ARE FEUDS AS ENGAGING ON BLOGS AS THEY WERE IN PRINT? In the blogosphere, the fights they are having are not about movies most people are seeing and talking about. They tend to be about movies like the movie Margaret that came and went, and they are all furious that it only played one week here and one week there. These are not things that the public is engaged in.
Bonnie and Clyde, or The Exorcist, or things like that — those were things that the general public got involved in. The blogosphere, they are all seeing movies and screenings, but they aren’t really writing for a general audience. They’re kind of writing for each other and their much smaller fan base. A lot of the sniping takes place on Twitter, and if you don’t really know what they are talking about, it’s like a couple of stamp collectors going off on each other. The movies in the ’70s, the ones people went to war over, had a much higher visibility, whether it was Seven Beauties or Manhattan. It was a much higher raised stage back then.
Now it’s much more about if something will make all this money back. There’s no way you can really care about Iron Man 3 and all the superhero films. When I hear people talk about Tin Tin or Scorsese’s Hugo, a lot of the stuff on the blogosphere is really about the money and how it will do opening weekend. . . . They are thinking like box office experts now, and of course film bloggers don’t know anything about the movie business — they really don’t. They think they know when a movie should open, if it should open on a Wednesday — they don’t know. They’re not getting paid for that. They may know their own taste in movies, but they’re like the guys who call up the sports radio stations and say, “Well, he should have taken him out in the 8th inning.” They’re all experts. I see more cliquish squabbling, and I think the blogosphere really facilitates that.
When I read somebody’s Twitter feed saying, “Hey, are you going to such-and-such screening? Maybe we could have a bite after” — take it to private e-mail, I mean, what is this stuff? C’mon.
IS THERE ANYTHING IT’S GOOD FOR? It’s good for getting the word out. It’s good for keeping a conversation going about movies that might otherwise have been completely forgotten. I think it’s also been good for people who are interested in classic Hollywood. There are a lot of sites that are dedicated to the classic Hollywood films that the print media doesn’t care about. They don’t care about this 1944 film has just been restored, but there are a lot of film bloggers, including friends of mine, who are really on that. They are really good on the mythic quality of certain actors and stars. Kim Morgan is great on that.
I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT THE ’70S IN NEW YORK WERE THE GREATEST, MOST EXCITING TIME AND PLACE EVER. IS THAT TRUE? People say to me, “You know, in 15 years people will be writing memoirs about Brooklyn in the new millennium and Bushwick and the things that came out of that.” I don’t know. I can’t tell. No one can tell me that the mumblecore film scene carries the excitement and crackle for people that Scorcese’s did. I’m sure there will be the literary memoirs of people and they’ll be telling about the first time they met Jonathon Lethem, or when they came into a room and there was David Foster Wallace.