I wish filmmakers were shooting each other in the streets. I’m not exaggerating.
What I’m talking about is the great void of real blood competition that present cinema lacks. And that attitude that I seek exists and thrives within rap culture.
Perhaps more in its genesis but still present today, rap possesses an energy uncommon to rock, country or any other genre. It’s this fierce desire to be the best rapper alive, coast versus coast, city against city, two people in a battle to show the other who is the best. And sometimes the competition leads to death, to the gunning down of one another and I say good.
That’s passion. That’s creativity. The kind cinema needs. You see, movies used to be made by men and women who lived their lives. Raoul Walsh rode with Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. The best directors of Hollywood fought the Nazis. They had histories, they had lives. And at some point, nerds took over cinema. Intellectual whimps dominate the body of filmmakers and cinema suffers at their hands.
Where are the fierce storytellers? The cinematic equivalents of Biggie and Jay-Z? For a healthy cinema, we need to talk more shit to each other. We need to attack each other often. We should engage in blood competition.
When Olivier Assayas made his six-hour terrorist epic Carlos, my blood boiled. I wanted to call out to him across the Atlantic ocean with something bigger, something more grand that trampled his work to dust. Yes. This is cinema. The fierce battle of storytellers. The kind of attitude Norman Mailer had as a writer when he belittled other writers, got into fist fights with Gore Vidal and Rip Torn. No. Not this dead cinema of quality and innocence that is so proper and refined.
Praise Vincent Gallo for calling his contemporaries Spike Jonze a “rich Jew who loves Negroes” and Sofia Coppola an easy slut. Praise him for saying he wouldn’t work with Martin Scorsese for all the money in the world.
Remember when Kanye West got on stage in front of sweet little Taylor Swift and declared she didn’t deserve it? I want to see that at the Oscars, that old ceremony of quality and crap. Yes. I want to see someone stand up and snatch the gold statue from another’s hand, throw it down, and act like a fool.
Filmmakers should be behaving as foul-mouthed fools and engaging in fist-fights and sometimes if necessary shooting each other in the streets. This is necessary for Cinema to live.