In this modern era of media and pop culture dismissing straightforward tropes in film and television as culturally unprogressive and irrelevant, the result of this sensationalism will inevitably lead to the demise of the foundational component of storytelling, which is simply ‘storytelling’ without any cultural or political connotation.
Attaching poor standards and condemning accidental repeats because they do not satisfy our intrinsic craving for the novel, the unheard, and the unseen is the obvious downward route that cinema aficionados and pop culture are taking. The fact that just a few cliches and plotlines are well-received in today’s media is actually detrimental to the expansive core of filmmaking and narrative.
Yes, it is correct that reviewers and fans now play an important part in approving the kind of tales communicated and narratives marketed. We increasingly favor tales with greater variety, representation, and inclusion of minority groups. This style of narrative, however, derives from an unappealing audience rather than the writer, which goes against how art should be made in the first place.
The persons who should be at the helm of filmmaking from pre-production through post-production are the author, director, screenwriters, or producers. However, a new filming paradigm is gaining traction. One that places the audience at the center of the experience, rather than the tale, its characters, and its essential message. The enormous drive for artists to appeal to and acquire bogus critical praise from academy bodies and prominent film forums shatters the exhibition’s simplicity and genuineness. As a result, the craft of filmmaking has become a performative responsibility for cultural or economic purposes.
But what is the problem with this model?
You may be perplexed. The audience should come second, after the story being told. When it reverses, it becomes blatant and pretentious, resulting in situations of staged diversity, forced-cringe exchanges, and superficial representation, which this same audience will eventually see-through. Even if this reverse paradigm is used in film creation and marketing, it should be done with the filmmaker’s complete freedom, not under pressure or fear of retribution.
Over the years, the film business has experienced a plethora of creative and technological evolutions, as well as infusions of important aspects that edify cinema. Some of these changes and the people behind them understood the task, while others just had the negative consequences that are still an issue in cinema today.
The industry, its players, and pop culture are aboard a fast ship on a catastrophic cruise due to a constant drive for growth. While it is easy to divert our attention with the ear-tickling terminology and aspects prevalent in today’s television, we must question whether the experience of having stringent representational and cultural standards is genuinely enriching filmmaking and storytelling in general. Or destroying its core.