Filmmaker William Friedkin was recently interviewed for a piece in The Telegraph titled “Superhero movies are ruining cinema, says Exorcist director William Friedkin.”
I agree with Friedkin’s sentiment and I would take it one step further and say that it’s not “Superhero movies” that are ruining cinema, but that those films are a product of what has so dramatically changed since the 70’s.
The corporate greed and the paint-by-numbers mentality that has now driven cinema for many decades is, in itself, a product of a state of mind that has been vigorously taught, conditioned, indoctrinated and embraced in the U.S. Its impact is reflected in all aspects of our lives socially, culturally, politically and, yes, artistically…
The good side, as Friedkin points out, is that there will always be a place for storytellers to go and tell their stories. Right now it’s television and the internet, not the cinema. I’ll miss the cinema. Maybe it will make a comeback one day when the powers-that-be usurp more control over TV and internet. They will. But artists will always find a place to express themselves. And the capitalist dream will always find a way to make bank on it, thus watching the very thing itself dissolve like sand through their fingers. It’s a self-mutilating, cannibalistic approach.
The best artists, however, will find a way to stay one step ahead. They need to because the desire to express and share is too integral a part of the human experience to be eliminated or permanently suppressed. But know that the conglomerates are right behind you, sniffing you out, feeding off the scraps you leave behind, your trail of breadcrumbs.
They can’t help themselves.
But we get to decide if we’re running from them, or leading the way.