I talk all the time about how we are losing the ability to tell stories. That much is apparently obvious in the overload of fluffed up and meaningless nonsense that hits the screens every week. It’s frustrating when every movie is either a lazily written super hero movie or one that is entirely dependent on the amount of explosions or risqué humor squeezed into it.

However, maybe not all of the blame should be put on the filmmakers. Maybe the audience is truly losing the ability to see and appreciate stories like we once did. Why might this be the case?

Loss of Connection

It’s been said a million times. We are the most connected yet disconnected society of all time. Technology definitely plays a role in the loss of connection in our films. More focus goes into new filming aspects such as 3D instead of story. As a result, there is an audience left without any connection to the people on the screen.

However apart from that, this is already a society that has difficulty in finding that ability to connect. Not being able to connect on an every day basis makes it more difficult to connect with characters on a screen, even if the story is great. Old ways of writing story is not working with this new audience. It’s not connecting the way it once did. It could be an amazing, creative film and the audience still leaves shrugging their shoulders and saying “Meh.”

New is No Longer Considered Good

Everyone always complains about how nothing new ever gets made any more. It’s always reboots and sequels. However, when something new does hit the screens, it seems like audiences have a more difficult time adjusting to it. We are all so used to jumping into a story or world in which we are already familiar. Putting the extra time and effort into becoming adjusted to a new world is just more work.

I’ve been noticing this in myself a lot lately. Netflix offers me so many choices of movies to watch. My queue goes on forever. However, I very rarely turn on anything that I haven’t seen a million times before. I’ve literally watched Arrested Development about 10 times through this year. I don’t have the energy at the end of the day to invest in a new story.

I also noticed this while watching The Great Gatsby. It was so different from what I was expecting or was familiar with that I had to go see it again before I could make up my mind whether I enjoyed it or not. That used to never happen to me. I could always jump into a new world without a blink.

If we lose the ability to appreciate story, it will show in our values as a society. It’s more important than ever to weed out the good from the bad. We are very quick to label a movie bad, but sometimes I wonder if, in our hastiness to have our opinions heard, we are tossing aside some of the good ones.

What movies do you think are great but have gotten bad reviews? Do you find it’s more difficult to enjoy a movie now than it was ten years ago?



Rachel M Taylor

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Rachel is a writer/director. She loves character driven movies and really good cheese.

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