The Oscars

It’d be like restricting Taylor Swift to vinyl.

Or having Jason Isbell play the Grammys instead of Luke Bryan.

How in hell did the movie business lose touch with America?

The Oscars used to be an international rite. A veritable holiday. Movies drove the culture, especially after classic rock decimated credibility in music and disco took over… Hell, isn’t that the exact same thing? Pandering to the lowest common denominator and as a result losing your core audience? The music business imploded in 1979, if it weren’t for MTV’s appearance in 1981 it would have been a dark, cold, lonely winter for much of the eighties. And then rap killed the lowest common denominator hairbands. Don’t the movie studios realize they’re killing their own business?

Happened in music too. We called it Napster. Whereupon it was proven everybody wanted everything and they wanted it now.

But now, there’s an endless hype cycle for mostly unworthy movies, and those that are good require a trip to the theatre. Who wants to go to the theatre? Certainly not me. I love the experience, of a big screen and good sound, but the problem is movies don’t start when I want them to. We live in an on demand culture, and movies are not on demand.

So I don’t go.

I don’t know anybody who goes, except for my octogenarian mother, who grew up believing in the religion of attendance.

I too used to go, every night in the midseventies. But that was back when movies were part of the national discussion. Does anybody discuss “The Lego Movie” or “Guardians Of The Galaxy” other than the grosses?

Meanwhile, Amazon steals the Academy’s thunder by making a deal with Woody Allen, that’s the big story this week, not these nominations for films most people have not seen.

At least the Grammys now get it right. They nominate what the labels push, at least in the big categories. If you’re not successful, you can’t play. But the holier-than-thou film folk sell candy every Friday but once a year want to turn on those who keep them alive and focus on foie gras. Huh?

Meanwhile, the bankrupt media trumpets the nominations as if they matter. They don’t matter. They’re as interesting as lacrosse statistics to those who never played the game.

People want story. Isn’t that the essence of the television renaissance?

And big time movies are all whiz-bang, with cartoon characters made for adolescents who have now stopped going to the theatre too. That’s the latest bad statistic for the film business, the cratering of teen attendance.

But ain’t how that always is in modern society. You rule until you die, suddenly.

Everybody thought digital photography was a joke, it was on the horizon for years. And then in the space of twenty four months, film cratered.

Same deal with CDs. They may still be a strong revenue source, but they’re miniscule compared to streams and stolen files. Thank god the labels authorized Spotify, otherwise they’d be like the movie companies, protecting dying retail, in this case movie theatres, and sacrificing their audience in the process.

At least you could see “The Interview” when demand was hot, when the publicity peaked. I was invited to a viewing party. Who wants to go to a viewing party months after the marketing? When the buzz is done. Quick, name the winner of last year’s NBA championship, even the World Series! There’s so much going on today that we can’t even remember what went on yesterday.

I used to record the films when they hit HBO. But then I stopped even that, because I wasn’t watching them.

Meanwhile, now you’ve got to subscribe to HBO, Netflix and Amazon Prime. That’d be like shopping for groceries at multiple stores. Who’s got the time, never mind the money?

But no one wants to bite the bullet. No one in the film industry wants to rock the boat. They don’t realize they’re balkanizing the market.

But the truth is few care. Hell, even the ratings for the Golden Globes went down.

Do you even recognize the Oscar nominees?

You can tell me how many iPhones there are, and what their storage configurations are. But who cares about this dreck?

You’ve got to make it easy today. Talk to music people. The hardest thing is getting people to listen. And continue to listen. If you’re about windowing and restrictions, you’re ignorant.

And if Amy Pascal wasn’t caught up in the hacking scandal, you wouldn’t even know her name. Hell, I bet more teens and twentysomethings know who Chris Sacca is, he’s got a better track record and he’s on the bleeding edge, changing society.

That’s right, our films used to reflect society and change it.

And for all the endless hype about “Boyhood,” where was I supposed to see it?

How successful do you think “1989” would be if you couldn’t stream the hits on YouTube? Imagine that, a record release that you couldn’t hear. That’s the movie business, you can’t SEE the flicks!

I’m sure Woody Allen likes the money. And he’s so damn old, it’s like when Fred Silverman made that deal with Lucille Ball… But one thing he knows is you can reach many more eyeballs online, and that Amazon doesn’t mess with your creativity, something the movie studios cannot help but doing.

So there you have it.

All the talent, and there’s not much of it, not top-draw, dependable icons, is migrating to TV and the new banks/distributors… Who make the entire series viewable on a single date. And the movie business’s answer?


One Response to The Oscars


    comment_type != "trackback" && $comment->comment_type != "pingback" && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content) && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>
  1. […] is subjective of course, but why are the box-office monsters and Oscar hopefuls so different?  One theory is that the industry is out of touch with the movie-going public.  Another argument I’ve […]

comment_type == "trackback" || $comment->comment_type == "pingback" || ereg("", $comment->comment_content) || ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>

Trackbacks & Pingbacks »»

  1. […] is subjective of course, but why are the box-office monsters and Oscar hopefuls so different?  One theory is that the industry is out of touch with the movie-going public.  Another argument I’ve […]

Comments are closed