How the Other Half Lives
July 26, 2010 Leave a comment
A friend of mine posted to his status on Facebook a rather glowing opinion of Inception. To which one of his friends responded, “What’s it about? Who’s in it?”
For those of us who are really into movies, that someone could, a week after the film’s release, not know what Inception is about or that it stars Leonardo DiCaprio is mind-boggling. The trailers and posters have been out for months. It was widely regarded as one of the most anticipated films of the summer.
Thing is, the average person doesn’t have most anticipated films. And too often us film geeks forget that.
I see it when some eagerly-awaited genre film, directed by or starring a fan favorite, opens to a resounding thread. The outrage is thick in the air — “How could everyone not love this? We do!!!” And the film geeks wring their hands over the collapsing state of cinema, bemoaning the death of film, and wondering why nobody loves what they love as much as they do.
Let’s face it — the average person goes to the movies for something to do on a Friday night. They rent DVDs for a way to kill a dull Saturday. They may not even know a film is out there until they see it on the marquee or on the shelf at Best Buy. And like it or not, those people outnumber us. They’re the great masses that make Grown Ups a hit while ignoring The A-Team. Sure, every once in a while the stars align and something like Spider-Man or Lord of the Rings crosses over and makes everybody happy, but for the most part, niche is still niche, even if it breaks out every once in a while.
So you can either let your blood pressure boil over every time a Scary Movie 7 opens at #1 at the box office, or you can just be glad smaller, quirkier films get made at all. You can rail against the system that makes endless remakes and reboots the film du jour, or you can embrace the gems you do get. All the anger I see when audiences ignore the next big geek thing seems pretty myopic to me. Geek is still geek, no matter how often it may cross over these days.