Thursday, January 08, 2009

Where Have the Hollywood Heroes Gone?

Orson Bean, writing at the new website Big Hollywood:

Where are the cinema heroes today, the characters who refuse to surrender, who just won’t give up? Not in Hollywood pictures.

You think audiences aren’t hungry for heroes? There’s a little movie out there called Slumdog Millionaire, which almost didn’t get released and is now being touted for best picture. It takes place in India and tells the story of a young man who overcomes impossible odds to succeed. People are lining up to see it. Why aren’t the many genuinely talented folks in Hollywood making pictures like that? You’d think that simple greed would tempt them to do so. Cecil B. DeMille worshipped the almighty buck.

The truth is they’ve forgotten how. They went to college and were taught that their country is wrong, that the system stinks, that to be a hero is to be a sucker fighting for a lie. Like Louis B. Meyer and Sam Warner before them, they want to make picures that have meaning. But their “meaning” is very different from that of the movie makers of my boyhood. When they churn out what’s in their hearts (the depressing view of life as they actually see it), no-one buys a ticket. Then, because they have to make a living, they revert to meaningless special effect extravaganzas and tell themselves there’s no market for “serious” pictures.

Check out the site.