How come derivative crap like Avatar gets elaborately filmed with a lavish budget, likewise remakes that don't need to be made, while original works long hailed as Science Fiction and Fantasy classics have either never been filmed, were done only before modern special effects were available, or were filmed recently on the cheap without decent effects?
(Honorary mention for a movie with a good cast which obviously spent a lot on special effects, completely wasted by almost total deviation from the book: Five Children and It.)
With the exception of Narnia and Tolkien's works I don't see anything being done about this. But I guess if anyone could answer maybe life might make sense, God forbid.
Well, the famous screenwriter William Goldman says that, in the film business, nobody actually knows what will be a hit. They all THINK they know, but nobody actually does. And hence every hit film is followed by dozens of sequels and copies.
Eventually, the viewing public grows tired of each increasingly tired re-tread of what they have seen before, and a whole genre will go out of fashion. (Whatever happened to the Western?)
For anyone in Hollywood to take notice of a book, it has to either be something that has already been successfully filmed a hundred times before, or it has to have been on the NY Times bestseller list for 12 months. And then, being largely non-literate folk, the money-hungry producers will not appreciate the values that made said book interesting in the first place, and they will change it beyond all recognition.
Most moviegoers are under 25. Most moviegoers don't read books. Most moviegoers haven't even seen the film they are watching the re-make of. Most moviegoers go for the social activity of sitting in the same room as their friends and watching a spectacle.
Depressing, isn't it?
Because, as Ray says, "Hollywood is stupid!" But Phil's reasonings make a lot of sense, too.
I hope the best film (so far) of this young year, True Grit, will help remedy that situation.
Or, as Homer Simpson says, "Because they're stupid. That's why everyone does everything."
I'm very bad for posting this link, Phil, but it's part of my New Year's resolution to be unrepentantly wicked. Here is a take by the great western star Robert Fuller on the demise of the western: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkGCQcpJC8M Gotta love, "They got tired of getting killed and made a lot of trouble."
Seriously, I found this extremely interesting. I always thought the demise of the Western was directly attributable to the assassinations in the 1960s starting with President John F. Kennedy in 1963--certain groups protested violence and demanded it be taken out of the entertainment. (Of course, that doesn't exactly explain all the violent cop, detective, and other shows which stayed around.) I figured the rest had to do with the American Indian movement of the late 1960s-early 1970s.
Here is Robert Fuller saying yes, a Kennedy was involved, but not John F. and this took place long before his assassination. There is a definite difference between the first two and the last two seasons of Laramie (believe me, I've seen them all four times and know whereof I speak), not just because the first two were in black-and-white and the last two were in color, but in amount and level of violence, and he attributes the restrictions on violent action to the demise of the western. (He may be onto something. Rod Serling tried to do a "cerebral western" without the violence. It was said to be good but didn't last long.)
dandelion, some interesting ideas there on the decline of the western. I had always assumed it was just the natural tiring of a genre. Westerns uses to be a staple of cinema and radio programming, and rapidly became a dominant genre in television. I had assumed that the movie studios (and maybe the viewing public) came to see westerns as TV fodder and not worthy of the big screen. And then eventually TV exhausted the genre, as it does with every genre it touches. The move against violence on TV and the Native American movements added a little extra pressure.
(I tend not to buy the violence argument, because a lot of TV westerns by the 60s were pretty tame. Bonanza was really a family drama that happened to be set in a place and time where people wore stetsons and rode horses.)
Some of us are old enough to remember Frontierland at Disneyland.
I still love the old "Gunsmoke" and "Have Gun, Will Travel"radio shows. Rarely violent, and usually very well-written.
You can get this new thing now, Braling II, where they create the pictures for you on a little glass screen, so you don't have to imagine anything. I think they call it te-le-vizh-yon.
Yes, but radio is handier. More portable, and you can listen to it while looking at something else.
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