The Autumn of Our Cinematic Discontent
Why are movies so bad? Thats a tough question. Cinema is an art form that does not lead itself to easy dissertation, at least if your looking for more concrete answers as supposed to abstract summations. More qualified cinematic minds have attempted to answer that question as best they could, but alas, a definitive conclusion to the problem has yet to be reached.
In the mean time, as our search for answers progresses, we simply can’t continue to feast upon the rancid meat that is being offered at the cinema. Where do we look for our salvation? Surely the usual autumn Oscar bait movies will provide relief from the current devastation. Or will it? Not to sound skeptical, but I quote Armond White when I say that;
“a horrible new fallacy has arisen in that late-year releases are more serious or award worthy, devaluing the movie going experience of the previous nine months (as awful as those nine months were). Without critical recall and discernment, awards no longer reflect how movies shape the popular mood or influence popular attitudes. There’s something bogus about the recent Oscar selection of year-end, heavily hyped best picture contenders when those films have never penetrated the public’s consciousness — or had sufficient time to prove worthy of popular celebration. Award season trumps itself if it becomes the folly of gossip columnists, publicists and advertisers and not the occasion for passion, reflection and judgment.”
So with the present situation so dire, and no end of year help in sight, it seems we must look to the past and find salvation from the present. In other words (two to be exact): Revival screenings. As time goes by I’ve become increasingly dependent upon revival screenings to fulfill my cinematic needs.
For those not in the know, a revival screening is when an older film (or cult classic) is pulled off the shelf and given a chance to shine in the spotlight once more. A small window of time (anywhere from a day to a week) is usually reserved for the film to be shown in theaters across the country. The revival screening are usually shown in a cleaned up and restored print (with digital sound and 4k projection) that leaves the old film looking better than ever. Of course for those who live in more urban/metropolitan areas, revival screenings are not big news. Big cities are chocked full of repertory theaters that always show great old movies and cult favorites. Until recently, those of us more suburb bound have been denied access to such precious and essential films by means of cruel proximity. Thankfully, due in part to wonderful sponsors like Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies, the field has opened up greatly and there are more opportunities for people all across America, from the deepest bourgh to the most backwoods farm town, to finally start taking part in revival cinema.
Check out some of the major events happening in revivial cinema this fall below, but before you do, I want to let you know something. Studios will keep producing their usual drek and people will keep seeing it unless we start taking advantage of the opportunities to see better films on the big screen. Please see and support revival cinema. It has become one of our brightest lights in a very dark cinematic world.
In IMAX for a one-week limited engagement from 9/7 – 9/13″
Digitally restored and for one day only on Thursday, October 4.
Posted on September 7, 2012, in Film and tagged Bride of Frankenstein, E.T., Fathom Events, Frankenstein, John Steinbeck, Lawrence of Arabia, Raiders of the Lost Ark, TCM, The Birds, To Kill a Mockingbird. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.