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Boring content – is the film industry TOO sane?


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Sure there is more crap than ever being produced these days, but I think there is relatively more good stuff also.

It’s choice really and I choose to block out the dross whenever and wherever I can whether it be Netflix, Prime or ‘big screen’ releases.

But then that is not always so easy when you have a teen who has different interests and tastes so I also get exposed to some right old shit 😶

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Maybe the dopamine hits of social media are to blame? Is there a point anymore for a young twenty-year-old Herzog circa 2021 to beg, scrape, and steal to make a film?  When you can just make a ti

There's a certain context there.  Personally, I definitely think the implication is "...[used to be free to] say whatever they wanted and be offensive." I suppose I could be wrong there, let me k

One aspect that is driving so many of us nuts these days in cinema (both for theater and streaming serials) is the excess of political correctness. It seems film studios have a Rule Book which require

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On 2/27/2021 at 5:11 PM, Elias said:

One aspect that is driving so many of us nuts these days in cinema (both for theater and streaming serials) is the excess of political correctness. It seems film studios have a Rule Book which requires every new series or movie to have a quota of actors which represent white people, black people, hispanic people, oriental-looking people, a woman, someone in the LGBT+ community, someone with some physical handicap, etc.

This is simply ridiculous, the real world does not function like this and it drives me (and it seems, most of my friends and family) mad.

And the worst is that if someone complains that James Bond should be played by a British White Male (as it was conceived by its author) instead of an American Black Female, we're called racists. This is getting ridiculously out of hand...

We live in dystopian world, where in the name of ''diversity'' the Oscar goes to a Korean movie, made by a Korean Director, using a Korean crew, with Korean actors, in Korean language. Set in South Korea. Made by Korean producers.
Thus there is still hope.

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Was discussing this with friends a few days ago.

Nowadays, there are still good movies, even they are much harder to find between the tons of garbage that is being released. 
The majority is being produced by a formula where corporate product placements (yes, this used to be done in the past too, but not to this level) and it has to be ultra politically correct.

Every movie has to feature the most possible diverse cast, preferably with the most stereotype behaviour. I understand people want inclusion, but you can't have Martin Luther King played by a white guy, just as you can't have Joan of Arc played by a black woman.  This is just pure, woke retardation. 

Look at the action stars of nowadays, compared to the ones of in the 80's or the 90's. Yeah, Dwayne Johnson is a big dude, but he's al lovable. Remember when Charles Bronson was murdering people left and right and didn't smile once in a full movie? When Jack Nicholson was intimidating? When Lundgren looked as scary on screen as offscreen? Nowadays, the male action hero is gone, as it intimidates the new generation of weak men and feminists too much. Instead we have cute women that can fight off the most roided up males. 

And the woke crowd loves being so woke, they tend to turn a blind eye when it comes to China deleting a black actor off a poster or censoring anything that might seem to come close as anti-china.

Also, back in the day, many movies weren't backed by corporate sponsors so much so they could basically say whatever they want without offending any possible shareholders. 

 

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On 2/28/2021 at 1:18 AM, mkabi said:

As we all get older... the excitement of things - because we have experienced it already.... wears down and wears thin. So we seek for those original thoughts, pieces, discoveries, explorations to reignite that excitement. 

But, we also like to share that excitement, we show & share the same things that excites us with friends and family - we like to see that face and/or reaction on the uninitiated. Thereby reliving the moment that you first discovered it! I guess thats why those "reaction" videos do well on Youtube.  

I love those moments when I show stuff from my childhood back to my kids and/or wife.

This is a really good point and is certainly the case for me. I don’t really add a lot of “new classics” to my collection but often look back at the ones that I discovered at a younger age, which I’m now showing to my kids, and makes me excited all over again. 
It is definitely a part of our perception of “things were better in the past”, even if that’s a highly subjective. 

For me another part is “polish”. Filmmaking and post-(production) technology is so advanced right now that I look back at the craft of filmmaking from times before those advancements. The unpolished editing, camera motion/lens use, practical effects etc, are all specific. constraints that I really love and add to the “rawness”, especially in 70s to 90s films.

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Maybe the dopamine hits of social media are to blame?

Is there a point anymore for a young twenty-year-old Herzog circa 2021 to beg, scrape, and steal to make a film?  When you can just make a tik-tok?  Get a million followers.  Move on?

Maybe social media takes away precious free-time that you need to concentrate to come up with, as David Lynch says, "catching the big fish?" 

Or maybe the social anxiety of life pre-Covid - the mental-health insanity of it all - left little time to be happy and creative?

