' ' Cinema Romantico: An Open Letter To Hollywood

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

An Open Letter To Hollywood

This is the first true guest post in the history of Cinema Romantico and is written by my friend Daryl who has an affection for a certain director the way I have an affection for Sofia Coppola. In regards to a few recent Hollywood, uh, decisions he needed a forum to vent. I have provided it. Enjoy!

Dear Hollywood,

Let’s say I win the lottery. After the press conference and after the money is deposited into my checking account (because that’s what you do with that much money, right?), let’s say I take my winnings and I go to an art auction and purchase “Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2.” After the jealous congratulatory handshakes from the others at the auction, I take my purchase home and start working.

The first step is to schedule an appointment with the press, and when interviewed, I’ll point out how much I love Marcel Duchamp and all of his work. I’ll give a short speech about how influential he was. How his willingness to take on Cubism and the modern art movement in general made him a genius. How his well-founded arrogance has earned him a place in history as one of the Modernist juggernauts.

Then, I’ll really think about the painting. Sure, it was a hit in 1912, but that was a century ago. Times have changed. Tastes have changed. What was visionary is now yesterday’s news. In order to make this pop, I need to get a fresh take on this.

So I find an artist in his thirties. Old enough to be trusted with the keys to the car, but young enough to appeal to “the kids.” He’s produced a couple of good paintings that made a shitload of money, so I know he’s the guy. Our first meeting goes great. He seems to love Marcel Duchamp as well, but not so much that he actually reveres his work. That could end disastrously. We’re re-making history here!

Our first idea for collaboration is that Duchamp was working before the advent of helicopters. Who doesn’t love helicopters? No one, that’s who. Fucking helicopters rule. If Duchamp had ever seen a helicopter, it would have been in his painting. So my artist paints a helicopter in the corner. Sweet.

Also, have you heard of Henri Matisse? He did shit with collages and stuff. So let’s cut some stuff out of magazines and paste it on the canvass. Oh man, the painter just cut out a picture of an actual nude woman WALKING DOWN A STAIRCASE and duct-taped it to the canvas. This shit is gonna make me a trillion dollars.

Let’s not forget, though, that the revolutionary thing about “Nude No. 2” (which is what I’m renaming it – wait, unless that seems like it’s talking about poop. I’ll get a focus group on this), it wasn’t just the explosive power of the imagery. It was also that it forced people to see the world in an entirely different way. You could see the woman’s front, back, and sides all at once (it was a woman, right? Yeah, it must have been). It was like you were a god, viewing mankind through a lens of omnipotence. So I grab a black brush and write along the top, “See the world different – YOU’RE A GOD. THAT’S THE POINT OF THIS PAINTING.” The so-called artist I hired is a little mad that I’m sticking my brush in, but hell it’s my painting. It’s my money that’s paying for this after all.

Okay, we’re almost done. We just need something for the teenage boys. Oh, wait, the painter just added a bikini-clad woman firing a laser gun. Done.

Okay, now I order 75 million prints of this sum-bitch, which I’m gonna sell all over the world. This isn’t just art, baby, this is commerce! I love destroying beautiful things while making myself rich!

Now, if I actually did all of this, I wouldn’t technically be doing anything wrong. It’s my painting; I can do whatever I want with it. If someone liked the old version better, there are plenty of prints and posters out there. I’m just taking something beautiful and destroying it because I’m not creative enough to make something myself. So while I’m not doing anything wrong, I shouldn’t be surprised if true art fans walk up and punch me in my stupid face.

I’m writing this, Hollywood, to explain my feelings as you prepare to re-make the three greatest science fiction films of my generation, all of which were made perfectly by the same genius, Paul Verhoeven. “RoboCop,” “Total Recall,” and “Starship Troopers,” (which despite their disparate source material, I have determined all take place within the same universe at different points in a schizophrenic timeline, but that’s a subject for another letter). You don’t understand the nuance or subtlety contained with these bombastic, garish gems. You can’t fathom the tiny moments that make these films amazing. You’re going to ruin everything. That may be your right, but don’t be surprised if one day I walk up and punch you in your rich, stupid face.


1 comment:

Andrew K. said...

Hahaha. Vent away, even if I can't recall seeing any of the three movies (although, I'm sure I must have seen Total Recall at some time).