For a long time, I’ve been saying that Hollywood has now become driven by sequels and properties with pre-sold identities. Now, writer Mark Harris is telling us that we are entering a time when sequels and franchises are the business, in a fascinating and rather scary article called “The Birdcage.”
Also, Jason Bailey of Flavorwire writes that Hollywood movies are now so expensive that they have priced such acclaimed filmmakers as Francis Ford Coppola, David Lynch, and John Waters out of the business. His article is titled “How the Death of Mid-Budget Cinema Left a Generation of Iconic Filmmakers M.I.A.”
It seems that the happening place to be for thoughtful, character-driven dramas these days is on television. Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, Orange Is the New Black, Mad Men, House of Cards, and other critically acclaimed and popular series are sparking the water-cooler conversations these days as the feature films did back in the 1970s. Meanwhile, big-screen movies are increasingly reserved for high-budget, high-grossing, lowest-common-denominator projects, with pre-existing identities, targeted mainly at children, adolescents, and very young adults. Harris and Bailey second my opinion, reinforcing it with the facts on the ground. If you love movies — and are uneasy about their future — both articles are must-reads.
P.S. Here is another offering from Mark Harris: “The Day the Movies Died.”