There was a period where radio & film actors and actresses were hyped for their background in theater. You could often hear the radio narrator talk about how next week So & So would be the star of the broadcast, and that they were a distinguished London or New York stage actor who, in the toughest markets in the anglosphere, were able to be an in-demand performer.
While we still have actors and actresses that are lauded for their work in theater, this tends to be the exception and not the rule. We also see a phenomena where people like Daniel Radcliffe essentially establish their careers in film to only go and perform in theater as a sort of ‘exclamation mark’ on their other work, to try to portray themselves (and to convince themselves) that they are more than just the person who had the look desired by a Hollywood producer.
We live in an era where we have stories of how Michael Bay had Megan Fox wash his car as part of her audition. The reason being, of course, that it is more important to infuse one’s works with sexuality and gross appeal to baser animal instincts to sell a film these days.
It should even be noted that some of the films that we even regard as being above typical, mindless Hollywood film, films like the Batman series or Fight Club, still depend on high budget action scenes and millions of dollars of investment.
The quality in today’s film (and even television) is seldom found in the story, but is found rather in the expensiveness of the production and the special effects, the blunt beauty & sex appeal of the characters and even the nature of humor is no longer one that involves witty comparisons or surprising observations, but it is one that relies on shock & sexuality.
Our sense of quality itself has begun to deteriorate. I find myself inexplicably attracted to a large budget action film and it seems these days I am less patient with introspective, low budget films than I used to be. It is like we have become so used to mindlessness that we no longer even fully understand the full value of mindfulness.
All we can do is try to cure ourselves through abstaining from quality-less, tacky, overproduced & underthought film, TV and music, and retreat back to the sanctum of True Art.