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Thursday, September 01, 2005


I got into the movie business because I believe it is the business of inspiring others. It is a form of story telling that communicates to several senses and sensibilities at once. There is a growing concern in Hollywood that corporate thinking (as all the studios are now owned corporately) is leaching the inspiration from the stories that come out of movieland and replacing it with technical razzle dazzle and superficial titillation.

Of course, there are a group of independent titles that come out every year in a limited number of venues that reach a few of us, but for the most part, the studios with the big money hedge their bets behind star power and tried (TIRED) and true stories, remakes, knock-offs, and sequels. To be fair, I would probably do the same thing if I were a studio exec. and my job was dependent on the approval of a board of directors that look only at the box office numbers of the movies I greenlit.


We, the audience, hold the key to what gets made and shared with the rest of the world. WE hold the power simply by casting our vote with our entertainment dollar. Every time you see a movie, you tell the studios "We want to see more movies like this!". Your voice is so important you actually dictate what gets made. Wow, that's a lot of responsibility all of the sudden, eh?

So what movies do you want to see Hollywood make?
What movies have INSPIRED you in the past?
What is your favorite moment in your favorite movie?
...And how did it make you FEEL?
How did it INSPIRE you???

All Things Possible!

PS: My answer:

I love going to the movies. Some of my favorite moments are in ROCKY, FIELD OF DREAMS, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, THE SIXTH SENSE, THE IRON GIANT, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and THE NOTEBOOK. I love being surprised and inspired with NEW ways of looking at life that I haven't seen or thought of before.


  • At 3:09 PM, September 01, 2005 , Blogger Pae said...

    For me I wish I could find more family oriented movies. Ones that my 7 year old can watch but aren't soooo cartoony that my older two loose interest. I have found it harder and harder to find quality movies, ones with great story lines that can stand on their own....(like George of the Jungle...thought I would throw a 'plug' in there LOL) with out the language. I guess I am just alittle simple minded when it comes to the "language" thing. I find absolutely nothing appealing about throwing vulger language into movies that are ment for the younger audiance. There was a time when a family could sit down and watch a movie and the parents didn't have to worry about the language, or sexual inuendos (forgive the spelling).

    There have been some great movies that have left me going.."whoa!!" ya know? I mean for action "Die Hard" and "Leathal Weapon" those had it all, for mystery/suspense "The Sixth Sense" and "What Dreams May Be". And for horror, nothing scared me like the first time I watched "The Exorcist" and "The Poltergist". Talk about night sweats, whoa. Movies like "City of Angles" and "Fried Green Tomatoes", I swear I bawled like a baby through out the movie. Where "Meet the Fokers" and "Anylise This", I laugh so hard my sides hurt. I love movies. For a short period of time everything else, that is going on in my life, is put on hold and I get to loose myself in a story. I guess that is why reading is so very close to my heart. I can pick up a book and loose myself within the pages, movies are that way for me as well.

  • At 3:10 PM, September 01, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Wow...I love the way you put this! I'll have to think on this one. Looking forward to lots of inspiring stories about how movies inspire us...and also looking forward to seeing you, Chris, in a new movie that will inspire us, as well! Best wishes, MBP

  • At 7:34 PM, September 01, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    Gosh, so many movies - so many good moments and moments that weren't so good.

    I can still remember - when I was very young of course - of "believing a man could fly" when "Superman" first came out, the terror of seeing "Alien" the first time, the awe of watching dinosaurs come to life in "Jurassic Park." So, to a large degree I am a sucker for some of the big special effects - but only in so far as they help make the story believable.

    But, the moments of those movies that really stick with me are the "human" moments that have nothing to do with the special effects. I like the "gee whiz" stuff - but the story and acting has to be there too.

    I like to have fun at the movies, the Indiana Jones' and such - a quick thrill, a little laugh and a happy ending. If it's animated by Disney and/or Pixar I'm usually the first in line to see it. But I've been emotionally challenged and moved at films like "Big Fish" and "Follow Me Boys " which is an old Disney flick starring Fred MacMurray about a man who started a Boy Scout troop - I first saw it on TV as a kid and it inspired me to become a scout myself.

    Thanks to the wonders of televsion and DVD I've enjoyed many films that are classics - "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Streetcar Named Desire," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" though I will admit that in each of these cases I enjoy the original stage versions more.

    Just too many memories to narrow things down I guess. The upshot is that I pretty much enjoy any film that is well written, directed, and acted. Sounds like a simple thing to do - but it's clearly not!

    Oh well - don't want to ramble to much - so I'll just go back to waiting for "Underdog: The Motion Picture" ("There's no need to fear!").


  • At 3:21 PM, September 02, 2005 , Anonymous Nisha said...

    Movies are magical escapes from reality where you become a part of another space in time for a couple hours. I love suspense movies, love stories, and adventure films. I also have a soft spot for animated features. I have several favorite scenes. One of the best ever silver screen moments is when George Bailey is rescued by his home town friends in "Its A Wonderful Life". I cry every time I see that scene. I love films that move me. I am inspired by the goodness of "Its A Wonderful Life". The message is clear and simple. Another one of my favorite scenes is the point where you realize Bruce Willis is dead in "The Sixth Sense". I really enjoy when the audience is given the task of figuring things out and when I am surprised by and ending. My favorite love story is "The Princess Bride". It is romantic and clever all rolled into one film. I love rooting for the hero, and smile when glory is won, like when George wins Ursula back from Lyle in GOTJ2. Any of the Indiana Jones films feed my cravings for Adventure. I like being riveted to the edge of my seat for a fantastic roller coaster ride, and then feeling satisfied when the hero wins. Animated films inspire me because there is no limit to imagination. Amazing worlds can be created for the viewing pleasure. The toons that captured my heart are "Lilo & Stitch" and "Iron Giant". I am inspired and excited by digital animation. "Roger Rabbit" and "Sky Captain" are exciting glimpses of the future possibilities of the combined forces between animation and live action. Hooray for Hollywood! Keep up the great work Chris!!!

