Despite being at the forefront of most progresses in the world of modern technology, Cinema is often looked at as an old relic, one whose best storytelling days are far behind her. But are things really so bad? In fact, some might say it’s the polar opposite; maybe we are currently enjoying the halcyon days of celluloid history.
Sure, I bet that every time you see the Box Office Top 20, its enough to make you even contemplate reading a book, but if you are able to just look past that, you’ll see that the calibre and depth of Filmmakers permeating throughout the cinematic landscape is actually, quite staggering.
Take for instance the variety of Films now on offer to us in the UK. Yes our own industry is so flawed people could put carpet over it, but every city, and quite a substantial amount of our towns, now offer their own inhabitants a vast sea of movie options, so they have the choice between either a Michael Bay Summer Blockbuster or a French Indie starring Gerard Depardieu.
The movie going experience has changed drastically over the years. Gone are the days, when you could just rock up to your local cinema, see a poster with a cowboy on it and know exactly what you were spending your money on. Genres have now been rendered obsolete, with films looking to mislead audiences and accommodate fresh characters and unique Narratives that cover every taboo without fear of alienating, or receiving a backlash from, the general public.
Genres have now been rendered obsolete, with films looking to mislead audiences and accommodate fresh characters and unique Narratives that cover every taboo without fear of alienating.
Despite this, old franchises like The A Team, Karate Kid and Star Trek are now more popular than ever, and James Bonds last film made so much money it can be forgiven for, literally, having the worst movie title of all time.
We are now also prithee to possibly the most talented group of Filmmakers working in and around Hollywood, that there has ever been, which include and are in no way exclusive to, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Joel and Ethan Coen, Clint Eastwood, Stephen Daldry, Danny Boyle, Darren Aronofsky, P.T Anderson, with the list being quite literally endless.
Each of these Directors churn out cinematic adventures that are fresh and original tales, unlike anything, which has come before them. They revisit genres made famous by luminaries like John Ford and Charlie Chaplin and provide glimpses into their worlds that they were unable to achieve through revelatory technology progresses and a lack of the Hays Code.
Directors from yesteryear, such as Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorcese, rather than being put out to pasture are still able to produce their own passion pieces, which although aren’t as vital or biting as their previous work, still offer up moments of magic to the viewer.
Of course there is still some rather dreadful dross being made in the industry and with the progress of technology we have seen a shift in power that now prioritizes impeccable visuals over strong storytelling. However, these popcorn movies make eye-watering sums of money for a reason and provide glorious escapism for the masses, who lap up every single scene of computer generated madness.
The progression of cinema has seen the development of a more intelligent and articulate viewer, who can find out every little bit of information regarding a film he or she has just watched at the push of a button. They can visit Youtube, Netflix or Vimeo to witness cinema at its purest and then share the clip with their friends and family via a plethora of social networking devices, who all decide that they should never of added that person in the first place.
Even Film Festivals have expanded to such an extent that it’s now a yearly cycle of who won what where, creating such a buzz around a movie that it becomes as integral an event to the actual production process.
And Television is also becoming more and more cinematic with every passing season. Shows like The Wire and The Sopranos, utilizing cinematic techniques and production value to create 80-hour epics, which slowly unfold and seduce audiences that make trips to the cinema, seem simple in comparison.
So if you ever hear a cynical git dispatch the old adage, Films were better back in the old days, you should sit him down and explain the positives to him, because we really do have a lot to be grateful for.
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