What A24 Reveals About the Media/Hollywood Bubble
Last week, film critic Christian Toto finally got around seeing a bizarre sounding movie most Americans probably never heard of called First Reformed, which stars Ethan Hawke as a pastor allegedly preaching eco-terrorism. In that review, Toto says this:
Is [Paul] Schrader’s film a cry for eco-terrorism? An example of how faith can lead us to destruction? An attack on organized religion, the kind powered by American consumerism and ego? He’s not offering any easy answers. His thumb is still pressed down on the moral scale.
A supporting character represents the company underwriting First Reformed’s 250th anniversary gala and, not so indirectly, Toller’s spiritual life. Naturally, the screenplay cast him as a true mustache twirler, a jerk who cares more about the bottom line than another man’s shattered spirit.
Sad, but not surprising; especially since it comes from an arthouse film and television studio based in New York City called A24 Films. Despite not being able to match any of the big-name movies of other studios, whether they may be arthouse or tentpole, the liberal media love to talk about A24’s content, including the pro-abortion “comedy” Obvious Child and the Oscar-winning Moonlight (making a hero out of a drug dealer in Miami).
But amidst all the buzz A24’s films get comes the big question. What does the company’s critical acclaim for fare featuring virtue-signaling, far-left talking points, graphic violence, and softcore porn disguised as “art” say about both the entertainment industry and the press? All that can be said is that it reflects how out of touch both the news and entertainment industries are with the rest of the country.
The establishment media has largely promoted the idea that the fare from A24 is, to quote James Berardinelli in his ReelViews review of Moonlight, “universal in scope and intent.” In reality, most of their movies are catered to reflect one view of society; that of young liberal elites on the coasts. None of their movies have universal appeal, which is why most of them can’t even reach the Top 20 films of the year in terms of box office revenue, either domestically or internationally.
For example, the press loved the above-mentioned movies Obvious Child and Moonlight. The former got a lot of hype back in 2014 from outlets such as Jezebel, The New York Times, and Salon. But the box office numbers showed that Obvious Child was far from the cultural watershed the media made it out to be.
The latter of which ended up getting an Oscar for Best Picture and, to be fair, did much better (a lot better, as a matter of fact) financially than its predecessor, grossing $60 million internationally out of a $4 million budget. That’s very impressive.
That being said, neither virtue-signalers get as much buzz or universal appeal as, say, the works of Pixar Animation Studios or legendary director Steven Spielberg.
Arthouse movies in general aren’t exactly catered to anyone who is considered to not have very sophisticated taste, but if done well, they can definitely withstand the test of time, just take a look at the respective successes of Napoleon Dynamite or La La Land. On the other hand, A24 basically panders its content to coastal elites.
Who wants to see movies about young women robbing a restaurant for college tuition money or coming-of-age stories painting a sympathetic picture of drug dealers? Probably not a lot of people. Most want to see movies about true American heroes, like most of the films made by Peter Berg and Clint Eastwood. Both directors might not exactly be critical favorites, but their respective military movies (i.e. Lone Survivor and American Sniper) do very well at the box office. Try saying that about any movie released by A24.
Not to mention that as a corporation, A24 has a very open liberal agenda. Last year, they did a satirical trailer called BREITBART (a cheap shot at the conservative news website of the same name), which paints the whole Trump administration as one big horror movie.
Check out the new trailer for avant-garde horror thriller BREITBART. pic.twitter.com/tHPFwVI1NO
— A24 (@A24) February 10, 2017
What unfunny propaganda.
At this rate, the folks at A24 have become this generation’s equivalent to Miramax Films or the now-defunct Weinstein Company, two arthouse studios (both co-founded by alleged predator Harvey Weinstein) that made movies that largely no one but the liberal media watches and loves.
As for the rest of the country, at least we have superheroes, real-life heroes, and kid and family fare (both animated and live action). Movies are meant to be an escape from real life, because we already have enough reflections of how ugly the real world is already. And that’s what the folks at A24 Films need to understand.