Tugg. The Salvation of Modern Cinema
If my knowledge of film were to be assessed, in the strictly academic sense, I would most likely be considered a cinematic idiot. I have slim to nil formal education in the cinematic arts and i’ve yet to receive a degree with any sort of pedigree in the field of communications (with a focus on film of course). I am very much without those things that usually distinguish the more credible people who’ve made a profession of writing about film or being cultural commentators. I don’t mind telling you these things for three reasons:
1. I already know who I am and what I want to say. More formal education would certainly be of assistance in a purely esoteric way(which would probably help my standings with the more high minded of the cinematic thinkers) but it wouldn’t alter the positions I hold or my core beliefs about the art of filmmaking, which I give to my readers now free from the trappings of formal (sanitized) instruction.
2. You’ll see a movie made by someone without formal education, so I figure you would give someone who just writes about them some leeway.
3. I’ll get my degree one day, and that day is coming soon. Patience.
For now, I write to tell you what I know about the movies. This is a broad subject to tackle with many varied and unique avenues for discourse. It is however, not an area without its own little set of common understandings, as illusive and abstract as those understandings sometimes may be.
One thing I can ascertain from my practical understandings and insights into modern cinema, is that there is hardly anything worth seeing at the movies anymore. I offer no wordy dissertations or hypothesis to back up my claim; just a gut feeling. The feeling I get when I open up my Sunday paper and see what is playing at the nearest multiplex. I of course realize that the constant barrage of sequels, prequels, and reboots can be grating on even the most stalwart of film fans, but what I’m talking about is a deeper, more troubling problem. I see no art anymore, only product. Two hours of carefully researched decisions about what people would pay to see orchestrated by committees and businessmen. I feel as if movies are being made now only to placate the audience and not stir the human spirit.
Plus the movies are bad. Really bad. Poorly written, acted and directed. Again I offer no concrete thesis, just gut feeling. Its like what Pauline Kael wrote in her article “Why Are Movies So Bad?” wherein she states that:
“The movies have been so rank the last couple of years that when I see people lining up to buy tickets I sometimes think that the movies aren’t drawing an audience, they’re inheriting one. People just want to go to a movie. They’re stung repeatedly, yet their desire for a good movie, for any movie, is so strong that all over the country they keep lining up.”
That was 1983 when she wrote that. The good news is, people are no longer being stung by bad movies. The bad news is, its because they’ve become totally numb to what a bad movie is.
So what do we do now? There must be a solution to this problem. I suppose the answer will have to lie with the audience since the studios aren’t looking to remedy any of their deficiencies any time soon, and the owners of the major theaters chains certainly aren’t in the practice of booking anything without a superhero or robot in it. So its left up to us to turn the tide and get good movies back up on the screen. A daunting task to the avid film-patron, and near impossibility to the causal film goer but a tangible reality to those who use Tugg.
Let me just say up front that I have not now or have I every been in the employ of Tugg Incorporated or any of their affiliates, not that I would be above selling out, mind you, if enough cash was presented (don’t worry i’m just 70 percent kidding). Tugg itself, is a brand new organization. I came into knowledge of Tugg a short while back and I’m glad I did because it may just provide the tools necessary to remedy this crisis of bad taste we are currently experiencing at the movies.
The solution Tugg presents is simply this; pick better movies to play at your local theater. Tugg makes this fantasy a reality.
Say there is nothing coming to the theater in the coming month you want to see. You want to go to the movies with your friends but can’t bear to sit through another two hours of empty consumerism posing as art. “Gee”, you say, “I wish I could go see a thriller on the screen that is really good….something like Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps”, but they don’t play movies like that at the cinema anymore. If they did me and my friends would plop down our money faster than you could say Antonioni.”
Well with Tugg these flights of cinematic fancy are possible. You select a film from their diverse, ever growing, multi-generational, genre defying cinematic collection. Trust me, they have more worthwhile things to choose from than you think. Everything from David Lean’s “Bridge on the River Kwai” to Paul Verhoeven’s “Robocop”.
The process to get a film you want to the in a multiplex is a simple one.
1. You choose a theater venue for your film, a decision Tugg has made easy for you by partnering with many of the larger theater chains in America (including AMC). This means you can choose a multiplex right down the street from your house in the burbs, instead of having to drive into the city where the art-house cinemas are.
2. You promote the film within your prospective sphere of influence getting your family, friends acquaintances (and perfect strangers) to want to see it. You must use all the modern tools of communication at your disposal to do this (facebook, twitter, google plus, email, word of mouth, guilt).
3. People buy tickets to your event through Tugg’s own personal version of Groupon.
4. A quota is reached (meaning a number of people have paid for tickets and are set to show). A date and screening time are confirmed with the theater, and Tugg shows up with the film in hand to screen for you and yours.
You can also have fun with your events and plan many surprises for those in attendance. Have giveaways, contests, guest speakers, dance offs…..whatever your little cinephile heart desires.
I urge you to support Tugg in their endeavors. Partner with them. Plan events through them. Buy tickets to Tugg sponsored events. Get good movies back up on the screen. Don’t sit around and complain hoping things get better. We finally have a chance to show the studios, and the people that make those awful films that defile our cinemas, that we in fact do care about what we see up on the screen. We can show them that we are not just interested in product. We are interested in art.
A glimpse of a very pleasant future http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6FXurcdaf0