Friday, 19 November 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #634: Selling Out Or Just Doing What You Do?

Welcome to the show folks....

Indie auteur Darren Aronofsky caused some heads to turn when word came out that he was going to direct
The Wolverine, a comic book franchise film. Some said that he had sold out, while his response was that he was just hired to "do what I do."

I think he's right. Sure it's a dramatic change from his early work like the math related thriller
Pi, the somber drama of The Wrestler, or the supernatural / psycho-drama of Natalie Portman making out with Mila Kunis in the upcoming Black Swan.

I can see why he'd do it. He's worked with star Hugh Jackman before in the ill-fated
The Fountain, and I assume that they must have gotten along well and see this as a good opportunity to work together again. It gives him a chance to connect to a wider audience that normally wouldn't see his films, and let's not forget the greatly improved paycheck.

So I don't think he's selling out. He's only selling out if he just coasts and ends up making a lazy and lousy movie.

As Orson Welles once said a poet needs a pen, a painter needs a brush, but a filmmaker needs an army. Armies need money to run and complete their mission. While it's nice to think that one could have a career catering solely to the art house crowd, it's not really possible in the cold harsh light of reality.

To expand on what I said in my earlier piece on the necessity of making horror films it's really a question of attitude and openness. The art film scene can be even more narrow minded and insular as the field of Hollywood blockbuster film-making. It's not healthy to just lock yourself into a particular genre or mindset, and breaking free from that mindset should be applauded. We cheer directors who leave the Hollywood mainstream to make smaller "more personal" films, well why not those who try the other way. Both are merely looking to expand their personal repertoire, and if they do a good job, then good luck to them.

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