Danny Boyle Claims 'Pixarification' of Movies is Killing 'Adult Movies'
I love Danny Boyle. He's a bloody brilliant filmmaker that makes very unique movies. His latest is Trance, which hit theaters back in April, and it's very much an "adult movie" with a complex characters, violence, and full frontal nudity to boot. Ever since Steven Soderbergh gave his very poignant speech about the "State of Cinema", the industry has been abuzz in discussion on Hollywood and cinema. Our friends at SlashFilm found this recent interview clip with Boyle from VodkasterOfficiel where he makes an interesting claim: thanks to the "Pixarification" (he explains what that means in the video and it isn't a diss to Pixar) the "adult movie" is going away. He makes a convincing argument referencing cinema of the 70's as a starting point.
My thoughts are that he is kind of right, but that's not to say "adult movies" still don't exist. I would say challenging cinema like Cloud Atlas, which at least got a strong release from Warner Bros, or Trance, Zero Dark Thirty or The Place Beyond the Pines still fit that "adult movie" mold and do end up being seen. But there are less and less of them and films like Cloud Atlas don't earn enough for them to keep supporting more of them. I do, however, still love Star Wars and Pixar movies and 70's movies and today's movies. But, hopefully, more complex adult stories will start to emerge again in the near future. We've interviewed Boyle many times before for Trance, 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire. What do you think of his claim?
Reader Feedback - 26 Comments
I would like to see more "adult films" with great plot and be more open to nudity. I really hate when the characters/actors(male and female) hide their nudity with bed sheets, etc. Trance had that nudity which seemed necessary. Not that I'm a 'pervert', it's just more realistic and intriguing! LOL!
The Truth on May 3, 2013
You had me until "LOL!" LOL.
DAVIDPD on May 3, 2013
Avi on May 4, 2013
i think he has a point. I think it's easier to make movies now though, just no-one can be bothered because it's actually quite hard work.
Carpola on May 3, 2013
I don't see what the problem is. There are stil plenty of adult movies. They may not do as well in the box office, because you're obviously limiting your audience. A lot of the "adult movies" seem to end up at the festivales, Cannes, artsy theaters, etc. or picked up on DVD. Film as art, mimicking real life is great, but we get enough of that day-to-day, which is why movies as entertainment typically appeal to me.
hawkk9 on May 3, 2013
The sad thing is that real life is "mimicking real life" meaning average person is striving to live some artificial abstract idea instilled by society of what life should be like instead of living real ,raw ,unfiltered life, hence the need for so called entertainment,art, which in its basic original form has a function of "shocking" or "waking up" the audience back into reality of raw experience of existence. Of course now we get the sanitized ,sterile version of "art" approved by the politically correct committee with the slogan "think of the children" or what have you. The almighty buck is also a big factor.When art becomes a just a tool for profit then its original purpose of rejuvenating the soul of the audience gets lost in a beige haze of mediocrity and essentially dead products.
talkingouttamyass on May 3, 2013
The term you're looking for is "hyperreality."
Tyler Morgan on May 5, 2013
Films today aren't produced by great filmmakers they're made by accountants and investment bankers. 🙁
Mr. O on May 5, 2013
I thought he was going to speak to the idea that movies are generally written by committee, with input from many people. Pixar proves that equation can work, but there are many other films that end up so far from the writer's original draft or core concept, that are ruined by that same process...
mikefly on May 3, 2013
Avi on May 4, 2013
He's just mad because Trance flopped. And he should be because it was fucking great. But, there are still just as many adult movies now as there were in the 70's, they just aren't coming out of Hollywood. It's called world cinema. Fuck Hollywood and their garbage. They should all burn. Especially Tom Cruise. Oblivion was the biggest joke of a movie i've seen in a long ass time
Hazedmind on May 3, 2013
The kind of stuff he's talking about is just done so much better on TV. So much better than it could ever be done in film. I think TV is a better fit for that sort of stuff.
Mark on May 3, 2013
He certainly has valid point. If you want to watch complex and adult fare, you're better of with HBO, AMC en Showtime original series instead of the vast majority of theatric releases which all seem to be hunting for the same popcorn munching teen demographic.
Kenneth on May 3, 2013
true! They make more cash so more bonusses for ceo's! Thats why HBO is so popular!
Avi on May 4, 2013
Take Shelter, The Master or Melancholia. you wanna see an adult movie Watch "Enter The Void" that shit will rock you world!
G on May 3, 2013
i wil watch it!
Avi on May 4, 2013
Danny Boyle is absolutely right. And he's not the only one complaining. The creator of Breaking Bad Vince Gilligan also complained of the same thing how movies today are all aimed at the teenage kids market and not really the adult market. Man FUCK all the Marvel comic book movies. Fuck all the Fast and Furious movies and all the other kids material.
