America, You're To Blame For Hollywood's Artistic Decline

Much hay has been made over Hollywood's growing reliance on the remake. Creativity is dead, yes, we know, but, more importantly, the silver screen's recycling kick also acts as an endorsement for mediocrity. And it's all your fault!

Patrick Goldstein of the LA Times offers three reasons why remakes are all the rage. First, despite some duds, many remakes do make scads of money, as exhibited by Star Trek. Second, the audience likes them. Finally, after years of rejecting the remake, directors are now keen on the idea.

There was once a time when filmmakers used their craft to elevate their ingenuity, vision and originality. Sadly, those traits are few and far between these days and, rather than stretch their own lazy imagination, filmmakers claim they're "reinventing" previous big screen forays. Bullshit.

While people like Rob Zombie may want to call themselves "auteurs," no self-respecting artist would take someone else's work, shoot it from a different angle — or, heaven forbid, in 3D — and display it as an example of their bottomless creative well. But, like any business, Hollywood's ruled by a little thing called supply-and-demand and can't be held entirely accountable for this developing trend.

The public's only endorsing this sort of behavior: by going to remakes, we are tacitly telling Hollywood, "Hey, it's okay: we crave nothing new. We can't stretch our tiny minds to understand — or even demand — an entirely innovative film going experience." No, we're all telling upcoming filmmakers that we'll happily consume any well-trod, familiar story.

We can blame Hollywood all we like, but it's really the public who's encouraging laziness on the part of our entertainers. It's we who are helping erode the foundations of America's collective imagination, thus giving rise to remakes like Fame, The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3 and, why?!, Footloose. This isn't nostalgia. This is a sad indictment of our insatiable love for all things safe, secure and ultimately conventional. And it's for that reason that we don't deserve entertainment at all. Not until we can prove we need more than flashing lights and shiny objects to get us off.