Everybody had an opinion about ‘The Hunt’ before anybody saw it. That’s a problem. by A. Hornaday
Aug 15, 2019
[Editorial discusses how people negatively react towards a movie before it’s actually released]
…Sight unseen, the reviews were in [for these movies].
Make those “pre-views.”
Today, the forces of entertainment marketing, social media and grievance culture are increasingly colliding, with the casualty being the movies themselves.
Why wait to actually see “The Irishman,” Martin Scorsese’s long-gestating project about Jimmy Hoffa and the mob, when you can start fact-checking it months before it opens?
Suspicious that “Adam,” a Sundance film about a heterosexual teenager who passes as transgender as he embarks on an affair with a lesbian, might traffic in homophobic or anti-trans tropes? Save time and start the boycott now.
….Gone are the days when people would decide to see a movie (or not), then discuss. We now discuss whether people have a right to see a movie in the first place.
Heaven forfend we should be confronted with the art itself: Film has been dematerialized, reduced to a thousand points of metadata that we can argue about in the safe, self-righteous abstract.
Culture has always been weaponized, of course, and it should cause discomfort, even anger. But we’ve reached a state of constant pre-outrage and hair-trigger offense, ready to strangle perceived offenders in the crib before they can succeed or fail on their own merits.
….Or a fully completed, actual movie. What if fans, critics and marketers agreed on a “slow movies” movement, making a vow to stop feeding the content beast — whether on social media or 24/7 cable channels — with the kind of rank speculation they thrive on (and the studios welcome as free publicity)? What if we observed the simple, common-sense rule of reserving commentary on a thing until we’ve actually seen it firsthand?
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