.............................. on May 4, 2013
Yep, I agree too. It's plain to see. Movies watered down to fit the PG-13 rating. Think of all those great action and thriller movies of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s that were written and rated for adult audiences. They would not happen in today's "cotton wool" climate of movies.
mistermysteryguest on May 5, 2013
I agree with Danny Boyle although I might put it differently. I think that what cinema has lost is the boldness to be overtly political. Part of that is because of the profound amount of money (and shareholder investment) it takes to put a movie together, thus sanitizing any subversive message that might have otherwise come through. The seventies, and even some of the years after, were filled with political and socially critical films that we just don't see in the mainstream anymore. And I'm not saying this as a leftist who just wants to see more left-wing criticism in cinema. I don't care if an artist is left-wing, right-wing, libertarian or something else: I just want them to take a stand on issues. Zero Dark Thirty is an example of that kind of failure - in Bigelow's attempt to be "objective", and "realistic", showing "how it was" and not politicizing it, she ultimately sidestepped the debate over torture that was raging in the public during those events, and certainly within the CIA itself. Her failure to politicize it made it sanitary, safe and ultimately unrealistic. If she had shown torture as effective and necessary, I would hate the film with conviction, but at least it would have been bold. Entertainment movies are great, and I love them, but we can't risk losing the films that try to influence the public discourse. And for the people that think cable TV is now the home of adult stories and issues, just wait until cable starts making the same kind of money that cinema does now. The "Pixarification" will happen so fast, your head will spin.
Boiler Bro Joe on May 4, 2013
I agree with him in principle but he himself said it isn't like the content isn't there, it's just on tv. Mostly cable tv. And I'd add that there are plenty of adult films out there, adults need to get up off their asses and go see them. I saw Mud Friday and will see The Iceman during the week. But it's about money and demand. Big screens don't necessarily scream adult drama but they do scream big fantasy special effects out of this world type of films.
rocky728 on May 4, 2013
I definitely believe that the transformation of family friendly entertainment should return to the television. Appreciation for cinema needs to be something that, like children, matures. When kids begin watching the hyperviolent and sexualized shows that popularly air (walking dead, Im talking to you), and appreciate THAT as good writing.... we've already lost then. By the time they age to an era in there life where true appreciation for stories begins to settle, they've already been cauterized by adult-oriented television. Return to the old ways. Family friendly at home, serious and mature story telling at the cinemas, and we'll see the resurgence of quality movies.
Zak Coleman on May 4, 2013
Having nudity in your film does not make it automatically "adult". 60s films had little to no nudity in them and gave us some of the best films of all time. That being said I agree that it is completely insane to what the studio system has come to these days, with "censorship" before a movie even gets released, and Soderbergh definitely made a good point especially in his last sentence of that speech you reference. Boyle here makes some good points too, but that whole discourse doesn't take into account foreign cinema and don't forget we still get great arthouse cinema every year. It's just not mainstream cinema, but it never really was. Saying stuff like "Oh, movies were better in that decade" etc. is romanticizing things, because of course you'll only remember the good films.
DavideCoppola on May 5, 2013
Well, it's pretty much the outcome of "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls", from Peter Biskind. George Lucas and Spielberg created a recipe of flat profit with no risk instead of the genial craziness, addiction and primadonna style of Kubrick's and Coppolas - which delivered everlasting masterpieces but also left a lot of studios broken. Other than that, today's mass audience has pretty much Sarah Palin's-like mental capacity, so studios prefer to shoot movies for people 12-years-old-like-minded than to risk a loss. Boyle is spot on and I hope this new movie is up to the promise.
Cassiano Gobbet on May 5, 2013
You don't think making John Carter was taking a risk, how about Battleship, how about the first Iron Man? There's huge gambles made on those films and like most gambles the bigger the risk the bigger the payoff. They don't take as many gambles on more adult material as some would like because even when it works the payoff even if it's there usually isn't huge.
rocky728 on May 6, 2013
Rocky, actually I don't think there is too much of a risk. Each one of those major blockbusters have such a previous plan to launch where so many deals of merchandising, exhibition rights, cable TV, gaming and etc are done, that even if the movie is expensive, the risk is low - especially in franchises like Iron Man or Wolverine. Other than this, Hollywood today works so much its spending on financing sister companies like insurance, FX, law firms, distribution that although the spending is huge, many of the service providers are under the same umbrella. This is why Lucas and Spielberg are to blame for the idiotization of the adult movies - they showed Hollywood executives that the "StarTrek"-like movies can be expensive, but generate so many forms of revenue that they are safest than, let's say, any of the 70's movies from Coppola, Scorsese or Michael Cimino, who could spend huge amounts (for that time, because compared with today, they're small) and have disastrous box offices (which, really, are no longer by far the biggest revenue source for blockbusters...) Cheers
Cassiano Gobbet on May 6, 2013
Wow, I never would have thought that Disney would lose it's place as the cliche "ruiner" of movies.
Dan Hibiki on May 6, 2013
Sorry, no commenting is allowed at this time.