Movies are changing, and not for the better. Today we are barraged by an amazing cascade of computer generated effects, shots are slowed down and then sped up scoffing at the laws of physics in order to accentuate a punch or a bullet hit,the actors are enhanced, fluffed and pumped and have become almost other worldly. Movies today are almost flawless and also for the most part without spirit. Most importantly they do not possess a human dynamic. They are processed, packaged and have the emotional nutritional value equivalent to a box of generic mac and cheese.
We have become enslaved by technology in every stage of the film making process. Initially digital technology was supposed to act as a form of liberation. The reverse unfortunately has happened. The ease of access to the tools of motion picture production have become so widespread that a dilution of quality and intent has occurred. Sometimes when something is hard to do, the mere fact of it being hard to execute and requires a bit of endurance , makes it good. Plus when things pose a degree of difficulty it then gives the artist or technician the chance to ponder the execution of the task at hand. That second guessing does make it better. To its detriment, movies have become enslaved by technology. In every phase of a film’s life, technology has overwhelmed its value, from conception, to production, to post production to exhibition.
In the B Movie world this addiction to technology has become widespread and threatens to consume a hundred years of tradition and passion. It is time that this servitude to technology come to a stop.
B Movies, at its core is the incubator of the global art of cinema. In it’s eclectic world , film craftsmen are shaped, an entry point to a career in film is provided for actors, writers, cinematographers, editors and composers. Unfortunately the medium or specifically digital technology has become the sole message. We have to move back to the core of our cinematic tradition , the story.
In our history as a species, storytelling was not primarily for entertainment purposes. It was not just for the sharing of current events. Storytelling was created to ensure the perpetuation from one generation to another the myths and legends of a people. On a very simple basis, stories taught practical lessons; how to survive and gather, how to build shelter, how to fight, and how to build community and family. Spiritual leaders told stories of bringing forth spirits and how to make potions. Each person in a society had their own stories, their own legends
But the stories did not sitstill, they grew and enlarged their scope. There was always a source of new stories, stories that would impact the cultural soul of the peoples to whom they were told.
That is the tradition from which movies are drawn from. It is imperative that movies regain an understanding of it’s origins. Often a fond sigh goes up when we mention B movies in the eighties. They are unencumbered and had a great access to market never enjoyed before. It is important that we understand what made films like Night of The Demons, Chopping Mall, Night Of The Comet, Death Race 2000, Dawn Of The Dead and Rock and Roll High School great, it was sublime craft of storytelling, with a dose of subtext thrown in for good measure.
As fans of, and to for thecraftsmen and artists engaged in the world of B Cinema, it is imperative that we lead the way back to the fountainhead of story. It is time we tamed technology and made it behave.
It is time we started making story rich movies again and move away from the need to create spectactle. If the B world begins the pilgrimage back to story, then the world of cinema will eventually follow.