Jump to content

Boring content – is the film industry TOO sane?


Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

Being a devil's advocate here, do you really believe that's an accurate statement or is it a bit of hyperbole?

Every single movie I can think of that can be called art pushed normative boundries in some way or another.

Most of them were missunderstood in their time. Contrary to what comes out today these creations had "weight": being subversive + having good exposition + good craftsmanship.

There's some Hollywood stuff, of course, as well as cinema from other countries.

Following that logic, 99.9% of the digitally enhanced stuff we're consuming today will most definetly not be remembered in 20-30 years. They are neither subversive nor have good exposition, but are techinicaly fantastic and produce a ton of money, but that's it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 63
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

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

Welcome to the world of woke cancel culture.  You can't take risks anymore.  Can't offend people.  Can't say un-PC things. It already destroyed comedy, especially stand-up acts.  Used to be college ca

Posted Images

1 hour ago, EduPortas said:

Every single movie I can think of that can be called art pushed normative boundries in some way or another.

Of course, but the claim that art shouldn't be offensive...?  Not sure about that.  Certainly being offended is subjective. 

Personal anecdote from me, a kid raised Catholic:  Monte Pythons' "The Meaning of Life" has, what I consider, a hilarious bit of satire mocking Catholics.  I was shocked yet amused the first time I watched the "Every Sperm is Sacred" musical number followed by Gram Chapman's character ranting for 5 minutes about "bloody Catholics!" while 50 Catholic children exited a single household. 

My Mom, on the other hand wasn't amused at all.  She was very offended.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EduPortas said:

Every single movie I can think of that can be called art pushed normative boundries in some way or another.

Anyone can call almost anything "art."  Art mostly defies definition.

 

Art doesn't have to push boundaries -- art can be something that is merely pretty.  It can also be something that is stimulating, funny or entertaining in some way.

 

To me, the big problem with current movies and television today is that there aren't a lot of good, original stories being generated.  Similarly, there just isn't a lot of inspired originality anymore in the other performing arts, such as music, dance and theatre.

 

We find ourselves deep in the age of mediocrity.

 

Some will put the blame on the conglomeration of entertainment companies along with the onset of digital technology.  Huge corporations (and talentless board members) making most of the big decisions in the arts has got to water things down.   Also, before digital, one had to be more deliberate and thoroughly flesh-out ideas and be extensively prepared, talented and/or experienced.  With digital, one can shoot things more "on the fly," without prep nor originality and with minimal artistic ability and little know how.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, I have finished my first feature film script. It's 113 pages long and it has everything that I look for in movies. Mystery, fantasy, drama and an interesting premise.

I am now trying to get producers to read it. I'm based in the Netherlands and just contacted a couple of film studio's, but no reply just yet.

But what does worry me is the gigantic load of diversity / inclusiveness / positive discrimination horeshit I see everywhere. Netflix is for sure guilty of that. But unfortunately, also the Netherlands Film Fund, which funds almost all feature films being made here, has written all over their website how 'diversity' and 'inclusiveness' are very important to them and hard demands for any future funding. Every applicant has to fill out a form in which they have to answer how their project / theme is diverse and which measures they have taken or will take to make it so.

Jesus Christ this is going too far. It drains the living soul out of me. And it also worries me. I don't think my script is 'saleable' like this. I mean, there are no transgenders, poor black folks or oppressed women in my script. Nor does it address any current woke or political theme. It's just a a film, down the lines of Shutter Island, Memento, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Midsommar, etc. 

Those are, what I call, inclusive films. They are films for everyone. And everyone enjoys them. 

Are scripts like that still able to be sold to current producers or subsidy funds, if you're not famous already? I very much start to doubt so.

Film has become political. And it sucks. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/27/2021 at 11:06 AM, Andrew Reid said:

There’s too much risk averseness going on, people really do prize their career progression above freedom of expression. The industry values safe hands who can reliably turn a profit or fulfil a contractual obligation. Ultimately this is very self defeating, removing a lot of interesting character traits from the arts. It also sanitises the content. I suppose you can look at it in a similar light to the fact most professional sports personalities are now so sanitised and PR managed, thus this takes a lot of the human interest away from sport. I am not saying that assholes need to be put on a pedestal, with rewards for bad behaviour. I just want to see more fire, more human qualities, less robotic professionalism in the film industry.

Definitely a lot of risk aversion going on, am currently trying to embrace more of that approach myself (whatever role that it might be I'm doing in the department, be it Mixer, Boom Op, or Utility). Not because I want to, but because I understand that it will help me in the long run for where I want to go.

