Okay, this is tough. This is the first entry in my new weekly series (I prefer columns, but apparently the twenty-first century doesn’t) and I suggest we figure this out together. What I had in mind was a weekly opinion piece on all things movie related, how it affects our culture, and how our culture affects it. But first, a few things you might like to know about me;
My name is Churchill Osimbo. I’m a writer, student pilot and filmmaker. Filmmaker comes in last because there’s less of it that I have to be proud of, mostly collecting digital dust in my hard drive though this year may mark a release for some of the more tolerable experimental films I’ve been toying with. I’ve been a film critic, a film bro and a rube though it is much better to be none of those things. In my opinion, art is meant to sustain life, not be life.
It isn’t very important, not in the world we live in today, but it helps us understand our reality more and what’s better, is that it helps us understand the experience of others. This month we were treated to Sam Levinson’s Malcolm & Marie and had a taste of what a tumultuous night is like in a toxic relationship between a movie director and an ex-junkie, from the perspective of someone who thinks it’s an authentic love story, which is probably how everyone in toxic relationships think it is.
Movies, as an industry, are in a fragile state right now. It’s like at a crossroads with thirty different paths to go through. Given that Hollywood isn’t the only player in film anymore, all of these paths are taken simultaneously. What results is a labyrinth of models that are all looking to each other and going, “Is THAT the future?” I’m conflicted when great directors like Martin Scorsese give state of the cinema addresses and make it sound as if it’s near apocalypse when in truth, movies have only been around for a fraction of the time literature, music, art and poetry have.
We’re already in the future. Globalization has won, and instead of bringing people closer it’s isolated them all the more. You could talk to a stranger halfway across the world in real time. Social media has given people bubbles to hub themselves in and never come out. As expected, the candy came with the cavity.
First of all, if you never want to learn anything, you don’t have to. When people are given the power to choose what kind of news and, excuse my French, ‘content’, they consume, a lot of them choose to recycle the same humor, the same concepts, ideas and everything else in between. What you get, is maybe the cause of this widespread depression? Maybe.
What I do know we get for sure, is plummeting attendance numbers in theaters (movies or other) and a loss of ‘culture’. Africans don’t seem to understand that this taboo is doubly unfortunate for them. We were colonized and had integrated in us the values of the West. Then, the West completely abandoned those ideals. It’s like if someone saw you in the rain and offered you clean clothes then ripped the clothes off you and sent you on your way.
I hate almost everything in the modern world. I really wish I weren’t here, I’d be much happier pounding on a typewriter in the 1920s where the wine descended smoother, the daffodils smelled a little better and people were their own. Self-control is one thing I’ve come to believe will be the most important asset a person can have in the coming ages of excess, where getting drunk on a thing, like art, turning it into content, is a screen swipe away.
Excuse My French will be our time together to talk about what I’ve seen during that period, occasionally reviews of new movie releases, local industry talk, my wacky theories and ideas and… stuff. We’ll get into a groove eventually, don’t worry.
Written by Churchill Osimbo