Anghus Houvouras on the ever-growing online army of Hollywood Haters…
A phrase I use when cataloging all the horrors and hyperbolic ramblings I come across online. Those negative, bile spewing citizens of this digital community who only seem to be able to express themselves with anger. Some artists work in oils. Others in clay. These people are the ones painting with excrement. They represent a very loud and sadly growing population of the online film community who always run everything through the same tired filter presenting a very simple narrative:
Hollywood has lost its way.
They will present you with theories of how Hollywood has gone off the rails; obsessed with sequels, prequels, and franchises. That originality is all but dead in an industry that can no longer put anything into production that doesn’t have some kind of prior brand or recognition factor. That the movie studios are on the precipice of financial ruin. That no matter how good a movie may be, it pales in comparison to a movie from a bygone era.
I watched such a conversation unfold this week as I was reading a review of the new Paul Schrader film The Canyons over at the Hollywood Reporter. Popular conservative news aggregate Matt Drudge linked the review to his front page sending a slew of Hollywood hating Republicans to the comment section to talk about how movies today are terrible produced by Godless liberals and for some inexplicable reason turned a discussion about a tiny little indie film with Lindsey Lohan into ground zero for the culture war. Some of the comments were marginaly amusing.
• 2 days ago
Hollywood is obviously a diseased toilet but you have to admit the 1950s b&w drive-in look is witty and appealing. Actually pretty smart of the filmmakers to evoke an era when American life still had dignity and meaning. A bit like when you go to the grocery store and hear ‘Be My Baby’ or something, it’s nice to be reminded this was once a decent, upbeat sort of country — not the ghastly liberal horror with mass spying it is today….
Okay. They guy has a basic point about a bygone era and movies being a little too nihilistic of late. Though I don’t think The Canyons is going to change his perspective on that. I like the line “Hollywood is obviously a diseased toilet.” Maybe he meant Hollywood Boulevard. It would be hard to argue with him there. This gentleman pines for a simpler, upbeat era. Nostalgic, but not off putting. He devolves into a little political rambling with the ‘ghastly liberal horror’. And any American who tells you the 1950’s were an idyllic time is a dead giveaway that this person is whiter than a loaf of wonder bread. ‘erik_ny’ would be considered a moderate in the anti-Hollywood crowd.
• 2 days ago
Why would anyone PAY to see Lindsay Lohan…..Hollywood has totally lost it’s creativilty and entertainment value…now, just special effects and porn.
Here’s a point you hear quite often these days. The typical ‘Hollywood is creatively devoid’ argument. Hell, I’ve made that very argument myself. The special effects part. Not the porn part. If anything, Hollywood isn’t nearly pronographic enough for my tastes. ‘Native New Yorker’ represtents that very vocal group who think somewhere, sometime Hollywood went off the rails. The question is: When exactly was that? GinaLolaJupiter offers some perspective.
You have your typical comment…
• a day ago
i watch old black and white tv shows like naked city, route 66 and dr kildare…VASTLY SUPERIOR….intelligent dialogue, real and interesting characters and of course….A MORAL AT THE END…
Ah yes. The rapid decline of moral fiber that permeates our society. Based on Gina’s timeline, everything went to hell in the 1960’s. That makes sense. I know a lot of people who blame the psychedelic sixties for ‘ruining it for everybody’. Everybody being white people. Gina has taken our film discussion into television to help illustrate her point. I feel intellectually obligated at this point to mention that this entire conversation is taking place within the comments section of a review for The Canyons. A movie that is playing in two cities and has been seen by a handful of audiences and critics. To call these ‘straw man’ arguments almost feels insulting to scarecrows.
Alfred E. Neuman
• 2 days ago
Can’t help laughing as Hollywood dies and decays in its own stinking filth, like a decrepit wino suffocating in a shallow pool of his own vomit. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Think I’ll go rewatch some real movies, like “Waking Ned Devine” and “The Full Monty”
Alfred here doesn’t even think we need go that far back to find when Hollywood went off the rail. Apparently there are still quality films to be found in the last fifteen years. Which goes to one of my points: For some people, certain movies will make up ‘the good old days’. That’s sobering for people who believe the best has come and gone. Such is the cyclical nature of the arts. Everybody thinks a particular era represents the zenith, and everything that comes after is a pale comparison. This won’t change. Forty years from now someone will be bitching about how bad the movies have become and pining for the wholesome days of movies like The Avengers. I prefer a lot of older movies to new ones, but I think we have to evolve past the idea that one particular era defines cinema. Cinema evolves, expands, and retracts. The definitions change. Such is art. That ‘classic age’ is a completely subjective span of time specific to whoever is making the ‘Hollywood is Dead’ argument.