Thus each time I'm thinking about questions of lav placement, boom angles, plant deployments, or whatever else, I am trying to play a better balancing act between "safe" and my natural desires as a perfectionist. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/28/2021 at 1:18 PM, 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. 

So true! Often we think this artist / book / film / fashion / song was so amazing, because we experienced it at a formative moment for ourselves when we were teenagers or in our twenties. 

While as we age,  all this "modern nonsense" seems repetitive and boring. 

I bet if this current moment in time traveled back to our formative years and we experienced it fresh and brand new, we might very well feel differently about it. 
 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Stab said:

Film has become political. And it sucks. 

Film has always been political because film has always, unavoidably, reflected the politics, power structures, culture and mores of the societies in which it has been made.

What a lot of people are finding difficult right now is that sections of western societies who had previously been ignored or stereotyped in cinema now demand the levels of representation, opportunity and respect that white heterosexuals have received since the medium was invented.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tim Sewell said:

Film has always been political because film has always, unavoidably, reflected the politics, power structures, culture and mores of the societies in which it has been made.

What a lot of people are finding difficult right now is that sections of western societies who had previously been ignored or stereotyped in cinema now demand the levels of representation, opportunity and respect that white heterosexuals have received since the medium was invented.

 

9 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

No one tell him about "Birth of a Nation"

Yes films can be political. And sometimes they should be.

But then there is a whole world of films which aren't, and that is perfectly fine as well. We need both kind of films. There is nothing political about Shutter Island, but it is still a a great film with a great story. I'm sure audiences, all over the world, enjoyed the film. It wouldn't matter much if the main character were black or purple, but Leo did a great job. That is what I call an 'inclusive' film. Everyone enjoyed it, no feelings hurt.

But when new scriptwriters are kind of required to include certain themes and main characters of color, that is where I draw the line. And if that is how it's going to be from now on, I opt out.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Stab said:

But then there is a whole world of films which aren't, and that is perfectly fine as well. We need both kind of films. There is nothing political about Shutter Island, but it is still a a great film with a great story.

I'm sorry, but that's simply not the case. There may not be any overt political content or intent, but any cultural product will reflect the politics and generally-accepted ethics of the society that produces it. If a society routinely ignores the experiences and existence, even, of - say - black women, then black women won't be cast because it will never occur to the creators that an individual role could just as easily be played by someone whose ethnicity is other than white. If, when I think of a doctor, I think of a late middle-aged white man - which would reflect my formative experiences of interactions with doctors - then unless I confront that intellectually I wouldn't even notice that I might be being exclusionary in my thinking.

Up until this year, the USA had never had a female Vice President, much less one of colour. If I had been in the happy position of casting a movie about the Presidency back in 1989, would I have even considered that possibility? If I had done and I had cast the role accordingly, would I have been subject to the same criticisms of 'wokeness' that are aimed at people who advocate for a black James Bond, or female Ghostbusters?

Likewise, the vast majority of mainstream films take it as read that the only model of political economy that can be considered normal is that of globalised hyper-capitalism. Any movie that takes that as its basis (which isn't even a decision that gets made) is inherently political, whether we like it or not, as it helps to perpetuate and normalise a system that many could argue, with some validity, is detrimental to both the planet's condition and the pursuit of human happiness. Likewise the countless movies set in suburban nuclear families whose members fulfil the genderised and economic roles expected of them without comment. I'm not saying that there should be comment, but one has to recognise that those movies, as a part of a popular culture, both maintain a status quo that many find stifling while at the same time excluding or invalidating the many alternative family models that we coexist with, or experience, out in the real world.

Shutter Island looks at, among other things, concepts of insanity, the treatment of the mentally ill, notions of personal autonomy and responsibility, corruption and medical ethics. It looks at those things in a period setting, but through the prism of more modern attitudes in those areas. It may not be a film about politics, but politics, past and present, inform its milieu in every possible way.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tim Sewell said:

Up until this year, the USA had never had a female Vice President, much less one of colour. If I had been in the happy position of casting a movie about the Presidency back in 1989, would I have even considered that possibility? If I had done and I had cast the role accordingly, would I have been subject to the same criticisms of 'wokeness' that are aimed at people who advocate for a black James Bond, or female Ghostbusters?

 

A female VP in 1989? UNTHINKABLE! 

