Posted May 09 2003 - 06:15 PM
| I just wonder if the really creative American cinema, which is seeing less exposure today than in the past (IMHO), will continue down this road of obscurity in the future. Or am I overstating the issue? |
There may have been a point in time when the issue you pointed out was such the case primarily due to the change in our society’s culture, the ever changing habits of the moviegoing public and, most especially, the main demographics or target audience of today’s films, which is primarily the teenage crowd that own the box office. But I think we have turned the corner and reversed the trend just in the last few years.
Sure, the big blockbuster films remain the favorite amongst today’s moviegoing public but the appetite for non-mainstream films is now stronger than ever. This is evidenced by the growing number of film festivals held around the country these days, the increasing amount of independent films that are being released each year, and the growing popularity of cable channels now devoted to alternative programming.
This year, I belong to the programs committee of our city’s film festival and one of the first new project I spearheaded this year was bringing all the 2002 Oscar nominated live action and animated shorts for a benefit screening last month. For a first time event, it was well attended and because of its success, it is now scheduled to be held annually a week prior to the Oscar telecast.
Our committee also found that the public wants more alternative films. In the past, our festival has focused primarily on classic films. This year, along with the classics, we will be having more independent films (some of them straight from the Toronto Film Festival), short independent film judging, a screenwriting conference, and a technological seminar on editing and animation from Pixar studios.
No, I don’t think creative American cinema, as you put it, is on the road to obscurity. There are directors out there that are still making personal and meaningful films, albeit on a much smaller scale. These are the ones that are making a name for themselves - the talented few, amongst the many, in today’s American cinema.