• 2 days ago
Hollywood once told the stories of our shared dreams and experiences. These days, there’s surprisingly little shared *anything* other than misery and divided loyalties. It’s only fitting that they turn back – and inwards, since they’re one of the causes of that division.
So David comments on Hollywood’s radical shift in storytelling. That at one point movies were made about our ‘shared dreams and experiences’. And that instead of telling inspirational stories that they now broker in misery. Come on David. After Earth wasn’t that bad. In all seriousness, I’m not sure what this comment really means. It stems from that same anti-Hollywood sentiment that fuels all these ramblings. The idea that “Hollywood isn’t telling the stories I want to see anymore.”
• 2 days ago
Hollywood is like a third rate side show carnival. Freaks and more freaks. Run by the most degenerate collection of human beings ever assembled next to the scum in Washington DC. We are witnessing the decline and fall of the USA – a short lived experiment ruined by political correctness, third rate educations and a society rooted in texting. Farewell America.
One of us… One of us… This one is all over the place. First calling the Hollywood film industry degenerates right before throwing in a comment about how ‘political correctness’ is ruining America. I know very few politically correct degenerates. Most of these comments are innocuous and amusing. They make you wonder what kind of people these are who see such perversion in the patently inoffensive. As if Hollywood is the poison that is slowly killing America. It’s laughable. But like a good movie, it takes a dark turn.
• 5 days ago
BURN HOLLYWOOD BURN!!!
• 6 days ago
Godspeed the demise of the Hollywood.
• 6 days ago
Die Hollywood, DIE!
• 6 days ago
jew and negro fatigue
And this is where the argument goes from amusing to acidic. Those pockets of burning embers, the lunatic fringe, who seem not only to dislike the output coming out of Hollywood, but look forward to watching the entire industry reduced to nothing more than soot and ash. Metaphorically, one would assume. Though I’m betting there are some who wouldn’t mind lighting the first molotov cocktail and hurling it right at the Hollywood sign.
Like all arguments, there are those making their points rationally and those speaking through clenched teeth pounding their keyboard a little harder than the rest. And you have to try and cut through the rage and stange conspiracy to find the most salient example of just why these people hate Hollywood so much. Enter William Ziegler.
• 6 days ago
Let’s see…On a fixed income…worked all of my life…viet nam vet..believe in GOD…four kids that do the right thing…—-HOLLYWOOD– tells me I shouldn’t mind if one man takes it up the poop-chute…..tells me I’m stupid if I believe in any such thing as a god…they have armed men with them everywhere they go but tell me I don’t need a gun…So hollywood…I think I’ll just past on your movies and hold on to the little bit of money I have ,and take my kids out to eat…
This post sums it all up. The fuel behind these Hollywood Haters. At the heart of it all it comes from a xenophobic place. Fearful of a world that become more inclusive and less divided every single day. Pro-gun, anti-gay, God-fearing conservatives who don’t like the world they see portrayed on television and in film. A rapidly diminishing and disenfranchised demographic who feels abandoned by the entertainment industry. If they weren’t such raging, hate filled bigots, I might be able to find an ounce of sympathy.
But the thing is how wrong they are. We’re living in a golden age where almost every itch can be scratched. The movie industry is struggling not because their output has become ‘less wholesome’ or less inclusive. It’s because there is so much out there: Hundreds of television channels targeted to almost every demographic. The infinite well of the internet that can deliver you tailor made content for just about anyone.
The Hollywood Haters aren’t angry with Hollywood. They’re angry with the world around them that continues to change and evolve, and the films have changed and evolved with it. Each of them pining for their own ‘good old days’ which is as subjective as the person making the argument. And in this day and age where like minded people can come together to rage in unison, this anti-Hollywood misery is finding plenty of company.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker. His latest work, the novel My Career Suicide Note, is available from Amazon.