Samuel Brace on the current state of cinema…
It’s that time again, folks. Time to get angry. Angry because our precious films are being tainted, forgotten, turned into something less than, becoming half-hearted imitations of a superior product that was made for adults by adults. 2015 — for film, for this art that we love — has been, to put it plainly, horrific. In fact, the more I think about it, the more horrific it becomes. It’s sad, it really is. It’s sad that films are as mediocre as they have been for a very long time, it’s sad that there are so few heroes out there to save the day and it’s even sadder that nobody cares, that we are told all is well in the world. Mediocre films are being propped up and lauded more than ever before, a fearful attempt to convince us that film is as strong as ever. It is not. I am sorry, but it is not. And what worries me the most right now is that it is the consumers fault. Men are being turned off to film, and we know whose fault that is. It’s time to blame all the boys.
Men. Men and adults in general, are characterised by a number of traits and signifiers. They are easy to recognise. Well, at least they used to be. Men are elite, they are strong, they boast intellect and integrity. Men know how to stand on their own two feet, they know when to show respect and when to say “screw you”. Men champion the common sense facts of life. They appreciate the minutia, the intelligence of a product, but they also welcome being told how it is. Men want to be challenged, in life, love, faith and by film. Men don’t need to be spoon fed, to be coddled and pampered. Men want to be challenged. Boys want noise. The difference between men and boys used to be obvious, it was never opaque or nebulous. Boys aspired to be men and men found reward in showing boys the way. Somewhere along the line this has been forgotten, lost to a generation who were too distracted to notice and too dumb to care. The antipathy shown towards men of today, the vitriol thrown their way for behaving as the very thing they are, surely had something to do with it. And it has provided us with quite the mess. The art form they once loved is slowly fading away, being dismantled year after year, leaving them with very few places to go. There are very few films for adults anymore, and the men have all gone home.
There are more boys posing as men than ever before in the history of man. The sadness of this fact is made tenfold by that very particular situation. Men despise imposters, and they are the very scourge that are taking their films away, they are — more importantly — the very thing that is taking their world away. The problem comes from the differences between boys and men. The difference in taste, sensibilities, the things they need from life and from art. It’s in these differences that the world of cinema is being shaped and unfortunately the more imposters that arrive, walking in men’s shoes, the more it changes, the more film is redesigned for the children. Boys need to understand the world around them, to them the world is complicated, but unlike men (who are just as scared by this as boys) they don’t want to face it, they want to run away. When something they don’t find comfortable presents itself, they change the channel. So when they become members of a captive audience, like at a cinema, they require the channel to be changed for them, permanently, to something far more kid friendly. Boys like the gloss. Boys like shiny versions of things they DO know. Relishing being challenged by what they DON’T? That’s what men do.
There is nothing I like more than being challenged by fiction. Hiding in safe spaces? That’s for children. And the world needs children, their presence is a fact of life, but at some point they need to grown into men. This is a transition that is happening less and less, a result of a culture that is finding less value in their men with each passing year. I myself am not immune to what is happening here. I am a member of this world, of this culture, a product of the very generation of which I speak. But I figured it out. You want to know how? I just decided to. By opening our eyes, by being informed and revering the great men and women, the adults that came before us, it’s easy to see the plight our world is suffering from. Once you do so it is even easier to put into practice. Films, the ones that remain for adults, become an entirely different experience. There are still films out there that can challenge, that can provide a thought-provoking experience, a presentation of ideas and questions that don’t necessarily have an answer. There are very few of them, and even less great ones, but they exist and they can come back with a vengeance in the years to come. We just have to turn up. The men that exist, and the boys that wake up, they just have to turn up, arrive with an open mind, ready to be challenged, and things can come back. Film can be saved. I do believe that. It won’t happen however, if there is no bellicose desire to enact change.
Films for adults aren’t just ones that are rated above the age of children. Films for adults aren’t just movies containing blood, violence, horror or nudity. Film for adults are comprised of content that is challenging to accept, that doesn’t necessarily fit in with the status quo, that is, in terms of its themes, ideas and message, ADULT. The cultural hive mind, the one under the authoritarian grip of regressive left social justice warriors, doesn’t want films to be adult, they want films, regardless of if they are age rated for children or not, to be easy. They want them to be easy, easy to digest, easy to process. Safe, cosy, lightweight. This is the world they want to depict and for this to happen they need our help. They need to keep the boys of this world from turning into men. And this is one of those times when we need to say, “Screw you”.
There is room in the world for variety. Children, real children, built by biology and not ideology, are a part of this world. There needs to be films for them, of course there does, and adults can be capable of finding enjoyment in these films. But this content shouldn’t take the place of what men need. Boys can’t be allowed to kill all the men, we can’t let them take away — anymore than they already have — the things that we have left. We need our films. We need art that represents the principles we hold dear. Life is hard. Life is a challenge; this must always find somewhere to be reflected in film. So, yes, we should blame all the boys, but we also need them. We need them to become men. We need them to help save cinema, to help us get our films back.