There are hundreds of film websites, publications, and columns in the United States alone, maybe even thousands. Their qualities range from highly professional and legit to amateur, with a small staff to a nationwide network of bloggers. And it does not matter which one you frequent or just so happen to stumble upon, you will not make it far in before reading a headline which promotes a list of some kind: “Top ten movies to watch for this holiday,” “top five reasons this movie is better than the last one,” “top three ways to maximize your theatergoing experience;” no matter how it reads, it is a list lacking any update on the current status or developments in the film business at any level. More and more articles are rolling out like this, as a list of the author’s personal opinions rather than facts (or even gossip). At the surface of it, any bored reader could blame the reporters for the bland articles or blog entries, believing the quality of film journalism to be sinking down to the depths of banality. However, a keen sense of observation will highlight the syntax of these pieces to reveal there is still talent and skill behind the words; particularly that of someone trying to make their work stick out in an oversaturated market. What is the problem then? What about reports on the cinema and filmmaking process are becoming less and less appetizing?
The problem is simply there is nothing unique and interesting occurring presently around the art of film production in aggregate that is worth writing about. If a journalist reports on the mainstream channel for movies, they only have a shortlist rotation of the same issues, controversies, and viral promotions over and over. If a journalist turns away from the Hollywood gruel to cover local events and amateur filmmakers, they are typically bound to uninspired people with a camera, or sometimes merely a camera phone, most of whom are succeeding only in being so abstract to maintain the label of obscure. Whatever direction you are gazing, not only does it seem a carousel of dull, hackneyed pieces, but there is no one interesting behind or in front of the cameras anymore; and any actor considered to have celebrity status has been so overcooked by either praise or insult, there really is nothing else to expose and report on them. The bottom line here is the film industry, big and small, is in a monster of a rut. Those who report on film are trying to stay relevant a time of nothingness.
In conclusion, screenwriters really need to step up their game before review writes can step up theirs – not to mention the majority of people working in film business nowadays. Hollywood needs to use the shameful amount of money it rakes in to recruit new blood and take larger risks; the risks some major studios have taken recently have certainly paid off for them. Meanwhile, amateur and underground filmmakers need to aspire to be better; not to match Hollywood, but to be a reason to look somewhere other than it for their cinema. Film has been a respectable art form, and hopefully one day it will be again.