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The end is nigh


Phil Rhodes
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CONservatives, still, really?

 

 

What has this administration done to curb the outsourcing of United States jobs? If anything the rate has accelerated. The health bill has stalled. I voted for the man, but apparently some of my fellow swing-voters only gave him two years to do his job. Anyway, you're barking up the wrong tree. Your party (I know, I know. You aren't a Democrat. You just hate all CONservatives who happen to be 95% Republican) is the one that opened up the tidal wave of free trade with China and strengthened NAFTA. Bill Clinton did it, not Ronald Reagan. For all the harping you do on the Republican party (whose current slogan appears to be "Vote for us because we aren't Democrats and we are against fixing the problem. The Democrats have the wrong socialist solution; we just don't have one ourselves!") NOTHING has been accomplished in these past two years to make anything better. The current trends continue. Indeed, although nothing has been done, there is practically nothing that COULD HAVE taken effect in two years.

 

I love how the U.S. population believes that sweeping reforms can be accomplished in 4 year chunks. Even the Soviet propaganda machines were ambitious with their conjured-up five year plans.

 

 

Anyway, Richard, I hope you exaggerate with your story about "Dogfather." I simply will not believe that Canada has rejected its release. You tried selling it in the United States, and were unable to find a buyer? If anything, you are playing right into the system coming down here and trying to get US to release YOUR COUNTRY'S movie! (At least for now, you have the big release printing lab. Go in there and bankroll it yourself ;-) )

 

It isn't the United States' fault that we have most of the infrastructure for this industry.

 

 

"Little Fockers," might be trash, but people will obviously flock in droves to see it because, blind leading the blind, they saw one good one and recognize the faces of the actors and actresses, so this one must be good too. They're a real family, not a second-rate script thrown together with huge premiums paid just to get all of the name talent to return to the sinking ship.

 

I don't like it either, but I am not surprised of the brand loyalty being shown to the proven "Meet the Parents" franchise. Why did fans flock to see the abysmal Star Wars prequel trilogy?

 

 

 

 

 

And, wait. A quota for Canadian movies in the U.S. is bad, but a California production quota is good? How can you rationally explain being against the former but for the latter, Brian, without just blatantly coming out and saying you want the biggest sandbox to be in YOUR backyard?

 

You're in the circus man, not working in an office. The show must go on, even if that means pulling down the tent and setting up shop out of town.

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CONservatives, still, really?

 

Yep. They are con-men (and women), therefore, CONservatives is a fitting description.

 

 

What has this administration done to curb the outsourcing of United States jobs? If anything the rate has accelerated. The health bill has stalled. I voted for the man, but apparently some of my fellow swing-voters only gave him two years to do his job. Anyway, you're barking up the wrong tree. Your party (I know, I know. You aren't a Democrat. You just hate all CONservatives who happen to be 95% Republican) is the one that opened up the tidal wave of free trade with China and strengthened NAFTA. Bill Clinton did it, not Ronald Reagan. For all the harping you do on the Republican party (whose current slogan appears to be "Vote for us because we aren't Democrats and we are against fixing the problem. The Democrats have the wrong socialist solution; we just don't have one ourselves!") NOTHING has been accomplished in these past two years to make anything better. The current trends continue. Indeed, although nothing has been done, there is practically nothing that COULD HAVE taken effect in two years.

 

I love how the U.S. population believes that sweeping reforms can be accomplished in 4 year chunks. Even the Soviet propaganda machines were ambitious with their conjured-up five year plans.

 

Very true. I never said that it was just REPUBLICANS who are at fault. I said it was primarily CONservatives, Clinton being one of them. We haven't had an honest-to-goodness Liberal/Progressive in office for decades.

 

What's interesting is that the propaganda message from the CONs is that anything that ISN'T their ideology is somehow "Socialist." That, of course, is also a lie. They just hate regulations because they impede their ability to make unfettered profit. It's quite a journey to get from regulations to keep an economy functional to pure Socialism, yet somehow the CONs have convinced too many Americans that regulations=Socialism. People are stupid.

 

 

I don't like it either, but I am not surprised of the brand loyalty being shown to the proven "Meet the Parents" franchise. Why did fans flock to see the abysmal Star Wars prequel trilogy?

