Film Thoughts


I was thinking about the film industry — but I suppose this is applicable to any large industry — and its distressing lack of quality or original products. Everything is already based on an extant intellectual property, and there are no discernible risks taken in most big studio films. It strikes me that the pendulum balancing the uneasy but inseparable relationship between art and commerce has swung very far to the side of commerce, and that is just as damaging as if it had swung too far in the other direction.

We don’t need another Bourne movie — we didn’t need any of the other Bourne movies.

There is no certainty about what will or won’t be “the next big thing,” but people chase that formula like the main character of “Pi” chases the formula to predict the stock market fluctuations. But we don’t know. We don’t know, and the things which affect success get broader and weirder every day. Something may do poorly at the box office, but do very well in blu-ray and download sales, or maybe it does well in terms of merchandise, or perhaps it becomes a cult classic. “The Princess Bride” flopped. “The Wizard of Oz” flopped.

But we need new stuff. We need creative stuff.

Is this not achievable? I feel like it must be achievable.

Surely, there is a way to budget an allowance for more original work. There must be a way to allow for a measured amount of risk-taking. If you make one movie a month, it seems like one of them could be an original. You could budget for that.

The 2016 Ghostbusters didn’t need the budget it had. If a fraction of that were used to greenlight an original work, wouldn’t that be worthwhile? Isn’t there a responsibility in funding art to make that art good?