Monday, October 06, 2014

Additional cinema website coming

I've been thinking of doing this for a long time and now that time has come: a separate blog that will contain only observations and reviews of movies, the occasional doc-men-tar-y, animated work, & series. Beyond that, there are no rules, I'll do it at leisure and much of it will be my opinions on the state of the movie business. I haven't thought of a title yet, or even given it any thought, frankly, but I will in the next week. The standard American view is to assume that the industry is shielded from all of the problems we're all exposed to in mainstream economic life and somehow exists in its own space and time. It does not. 

Making motion picutres has always been a raging battle against art & commerce. As with everything else, that battle is essentially over with capital winning. The old Hollywood studio system was a separate and organic industry at one time; that time is long gone & ended with the general collapse of the labor movement and the decline of the working class. It was always about spectacle, but now power expresses itself more fully, spectacle being all that's left now. There can be no doubt that the movies were always a pallative--an opiate to calm the masses from making the natural connections about their predicament & revolting--and they still are, indeed, more than ever. It's never been a pure thing, but there was a time when you could still make relatively subversive (to power) statements. 

In the United States at least, most of that maverick spirit died with Sam Peckinpah, and by the late 1970s, nearly all the major studios were being bought up by conglomerates. That process was basically completed by the early 1990s with the death of Orion Pictures, the last genuine independent distributor left standing by that point. (One of their final releases was George Romero's The Dark Half.)

Don't get me wrong, the unions in the Hollywood system cut their own throats by a thousand cuts; but they're just as much victims. Right now, most of the computer animators are watching their own jobs evaporate to overseas labor pools. I'm sure that they never saw it coming. My question is, why?