The Hollywood dream factory has always sold bullshit to the eager masses. Some years are worse than others, some decades shine brighter with genuine talent and provocative films. And sometimes, if the stars are right… real art may be conjured.
I’m talking mainstream, commercial films here, just so we’re clear. Films made by the major studios. There’s just as much garbage in the pseudo-indie sphere as well and the genuine independent arena is a whole other matter. But junk is junk and it exists anywhere and everywhere.
But screenwriter/director Charlie Kaufman thinks the situation in Hollywood is dire and getting worse. I can’t argue that it’s a depressing situation. Do we really need another superhero movie? Have the studios simply given up on making films for adults?
But I’ll hold out for some sort of creative resurgence. There’s no arguing that the current model of film distribution (just like in the music industry) is antiquated, oppressive, and in need of restructuring. The major studios are dinosaurs and seemingly lumbering into the tar pits. Though haven’t they always been that way?
When we least expect it, a new wave always comes crashing down. The last time young filmmakers infiltrated the ranks of the studios (ten years ago) we saw the arrival of Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, Wes Anderson, and others. None of them make blockbusters, of course. But most of the films they created did make money while furthering the medium in artistic ways.
So I hold out hope. For now.
Perhaps Kaufman will figure a way to write himself (and us) out of this narrative purgatory.
You can read Kaufman’s comments here.