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Has Television surpassed Film as an Artform (film article)

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 11:20 PM

A decade ago, such a question would be ludicrous. Television, better than film? Preposterous! Television is free to all and cheap to make; it merely acts as a means for corporations to promote their soul-destroying merchandise, whereas film... well film IS the product people are going out and paying for, and therefore its quality must be above reproach.

 

But these days... well, I look at shows like Dexter, Brotherhood, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Shield, The Office, 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica, The Sopranos, The Wire (hell, anything on HBO!) -- televison of such beautful writing, staggering performances, awe-inspiring production values, and thematic boldness... And then I turn my gaze to the silver screen, with its jive-talking robots, tween star-vehicles, torture porn, coma-inducing CGI, and endless thread of remakes/sequels & videogame/comic-book adaptations, and and I can't help but wonder if cinema, like the music industry, has declined to the point of utter cultural irrelevance. I mean, how hollow do films like 3:10 to Yuma and Troy look in comparison to the gravitas of Deadwood or Rome. Sigh...

 

Now, obviously I realize 80% of television is still reality-show/talent-contest/tabloid-driven/formulaic drivel, and there have been some top-notch films released this year (e.g. Inglorious Basterds, District 9, Samson and Delilah)... BUT if I want something new; something fresh, something gritty and complex and deep; something that treats me like an adult, rather than some ADD-infected, testosterone-fueled, sex-crazed, illiterate 13-year old... I find myself flicking to the TV Guide rather than the Session Times. Thoughts?

Categories: ARTICLES, Cinema

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