Mike Ryan, producer of the lowest budgeted film ever nominated for an Academy Award, producer & co-conspirator of both Todd Solondz's and Bela Tarr's latest opi, frequent contributor to Hammer To Nail, and all around opinionated mofo and raconteur (bless his bbq & bourbon lovin' soul) had this to rant:
So my 'solution' would be more connected to maintaining/creating an appreciation for the true cinema experience. I would like to see that arts funding (Redford mentioned that he hopes that Obama may be arts friendly) be earmarked for cinema programs in local museums/libraries. This means projecting actual film prints of both classic art house films and contemporary work by true cinema auteurs, in the style of the rep theaters of old.
I do believe that trends move in a dialectic counter swing pattern: the current generation of 18-25 year olds are buying more vinyl than ever before, this is the first generation in which parents did not own a record player and so the kids have become curious and have discovered the joys of uncompressed music. Yes indeed an acoustic guitar sounds very different on a record than compressed on an MP3 and consequently small record stores across the country are hauling the old crates out of the basement as cd inventory decreases. Likewise, Starbucks announced massive layoffs yesterday, stores all over the city are closing and yet MUD COFFEE and other indie coffee store fronts are doing great business. Untill Starbucks came to NYC it was hard to find a decent strong cup of coffee, Starbucks raised the bar on coffee literacy and that allowed other places like MUD, who serve way better coffee than Starbucks, to prosper. Likewise Tower records on Broadway closed and the tiny specialty store OTHER MUSIC is still open.
So I am hopeful that in the future age of VOD DOD on your IPOD the demand for true cinema will return. In my dreams Bela Tarr will be recognized as the living God that he is and demand for his films to screen will increase because it CANNOT be seen on a computer or hand device. But , I still think we need a little help from big bro to keep cinema alive while we weather this transition period so my 'solution' would be in directing government art money toward local cinema museum/library screening clubs.