by Sarah Salovaara.
The arrival of summer blockbuster season and another Transformers installment means it’s time for critics to take to their think pieces and argue why Hollywood’s lowbrow, cash cow economy harms the more artful realm of independent film. The New Yorker’s Richard Brody, meanwhile, had the good, iconoclastic sense to pen an article entitled “The Real Threat To Independent Film,” whereby he concludes that the field’s dismantler does not lie within Hollywood, but in independent film itself.
“The most audacious low-budget American independent filmmaking,” writes Brody, “is threatened much more significantly by misplaced critical praise for art-house mediocrities than by Hollywood.” Taking aim at Gillian Robespierre’s critical and indie box office hit Obvious Child, Brody notes that art houses can pander just like the multiplexes: “The large-scale, mass-market demagogy of movies such as Transformers: Age of Extinction is no worse than the niche-market demagogy of, say, Obvious Child. Both movies appear tailor made to their target audience’s expectations and prejudice.”
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