Saturday, April 14, 2018

Junkies


Regardless of who is at "fault" in the whole Cannes v. Netflix battle, what I'm most curious about is whether or not this conflict will lead filmmakers to choose not to partner with the streaming giant, lest they end up in the same boat as Alfonso CuarĂ³n and Roma. The world of film financing these days is the wild west and you have to take whatever opportunities come your way or you will miss out on a chance to tell your story. But what seemed prudent last year, could come back to bite you in the end. Did Martin Scorsese know he was helping to launder stolen Malaysian money when he agreed to direct The Wolf of Wall Street? Probably not, but that's what happened. And due diligence will only shield you so far.

Remember when a movie from Warner Brothers had only one logo at the front of the film? Now it feels like you're attending an animation festival with the un-ending stream of production logos preceding a feature. Are you sure you know where these Executive Producers got their millions from? Getting caught up with unscrupulous financiers used to be the burden of indie filmmakers like the one depicted in Alexandre Rockwell's In the Soup. But nowadays, you have "studio" films like Wonder Woman receiving funds from the likes of Brett Ratner. And of course there's all that Chinese Money we keep hearing about. Everybody's hustling. Just check out the documentary Seduced and Abandoned, directed by...Oh...

When you step back and really look at the big picture, you understand why someone like Steven Soderbergh would want to abandon the film world for the world of painting. The idea of just needing paint and a canvas to express yourself must be very tempting. Yet since, "retiring" Soderbergh has directed two features, a TV series, and an interactive app. I guess Frank Capra was right when he said, "Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream, it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to film is more film." Anything for a fix.

And we who watch and write are not innocent, either. I believe the term is Co-Dependent?

1 comment: