Richard Linklater stormed onto the scene in the early '90s with the indie sensation Slacker, a movie that showed his sensibilities and capabilities, and ushered in a new era of cinema. But now Linklater is worried that the way he made Hollywood notice him is disappearing at an alarming rate.

Recently, Richard Linklater sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about his new movie, Hit Man, and the conversation shifted back to his beginnings as a filmmaker.

As I said above, indie movies gave Linklater his entry point, and from there, he was able to forge a career that has taken him to various genres and budgets that gave him the ability to experiment and grow.

So, does this pathway still exist for others?

Linklater lamented, "It feels like it’s gone with the wind—or gone with the algorithm. Sometimes I’ll talk to some of my contemporaries who I came up with during the 1990s, and we’ll go, 'Oh my God, we could never get that done today.' So, on the one hand, selfishly, you think, 'I guess I was born at the right time. I was able to participate in what always feels like the last good era for filmmaking.' And then you hope for a better day. But, man, the way distribution has fallen off. Sadly, it’s mostly just the audience. Is there a new generation that really values cinema anymore? That’s the dark thought."

That is a dark thought, and one I think we have to come to terms with to understand how Hollywood has changed over the last three decades.

The indie space used to have financiers who would help projects get off the ground for a chance at having a hit movie and also to help aert.

Even studios had smaller arms to make plays at awards and to develop new and diverse voices. but with the shift to tentpoles, these opportunities disappeared. Everything was utilized to make the most money.

Linklater continued, "With a changing culture and changing technology, it’s hard to see cinema slipping back into the prominence it once held. I think we could feel it coming on when they started calling films “content,” but that’s what happens when you let tech people take over your industry. It’s hard to imagine indie cinema in particular having the cultural relevance that it did. It’s hard to imagine the whole culture is going to be on the same page about anything, much less filmmaking. We can be self-absorbed and say it’s just about cinema, but it’s really all of our modern cultural life. You could say the same things about reading books. A lot of young people can’t really read a book, because they’re just on their phones."

Glen Powel as Gary Johnson in 'Hit Man''Hit Man'Credit: Venice Film Festival

We've warned about the prevalence of content before. Cultural relevance is a newer idea that is hard to stomach. When movies stop mattering culturally, everything shifts. And it will make jobs disappear and shrink a market that had a big summer, yet is still trying to find its footing as a whole.

With all these changes, where are we going moving forward? I know my worry comes with the younger generation, who don't care as much about movies as I do, and older generations who just want to stay at home and stream.

Linklater seems to worry about the same things.

He finished with, "Some really intelligent, passionate, good citizens just don’t have the same need for literature and movies anymore. It doesn’t occupy the same space in the brain. I think that’s just how we’ve given over our lives, largely, to this thing that depletes the need for curating and filling ourselves up with meaning from art and fictional worlds. That need has been filled up with—let’s face it—advanced delivery systems for advertising. It’s sad, but what can you do? I also don’t want to go through life thinking our best days are behind us. That’s just not productive. So, in your own area, you just have to persist and do what you can on behalf of the things that you believe in. You have to believe that everything can change and that things can go back to being a little better. Isn’t that what we all want for everything these days, from democracy on down? Can’t we just go back to being a little better?"

Let me know what you think of all this in the comments.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter