In an effort to cut back on some subscriptions and other things that seem to clutter my every day, this afternoon I nearly canceled my Netflix account. Just prior to making the move, I came to the realization that I haven't lost interest in films as a whole; I've lost interest in today's films. Realizing this, I held onto my subscription for the time being.
In the 90s and even into the early 2000s it seemed as if every year had tens of great films to choose from. While living in New York in the late 90s, I used to visit the local cinema at least 2-3 times a month. And more often than not, I left the theatre pleased. I wasted away many Sunday afternoons watching such fantastic films as The Sweet Hereafter, You Can Count On Me, Safe, Rushmore, Leaving Las Vegas, Magnolia, Dead Man Walking, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Short Cuts and many, many more. There seemed to be so many great films that I simply couldn't keep up.
Over the past few years, such films seem few and far between. "Indie" darlings such as Juno and Little Miss Sunshine simply do not hold a candle to any of the aforementioned classics. These two films represent everything that's wrong with the current crop of independent films. They're watered-down, thoughtless scripts that attempt to be cute and low budget, while aiming to reach a wide audience. And the only reward for such films are in revenues. Unfortunately, the art is completely lost.
It's now early-August and I can't recall one trip to the cinema this year. The Batman hysteria nearly caused me to vomit, and I honestly can't recall another movie released this year. I'm sure there's one or two with that fatass from Knocked Up and Ben Stiller must have 4-5 atrocious films out, but where have the good movies gone? Whenever I think it's all a wrap, I remember that Laura Linney is still in her prime. And I believe she has something on the way. If it's a bomb, my movie-going days could be gone for good. If it's good, maybe I'll watch You Can Count On Me for the 28th time.