1/11/06: History Lesson #1: On the eve of a new era, I write this essay passionately and with great love for cinema. The horizon line in my direct sight is birthing a new bright sun and its name is vengeance. There will be bloodshed and violence but ultimately the cinema will be ours again. It's time to take revenge on the moronic sensibility that raped our potential so many years ago.
American movies were once loaded with originality and talent if you care to remember. There was a time not so long ago when the majority of films that graced our screens were fresh and exciting. Directors ruled, and movies weren't created by committees of latte-infested yuppie scum.
Once upon a time there was an original horror film about a possessed little girl titled The Exorcist (directed by a young William Friedkin). There wasn't anything like it (at the time) and lines of curious moviegoers formed around 1970s theaters for weeks.
William Friedkin was a "dangerous director" and was known for pushing the envelope and taking chances. Friedkin certainly wasn't interested in paying homage to other movies every ten minutes. He used his creativity, intellect and life experience to craft his unique film. The most important element to remember about The Exorcist was that it had a very thoughtful and honest core to its story. It wasn't all demonic profanities and pea soup. It touched people as much as it horrified them.
One of the main reasons why I began Are You Going? Magazine in the fall of 2001 was to help and encourage other filmmakers to bring back that lost sensibility that Friedkin had while he was making The Exorcist or like Tobe Hooper had when he and that wonderful group of misfits made The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I wanted to remind people in film how great we all can be through interviews and articles written by the people who changed things.
Ladies and gentlemen do not believe any bastard or bitch who tells you that "everything's been done and there's no way to be original." Many filmmakers today should be ashamed of themselves. The lack of effort to create is at epidemic levels.
We have the opportunity to take control again and I believe we will. The only way for us to start this revolution is to be original. We are not going to do it by paying homage to this film or that film. We need to truly dig deep inside ourselves and find what's unique about our wonderful generation. We're just as worthy as those generations past. We need to make our mark.
Hostel, the new horror film by Eli Roth, is currently number one at the box office and the talk of the town. It's a small film with no real star power behind it. I must say that seeing Hostel was a fresh theatrical experience and I would see it again. I saw it at a matinee and the theater was packed to the gills. People still can get excited for little films; in fact I think theaters will be packed more often with low-cost curiosity films like Hostel rather than the bloated blockbusters like Stealth or The Island.
Right now studios are scrambling to squeak out their versions of Hostel so they can also make a quick pile of cash. Now is our chance to infiltrate. Grab your cameras and make history. There's so much to say right now, especially with horror films.