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(Don't want to live in a) hub and spoke world - click opera — LiveJournal
February 2010
 
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Mon, Mar. 26th, 2007 01:16 am
(Don't want to live in a) hub and spoke world

85CommentReply

uberdionysus
uberdionysus
Troy Swain: Black Box Miasma
Mon, Mar. 26th, 2007 03:16 pm (UTC)

You can't rebel against a monoculture because monocultures of all sorts take away access to distribution and production.

YouTube and the internet is slowly changing that equation, but I have many friends in the movie industry, and making a film with digital tech is NOT cheap. It's easier to make a film now, but not by much. We all remember the story of El Mariachi or Sex, Lies and Videotape. Getting a decent digital camera is around $3,000, and although anyone in the 'first world' could save enough to start filming in a year, almost no one could afford to make a movie after a year of savings.

But the bigger problem is distribution. It is a monstrous problem, but not so much when you're in a country that supports local filmmaking. Japan and France both demand that theaters show a certain percentage of locally made films, and this means it is much more likely that a young filmmaker will be able to get their film into the theater. They won't have international distribution, but they'll have a ready-made access to a local audience.

YouTube simply isn't equiped to show features, and for now is predisposed to simple clips and the easy-to-digest. We've watched manga and films on YouTube and it's passable, but it sucks. And no one I know is willing to watch a 15 minute home-made movie on YouTube, let alone something that's an hour.

So although you're partially right, in the big picture cultural protectionism fosters young artists of the country. It has little to with rebellion and everything to do with access, money, and distribution.

But the larger point is that without the film revolutions of other countries in the last 50 years, U.S. films would suck. Without cultural protectionism, there would be no kung-fu wire works, no Ozu, no Tarkavoski, no John Woo two-gun flying-through-the-air action, no giallo, no Spaghetti Westerns, no Neo-Realism, no jump cuts. No Cassavettes, no Lynch, no Tarrantino, on and on and on.

Yes, we might be on the edge of a revolution, but without something to build on, we're going to get tons of the same old unimagintive bullshit. The only countries that need cultural protectionism are the ones that are losing all of their national filmmakers because they can't compete against multinational marketing and multinational corporations. It's both a question of economics (and monopolies) and protecting diversity in arts.


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