It has to do with the public. Blockbusters are made more often because people can trust it’s going to be enjoyable. I didn’t say blockbusters are great but, but if you go to see Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, Dark Knight, or others, you know you’re going to have a fun time for your 9 bucks. Plus $5+ in gas, plus $3 for popcorn.
You’d be surprised by the amount of people who have seen more independent films once they’ve come out on DVD.
One way to look at is is Craftsmanship. Way back when making a film was REALLY hard work and required a REAL hard working, passionate craftsman to make a good one. Now the latest technology allows just about anybody to make something that looks polished and professional. Anyone think that makes sense?
Four other words, a synonym for the above:
FAILURE OF THE IMAGINATION
Boogieboy – It still takes a ton of hard work to make something good, let alone great. I don’t think that’s changed. Crap in the 50’s could look just as polished the best films in the 50’s. Just because anyone can make a pretty looking film doesn’t change the fact that it’s still really hard to make it a good film.
I don’t think anything has changed. The best films have always been the ones that made less money (Taxi Driver vs. Rocky, How Green was My Valley vs. Citizen Kane (even though How Green is a good film), etc…), the amount being made has been steadily declining, but for the most part (sans Dark Knight) so has the amount blockbusters make. I think people are less willing to go to the theatre now, but I don’t think the quality is going down. A crap comedy now is no less crappy than a crap comedy in the earlier days (same goes for romcom, drama, or anything else). I just think you have to search for great films, and I’m fine doing that because had I been born in any other era since the invention of the film, and theatre I would have to search for great films.
Personally, I think nothing is wrong with today’s mainstream cinema. I fall back on Sturgeon’s law: 90% of everything is crap. 90% of today’s movies are crap and 90% of the movies of the 30s, 50s, 70s, etc. were crap. Looking back at the exceptional pictures of yesteryear, the ones that lasted, and comparing them to the average multiplex weekend isn’t really fair. 50 years from now, I believe people will look back at the first 10 years of the new millenium as a golden age of cinema while bemoaning their current state of film. It’s always been like that, always will be. We often see foreign films as better because the foreign films that come to our attention over here are the cream of the crop otherwise we’d never hear of them. It’s the same with old films. Most old movies were mediocre to terrible just like most world cinema is mediocre to terrible as our most modern american films. I believe there are as many masterpieces being made today as in any decade of the past (and I consider Slumdog Millionaire to be one of those masterpieces, so if you think it was garbage, you might want to stop reading this, agree to disagree with me, write me off as a lower class vulgarian, hopelessy out of touch with true ‘art’, shamelessly enjoying cinema for entertainment’s sake and visceral thrills, essentially part off the problem) Time will tell, most films will fade into obscurity and years from now what will be remembered will be the films that were worth remembering.
You raise some interesting points Jay Leighty so let’s consider Slumdog Millionaire. The idiot that runs 20th Century Fox, which got Slumdog Millionaire made got cold feet and dumped the film to Warner Brothers yet still kept his job. The reason for all the crap Hollywood makes is the blame of the studio executives.