  • At 6:51 PM, September 02, 2005 , Blogger adiutores said...

    Regarding your concern of corporate control over Hollywood, this is actualy quite old--Louis B. Mayer was removed from power by New York bankers, long ago. But you are quite correct about "razzle-dazzle." Today, coming to teach, I passed many train-cars belonging to Ringling Brothers--you know--the greatest show on earth??? The idea that the "better" performance is the more spectacular one is actually quite victorian. It is, after all, presumed that the public insisted on it.

    Your point about the independent filmakers is quite a good point--they are turning the table in a very powerful and unexpected way. It is difficult with independents though--many of them are dreadful! On the other hand, "some" of the independent filmakers will certainly be among the best in the decades to come. This perhaps, should dictate to your own consideration?

    What inspires me is rarely what makes money, so my opinion--within the context of your speculation about public opinion dictating the "entertainment dollar"--may be worth nothing. "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf" is a grand example of filmaking genius on a dreadful budget--Burton and Taylor were doing it primarily for the exposure, as they should have.

    best, m

  • At 6:22 AM, September 03, 2005 , Anonymous Ute said...

    Another great question, Chris. I like films that enterain, surprise, inspire and educate me, movies that have a good story, a lot of heart, a sense of adventure and/or wonder, values and good humour.

    One movie moment that has impressed me greatly was in "The Abyss" when CGI effects were new and they had this alien probe going through the station that looked like a huge snake made of water and mimicked the faces of the crew. I still feel that same sense of wonder I experienced in the movie theatre every time I see that movie and the story is just great too. So that's one of my all time favourites. I also like Shrek and Shrek II a lot, especially for the endings when the heroes make the unusual choices. Other great ones are Dead Poets Society, Ladyhawke, Cry Freedom, Dragonheart, The Incredibles, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Crouching Tiger - Hidden Dragons, Mask of Zorro, Pirates of the Carribean, Finding Neverland, Calender Girls...
    Lately I have come to enjoy Bollywood movies that are becoming quite popular here. Even though their stories are not very original, they put a lot of heart and humour in them and you just got to love the characters.

    As for what I would like to see in the future, it's movies with good stories, humour and heart and - hopefully many - with you and/or Kieren in them. ;)

    All the best,

  • At 2:28 PM, September 03, 2005 , Blogger Linds said...

    My favorite movies are "The Green Mile" "Fried Green Tomatoes" and "Annie" *laughing* I am very ecclectic with my movie choices, as I am with my music. I have to be "in the mood" to watch a certain genre otherwise, it's lost on me. I like movies with humor, suspense, and drama mainly. ~Linds

  • At 7:51 AM, September 06, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I love all these comments!! I would smile inside with every title that was mentioned (yup, I think I've actually seen them all!)

    I have a theory. I think we are all connected at a very basic level by some very common themes that cross boundaries of religion, culture, and race. Psycologist Carl Jung referred to this as the collective unconsious and it would tend to surface in our dreams. Movies are like dreams for a wide audience and it's goal is to touch on themes that resonate in all of us. That's a pretty tall order. With just a few basic themes, but hundreds of movies emerging every year, it's no wonder that many of them seem like the same story in different wardrobe!

    Thanks for your comments!

    All Things Possible!

  • At 9:04 PM, September 06, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    I totally agree with you Chris that our commonalities are greater than our differences. Unfortunately, it seems to be difficult for many people (most?) to get beyond the differences. I think that at their best movies get to the core of our similarities and help us all to better understand each other. I also think that it is the collective understanding of our similarities that accounts for the world wide popularity of so many movies and plays - regardless of culture.


  • At 1:56 PM, September 07, 2005 , Anonymous Jaschenka said...

    Love that, Chris: 'Same story in a different wardrobe.'
    The movies are -as I see it- a place to escape every day reality for the duration of the film. However, depending on the movie and what you choose to 'do' with it, it can inspire you in every day life as much as a good book, chance encounter or other experience. I find that a good movie gets stuck in your head and gets you thinking for days in a row. 'Technically' I've been inspired by many movies drooling over the costumes. 'Emotionally' I've been inspired even more by the stories and characters in the films. Top of my list is still the LOTR trilogy. Without that I would not have met all the great peeps I know now and do all the fun stuff that goes with it.
    With fantasy being my favourite genre of film it's not hard to find all the things that make a night at the movies perfect for me in those films: action, drama, great scenery and settings, a bit of a scare every now and then and preferably a happy ending.
    A movie that pops up in my head right now is 'Powder'; it touched my heart and makes me cry every time I (re-)watch it. (Seen that too, Chris?!)
    I like a movie with a challenge: it should get you thinking, discussing and inspire you. But sometimes a good laugh is enough..It is amazing that there are still so many great movies produced each year, and I'm especially looking forward to remakes of golden oldies. So far they didn't let me down..
    And in case anyone is interested: Yes, there will be a 'Hobbit' someday, Mr 'Weta workshop' Richard Taylor told me so himself!


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