Death of Good Movies

Mark Harris has a pretty damning criticism of Hollywood film studios over at GQ. His argument, which I think is correct, is that movie companies no longer care about making good movies, even if a good movie might be profitable; they've gotten to a point where the thing that matters more than anything else is marketability.

(from The City Project on Flickr)

Personally, I feel like the ratio of bad to good movies has become frustratingly high. There are weeks when I look at the list of movies playing at theaters around town, and maybe one captures my interest. I like going to see movies at the theater, I really do; but if I'm going to fork over 11 bucks to do it, I want to see a movie that's going to be genuinely enjoyable. Those types of movies are getting harder and harder to find.

This is one of the reasons I love film festivals, where the goal is to showcase good films, whether or not they're marketable or valuable from a sales perspective. Film festivals offer a glimpse into films that are based on good stories, even if they aren't backed by huge budgets or star well-known actors. The real value of these movies is that they're interesting, unique and enjoyable.

Unfortunately, film festivals usually only last a week or two, and then they're gone again until next year. Many of them, including one of my favorites, the Cleveland International Film Fest, relies on funding from corporate sponsors and charitable donors to break even. Maybe it's true that there isn't a business model that can support good movies. Sure, a few festival films always get picked up for wider distribution, but most of them go quietly into the night... enjoyed by a few, never-known to the rest.


    On March 14, 2011 austin said...

    That was depressing.