Because the first trilogy was so good and the marketing of that franchise was done so well over the years. Fans had every reason to expect that the new movies would be just as good, if not better, than the old, but of course, we were all bamboozled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, wait. A quota for Canadian movies in the U.S. is bad, but a California production quota is good? How can you rationally explain being against the former but for the latter, Brian, without just blatantly coming out and saying you want the biggest sandbox to be in YOUR backyard?

 

You're in the circus man, not working in an office. The show must go on, even if that means pulling down the tent and setting up shop out of town.

Huh? Who ever said anything about a quota for California production? :unsure: Don't make stuff up please. :) What I AM saying is that "Hollywood" should remain in Los Angeles where the infrastructure and Corporations and key crew are living. If other locations wish to have their own industries, then they should develop their own and support them instead of relying on bribes to entice "Hollywood" productions to go to them. Not only would that serve their own interests in terms of crews having steadier work, but they'd also have more product of their own to compete with "Hollywood" fare. But the way it is now, and what you are advocating above, is for everyone to live like nomads. To have to follow the work wherever it goes. Sure, it's a way to go, but where are the "family values" and "Christian values" in that attitude? Don't CONservatives advocate families staying together anymore in a neighborhood to form solid societies? Or is that all a lie too?

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NO, they only advocate that sort of stability for the upper elite. Unless you're wearing an ascot and a top-hat (and smoking an illegally obtained Cuban cigar), you have to go where they say.

 

But you know what you are getting into with show business, right? Didn't you? Sure, work has been concentrated in California for a long time. But certainly this job has always been about traveling to new and exotic places. Indeed, isn't this aspect part of its allure?

 

 

I would say it is you that has changed, not the industry.

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Anyway, Richard, I hope you exaggerate with your story about "Dogfather." I simply will not believe that Canada has rejected its release. You tried selling it in the United States, and were unable to find a buyer? If anything, you are playing right into the system coming down here and trying to get US to release YOUR COUNTRY'S movie! (At least for now, you have the big release printing lab. Go in there and bankroll it yourself ;-) )

 

It isn't the United States' fault that we have most of the infrastructure for this industry.

 

Well "Canada" as in the government, didn't reject it. But the major players in Canada's theatrical releasing have zero interest in Canadian product. And the Hollywood studios do not want to hear from the head offices in Toronto that one of their movies is being put aside in Canada to make way for *gasp* a Canadian film!!

 

There was no problem releasing it in the USA or finding a US distributor, it comes out Jan 18th in the USA.

 

Yes, we in Canada enjoy getting access to the US market when we can get it. That's very nice thanks. But when it comes to theatrical releasing it is so lopsided in favour of US movies it isn't even funny. As I said earlier, US movies make up 98% of the screen time in Canada.

 

Find me an example any place on the planet where a countries cultural industry is so dominated by a foreign power?

 

R,

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NO, they only advocate that sort of stability for the upper elite. Unless you're wearing an ascot and a top-hat (and smoking an illegally obtained Cuban cigar), you have to go where they say.

 

But you know what you are getting into with show business, right? Didn't you? Sure, work has been concentrated in California for a long time. But certainly this job has always been about traveling to new and exotic places. Indeed, isn't this aspect part of its allure?

 

 

I would say it is you that has changed, not the industry.

 

I do travel and enjoy it, but this isn't about me. There is a distinct difference between a production going on location to shoot, you know, LOCATIONS because of scenery, etc. It's another for a production to go outside of LA ONLY because it accepts a bribe from a government to shoot stage work that has nothing at all to do with that location's scenery.

 

What CONservatives are trying to push is a world where NO ONE in ANY industry can rely on that industry staying put. Everything from automobiles to washing machines have moved their manufacturing from long-time cities where people have built lives to anyplace else that offers "incentives." In some countries, governments have stepped in to STOP Corporations from moving their operations citing the economic devastation as rational for taking over. In some places, employees have stepped up to purchase the companies before they are allowed to move out of that location. It's nice to see that in some locations around the globe, workers ARE fighting back against the greed and globalization that only serves to suppress wages and enrich the CEOs.

