by Shelt Garner
Everything is fucked up in the world. What I mean by that is everyone seems to have an agenda whenever anything makes them uncomfortable. At the moment, there seems to be two types of movies — big budget “four quadrant” blockbusters….and woke movies.
The president of Hollywood.
For someone who is a storytelling snob, this really grates on my nerves. It seems impossible to find just “a good movie” that doesn’t seem to be some sort of preening pontification on the “woke agenda.” And I say this as someone who considers himself center-Left.
I’m all for art having “a message” but there is this thing called….subtext?…that too many earnest Hollywood people seem to have forgotten about. I mean, I hope to write a six novel project that pretty much is just one huge, long screed against extremism in general and MAGA in particular. But my goal is to do it all in such a way that you, the reader, won’t really realize what’s up unless you give it a lot of thought.
That’s the dream, at least.
I know why we have such a problem with over-the-top “woke” movies — the economics of movies are such these days that the only people willing to do passion projects are people who are members of the “woke cancel culture mob” who think you can only tell a story if all its characters are gay and / or a minority. (South Park has a good recent episode on this trend.)
I’m all for having representation in art. In fact, I organically have a lot of representation in my first novel. But at the forefront of my mind is TELL A GOOD STORY. If your message browbeats the audience to the detriment of your storytelling, you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot.
And I know — I KNOW — that as a smelly CIS white male I’m opening myself up to a lot of hate by even bringing this up. But, I had to vent. I just would like to see modern interpretation of, say, a movie like The Big Chill or Time Bandits without the “message” of the movie making it unwatchable.