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February 13, 2018

JOHN PODHORETZ ON THE INVASION OF THE CGI, bringing movies back full circle to their primitive beginnings:

Truth to tell, if CGI and all the tools of digital filmmaking had been available as the motion picture became the dominant medium of the first half of the 20th century, realistic cinematic storytelling might never have evolved at all. The ability to thrill and captivate through the creation of alternate worlds and alternate realities is so seductive, both for audiences and moviemakers, that it would have been hard to resist. Indeed, the very earliest surviving films, by the French director Georges Méliès, are dominated not by story but by visual and cinematic tricks. They were made in the 1890s.

Look. I’m 56. I’ve been going to the movies for 50 years now. And as for me, I don’t need a medium that has returned to its infancy, especially since there’s a chance I might be returned to my own infancy soon enough. I need a plot. (No, not a cemetery plot.)

Read the whole thing. Plots would be nice — but when studios kowtow to an audience that’s offended by everything, I’m not holding my breath for the return of the midcentury middlebrow culture that was rewarded with such quality Technicolor epics as Lust for Life, Lawrence of Arabia, and Dr. Zhivago.

* QED: Sony’s embarrassing apology yesterday to the kerfuffle over — and I can’t believe I’m typing this — Peter Rabbit. Or as Matt Welch writes at Reason,Sony Apologizes for Weaponizing a Food Allergy in Peter Rabbit, Because We Live in Stupid Times.”