Looking at the Hollywood box office slump of 2005, my friend Craig Titley (quite possibly the funniest screenwriter in Hollywood who is also intelligent) finds similarities to the slump twenty years ago, back in 1985 when Back to the Future topped the box office charts.
Craig notes how both slumps followed the re-election of presidents who were “despised by the coasts, the media, and Bruce Springsteen.” He finds cultural similarities as well; both years saw a growth in home entertainment. And contends:
The questions Hollywood needs to be asking is not what caused the slump, but what will end it? What brought audiences back to the movies in ‘85? And what is it audiences now want that Hollywood 2005 isn’t delivering? The movies tell the tale.
By offering a detailed analysis of the successful movies (of 1985), Craig finds that they were largely pro-American flics:
these films were optimistic in a time of fear, and they didn’t endlessly bag on their own country or send a negative message to the world implying that America is full of corrupt, greedy, selfish, dishonest, Capitalist pigs and that the Russians have every right to hate us and nuke us. On the contrary, these films wore the flag proudly, celebrated American valor and the American spirit, and used the real world villains as the reel world villains.
There’s more great stuff like that in Craig’s piece so rather than having me give it you second-hand, just read the whole thing. Not only is it wise, but it’s witty as well, a real delight to read–and you’ll learn something along the way. And you’ll be reminded of what this town can accomplish when moviemakers promote what is best in this nation — and in all of us.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com