Monday, August 01, 2005

Like Sands through the Hourglass, So Are the Viewpoints of the Times

This Sunday in the Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times one could read the following about the downturn in Hollywood B.O.:

But all this slump talk — are we supposed to panic or gloat? I can never tell — has raised an interesting question. Namely: Who cares? For the average moviegoer, stories on box office grosses are just money porn. Echoing and amplifying the numbers only validates the corporate bottom-line mentality that helps keep the culture poor.
Carina Chocano


For adults to come back to theaters regularly, more studio films need to be geared to their taste, and for that to happen, budgets have to come down out of the stratosphere. Though it's fashionable in some circles to decry studio hegemony over boutique operations such as Fox Searchlight or Universal Focus, in practice that's meant an increase in the number of interesting films with recognizable names in the $20-million-to-$30-million range.
Kenneth Turan


The truth is that it's hard to care much about what happens to Hollywood anymore, beyond being concerned about the economic impact on dedicated craftspeople and the plight of exhibitors with too many empty seats. Although it may be wishful thinking, the box office slump, especially if it stretches on, might just become a long-overdue wake-up call for the American motion picture industry. And people who really care about movies could finally get excited by more of what Hollywood has to offer.
Kevin Thomas

Or one could avoid all this heavy-duty moralizing and hand-wringing and cut to the chase with the major feature on a new film release, the remake of The Dukes of Hazzard:

He [the film's director Jay Chandrasekhar] understands that as a maker of rowdy, crowd-pleasing comedies he will likely not get the same critical huzzahs and recognition as if he made films of a different stripe but at the same time has no inclination at the moment to make more high-minded or conventionally respectable films.

"If I had the sensibility to make dramatic movies, I would. As it happens, I make the kind of movies I think I'm good at. I work as hard at making comedy films as any other filmmaker on any other kind of film. John Landis worked as hard on 'The Blues Brothers' as Coppola did on 'The Godfather.'

So ok then. Although I could hear Triumph the Insult Comic Dog saying, "And I worked hard on the poop I took on the sidewalk this morning--where's my medal?"


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