For The Village Voice this week, J. Hoberman makes a comparison between the age of Hollywood during the Great Depression, and the age of cinema in 2009. Just today, I was chatting with a co-worker about the possibility of Frank Capra-esque films making a comeback given the current national mood. Hoberman also predicts a possible bump in the digital realm:
A reorganized and self-regulated Hollywood bounced back in 1935, but times were different then. Movies were America’s universal culture. Now, they’re not even close. Like then, the technology is changing—but in a far different way. Movies are expendable. Folks will give up $12 tickets, cancel Netflix, and cut cable to save their high-speed Internet connection. With the president’s fireside chats posted online, the new Hoovervilles will certainly have broadband. Is there a downsized future for Katzenberg’s product? As one bankrupt mogul said to another, “YouTube?!”
Maybe free online movies are strictly for the indies. But if times get worse and the studios want to get real, they’ll have to find the audience where it lives: Hulu for Hollywood.
Thanks to Eric Kohn, for the link.