 

Anyway, this thread began with the notion that the UK film industry is near death due to the onslaught of moronic American movies. Again, all I'm suggesting is that to help FIX that and help EVERYONE around the globe, every city/state/nation that wishes to have a sustainable film industry should develop and protect its own instead of relying on bribes by governments to "Hollywood"-based productions to bring their movies to them. The alternative is for crews to survive the ebb & flow of work as "incentives" come and go and/or give up the idea of family and friends in order to become nomads in an attempt to chase the work around the globe.

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Anyway, this thread began with the notion that the UK film industry is near death due to the onslaught of moronic American movies.

 

To be fair the British did heap a lot of crap on the USA as well, Bridge On The River Kwai, Lawrence Of Arabia, Ryan's Daughter, Chariots Of Fire, Slumdog Millionaire, A Passage To India, the list goes on. Damn Brits.

 

R,

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Must admit I've only skimmed this thread since I started it, but a few comments nonetheless.

 

Yes we need to make - let's call them - more accessible films. There's far too great a tendency for locally produced fare to be leaden and worthy and not of much interest to the core audience, which for theatrically released cinema is as I understand it teenagers to maybe thirty year olds. The King's Speech, however good it may be, is not aimed at that demographic and the maximum possible extent of its success as a business venture is consequently limited. Satisfying this requirement may mean strapping Ken Loach firmly into a straitjacket and keeping him far away from a camera. So be it.

 

We also need to get some business sense. Harry Potter, James Bond, Phantom of the Opera and apparently now an adaptation of Les Miserables are all firmly British (or at least European) originated projects made in the UK and every single one of them principally profits an American company. This is absolutely crazy. Being a service industry does not work very well when you are in a country where it is extremely expensive to do anything.

 

And finally, sorry folks, I'm going to throw my socialist hat on here but we need some sort of legal protection from imports - see the Eady Levy. As it is, as Mr Boddington has pointed out, the situation with regard to imports of American cinema is completely anticompetitive and makes it effectively impossible for anything other than American cinema to do well, regardless of the targeted demographic, ownership, or quality. Can't really blame the Americans for this, they're probably not breaking any rules, although it would seem to me that the "bundling" of poor movies with good ones is exactly why junk like Little Fockers gets screen time here. What we need is a government department that's awake and facing the right direction, and there's little hope of that in a country where it's OK for the world's second-largest confectionery manufacturer to be sold to Kraft Foods and everyone in power is pathetically desperate to curry favour with the US.

 

It's hopeless.

 

P

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and not of much interest to the core audience, which for theatrically released cinema is as I understand it teenagers to maybe thirty year olds. The King's Speech, however good it may be, is not aimed at that demographic

 

Perhaps it could of been shot in 3D to appease every one?

 

As it is, as Mr Boddington has pointed out, the situation with regard to imports of American cinema is completely anticompetitive and makes it effectively impossible for anything other than American cinema to do well

 

South Korea came up with a hugely successful quota system on US films and now has a thriving domestic industry. The UK could easily come up with a similar system since the UK is much more tied into the EU than a trade relationship with the USA. I doubt this is on Cameron's radar though? The odd thing about the UK is where the film industry used to be vs where it is today. In the 1960s there was a thriving domestic industry dominated by UK made films, which where also exported around the globe with huge success. Not sure what happened?

 

In Canada's case the situation is much more grim Phil. We are tied fully into the US economy and we need to raise our hand and ask the US gov't to use the restroom. A quota system on US films would never happen here. The US gov't would simply say, "OK Canada that's fine, now here's your quota on car parts." Ooops, that's the end of that!

 

It's great if and when and Canadian film can get DVD and TV distribution in the USA (notice I left off theatrical), but again it's sooooo lopsided it's not even funny.

 

Imagine if Canadian films made up 98% of the US box office, the USA would roll in the tanks for sure!!

 

R,

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To be fair the British did heap a lot of crap on the USA as well, Bridge On The River Kwai, Lawrence Of Arabia, Ryan's Daughter, Chariots Of Fire, Slumdog Millionaire, A Passage To India, the list goes on. Damn Brits.

 

R,

 

Ask the common person on the street if those movies above were "made in Hollywood" and guess what answer you'd get back most often.

 

(Not sure if that statement deserves this B) or this :( )

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Ask the common person on the street if those movies above were "made in Hollywood" and guess what answer you'd get back most often.

