Jury Coordination and Notes

Artists Make Art for Artists By Willie Jones

Artfilms_1.jpg…and for those who most appreciate it. In my last blog I explained and examined the debate between films and movies. I concluded that, because of the noticeable decline in appreciation for artful films such as The Master and the increasing demand for  box office blow ups such as Jurassic World, artists like Paul Thomas Anderson make their films for their contemporaries with the hopes that the general public may appreciate it. It is my theory, that films like The Master are created in the hopes that a general audience will appreciate it, but is truly made for movie buffs and those who appreciate artful films.

Woody Allen, my favorite writer and director, said in a recent interview “…a film opens like The Avengers and in one weekend, one weekend, it makes more money than six of my films make in ten years.” Mind you, Woody Allen makes films that deal with themes of love, death, psychology, relationships and other mature themes that will stand the test of time. Most of his movies barely break even. Whereas, films like The Avengers whose themes are recycled and predictable, out-gross 10 of Allen’s films combined. Yet,  a film such as Melinda and Melinda has more to offer a person internally. It lingers longer and more effectively but it stays in obscurity. Allen also said that “If nobody ever comes to my films, if people don’t want to give me money to make films, that will stop me. But, as long as people come from all over the world and I have an audience and I have ideas for films, I will do them for as long as I enjoy the process.” Woody Allen is certainly a director with a recognizable audience. He’s an acquired taste, per se. They are, presumably, fans of more artful films and Allen makes films FOR THEM. For the art fans, for his contemporaries like Martin Scorsese.

Now of course, I don’t mean that  filmmakers don’t make films for money. Of course they do. Filmmaking is a business too. But if filmmakers J.C. Chandor, whose films have barely broken even, if at all, continue to make movies, then money obviously isn’t the main motivation. His last three movies, Margin Call, All is Lost and A Most Violent Year, made a total of less than 20 million dollars. They have all been appreciated by critics and contemporaries alike yet, the masses don’t want to see them. J.C. Chandor is aware of this, so my theory could apply to him. He makes films hoping the masses will flock to see them, but he makes them for the likes of Richard Roeper and Peter Travers – those who are willing to appreciate the art and not skip over it to watch the latest weekend blockbuster.

So, is this good or bad? Is it anything at all? I say it is unfortunate. Why can’t the general masses and film buffs alike appreciate the same movie? Or, at least try to. The Master should be able to be Oscar nominated and gross hunWillie1.jpgdreds of millions. Films like that should be breaking box-office records. Blockbusters have their credibility. but filmmakers like J.C. Chandor shouldn’t be kept in obscurity because their films don’t have explosions or huge stars of predictable plot formulas. They should be Hollywood’s priority because their messages will stand the test of time. And they will. When all is said and done and our civilization falls, it is the films of J.C. Chandor and Paul Thomas Anderson that will be most appreciated – films with lessons in greed and themes of finding yourself, not another recycled blockbuster, no matter how entertaining it is.

We learn from art. We learn from Only Lovers Alive. We learn from it artistically, intellectually and imaginatively. We don’t learn from Age of Ultron. Artists wish to teach, not merely entertain. It’s just unfortunate that the masses don’t wish to learn.

Thank you for reading. Willie Jones.

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