Random posts on all sorts of things designed to inform and provoke.
Most suicides in the United States take place in the fall and holiday season. Experts have suggested a number of reasons for this spike: everything from people having no friends, the depressing seasonal weather and a realization that their family isn’t worth living for.
Well, the last reason is actually mine because no expert who wants to continue their career in the grieving industry will ever tell a suicide’s surviving relatives that their loved-one took his or her life because he or she didn’t want to spend any time with the living because the living are just terrible and boring people.
On the other hand, that is probably the case so I consider it a public service to announce that if anyone commits suicide, its likely the fault of that person’s relatives.
This post, however, isn’t about that well deserved topic but about how the US movie industry does nothing to stop people from getting depressed, and may even be contributing to higher rates of sadness.
The industry does that by churning out all of its “award contenders” in a very limited post-summer and pre-New Year time frame and now that summer is over, these anti-Zolofts are ready to take the world by storm.
Admittedly, there will be some sequels, comic book movies and comedies sprinkled in the bunch but a majority of them will be the kind of self serving, serious, historical morality tales that either makes one happy to not be the subject of such a movie or want to kill themselves.
By the way, if you are the kind of person that feels joy at not being the person or family that has gone through the horror depicted in any of these movies then you should be really depressed because it means that you are self-involved narcissist who has no business being on this earth.
Anyway, getting back to these horrifying movies, I’ll go through them in detail in a future post but, for now, let’s focus on the one genre that has come to define this season and destroyed more families than anything else: the World War II (WWII) movie.
These are movies either set during WWII or stories of people who live in the present but are affected by the horrors of that time. They star an “esteemed” British actor (Colin Firth has made a career and won an Oscar for causing an interminable amount of pain), a formerly successful actress (someone like Nicole Kidman) and released by a studio that spends a majority of their annual marketing budget in three months (the Weinstein Company comes to mind).
They are directed towards a very specific audience: 50+ year olds or pompous masochists who wish they were born in the UK and who, since they have either already lived a majority of their lives or are unhappy with their existence, want to see other people suffer while grazing on buttered popcorn.
It should be obvious that I hate these movies; everything from Life is Beautiful to The Reader to The Kings Speech to Schindler’s List.
My problem, though, isn’t with these movies (as self-serving, preaching, cloying and boring as they may be) but with their timing. Why do they all have to come out during one season? I understand that old people don’t like to leave their pseudo-coffins to go to the theater but why do the rest of us have to suffer for their living beyond their natural age?
As anyone who saw the movie grosses this past summer can attest, revenue kept decreasing as the season kept progressing because consumers were bored with the same old story, special effects and loud volume.
Speaking of loud volume, do theaters showing movies catering to older audiences turn up the volume or is there a constant “What did he say Velma” conversation going on during these flicks?
Anyway, if these movies were more spread out, for example if 20 percent of them were released in the fall and winter season, their grosses would have been higher. Consumers would be happy to shill out their $20 to watch Johnny Depp do his make-up shtick in the fall more than in the summer when everyone does their make-up shtick.
So here’s some advice for theater owners and movie studios: Think of a film’s release pattern like your drug or cheating habit. If you occasionally switch up your cocaine with methamphetamines or if you cheat on your wife/husband with another man/woman, do the same thing with movie genres, mix them up.