 

(Not sure if that statement deserves this B) or this :( )

 

When you say, "common person on the street" I assume you mean Americans?

 

In that case, yes, you would be correct. But Americans also believe they invented air, the sun, water, the car...

 

R,

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Perhaps it could of been shot in 3D to appease every one?

 

 

 

South Korea came up with a hugely successful quota system on US films and now has a thriving domestic industry. The UK could easily come up with a similar system since the UK is much more tied into the EU than a trade relationship with the USA. I doubt this is on Cameron's radar though? The odd thing about the UK is where the film industry used to be vs where it is today. In the 1960s there was a thriving domestic industry dominated by UK made films, which where also exported around the globe with huge success. Not sure what happened?

 

In Canada's case the situation is much more grim Phil. We are tied fully into the US economy and we need to raise our hand and ask the US gov't to use the restroom. A quota system on US films would never happen here. The US gov't would simply say, "OK Canada that's fine, now here's your quota on car parts." Ooops, that's the end of that!

 

It's great if and when and Canadian film can get DVD and TV distribution in the USA (notice I left off theatrical), but again it's sooooo lopsided it's not even funny.

 

Imagine if Canadian films made up 98% of the US box office, the USA would roll in the tanks for sure!!

 

R,

 

 

I'm reminded of one of the great lines from Grosse Point Blank...

 

MARTIN

It's irrelevant,really. The idea of governments,nations, it's mostly a public relations theory at this point,anyway.

 

 

The American Revolutionary War was waged primarily BECAUSE the British government was essentially being dictated to by the British East India Company. The Tea Party (the real one, not the faux movement financed by the billionaire Koch Brothers) was a reaction against "fascism," though of course it wasn't called that then. It seems that we will always be at "war" or at least in conflict with moneyed interests who value their own profits above the greater good for all.

 

Again, I think the idea of Globalization would be fine IF we just dropped the pretense of nations, borders and individual currencies and economies because as it stands now, those things are used as weapons AGAINST people and workers, as you've described above. So if we're going to keep this idea of nations and currencies, then everybody should just stay in their own sandbox and develop whatever industries they can where they live instead of allowing or relying on "foreign" Corporations to bring work to them.

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At the end of the day, movie making is business, and in order to run a business successfully, they have to make profits. Simple economics. And it's a harsh reality that movies like Little Fockers or similar movies will do more business than an "artsy" movie. In addition to that, most people think movies as a medium of entertainment and not as a medium to learn great life lessons or moral conducts from someone. No one can change that and that's why movies like these exist. They are only made to entertain people and not to display the creativity of an artist. When I talk about movies like Citizen Kane or other classical movies with people, they would say that it was boring or something similar. And they don't give a $hit if it had some hidden meanings, symbolism etc. All they want to be is entertained.

 

And lastly, movies like Little Fockers should exist because if they don't, watching all those classic movies won't be that fun. It's like we need sadness to experience joy. If there was no sadness in the world, how would we experience joy and happiness?

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When you say, "common person on the street" I assume you mean Americans?

 

I'd wager that it applies to anyone on the planet. "Hollywood" has become synonymous with nearly ANY movie made, particularly if it has english speaking actors in it. (Bollywood and martial arts movies from Asia aren't usually confused as being "Hollywood")

 

In that case, yes, you would be correct. But Americans also believe they invented air, the sun, water, the car...

 

R,

 

No, they don't think they invented those things, but they certainly go out of their way to make money from them. :)

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And lastly, movies like Little Fockers should exist because if they don't, watching all those classic movies won't be that fun. It's like we need sadness to experience joy. If there was no sadness in the world, how would we experience joy and happiness?

 

 

There doesn't HAVE TO be sadness to know joy. There can be different levels of happiness, can't there? I mean, something like sex. It would have to be pretty bad for someone to experience sadness from it. But there are definitely different levels of how good it can be, so we don't have to experience bad sex (whatever that is) to know what mind-blowing sex is and be happy about it. B)

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There doesn't HAVE TO be sadness to know joy. There can be different levels of happiness, can't there? I mean, something like sex. It would have to be pretty bad for someone to experience sadness from it. But there are definitely different levels of how good it can be, so we don't have to experience bad sex (whatever that is) to know what mind-blowing sex is and be happy about it. B)

 

Lol, I was talking in terms of how happiness would become a regular thing and not exciting without sadness. If everyone starts making arthouse movies or thought provoking cinema, then it won't be that much fun. Classic movies are classics because they are rare. If they become a regular thing, then they won't be classics anymore.