Oh wait, except in in 1953 we had a film with a female President:
"Project Moonbase"

image.png.aa2792e36ec97bf67d3a4460a4947a04.png

(to give but one example of many)

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Tim Sewell said:

I'm sorry, but that's simply not the case. There may not be any overt political content or intent, but any cultural product will reflect the politics and generally-accepted ethics of the society that produces it. If a society routinely ignores the experiences and existence, even, of - say - black women, then black women won't be cast because it will never occur to the creators that an individual role could just as easily be played by someone whose ethnicity is other than white. If, when I think of a doctor, I think of a late middle-aged white man - which would reflect my formative experiences of interactions with doctors - then unless I confront that intellectually I wouldn't even notice that I might be being exclusionary in my thinking.

Up until this year, the USA had never had a female Vice President, much less one of colour. If I had been in the happy position of casting a movie about the Presidency back in 1989, would I have even considered that possibility? If I had done and I had cast the role accordingly, would I have been subject to the same criticisms of 'wokeness' that are aimed at people who advocate for a black James Bond, or female Ghostbusters?

Likewise, the vast majority of mainstream films take it as read that the only model of political economy that can be considered normal is that of globalised hyper-capitalism. Any movie that takes that as its basis (which isn't even a decision that gets made) is inherently political, whether we like it or not, as it helps to perpetuate and normalise a system that many could argue, with some validity, is detrimental to both the planet's condition and the pursuit of human happiness. Likewise the countless movies set in suburban nuclear families whose members fulfil the genderised and economic roles expected of them without comment. I'm not saying that there should be comment, but one has to recognise that those movies, as a part of a popular culture, both maintain a status quo that many find stifling while at the same time excluding or invalidating the many alternative family models that we coexist with, or experience, out in the real world.

Shutter Island looks at, among other things, concepts of insanity, the treatment of the mentally ill, notions of personal autonomy and responsibility, corruption and medical ethics. It looks at those things in a period setting, but through the prism of more modern attitudes in those areas. It may not be a film about politics, but politics, past and present, inform its milieu in every possible way.

You are right in the sense that every thing that people can imagine / think of / conceptualise is always a product of their mind, who is alive in certain moment of time in a certain (cultural) climate and thus is every form of art or an idea, inherently cultural and political. 

I give you that.

But, it's what we do with that information what counts. And what do you reckon I should do now? I wrote a script about great characters in a beautiful setting. I mean, I could make them all black but that wouldn't change anything if I'm not making them black and struggling with poverty or racism. I could also make the main character purple. It has no effect on the story. So in that sense, they might as well be white. Right?

Or not? Is it now a crime (or rather a sin) to make my main character white? And what if we turn it arround? Does Bollywood needs to make their movies about Mexicans or blacks? Or even whites?
And what about movies produced in Africa? Do they need to cultural enrich their arts and ideas as well?

Or is this only for a select few Western countries which were 'white' for millenia and have only imported blacks / muslims for about the last 40 years now? I know this isn't the case for the USA, but it is the case for my country (the Netherlands). 

Your reasoning sounds nice in theory, but in practice it has huge implications. And honestly, positive discrimination is still discrimination. If I want to work with my favourite cameraman but I cannot because he is WHITE, then that is blatant racism. Film is about art and enjoyment. About giving the audience a nice story to watch, to have them enjoy themselves and to maybe broaden their horizon about certain topics. Inspire them with new ideas. Sometimes that might be political or cultural. But sometimes it should be just that. Escapism.

Saying all this, of course I am 100% supporting equal opportunities for everyone. Nobody should be ignored or rejected for any type of work because they are of a certain background or race. That includes everyone. Talent, quality and dedication should be the main motivators to work with someone or to implement someone's idea. Oh and money, unfortunately.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Tim Sewell said:

Has your script actually been rejected by the funding body, @Stab?

Nope. They only accept applications from producers so i am currently trying to get a producer to read my script and hopefully get someone on board. So the film fund would be the next step. 

But im not holding my breath, they make it very clear that diversity is now a demand both scriptwise and crew and castwise. 

We will see. 

The Oscars have recently published something similar as well. And so did Netflix which was organising a scriptwriting competition in my country recently. I considered joining in until i read the demands. Diversity, cultural, urgent, every group represented, etc. 

It seems that this is the way the industry is moving. But the funny thing is that the audiences couldnt care less. Actually, i would bet that most people are sick of the forced diverse bullshit stoved down their throats in many recent productions, remakes and sequels. Read the reviews. 

Im not joining in. Not watching that shit, nor creating anything like that myself.

