Movies Losing Originality

Rashad Muhammad, Opinion Editor

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While everyday life seems like a new drama, the world of cinema today seems like a re-run. Hollywood producers have forgotten that breasts and noses are not the only aspects that should change on the film.

 

Older generations remember what it was like to see something fresh and innovative. An idea that they never thought would come to fruition, somehow made its way to the big screen. As a way of gratitude they cherished these films and used the collection as a time capsule to reminisce about their joys and pains that were, in one way or another, represented by movies of their time.

 

The new era of individuals will one day look back and reminisce of their cinematic pastimes, but the revived images and emotions won’t be anything unique. Their recollections will ultimately consist of cheap imitations of past generations.

 

Eadweard Muybridge could never have envisioned that his attempts to answer a scientific question would eventually lead to blockbusters such as “Avatar” and “The Dark Knight”. He also couldn’t have envisioned someone re-filming a galloping horse to see if all four hooves were off the ground simultaneously. He answered the much-debated question; all four hooves of a horse are indeed off the ground simultaneously. To repeat this experiment would be redundant and a total waste of time because the argument was over.

 

No one re-filmed the experiment and tried to photograph minor changes in details because that wouldn’t have been innovative. The results would have been useless and inconsequential because no one would care anymore. People would have already moved on at that point.

 

The motive of cinema is to not only respond to cultural changes, but to also spark debate and give the viewer a chance to experience something new. Film should evoke sentiments and desires of our past and our present. Unfortunately, today’s youth aren’t allowed the same experience.

 

Movies like “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” and “Oz the Great and Powerful”, exemplify the creative deficiencies in our social structure. Sure, you’ll get a spectacular visual, but what will you gain from it culturally that you didn’t already gain from the original films? The scripts have been tweaked a bit and the special effects have made it more of an event than an actual screening but that just leads to potential revenue. What’s left missing is the overall social experience.

 

Every year it seems like Paramount and Walt Disney Pictures waste billions of dollars on scripts that were already written. You know what happens in “Hansel and Gretel” because you’ve seen it dozens of times. The same thing can be said about the “Wizard of Oz”. The only difference now is that there’s more blood in the remakes. The scarecrow wanted a brain, the lion wanted courage, Dorothy wanted to go home, and the audience wanted a refund after seeing James Franco and Mila Kunis bomb.

 

The underlying truth is Franco and Kunis were just doing their jobs while Hollywood is to blame for these aimless “prequels” and remakes that waste money, time and effort.

 

Evidently they think they are an exception to the unwritten principle of cinema: It’s impossible to surpass the original. The only thing you could do is prolong the storyline. This speaks to the greed and moral negligence of corporations indifferent to the lack of substance in motion pictures.

 

If production companies continue this ill-considered trend, it could have irreversible effects on future movie watchers. Most people involved in cinema remember the impactful films of their time.

 

Films like “The Grapes of Wrath”, “Casablanca”, and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” represented movies of their generation. For about two hours, you could watch one of these films and gain unique perspectives and insight into a particular moment. It was the next best thing to a time machine.

 

Today, original screenplay is a rarity. Filmmakers often attempt to revive stories of previous generations in order to make a quick buck. The youth today are poorly represented by recent film projects because they have virtually nothing they can call their own.

 

This epoch of identity crises will produce a genesis of uninspired and socially lethargic groups of people craving for the ingenuity of past generations.

 

A wave of creative overhaul is in order. If not, today’s culture has an inevitable bleak and grim future.

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Rashad Muhammad, Opinion Editor

Rashad is a 22-year-old Journalism major from Newport News, Virginia.  He currently attends San Diego Mesa College and specializes in opinion writing.

r_m_muhammad@yahoo.com

http://www.facebook.com/rashad.muhammad.5

Movies Losing Originality