From the birth of the motion picture to the rise of some of the greatest stars and starlets to the peak of creativity, the film industry has hit a wall for the past 20 or more years. Although studio profits are through the roof, the quality of movies and its actors have eroded, but its budgets haven’t.
In the 1920s, Europe and the United States produced fantastic silent films. In the 1930s, the pre-code era was edgy, compelling and painted a picture of immorality. In the 1940s, film noir, acting supremacy and originality dominated the decade. With each decade until the 1970s or 1980s (this writer’s opinion), Hollywood could do no wrong.
The film industry has not been improving, but rather quite the opposite. In the era of remakes, true stories, reimaginings and reboots, as each decade passes, the film industry just proves that it will never be as good as it once was. Why? It’s hard to answer that, but there are various reasons as to why the picture business will never experience glory ever again.
“A good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission and the babysitter were worth it.” – Alfred Hitchcock
How many times do moviegoers need to see a story about the Queen? How many times do viewers need to see a film about the incredible true story based on inspiring real life events starring Meryl Streep? How many times do witnesses of the silver screen need to see Quentin Tarantino see his fantasy on screen and pen a revenge story?
Although all facets of society are spending their hard earned money on filth, there needs to be calls for excellent pictures. Indeed there have been gems produced in the last 20 years, but the number of duds has outnumbered the great ones.
“Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.” – Ingmar Bergman
Sorry to all filmgoers out there, but there are only two superb directors in the business right now that could definitely out-direct their colleagues: Paul Thomas Anderson and Christopher Nolan. Other than those two, no one should really care about anyone else.
Unfortunately, most of the youth of today will not see an Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Capra, Michael Curtiz, Ingmar Bergman, Jacques Becker, Billy Wilder, Federico Fellini or F.W. Murnau picture. They definitely should, though.
“I am big...it’s the pictures that got smaller.” – Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard
Back in the Golden Age of cinema, the general public was able to see James Cagney not only play a sociopathic gangster but also a loving, gentle dancing singer. They were also lucky enough to see Humphrey Bogart portray a smooth-talking, quick-witted and cool gangster, detective, cop or club owner. Don’t forget about their female counterparts in Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Rita Hayworth and Barbara Stanwyck.
Who do we have nowadays? Moviebuffs don’t need to see Colin Farrell be out of breath, George Clooney portray George Clooney or Bradley Cooper attempt to be comical, cute, funny or sweet.
Again, similar to the directing situation, there are only a handful of talented actors who are relatively new on the scene: Michael Fassbender and Tom Hardy.
What needs to be done?
“I wish you was a wishing well, so I could tie a bucket to you and sink you.” – James Cagney as Tom Powers in “The Public Enemy”
The film industry needs to be given two thumbs down, rotten tomatoes, zero stars, a Raspberry Award, a visit by Joe Pesci, a punch in the face by James Cagney, a good talking down to by Bette Davis and possibly even some inspirational pontification by Edward G. Robinson.