We recently shared commentary from Ridley Scott in which he acknowledged that filmmaking is indeed a business and a commercial industry -- and more often than not, it's an expensive one. As such, filmmakers are expected to put theater-going tushes in seats, one way or another, proverbial or otherwise. Now, director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) describes a trend he feels is making movies too safe, family-friendly, and overall unchallenging -- robbing cinema of mature, adult-oriented films. He calls this trend the 'Pixarification' of movies, and the added box office bankability that comes with it may or may not be a motivating factor. Click through to hear Boyle's interesting take on this state of cinema below.
First, a few disclaimers: one has to admit that a business is a business, and film is no exception. And, like any venture in which capital is at stake, it would be utterly self-defeating to invest in a product that wasn't expected to break even at the very least. In other words, movies have to make back their costs, or else be unsustainable. That said, and whether such a trend is business-motivated or not, Danny Boyle fears the worst for serious adult content in cinema (and does so with all due respect to the great Pixar) -- from VodkasterOfficiel on YouTube via /Film:
I'm sure we can all think of many a contemporary film for which this is decidedly not the case -- there are still plenty of challenging movies out there, though they may not be as easily seen in your local theater in some cases. Nor is there anything wrong with family-oriented films -- Pixar continues to produce work after incredible work, and the kid-friendly accessibility of each doesn't detract from the quality of storytelling in films like Wall-E, Up, Finding Nemo, etc.
At the same time, Danny's words ring true to me, as I'm sure they will to many readers. The benefit of the independent or low-/no-budget filmmaker is, of course, total freedom to tackle topics and subject matter of any maturity level. As long as you're willing to do a lot of the work yourself, you can explore all manner of "adult situations" (a confused term nowadays, as Danny points out above) without having to worry about recooping the $200 million budget of Transformers 3. This includes, to not-so-gracefully segue into a few additional Danny Boyle clips from VodkasterOfficiel, sequels, musicals, the two combined, and beyond.
What do you guys think of Danny's perception of modern cinema? Is there a 'Pixarification' happening in films, or does one just need to look a bit harder to find more mature content?