That isnt to say i am a racist or dont promote everyone to make the film that they want. I have seen many movies about blacks that were great. Or italians. Or whatever. But there is a difference between making Intouchables because it is great, or making a sequel to a movie and force black women in there just for the sake of it. 

/ end or rant. Hopefully one day i can make my movie in the way i see fit! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately it's a feature of this world that when one wants other people's money to do something, one has to do it in a way they want. Submit your script, once you have a producer. It may well be the case that if there are no aspects to it that are exclusionary and they like it they'll be interested. Diversity doesn't have to be explicit as in - this character is a black lesbian - but the corollary is true - we can't have 'this character is white'.

At the end of the day, however, it may be better to try to find purely commercial funding for movies that don't fully satisfy the wishes and/or mission statements of publicly-funded bodies (which generally exist to fund projects that can't attract commercial funding).

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Stab said:

 

Yes films can be political. And sometimes they should be.

But then there is a whole world of films which aren't, and that is perfectly fine as well. We need both kind of films. There is nothing political about Shutter Island, but it is still a a great film with a great story. I'm sure audiences, all over the world, enjoyed the film. It wouldn't matter much if the main character were black or purple, but Leo did a great job. That is what I call an 'inclusive' film. Everyone enjoyed it, no feelings hurt.

But when new scriptwriters are kind of required to include certain themes and main characters of color, that is where I draw the line. And if that is how it's going to be from now on, I opt out.

 

 

5 hours ago, Stab said:

Nope. They only accept applications from producers so i am currently trying to get a producer to read my script and hopefully get someone on board. So the film fund would be the next step. 

But im not holding my breath, they make it very clear that diversity is now a demand both scriptwise and crew and castwise. 

We will see. 

The Oscars have recently published something similar as well. And so did Netflix which was organising a scriptwriting competition in my country recently. I considered joining in until i read the demands. Diversity, cultural, urgent, every group represented, etc. 

It seems that this is the way the industry is moving. But the funny thing is that the audiences couldnt care less. Actually, i would bet that most people are sick of the forced diverse bullshit stoved down their throats in many recent productions, remakes and sequels. Read the reviews. 

Im not joining in. Not watching that shit, nor creating anything like that myself.

That isnt to say i am a racist or dont promote everyone to make the film that they want. I have seen many movies about blacks that were great. Or italians. Or whatever. But there is a difference between making Intouchables because it is great, or making a sequel to a movie and force black women in there just for the sake of it. 

/ end or rant. Hopefully one day i can make my movie in the way i see fit! 

Welcome to show BUSINESS.  I truly hope you don't think you're entitled to have it work the way you want it to work.  You can easily find a niche in it, but if you're condemning the overall market, I'd recommend you pull back your angst a little.

I also worry that too many people conflate the modern diversity trend in filmmaking as solely a sort of social justice woke movement. (One they don't agree with, perhaps?)  I'd suggest anyone that truly believes the industry is going woke because they're compassionate humanitarians, simply ask themselves,  "In a global market what sort of movie has a better chance of appealing to as many people as possible?"  These are business decisions that might be championed as "woke," when, if anything, that woke-bragging is simply a useful marketing ploy to use after the thing is made to increase product awareness. 

Tail, dog, wag.  

As for Netflix, you're basically complaining that Netflix understands it demographic analytics.  Netflix has data vectors on it's viewers that understand modern life better than the people that actually live it.  I mean, c'mon now, the only reason for them to do that is if the entire organization would rather be racist than make as much money as possible.  They want a product they can use.  Offer it to them or, as you indicated, don't.

https://towardsdatascience.com/how-data-science-is-boosting-netflix-785a1cba7e45

Here's a hypothetical:  if it was somehow possible for Disney and it's shareholders to make 200 Billion $$ next year with a 3% annual growth by marketing to, say, aboriginal Pygmies, would they do that in a heartbeat and immediately ignore everyone else?

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, IronFilm said:

A female VP in 1989? UNTHINKABLE! 

Oh wait, except in in 1953 we had a film with a female President:
"Project Moonbase"

(to give but one example of many)

Here is another from 1964:

kiss4my-president.jpg

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/10/2021 at 2:48 AM, Tim Sewell said:

Nice bit of research, but not really relevant to the point my use of that example was intended to illustrate.

You were claiming that casting a female VP in 1989 would be unheard of, and it would create a big impact to do so, and I just proved that literally decades earlier it was not just happening but not just the VP but even the presidency! 

  

10 hours ago, tupp said:

Here is another from 1964:


Exactly. There are many. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...