So far the year 2006 has been the champion of films withheld from the press. As of today, there are 15 that opened with no press screenings -- with more on the way. I'm sure that's a record, but since no records are officially kept of such things, it's impossible to confirm. Heartbreakingly, most of these unwanted, unwatchable movies are doing incredibly well at the box office. At the other end of the spectrum, message movies seem to be coming quite a bit faster and more furious than usual. (I guess this means that people today are, for the most part, either stupid or pissed off.)

In 2004, propaganda documentaries exploded from the sidelines (led, of course, by Fahrenheit 9/11), but now we're getting the same anger wrapped up in fiction films. Message movies usually fall into three categories. The first has an obvious message, placed at the forefront of the movie so that, even if you fall asleep, you'll still get the point. The second type buries its message among a more traditional plot, turning its gripe into a subtext (see V for Vendetta). The third also attaches its message as a subtext, but also keeps the message ambiguous. For this third type, the point is to get people to think for themselves. Needless to say, this is no way to earn a living or win awards. But it does result in some very good, and sometimes overlooked, movies playing on 400 screens or less.
categories Cinematical