Michael Caine on Decline Of Movies

I rarely find an article that I so agree with, that it can stand on it’s own as if I wrote it! This piece about Michael Caine’s concern about film is one of them.

(Oh. And before I get to that…for your audio excitement of the day…Listen to the Dick Staub podcast of an interview with Malcolm Gladwell, author of the best seller “The Tipping Point” today at “The Kindlings Muse”.

Now to Micahel Caine.
September 03, 2006
Caine hits out against today’s ‘banal’ films
From Dalya Alberge, in Venice

FILMS made today pale against cinema classics of the past because they are so lacking in dialogue, character and plot, Sir Michael Caine told The Times yesterday.

The Oscar-winning star has lost count of the number of times he has seen films such as Casablanca, On the Waterfront and The Third Man, which he never tires of watching. Which is more, he said, than can be said for today’s “banal” films: “I can’t think of one I could see again,” he said.

Casablanca has so many memorable lines that audiences can quote, he said, citing the moment when Humphrey Bogart, as Rick, recalls the day the Germans marched into Paris. Rick tells Ingrid Bergman’s Ilsa: “I remember every detail. The Germans wore grey, you wore blue.”

Sir Michael, who won Oscars for Hannah and Her Sisters and The Cider House Rules, asked: “Who today writes such lines?” He has now starred in more than 90 films, having got his big break in the epic production, Zulu. He found fame as Harry Palmer, the anti-hero, in the espionage thriller The Ipcress File, and went on to be showered with awards for classics such as Educating Rita, Alfie, Sleuth, and The Quiet American, in which he played The Times correspondent in Saigon.

Yesterday he spoke of having felt “quite depressed” on Saturday night after casting his eye over the Top Ten box-office hits in the US.

He said: “I was struck by how stunningly banal and formulaic it all was.”

The hits reflected Hollywood at its trashiest, with an emphasis on special effects, action and violence, he said. Singling out Beerfest, a comedy about excessive drinking, and The Worm-Eaters, a horror drama about boys who eat worms, he added: “Some of the pictures are so gross.

The film industry has a responsibility to give audiences something better, he emphasised, lamenting how the pursuit of money is stifling creativity and imagination.

Too many good films, “for people who understand dialogue”, were being sent straight to DVD or television rather than to theatrical release in the assumption that no one will want to see them, he believes.

Sir Michael was speaking before his latest film, Children of Men, received its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last night.

It opens in Britain on September 22.

Posted in Staublog in September 4, 2006 by | No Comments »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

7 + 2 =

More from Staublog