Or maybe with the movie theatres all about to die and the rise of netflix and movies being "content" as Scorsese calls it - maybe that has sapped everything that forces someone to work so hard to make their own feature.

For me I was born in 1981, and movies were the only thing I knew up even past college in 2003 when I could have started a filmmaking career. Netflix was just a mail-order DVD service. There was no social media yet, except maybe Friendster.

Now nearly twenty years later - what do young people who want to say things do?  Do they have that precious time to be creative?

Especially now when in 2021 young people graduate with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt vs the 1970s when young people had barely any debt and could have a decent life and buy a home with little money and had room to wander and explore?

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When I was growing up, in the 1970s, on a wet Sunday or during a winter half-term, if you wanted to watch something on TV there was a very limited choice (in the UK, we only had 3 channels) so at some point one always found oneself watching old black and white movies, old technicolour movies... just old movies. I swear I learnt more about history, humans, social interaction and - importantly in the context of this discussion - storytelling - from those movies.

Now and for a good number of years up to now, kids in that same state of wet-weekend ennui can watch terabytes of 'content' tailored precisely to their sensibilities. They have no need to sit on the sofa and gradually get drawn in to a piece of narrative storytelling made decades before their births. One of the results of this that I've noticed in my own children is that movies I consider to be great pieces of art and entertainment, they find unbearably slow-paced. Modern mass-market films - built on beats - have a 'wow' moment roughly every minute or so. It's a relentless succession of - as @Ed David mentions above - dopamine hits. So obviously the industry, competing against social media, 30 second 'fail' videos and needing to attract and retain the attention of an audience that will switch off anything that features slow burns and subtle inferences, has responded by catering to that need for mindless, incessant thrills (Not saying Hollywodd hasn't always done that, to an extent, but its output now is probably less varied and nuanced than ever before).

Maybe people get a bit more discerning and open to these things as they get older. I hope so. I sometimes feel like large swathes of us have been the subjects of a giant unintentional experiment, the results of which help no-one and are, one-by-one, destroying so many parts of our shared culture that - had we been asked - we would have preferred to keep intact.

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13 hours ago, Gandulf said:

so they could basically say whatever they want without offending any possible shareholders.

There's a certain context there.  Personally, I definitely think the implication is "...[used to be free to] say whatever they wanted and be offensive."

I suppose I could be wrong there, let me know if so.

But, it seems to me, maybe some people are ticked-off that a certain traditional privilege/entitlement is now being challenged in a more inclusive society.  And since being a rude self-centered person is being called-out more often it kind of makes those people upset?

If so, I'd ask, is being held accountable to new standards wrong?  Or is it only wrong when folks disagree with the new standards?  How we define these shifts in society is pretty important, I think.

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There's always that contrast between mainstream and niche. Boring is subjective and relative, across culture and throughout time. As a child, you found cartoons interesting and the news boring; the inverse is (generally) true as an adult. 

The difference is that the internet has just exponentially increased the amount of media to a wider audience. Of course, the resulting popular media that emerges is quite vanilla--but many people like vanilla. If you're looking for the meaning of life in TikTok videos—that's a you problem. You're looking in the wrong place.

The number of innovative or experimental movies has increased as well. It just takes work to discover them. As it should. As it always has.

Some remember what it was like reach into the unexplored shelves of independent video stores. 

That was sometimes the best part.

 

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2 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

If so, I'd ask, is being held accountable to new standards wrong?  Or is it only wrong when folks disagree with the new standards?  How we define these shifts in society is pretty important, I think.

Art has never been about not offending people. Some would say quite the opposite: you want to make people ponder.

I think the current discussion is more about bland, well-poduced "content" on streaming platforms that is merely watchable, but very rarely comes close to being cinematic art. 

The truth is most of these new merely watchable shows have a heavy-handed ideological slant that make them transparent in their intentions, yet very profitable.

Quite the opposite of art that is complex, layered and often contradictory.

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1 hour ago, EduPortas said:

shows have a heavy-handed ideological slant that make them transparent in their intentions

Certainly not denying any of that.  You can watch films from 70-90 years ago and notice the same thing.  "It's Wonderful Life" "Sullivan's Travels" "Modern Times" heck even "42nd Street."  And those are the films that have endured.  As I mentioned before, there were a lot of mediocre films from that era that never made it beyond the zeitgeist of their times.  Nothing special that.

On the other hand, the thing that's being challenged in these days by "woke" culture (which I'm not a big fan of, really, just observing) is less the championing of soft socialism, but the cultural entitlement of white dudes.  Thus, imo, a lot of said white dudes are upset they're suddenly being held accountable by new standards...or are seeing their cultural significance diminish...and they're bummed they're not being represented as much as they used to be.  Pretty tragic that, right? [sarcasm]. Can you imagine being pissed because some movie heroes aren't as white and male as you're used to --or want them to be?  

