Friday, October 21, 2005

Me on the embattled Brattle

Me commenting on this article on the embattled Brattle: (I went on this rant on the cinetrix's blog)

I don't even understand why people even discuss why every block everywhere needs a Brattle. Let's see, you can get all of Mizoguchi on home video, right? Right? Right? Well, actually, forget it. IF you can locate the VHS versions (and that's a big IF - I've had to see much of Mizoguchi's corpus on rapidly falling apart VHS tapes), you can see about half of Mizoguchi's life work. Forget the rest.

The comparison to this is if the bottom half of Shakespeare's works were largely unavailable unless you visited a Shakespeare archive in England (this is in fact pretty much the case with many of Mizoguchi's lesser-known works). And we don't need the Brattle? How many people in the US have seen, for example, freres Dardenne's The Child (outside of a festival)? The answer is probably close to zero (I haven't been able to see it myself), except for people who've seen it in Europe (didn't someone in 1900 say something about American culture getting more sophisticated? And look how THAT turned out). This isn't some obscure movie - it's a widely heralded, Cannes winning movie from perhaps the most important directors of our time. Can't see it in the US EXCEPT (in the future) at places like the Brattle.

No, the real cultural excitement is in college students downloading reruns of "Family Guy" onto their computers (I myself went to two Ivy-esque schools and people's tastes aren't necessarily more refined). How avante-garde and challenging.

Frankly, let's keep the Brattles and burn the remainder of the "movie" multiplexes (most of which are going bankrupt too) down to the ground. We don't need outlets to see crap, and we need to kill the people who make crap.


Blogger Brian said...

In 1988 my home town hosted the world's largest multiplex theater, 20 screens (the title now belonging to the Kinepolis in Madrid). The parking lot was so big that in the late 90's it became a teenage party refuge, which led eventually to gang fights, drug deals and the occasional shooting.

Maybe cinephiles need to begin forming lobbyist groups to prevent this type of public threat? An option.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Campaspe said...

What can I say, except that I completely agree?

8:11 PM  

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