The ongoing transformation of human social organisation is reflected in the transformation of cultural forms. This is, of course, why the lettrists announced back in the early 1950s that: “the cinema too must be destroyed!” Right now movies look pretty superannuated in comparison to gaming and social media. Even Hollywood bores like Brad Pitt are admitting there is no way they are going to get the kind of upfront salaries they did in the past. However, Pitt is wrong when he claims the economic crisis alone is responsible for doing-in Hollywood. Downloading and file sharing are games changers as much for film as for music. The revenue streams generated by cinema have changed and weakened, just as they have for music and books. While ongoing economic turmoil may have added to these pressures, the changes were coming anyway. Today badly shot mobile phone footage of inconsequential acts in public space go viral on YouTube and Hollywood can’t compete with this. If this isn’t the end of cinema then it is at least a chance to reinvent it – burn, Hollywood, burn!
If we’re not yet witnessed the end of cinema, we will in due course. As Amadeo Bordiga put it: “…in the fog of the depths off Nantacket, in the dark of the walled tomb of the living in Marcinelle, in the bitterness of the slime of the stagnant ponds of the Arabian Desert, while the forces of the Revolution seem to be hiding and Great Capital carouses in the bright sunlight, we have again found, at his inexhaustible work, the Old Mole who undermines the curse of the infamous social forms, who prepares for the not near, but most certain, destructive explosion.”
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!