Do Movies have a Future?
March 13, 2003. J. Edward Farnum Lectures
David Denby will discuss the nature of the American movie business and the role of the critic: Eight production companies are owned by six conglomerates, production is tilted toward 15-25 year-old males, the quality movies are loaded into the last six weeks of the year to qualify for awards. The more serious critics, meanwhile, long for art or at least for fresh entertainment and are at odds with an industrial system that increasingly thinks of movies as mere digits that can be converted into toys, games, books, songs, and other products. Yet critics still have a function, as the enthusiasm for such movies as “The Hours” would suggest. Fresh talent emerges from the periphery, and so on. He will also talk about digitization as the future for movies, both for good and for ill, and the chances of survival of minority cultural tastes in general (classical music, jazz, blues, documentaries, foreign films, etc.) in the digital future.