We need to start calling that, ‘I have to be here for all people,’ ” he told me. “So as a performer, as a filmmaker, it’s important and valid to do something, to have a story that touches, to touch people in so many different ways. It’s a matter of people not seeing the movies that I’ve created and what I’ve put in their mouths and what has been created on so many levels for them to experience.”
The film industry’s current state, of course, makes it unlikely such a movie could get made today. Most of today’s best-selling Hollywood scripts are derivative, written by writers who have never done the kind of work that might get a movie on the screen. But even if this were true, it would scarcely help the situation for those writing, producing and starring in the new movies. (And I would argue that, at an individual level, a great deal of what these new movies do is already being done: a recent survey asked moviegoers to name the best screenwriter of the last 30 years from a list of hundreds.)
To be clear: Not every person who makes a film makes a “better” one. Sometimes they are not even “different” in their writing styles, and sometimes the “best” script comes from a group of filmmakers working in similar ways. (That could include a writer (or editor) at the top in one area, say, or a director (or editor) in one area who writes a script that’s also directed by the next artist who happens to be in their field.) What makes people “better” is the amount of creative freedom they have — not what kind of work they do.
Still, it’s worth thinking about. One film, a film made of three different filmmakers by two different directors, which was a critical and box-office flop, should serve as a model to anyone who thinks creative freedom is a bad thing in Hollywood.
If the movie that made the most people see and believe in “Dunkirk” is a derivative, derivative work, then the movie that has made the most people see and believe in “Star Wars” is the one that could be the one that will have a bigger impact on our culture and how we talk about what we’re watching and watching movies with today.
What’s happening now might help the one that is trying to make the greatest impact.
“Let’s not make them like this,” I told my friend Ryan. “Let
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