Wednesday, December 14, 2011

When Fall Movies Are Too Happy or Too Dark What Are the Alternatives?

This is a guest article from our friend Raj.

Happy Feet 2
Major Hollywood productions have recently become more black and white in their emphasis, particularly during the fall season. New films have lately been either entirely happy and sweet hearted affairs (think of Happy Feet Two, The Muppets, the entirely bubbly New Year's Eve, and so on), or rolling to the dark, violent or gloomy side of the human experience (the latest Twilight installment, Immortals, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). There are always films in between, but the most promoted blockbusters tend to trend between one pole and the other.

So what is a moviegoer, from the humble malls of Peoria to the Leicester Square Cinema, supposed to do with their entertainment money, with a range of depicted human experience that is only snowflake white or pitch black? Well, what more and more people are doing is widening their menu for getting access to new movies. Many film lovers are getting acquainted with the smaller, quirkier, and most often more honest independent films that don't necessarily cleave to a particular formula, or paint the world as either Day-Glo colors or as a zombie horror fest. On cable, channels like IFC or Sundance are often proving to be preferable to stay home and watch, compared to new releases.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
Others are getting reacquainted with the classic Hollywood and international features released between the '30s and '60s, which offer a sea of choices for those looking for all varieties of possible views and tones about the drama of life, quite often with superior performers doing the roles. This may mean, again, staying at home and being entertained by Blu-Ray discs and Turner Classic Movies selections versus running to a multiplex. Avoiding wasting money is the immediate benefit of this approach to movies, as well as regularly viewing a higher grade, classic example of each genre.

After all, when it comes down to it, it may just be necessary to stop subsidizing the dumbing down of human drama that is going on with current Hollywood product, by not attending each month until they produce a better crop of films. The average family now has two rich sources (DVDs, and cable movie channels) that provide over 80 years of choices to mine from, that makes it possible to skip the latest pile of simplistic box office releases altogether. Perhaps the studios would then get with the program and give the public more original, complex, and satisfying explorations of the human experience.


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