First Reformed director Paul Schrader spoke to IndieWire recently where he went into full Hollywood elitist meltdown, ripping the very audience that serve as his consumer base.
Speaking of the movie business in the 70s, he said, “It was to a degree but not because there were any more talented filmmakers. There’s probably, in fact, more talented filmmakers today than there was in the ‘70s. What there was in the ‘70s was better audiences.”
He did not stop there. He opined, “When people take movies seriously it’s very easy to make a serious movie.” He added, “When they don’t take it seriously, it’s very, very hard. We now have audiences that don’t take movies seriously so it’s hard to make a serious movie for them. It’s not that us filmmakers are letting you down, it’s you audiences are letting us down.”
No one can deny that Schrader has had a prolific screenwriting and directing career. That being said, who is he to criticize his audience? Here was my reaction on Twitter: “This is the problem with Hollywood. They let elitists like this insider control the industry and produce bad films that are “artsy” with no entertainment value or adaptions with no respect for the sources. This is artistic snobbery at its peak.”
I just want to elaborate more. Again, Schrader is a decent filmmaker. So what? He does not get to lecture me or any member of the audience on what kind of film is “more talented.” Sure, The Godfather is better than Sharknado, but the cinema has always been an entertainment based form of art. It is the free market and right now the audiences are not buying what he is selling.
Schrader may think he is an artist, fine, but no one is buying his latest pieces and for him to blame his audience is childish, demeaning, and the height of elitism that is plaguing Hollywood today. These coastal elites just do not get it and it looks like they never will. This form of artistic snobbery is what kept perverts like Havey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Jeffrey Jones in power. Everyone knew they were perverts, but allowed them to continue making films because their “art” was good. Whatever.
Audiences preferred Venom to First Reformed? Tough cookies. The “art scene” crowd may not like it, but they do not get to go into the minds of their consumers only to criticize them and then expect the movie to make money at the box office. You might win an Oscar with that attitude, but you will not win the hearts and minds of the average ticket buyer. It just will not happen. Time to change up the product or move on.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below and tell me about your thoughts. While you are at it, check out my review of the indie film If You’re Gone and my review of I Am That Man. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.
By the way, did you miss my book announcement? Check it out.