10 classic films, each masterpieces of cinematic story telling. Even if you personally are not fond of any of the above titles you cannot deny that each title has a clear narrative and characters that are memorable. Some of these films made the careers of their stars and directors others killed them.
Now cast your mind back 10 years. Is there more than 3 Hollywood films that could be added to the classic list. I’m not a great film buff but other than the animated features of Pixar I cannot think of one.
Why is that? Well I have always thought that modern directors substitute a gripping storyline for the wow factor of CGI. But once you have seen one action hero jumping away from a burning building you have seen them all. It’s old. I am a fan of a humorous film. I know comedy is subjective but compare now to my 80’s childhood, going down the local Ritz Video Club. National Lampoons Vacation, Trains Planes and Automobiles, The Three Amigos. OK not exactly in the same league as The Godfather, but memorable.
Now all Hollywood film comedy can be split into two types (excluding animation) Rom-com boy meets girl, variations upon a theme. Or gross out comedy American Pie / Something About Mary re-made again and again… often without the funny bits. Shock value.
I have been a fan of european cinema for some time. German in particular (no not porn) films like Run Lola Run and Goodbye Lenin had low budgets but utilised them expertly, with excellent performances and stories. It’s not just me turning away from Hollywood with the north american box office taking a great slump this weekend. Yes I know there are other factors involved, the recession, the weather, the Olympics/Paralymics but still. A slump is a slump.
I know also that it’s not just the quality of the films. Most people have HD TV’s now attached to Blu-Ray drives or Apple TV’s. The current number one movie in iTunes right now is “The Hunger Games” this is available to rent in HD for £4.49 for just about £9 extra you can own it to watch again and again. You can watch instantly, on your 50” screen with surround sound and your own reasonably priced refreshment. You can watch naked if you want to, why would you want to go and sit in a uncomfortable chair with other people, not naked, and eat over priced food, and watered down drinks. It makes no sense.
The advice of a film fan (selective one at that) Get Netflix, Avoid recent Hollywood. Go european. And most importantly get naked.