When you look at the selection of films released in the past few years, something just doesn’t seem right. Where’s the luster gone in movies? Hollywood was once so exclusive and refined. It wasn’t for anyone and not easy to get into. Films were lengthier and the cinemas that played them were so regal and sophisticated. You threw on your best clothes if you were heading out to a movie. It wasn’t just a filler in your day, it was the highlight.
But now, it’s become a joke. The theatres are crammed with people in flip-flops and du-rags, shoving handfuls of popcorn in their mouths. They don’t respect films as they once did, laughing and talking throughout it, ruining the experience for everyone. But maybe films don’t deserve the respect they once demanded. Maybe Hollywood is losing its sense of style and elegance. Now the big question is who done it? Who killed Hollywood?
Was it the actors not learning to perfect their craft so that audiences can learn to love the characters they portray in films more than who they really are in person? Nowadays we just focus on the things that we read about and see of certain actors. Humphrey Bogart, a legend of Hollywood, was respected more for his acting abilities than anything he did off-camera. Audrey Hepburn, America’s first sweetheart, was admired for her roles and was remembered for her exceptional performances in countless films. Today we are subjected to the Charlie Sheens of Hollywood. But you can’t just point fingers at the actors or the patrons. So who is to blame? Hollywood itself?
Well, yes of course! Let’s be real here, Hollywood has also fallen victim to greed and speed, as has everything else in this world. There is no more grace in films. It’s all about how fast you can complete the films, the shortcuts you can take to make a film, and the number of controversial actors that are chosen to portray characters in films. The numbers mean more than the actual story and message behind movies. How much can it make in the first week? Words like demographics, target market, and gross profits get tossed around before the mention of content, storyline, or creative development. Art has gone out the window in films. It has instead been replaced with money-hungry studio execs that wouldn’t know the first thing about art if Picasso came and slapped them across the face with a paintbrush.
A recent article by The Wall Street Journal expressed similar reservations about the recent progress of Hollywood, stating:
In a millennium that has thus far produced precious few motion pictures in the same class as “The Godfather,” “Jurassic Park,” “Casablanca,” “Gone with the Wind,” “My Fair Lady” and “The Matrix,” there is a knee-jerk tendency to throw up one’s hands and moan that the current year is the worst in the history of motion pictures. But 2010 very possibly is the worst year in the history of motion pictures.
Many disagreed with the views expressed by Joe Queenan of the WSJ, but since Hollywood is so hell-bent on numbers, he does make a valid point. The numbers don’t lie and according to The Huffington Post, 2010 proved to be one of the worst years for Hollywood since 1996! So what’s the solution?
I propose that Hollywood pumps the breaks. Take your time. Perfect your craft and only produce the highest quality films that you were once praised for. Let’s get back to the art of films, emphasis placed on art over business. Although we all need to make money, let’s not sacrifice quality for profit. With the number of remakes and sequels, it is more than obvious that Hollywood has lost its je ne sais quoi. Let’s figure out what that is, and bring Hollywood back to life with the same panache and confidence that it once had. Hollywood may have flat-lined in recent years, but it is up to us to resurrect it back to its glory days and bring back the luster and elegance in movies!