When I am trying to give an example or a bit of proof to back up this statement I find myself continually turning to the work of Paul Thomas Anderson. PTA has been almost comically snubbed at the oscars for best director and best picture for everyone of his films, while the academy nominates his actors, cinematographers, and composers with each new release. His films are complicated and subtle and soulfull, they believe in an audience’s intelligence and promote a certain progress within the medium (they have style). Unfortunately these are all fundamental “no-no’s” in the eyes of these new and improved “wall street-studios”. They want a sure thing, they have brought their algorithms and fired up their trend trackers in search of the formula for a great film (profitable film). This brings us to the fundamental issue at hand. Film is an art first and a business second, a great script comes from a lifetime of experiences not from results of a focus group questionnaire.
Consider this for a moment; Apple vs Dell,Microsoft,HP. What made apple great wasn’t its advertising, it was how incredible its products were. They didn’t have to sell you, people understood the value because they could experience it for real. The ads were of course wonderful, but once again they weren’t selling apple products, they were simply showing you apple products. The other PC brands had built machines around the suffocating criteria of “popular demand”, they made the machines that people had asked for, while apple made the machines that people couldn’t have even imagined. The point of a film is to surprise you, to tell you a story in a way you would never have imagined yourself.
Its a truly wonderful feeling when you go into a film blind or with a bit of prejudgement and it blows you away, how it completely surprises you by its story or style or acting. This is the feeling that the New Hollywood decision makers are trying to manufacture, little do they know that the moment you try to capture that feeling it vanishes into thin air, the moment you put it under a microscope the “observer effect” has taken its toll and the subjects properties have changed. Please do us all a favor and pay to see the film that deserve to be seen. We hold all the power, it is our fault that film is in the state it is in. Lets change that starting now, and bring back the true spirit of Motion Pictures.