Capra-corn and the life of our time

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Lisa Kramer

Lisa Kramer is a contributing contributor at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen.

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10 Responses

  1. Avatar Robert Cheeks says:

    Lisa, my best guess is that by the end of Obama’s first term you’ll find considerably more “people (who) are actually living through shared problems.”Report

  2. Avatar Lisa Kramer says:

    Oh Bob, way to illustrate a point.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    “Could a movie or TV show be made in today’s climate that celebrates the goodness of America and expresses hope without being considered either Left-wing or Right-wing schlock?”

    Up, maybe.

    Pretty much everything Pixar *MIGHT* fit… heck, even Wall-E (a movie I, at first, refused to see because I was certain it was yet another anti-human environmentalist screed) turned out to be a lovely and surprisingly un-sermony story.

    If I were to find such movies, I’d dig around in Pixar’s catalog.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Additionally, I can’t help but think that a story based on something that more-or-less happened being met with criticisms such as “benevolent white lady helps impoverished black youth” complaints sort of gives the game away.

    If we cannot tell more-or-less “this really happened” stories without people complaining about cliched stories, we’re more or less stuck with a group of folks who are refusing to meet halfway. And I say that as someone who winced when I first saw the trailer.Report

  5. Avatar Rufus says:

    Part of the problem, and you’ll all excuse me as I rant about this for the billionth time, is the way the kiddie matinée has taken over so much of cinematic output. When a majority of the films being made are aimed at 14 year old boys who like to see robots blow up monsters, it’s fairly hard to find messages of redemption that would resonate, ideally, with adults who have some experience of, well, adult struggles like trying to hold a family together through tough times. The independent films deal with real life, sort of, but tend towards the depressing.

    Maybe Spielberg needs to get on this.Report

    • @Rufus, please, not Spielberg! I’m not sure I’d be able to take it.

      I’d like to see another effort from Ali Selim, whose neat little romance Sweet Land had some strains of Capra.Report

      • Avatar Rufus says:

        @William Brafford, Ah that’d be good!

        Interesting to note- the fellow who made Shawshank Redemption and the Lovecraft-meets-Stephen King horror film The Mist also did a very Capra-influenced film with Jim Carrey that had the incredible misfortune of coming out right after 9/11. I hear it was good, but nobody was in the mood to go see it.Report

    • Avatar Lisa Kramer says:

      @Rufus, Even if the independent films didn’t tend toward the depressing, they’re still *independent* making it very difficult to have them reach mass audiences. Not impossible. There are definitely some independents that have become part of mass culture, but it’s rare.Report

      • Avatar Rufus says:

        @Lisa Kramer, I thought “independent” was the euphemism the major studios are using for films that they don’t want to spend any money on or promote in any way, but they still want to win Oscars. But, yeah, your point definitely stands.Report