Were we to compare the films produced during the last decade, to those released 40-50 years ago, would the results really skewer to the latter?
We complain about noise and explosions and the mindless, meaningless entertainment that permeates movie screens each year, and while it’s true that some blockbusters should have never seen the light of day, it’s also true that people have been making bad movies since the day the medium was invented.
Maybe because every movie being produced is either an adaptation or a sequel, filmmakers feel compelled to craft them with utmost care, seeing as they are possibly the only project they could ever work on.
So we continue getting flashy blockbusters, but something has changed.
Godzilla hints at having a heart underneath all the carnage; Guardians of the Galaxy is more about the fascinating adventures of space exploration than invincible superheroes; and Michael Bay tones it down with Pain & Gain, a hilarious drama if I ever saw one.
And if popular movies are increasingly ambitious, what of the smaller movies?
The ones not meant to be consumed by everyone?
Perhaps it’s creators feel liberated; perhaps they can make whatever their hearts desire; perhaps they can finally make what cinema is meant to do: Art.
So we arrive at Birdman, a picture that could not have possibly existed a decade or two ago, and now that it does, film history is richer for it.