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Lol, I was talking in terms of how happiness would become a regular thing and not exciting without sadness. If everyone starts making arthouse movies or thought provoking cinema, then it won't be that much fun. Classic movies are classics because they are rare. If they become a regular thing, then they won't be classics anymore.

 

 

I think it was George Lucas who said something like, "The problem with young filmmakers is that they think everything is important." And in the brilliant screenwriting book, "Film Scriptwriting, A Practical Manual" http://www.amazon.com/Film-Scriptwriting-Practical-Manual-Second/dp/0240511905/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1293923751&sr=8-1 they have a brilliant note that it's okay to have a theme in your movie, but never ever let any of your characters know what it is or else one of them will inevitably have a speech about it (thus beating said message down the audience's throat).

 

 

But REALLY great filmmaking manages to impart a message AND be extremely entertaining. Something like Star Wars is a great example of that in that it naturally is entertaining on many "superficial" levels but is built on some very sound fundamentals that impart messages without being so obvious about it. There's absolutely NOTHING wrong with "popcorn" movies, but they can and do become examples of great filmmaking when they tell solid stories and impart "themes" without obviously ramming them down our throats.

 

The connotation of "European FILM" is that they are "art" movies, devoid of action, excitement, interest...while "Hollywood" has the connotation of being superficial, actiony, dumb. Obviously those generic monikers aren't entirely accurate as both types have their fair share of well-told movies and really inane nonsense. But reality doesn't really matter, does it? Public perception does, which is why movies like James Bond and Harry Potter will forever be known as "Hollywood" while "boring" "artsy" movies will be labeled as "Made in Europe." Not at all fair, but the reality, all the same.

 

If someone in non-USA territory would like to fix this situation, it means that they STOP inviting/letting USA-based Corporations (like WB, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Sony, MGM) make movies in their countries and that they develop their OWN movie industry, the way Bollywood and Nollywood have.

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It's not possible for every country to be like Bollywood. India is a big country where people love cinema and treat movie stars like Gods (I know it because I'm an Indian). However, Bollywood is suffering from the same problem as Hollywood; majority of people over there only make popcorn movies and not thought provoking cinema. But of course, there are filmmakers like Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap etc who make movies which are both entertaining and have a theme at the same time; however, they don't work that well at the box office in comparison to mindless entertainers that Bollywood churns out every year. But things are changing very slowly, many small budget movies are doing good at the box office.

 

It all comes down to the A list actors. If these actors start doing such movies, the quality of movies will improve to a large extent.

 

PS - India doesn't put any kind of quota on Hollywood movies and still has its own industry. That's not an easy thing to do.

 

Coming to the topic, I agree with you that great filmmaking is both entertaining and imparts a message at the same time; however, it's not easy to do. The ones who can do it are few in comparison to popcorn filmmakers. Nolan, Fincher, Cameron, Coen Brothers and Speilberg are some good examples.

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The language gap helps.

P

 

Not really. English is the secondary official language of India. From my 19 years of experience in the country, I can safely say that you will find more people communicating in English than in Hindi, which is the official language of India. All the big companies, service sector industries, and even the Hindi movie stars, they all communicate in English. And there is a huge population in India who love Hollywood movies.

 

Movie industry in India is the biggest movie industry in the world, but don't confuse it with Bollywood. Bollywood is the movie industry which makes movies in Hindi. There are different industries for different languages.

 

Canadians are themselves responsible for the current condition of their movie industry. The Canadian Cooperation Project in 1948 killed the Canadian movie industry.

 

More on this - http://archives.cbc.ca/arts_entertainment/film/clips/8999/

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The language gap helps.

P

 

Bingo, and the fact that India has a culture unique and distinguishable from the US market. It's tough for a country like Canada to create their own movie industry when Canadians are really nothing more than Americans that use colourful money, & have a queen and free healthcare.

 

R,

 

PS: We can't even come up with our own queen, we have to borrow her from the UK!!

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