University of São Paulo: Film standardization does not correspond to a lack of creativity or originality

The blockbusters , popular films, which gross millions of dollars at the box office and bring crowds to movie theaters, have provoked criticism in the film industry, such as directors Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott, for example, who claim to lack originality in these productions. These films are usually from large franchises, mainly those of superheroes, which correspond to about 20% of the 40 biggest box office in the history of cinema. For director and script professor Roberto Moreira, from USP’s School of Communications and Arts (ECA), criticism of the standardization of productions has been going on for many years, but it does not correspond to a lack of creativity or originality.

The professor recalls that criticism has been going on since cinema became a constantly reproduced mass culture and highlights the reaction of the n oulle vague , the artistic movement of French cinema, to American cinema. And originality “is a fetish of the contemporary world” citing the evolution of dramaturgy and Greek tragedy, with its reinterpreted and rewritten stories and myths.

Moreira explains that movie franchises are “repositories of contemporary stories that are being reworked all the time”, but that do not harm creativity. About superhero franchises, the professor says that they have their origins in comic books and captivate the public. “This great phenomenon, in addition to talking directly to the audience, fans of comic books, mixes technology with special effects, with science fiction, with hero, and guarantees the hegemony of the genre in cinemas.”

Moreira’s prediction is that, with the pandemic, the genre will dominate the circuit. “There will be no more room for medium and small films. They all go to streaming”, assumes the professor. “To justify the return of the public to the cinemas, the strong audiovisual appeal that the franchises offer is remarkable”. But the professor does not disregard the other genres, which, as he predicts, will always have space, “but they will be small and will not mix”.

Two movements in contemporary audiovisual

In contemporary audiovisual, Moreira notes two movements, the serialization of cinema, that is, the “increasing process of series in cinema”, and television, which is becoming “more concentrated and unified, as was the cinema”, analyzes the teacher.

For the specialist, on the one hand, cinema needs to retain its spectator, and, on the other hand, television needs to have the narrative efficiency that cinema has, considering that there is no longer a captive spectator who is tied to a chair and willing to keep track of a large number of episodes with large gaps between them. And this, he observes, is related to the difficulty people have in becoming interested in audiovisual.

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