So, I don't know, out of all the problems in the world, being upset with that sort of narrscism seems silly to me.  Maybe some disagree with my assessment there, but that's how I see it.

But, yeah, it's "show business."  The market is simply expanding gender and race variety to attract the global masses.  That's what happens when corporations do things, appeal to as many as possible.  And in that global market melatonin doesn't really count for shit, does it?

Oh well. 

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5 hours ago, ntblowz said:

This is actually hilarious.  "Chloe" comes from a rich, well-connected Beijing family; they sent her abroad, to London, for high school.  And the idea that recent film school grads with no credits can raise money as long as they're not Chinese and female, is too ridiculous for words.

Even worse, this guy is bragging that she's doing a Marvel(!) movie.  This, from a director with zero action picture experience.  If not for racism, I guess they would have hired her right out of film school.  Life is so unfair! 

 

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7 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

But, it seems to me, maybe some people are ticked-off that a certain traditional privilege/entitlement is now being challenged in a more inclusive society.  And since being a rude self-centered person is being called-out more often it kind of makes those people upset?

If so, I'd ask, is being held accountable to new standards wrong?  Or is it only wrong when folks disagree with the new standards?  How we define these shifts in society is pretty important, I think.

it's about virtue signalling, and wanting to be offended... because virtue signalling makes it seem you care and put yourself in the attention... also, most of these "always offended" people will never amount to nothing, and the only way they can feel some kind of power is by cancelling others...

people just can't take a joke nowadays...  and since their lives have gotten so comfortable nowadays they can actually spend time crying on twitter about some words that hurt their feelings...  


hard times create tough men, tough men create good times,

good times create weak men, weak men created the horrible ghostbuster movie...

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4 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

[...]

But, yeah, it's "show business."  The market is simply expanding gender and race variety to attract the global masses.  That's what happens when corporations do things, appeal to as many as possible.  And in that global market melatonin doesn't really count for shit, does it?

Oh well. 

Interesting thoughts, thank you.

My main gripe with the new stuff is that a vast amount of new creators are better activists than artists.

In the past, of course, directors, writers and producers were partisan to different causes, but foremost they were artists.

Now it's the reverse: these guys are better activists than creators and their work leaves little doubt about it. For money reasons, of course, big companies have backed them.

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3 hours ago, helium said:

This is actually hilarious.  "Chloe" comes from a rich, well-connected Beijing family; they sent her abroad, to London, for high school.  And the idea that recent film school grads with no credits can raise money as long as they're not Chinese and female, is too ridiculous for words.

Even worse, this guy is bragging that she's doing a Marvel(!) movie.  This, from a director with zero action picture experience.  If not for racism, I guess they would have hired her right out of film school.  Life is so unfair! 

 

I guess the same could be say for Taika Waititi, because he is not white and have no experience in big budget action movie?  Though they both got hired for having the better pitch idea than other directors who applied the job.

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9 hours ago, ntblowz said:

And she is not rich, she also runs into funding problem too like most of us do.

https://walkerart.org/magazine/navigating-fact-and-fiction-chloe-zhao-on-songs-my-brothers-taught-me

 

Get your facts straight.  There's a difference between losing somebody else's funding (for a whole year! terrible!) and not being rich.  She had six figures for her first feature.  Where do you think it came from?  Who paid for NYU film school?  Do you know how much that costs a year?  And what did she live on the rest of the time?  Prep?  Post-production?  The festival circuit?

And Taika Waititi, to answer another here, is not comparable.  Completely different backgrounds/circumstances.  Are you saying all minorities are the same?  How racist!

Success in the movie business will always require outsized luck, connections and (usually) money.  But if anyone really believes that "Chloe" was offered a $200 million movie on her pitch alone and in the absence of any relevant experience, he/she is in the wrong business.

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18 hours ago, Gandulf said:

it's about virtue signalling, and wanting to be offended...the only way they can feel some kind of power is by cancelling others...
 

What would be a good example of this?

 

17 hours ago, EduPortas said:

In the past, of course, directors, writers and producers were partisan to different causes, but foremost they were artists.

Now it's the reverse: these guys are better activists than creators

Is it?  If you pay attention to the people that actually make decent stuff that'll endure, they'd necessarily be considered accomplished artists, wouldn't they?  Those that aren't won't really deliver anything unto us that we'll be collectively celebrating 30 years from now.

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