awful-compromises to their films--or they got out, and did their REAL works.

Or, remember when you could go to the local theater and see genuinely-independent movies? Or when you could see foreign-films? "What happened?" you might ask? From the late-1970s-on, international cinema began dying.

A lot of great directors simply died (like Fellini, Bunuel, etc.), but a lot of the problem came from federal laws & programs (Congress did it) that paid-for international advertising for big Hollywood studios. This wrecked the national film industries of many European countries, and even Japan's for-a-time. Add-to-the mix the rise of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, and the rise of the American blockbuster movie. Movies took-on more-and-more of an emphasis on the youth-market, and by the early-1990s, international cinema was virtually dead.

Until recently, theaters haven't even begun to be safe for adults, though there seem to be some bright-lights in the rise of documentaries (unthinkable in the 1990s), and even indie players like Lion's Gate and the Weinsteins.

Their renegade distro of Fahrenhit 9/11, and even Mel Gibson's distribution of The Passion of the Christ have shown that indie-productions can be major-hits merely by being indie. Hollywood isn't doing-well. People have grown-tired of mindless-crap, and the kids have grown-up for most of the parents who fed the 1990s family movie boom.

Perhaps directors like Steven Soderbergh, with his now-defunct 29/29 production-company, have shown that Hollywood is only good at distribution. Maybe this was the truth all-along? The future may hold a constellation of indie productions--distributed by the majors. This is a hopeful sign, since they can't generate original content anymore.

Taking-back the theaters, however, can only take-place for the independents if they can help demolish the ratings system, and the ability of newspapers to ban advertising of unrated and NC-17 movies. Then, they are free to provide what Hollywood cannot, and will-not: explicit-sex, and adult-themed films. Helloooo, ACLU, where are you? ZOINKS!