Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Generic Movie: Hollywood as of 1980 or as of Its Origins?
Sean Mattie and I have been discussing, via email, the current fiscal/narrative conservatism that Hollywood seems to be exhibiting of late. His argument, and it is a common argument among critics, is that Hollywood is "no longer" in the business of making original productions and now busies themselves with adaptations of other works and long strings of sequels/remakes.
Having read The Day of the Locust (and seen the movie) and The Loved One (and seen that movie too), I am less critical of modern Hollywood than he is. I think that Hollywood has always been in the business of being risk averse and that the question to consider is whether the overall quality of entertainment offered today is less than that of any other given point in history. I am also of the opinion that quality is up compared to most eras of cinema, but that classic movies of the past are...well...Classic.
Speaking of The Day of the Locust, the thing I have always liked most about the Simpsons television show is how Homer Simpson continually visually references his namesake and his "big hands" in the majority of episodes. Every time Homer is choking Bart, you are getting a glimpse of the end of The Day of the Locust.