The Exhaustion of Sequels, Reboots and Rehashes.
I’m stumped. What do I even write about? So many of the films out currently are sequels or series reboots in some sort of way. Dark Phoenix. The Secret Life of Pets 2. Men in Black International. Shaft. Child’s Play. Annabelle Comes Home. I’m actually excited for Toy Story 4, but it counts. We’ve just done a masterclass, too. I don’t want to slap those segments together with such short amounts of time. So basically, we’ve hit a brick wall.
This is clearly frustrating for a lot of people, because refreshing film ideas are being drowned by the influx of familiar stories. That isn’t just a vice for you. It’s a vice for people like me, too. How many times can we reiterate that these films represent the business side of the industry, and that the portion dedicated to story telling and art creation is being overlapped greatly (to the point of tectonic shifting)? We’ve had this conversation before.
What I can do is give updates on films coming out that I am interested in checking out, but I do that already with my think pieces on these films. For instance, my Once Upon a Time in Hollywood article assumes the position that I am interested in this film. Why else would I go so in depth with its possibilities? I’m not exactly going to roll out the red carpet for a film I predict will be a snoozefest.
This made me think: is this why the quantity of actual film editorial sources is so small now? Did writers just give up with trying to have full on thoughts for a rapid flow of discussions we’ve already had? I’ve noticed so many writers discuss their favourites of 2019 so far. I don’t really want to do that yet, because that’s just begging for me to neglect films I have not gotten around to yet. Plus, as the current only writer of this site so far, I think you can garner my favourites by skimming through the reviews that are presently posted.
There are still a few websites and magazines that participate in creating actual editorials (and I don’t mean news articles. I mean actual opinion pieces). Cahiers du Cinéma is an obvious example, being a pioneering film magazine that provoked thought about the medium rather than share the exact same sentiments as everyone else (this magazine operates in French). Sight and Sound is another example, although it is trying to stay up to date as a news source currently. I can’t think of too many other sources (that aren’t personal blogs) that take up the challenge and dissect film as a priority in such a way.
Society is all about quick rebuttals, instant reports, and up-to-date checklists. I want to operate differently, but I can see why this is a challenge (having been six months into this lengthy journey). How much can be said about the summer blockbuster season that isn’t already beaten to death? How many ways can I say The Secret Life of Pets 2 gunned for the lowers bar imaginable? That’s what reviews are for, but I will also reserve these discussions for these reviews.
What I do know, is that a few months of this position is doable. Soon enough, we have the awards season, where so many films deemed worthy will fight for the spotlight. I can guarantee that more of these works will strike up a legitimate conversation. For now, the biggest conversation I can presently have is how vapid these situations in the cinematic year are.
Andreas Babiolakis has a Masters degree in Film and Photography Preservation and Collections management from Ryerson University, as well as a Bachelors degree in Cinema Studies from York University. His favourite times of year are the Criterion Collection flash sales and the annual Toronto International Film Festival.