To celebrate a summer movie season that has delivered an unprecedented, soul-crushing string of record-breaking pirate-, ogre-, and superhero-related sequels, MPAA spirit squad captain Dan Glickman has grabbed his pom-poms and megaphone and headed for the Huffington Post to lead the world in a call-and-response "Holly!"..."WOOD!" cheer, careful not to tear anything amid his flurry of ecstatic scissor-kicks. Glickman reminds us that the while the MySpaces and the YouTubes may have their place in modern life, nothing beats a wholesome trip to the multiplex to watch horny college girls get eviscerated by sadistic hostel-keepers for old-fashioned community-building:
Popular Internet sites may be the flashy new kids on the entertainment block, but moviehouses rank among the original social networks. As a kid in Kansas, the local cinema was a center of the community. Still today, when we ask teens how they prefer to see movies, over and over they tell us in the theater with friends (apparently, we parents are too embarrassing to be seen with in public). It makes sense to a generation that perpetually seeks out community — whether it be online gaming, video-sharing or social networking.
It's easy to get nostalgic about the movies. But it's important to appreciate and celebrate the renaissance they are enjoying in the here and now. In a world where a recent study claims that 62% of the country prefers spending time with their computer than with their spouse, it's worth noting that we still seek out the communal experience of going to the movies.In the dark of the moviehouse, there's a rare camaraderie in modern society. We laugh together. In more poignant moments, we collectively pretend there's something stuck in our eyes. It's comforting to know that in our famously wired world, we still like to occasionally unplug and connect instead with one another.
It's at a moment like this that we really miss the late Jack Valenti's leadership of the MPAA. While we appreciate Glickman's blog-enabled "Up with movies!" positivity, it's no substitute for a hyper-articulate screed faxed to the trade papers blaming international copyright pirates for Spider-Man 3's failure to post a billion-dollar opening weekend, announcing his intention to "bathe in the blood of every last Beijing black market stallminder trying to steal three square meals from the mouths of honest Hollywood working folk," and recognizing that the seeming health of the industry is merely "an illusion conjured by the tireless, scheming enemies of the business of show."