When Did Cinema Get So Tame: Quantity Over Quality, A Modern Cinema Issue

Written by Luke Barnes

I write this piece as I look ahead to what is coming out over the next few months and think to myself that there are precious few films that look good on the horizon. When did cinema become so average? Or am I just jaded?

So the idea that there was ever a great period in cinema history where nothing but fantastic films were coming out is a fallacy, a romantic idea that never held any weight. Even in great years for cinema where we would get several films that would later be called classic there would be a titdlewave of garbage as well. However, these days it seems that the ratios are becoming ever more extreme we are getting fewer and fewer modern classics and more and more trash, and the question I am asking today is why is that.

Some say that audiences are dumber and like less the idea of being challenged at the cinema, therefore studios have pushed filmmakers to make easier films, obviously there are still changeling films coming out but these are rarely in the multiplexes. Another argument is that Hollywood has become obsessed with brands and doesn’t want to take a chance on original ideas anymore, this has more than a grain of truth to it, with studios cranking out sequels, prequels and reboots all the time. Within this school of thought there is the idea that if the audience comes out for a certain IP then it doesn’t matter if the film is good, maybe this is why there is so little quality these days. There certainly is a safety in a perceived sure thing.

A final idea to ponder is that making good films is no longer the aim for some studios and filmmakers. Through this idea the notion of making a good film that is held up on its technical merits is less important than completing another objective such as getting across an idea, political point, or an element of social commentary. Certainly a good film can include these ideas they aren’t mutually exclusive, however, if pursued ham-fistedly enough they can take over the film and make it bad. All things in moderation.

I suppose there is no clear cut answer for why there is so few truly excellent films out these days and more trash by the week, perhaps it is a little of all of the above, but one thing is for sure if cinema continues in this odious manner it will destroy itself before our very eyes.

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