Wednesday, June 9, 2010

a boycott.

alex and i ended up seeing, for review shockingly enough, a fairly good movie starring michael douglas called solitary man last week. and though yes, the fact that i was allowed to see a film that wasn't a soul-sucking piece of shit, was quite shocking, but even more shocking was the fact that we screened the film at one of the sort of upper-class independent cinemas in san francisco, and on two of its screens ... sex and the city 2 was playing.  i would be angry only at the theater, as perhaps the money grubbing owners were unable to look past the solid good pile of shit the film is, and they just had to insert it in to one of their girls-night-out perfect theaters.

but alas, the film, as awful and offensive as it is, is playing at the castro (the bastion for amazing cinematic experiences in san francisco) as well as a handful of other truly great theaters.  this shitty, revolting bit of film has somehow transcended the wide-ranging and acidic feedback from the majority of film critics the world over and snuck itself past the megaplexs and in to the art houses.

a few thoughts on this:

1.  for a moment lets blame the theaters.  if you want to spend the majority of your time screening awesome, exciting, challenging bits of film, every once in a while you're going to have let your guard down and just let some shitty hollywood turd go to town on you.  it could be sex and the city 2 or prince of persia or the davinci code or some other oozy pile that will line your pockets, bring your studio an entirely different demographic of audience members, and generally help to wash away the acrid tang of bankruptcy.  it isn't easy being an arthouse theater these days and a little money in the back pocket could turn a lot of heads away from trash.

2.  but truly, lets blame ourselves.  we're a bunch of stupid fuckers these days, buying in again and again in to the absolute shit the studios keep thrusting our way.  we're creating a landscape in which small, amazing theaters have to put up there arms and surrender to the likes of carrie and her quartet of small brained ninnies.  by supporting these films we're saying, "yup, brainless as we are, we're giving you a reason to continue to clog our theaters, big and small, with this kind of shit.  you keep putting 'em out, we will continue to fork over the money needed to give you the impetus to do it all over again." and of course when we're all wasting our hard earned money on these big, awful pictures, of course we're not going to be heading on over to the lumiere or the embarcadero one to see rialto pictures new transfer of ran (316) or the new documentary on banksy.  and thus these little theaters are forced in some way to fill there screens with these crappy movies, and with these small theaters putting on the clothes of the multiplex-chains, all of sudden the smaller flicks have just one less screen to possibly fill.  it's a dangerous cycle we're stepping in to right now and the only way we as a cineaste community can change it is this: boycott.  we have to, as i've said before, stop going to these big budget pictures, stop giving the theaters, big and small, any reason to continue to carry films like prince of persia.  sure, the hollywood machine is going to keep churning this shit out and some zombie-like section of society will continue their streak of de-evolution by sticking out their furry-palmed hands, crumpled wads of money resting gingerly atop.  but if we, the people who give a shit about what we'll be watching in five, two, even a year, stop attending, stop filling the coffers, it's going to make a mark, small but noticeable.  perhaps without our dollars and bodies filling the spaces, a bow-tied manager will wander past an entirely empty screening room where sex and the city 2 blasts on the silver screen and they'll think to themselves, "hmmmmm ... there has to be something better."


1 comment:

David said...

I think the critics deserve blame as well. The vitriol aimed at this movie (a good bit of which I lapped up myself) seemed in many cases to be beyond what the movie deserved (though I haven't seen it) and in some cases was wielded so offensively that it rendered the insensitivity of the movie itself moot. The silver lining here is that it contributed to a lively debate about gender and sexism in film and in film criticism and that is always welcome as far as I'm concerned.