John Landis is calling Hollywood out. The veteran director revealed at this year's Mar del Plata Film Festival the real reason the movie industry is suffering from a creative drought and went on a rant against major studios and their stifling of the industry.
Well, it's not a full on rant because actually makes some excellent points. Dig into this, and see what you think. It's worth it!
The studios are not in the movie business anymore. Some of us were very lucky. I started to make movies for the studios in the '70s. They were dying, but at least they were still studios... There are no original ideas. What there is - and this is something no one understands - is that it is never about the idea, it is about the execution of the idea.
The film studios are all now subdivisions of huge multinational corporations. Time Warner, British Petroleum, Sony - these aren't companies, they are f***ing nations. They are these giant international things that don't pay taxes! It's ridiculous. They're like pirates. It really has to do with desperation, because they don't know how to get people into the theaters, so they bring back 3D and make all this kind of shit.
He also called out the studios' obsession with sales:
It's very common now to spend more money selling a movie than making a movie. So the reason they make remakes and sequels is because they're brands, like Coca Cola. They remake movies because they have presold titles. It's tragic, because you have things like Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which is a brilliant movie, and yet the remakes have made a lot more money.
Landis is pretty spot on. Mainstream movies made now are predictable and so by-the-numbers that they seem to get less and less inventive. It's interesting that Landis depicts corporations as nations, too, because that's really the world we've woken up to.
This isn't Landis' first statement criticizing the studio system, either. In a 2011 interview, when asked why he hadn't directed a major movie in years, he revealed that he was "very pissed off by what Universal did to me on Blues Brothers 2000 and that was my first experience with the new corporate Hollywood."
Do you agree with John Landis' argument? Sound off below!