Saturday, October 16, 2010

Is TV Smarter Than Film?

I was listening to NPR today and author Edward Epstein made the argument that TV is more intelligent than film. His argument is that the studios are marketing to the one reliable audience that goes to movies, teenagers. TV on the other hand is geared towards the person who pays the cable bill which is the adult. (Here's the interview and story.)

Is he right? Somewhat. Not all big studio films are made for the masses. "Inception" was an intelligent thriller. Yet, there's quite a bit of sophistication on television. Mad Men. Boardwalk Empire. A show that I watch regularly is Fringe. It's a hell of a show with intelligence, heart and great performances. The same guys who created it, J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci also made Star Trek. (2009) Now Star Trek was a good movie but it's not as smart as Fringe. Star Trek was made for a different audience, a mass audience. Yet, a filmmaker can have it all. "Dark Knight" and "Inception" both directed by Christopher Nolan were very intelligent films. They both made a lot of money. It just requires some artistic courage on the behalf of the studios.

No comments: