Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Are Movie Audiences Stupid?

No, I don't believe so. There was a time when I thought that movie audiences were just not sophisticated enough. Hollywood execs would have you thinking that way. This is also not a defense of Hollywood and their racist and sexist antics. I just don't find that the average movie goer is a zombie.

There will always be that debate about low brow and high brow art. Some people prefer to buy fiction that makes them think and is written poetically while others may just want that racy spy novel. When you do the numbers, most people prefer the racy spy novel over the Pulitzer prize winning book. There is nothing wrong with that. It's also perfectly okay for that writer who puts out phenomenal work and doesn't sell that many books to rant about the state of affairs. The same can be said for musicians and other artists.

We have to admit that making a living as an artist is not an easy thing. Ask any famous artist who isn't alive. Most of them did not become prominent until well after their deaths. Very few artists were able to cash in on their genius while still alive. Yet I digress.

It's easy to assume that the droves of people going to watch those summer blockbusters, sometimes over and over, are just extras from the movie “Wall E.” I get mad when a great movie director produces a wonderful film and it gets meager returns. So I find it easy to wastefully rant at dinner parties and summer BBQs about this.

The thing about it is that people want to be entertained. Heck, I want to be entertained as well. I will be the first to admit that I prefer to watch the latest episode of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta over the latest documentary about a particular social issue and I love documentaries. I find that many of us prefer to do the same as well. Many of us work very hard for our money and going to the movies with your family on a Friday night is probably the closet thing we have for a good time. We really can't knock that.

Some people want to go to the movies and forget what happened at work on Tuesday. Many want to forget that their job might be on the cutting block the following week. For many of us, movies are a form of escapism and that's okay. While I am not a fan of car chases, I love fight scenes and explosions. Many others do, too. Don't get me wrong, I want a movie to touch me and remind me of my humanity. I want a movie to remind me of my mortality and the beauty of life itself. Sometimes, I just want to see some crazy stuff jump off. I have to tell myself that I deserve to see something jump off. Don't we all?