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In America the Beautiful, Hollywood is the Whorehouse

5 June, 2007 (2:10pm) | Blog

“Woe is us that Edward George Ruddy died.” –Howard Beale

As humans, we have an innate desire to feel good. It’s part of who we are, it’s even what keeps us going sometimes, the desire to be content or happy. Movies have the ability to satisfy that need to a certain extent. That has been the downfall of the art of film.

Let me explain. The producers in Hollywood learned early on that if they made movies that forced people to think about tough issues and challenge our perceptions, a lot of people wouldn’t want to see that kind of movie. But, if they made movies that made us feel good, a lot of people would like it. A movie like Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) has everything the American public wants. It has some funny characters, witty dialog, cool special effects, and a happy ending. However, what is the purpose of that movie? Is it trying to make a point about something? Is it trying to challenge us? No. It is trying to make money.

Ever since the very first moving picture made the very first profit, people have been trying to squeeze every last copper out of the film industry. Although in the beginning it wasn’t so bad, because the film industry wasn’t so big. Now, everyone goes to see movies, and the big shots in Hollywood are giving us what we want: Surfacy feel-good movies that don’t mean a thing.

“For some reason, [we] avoid the controversial movies and prefer the simple art that tells us what we already know.” –Evan Burchfield

I have a problem with the way the American public and Hollywood work together. Hollywood makes a crappy movie, and the American public loves it because it makes them feel good and the special effects look cool. Then Hollywood makes sequels to that movie so that they can make more money. Movies like that are not going to be important movies in American history, and they do not do anything but support Americas “feel good now. don’t challenge me to change and definitely don’t make me use my brain” mentality. Of course no one wants to use their brains, that’s hard! That’s why we don’t like going to school! But if we don’t discipline ourselves and take the time to think about what we are doing, we won’t progress further as individuals or as a nation.

“All human beings are becoming humanoids. All over the world, not just in America. We’re just getting there faster since we’re the most advanced country.” –Howard Beale

Movies are an art, and the purpose of art is (partially) “to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people.” (Norman Mailer) Basically art should make us realize something, and change our ways. Or just become aware of something, regardless of what it is.

For instance, 28 Days Later (2002)

28 Days Later is a zombie film. Most zombie movies are just thrillers that are trying to scare you because that’s what you would expect from a zombie film. However this movie does so much more than that. It is a movie about humanity. As one character says:

“This is what I’ve seen in the four weeks since infection. People killing people. Which is much what I saw in the four weeks before infection, and the four weeks before that, and before that, and as far back as I care to remember. People killing people. Which to my mind, puts us in a state of normality right now. “ –Major Henry West

When you see this movie, especially the end sequence that sums it all up perfectly, it makes you realize something about humans. We are inherently sinful. We can’t blame our sins on our circumstances, our sin might become more apparent, but it was still there in the first place.

But we don’t like it when people point out the truth. We can’t handle the truth. So what do we do? We go to see movies that don’t challenge us. We see films that tell us what we want to hear, and Hollywood is there to give it to us. Hollywood doesn’t care about you! Hollywood just wants to rape you for your money!

“We’re not a respectable network. We’re a whorehouse network, and we have to take whatever we can get.” –Frank Hackett

Hollywood saw 28 Days Later and realized there was some stuff in that movie that people wouldn’t really want to swallow. So they decided to make a sequel, 28 Weeks Later (2002), that hid the hard things and played up the fun things. It gave us everything the first one did, but without any of the truth or purpose.

“I want you to go to the window, open it, stick your head out and yell: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’” –Howard Beale

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