Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Comments on the Belmont Club

I see the Giant Claw was attacking the UN. So maybe it isn't all bad and we can arrange a meeting with its' agent?

The social, sexual and political proclivities of most members of the Screen Actors Guild have not changed in 76 years. That is because it wasn't founded until 1933. If the views of the actors haven't changed then what has?

In the Golden Age Hollywood was run by studio executives, who were often Republicans. The Anti-trust case, US v. Paramount of 1948, is the gift to America's enemies that keeps on giving. Control passed from the businessmen, film making was an industry like any other, to the lawyers agents and actors. The big losers have been the public and the members of the craft unions. The former lost a source of quality culture and entertainment while the later lost jobs. In effect money was diverted from the many employed in the old system to a handful of actors in the new system.

In the movies produced by the studies the executives saw to it that the focus was on the audience. The writers and actors might want to insert their messages but as Sam Goldwyn said "Pictures are for entertainment, messages should be delivered by Western Union.” Noel Coward and Cole Porter never expected people to pay good money to hear about the concerns and interests of Coward or Porter. The wrote about the interests concerns loves and wars of their audience. They did so with the wise and knowing eyes of affectionate outsiders.

Their current heirs have contempt for the audience but expect people to either pay for their fantasies criticizing the struggles the audience faces (Redacted, Syriana) or focusing on their own subcultures. This is rampant on Broadway where of 37 plays open, most are revivals, often with reinterpretations that stick a knife into traditional culture and others celebrate the disaffected.

On Broadway they have depended for years now on getting an audience to come for lavish musicals, think Andrew Lloyd Webber or Elton John, with plots that have little emotional resonance for the people sitting in the seats. In effect people are paying to see the advertising and watch the money being spent. Plays can do this for a while as they draw a select audience to a limited number of places but the costs are killing them too. That can not work over time and it certainly can not work to support the film business. How many would pay to see a big budget production of the recently closed Rent if it becomes a movie?

Occidental Jihadist,
(who asked how Hollywood can gross $billions and still lose money)
The Wiki article on the Art Buchwald lawsuit links to a description of “Hollywood Accounting.”

Oct 8, 2009 - 9:20 am

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