March 23, 2004

In The Face of Tragedy : Le Cinema

Browsing the movie news this morning, Cinecultist found the following lead graf in an article about last weekend's international box office receipts from Variety.

After mourning their compatriots who died in the March 11 terrorist bombings in Madrid, Spaniards sought solace in escapism last week by catching "Hidalgo," an exotic adventure where a U.S. cowboy beats comic infidels, and feel-good comedy "Along Came Polly." The weekend B.O. dropped by 20% to its lowest level this year as cinemas shuttered during the day March 12, when 12 million Spaniards took to the streets, and on the evening of March 13, but exhibs had feared a much worse falloff.

There's something sort of unsettling about this business as usual attitude to the obvious financial concerns following a disaster, that CC can't quite put our finger on. Though granted, following the World Trade center attacks CC does remember quite a bit of talk about whether people still wanted to go to the movies and what they might want to see. Of course people always want entertainment and some escapism, there's nothing frivolous about that. But still. Maybe it's the idea that Spaniards saw Along Came Polly and Hidalgo as that needed respite. We haven't seen either of these ourselves but they seem to represent to CC all that sucks about Hollywood's cultural imperialism. All those empty costume extravaganza and hairy nipple sight gags hardly seem like salve to the aching soul.

Posted by karen at March 23, 2004 8:07 AM