When you think of the world of film and cinema, most people would associate it as a mindless pass time which you do if you have spare time on your schedule. However, in recent years, this convention may have changed into something much more complex, with recent entries to the film world like Inception and Memento may have shown.
Could it be that, the world of cinema and film has become intelligent in a way, and we have been thrust into a new convention of film where, throughout the whole picture, it is meant to confuse you and question what you actually believe in the real world?
Now, I am not saying that every single film you would have seen or will see this year would be confusing, as we are all guaranteed to see another mindless comedy where the plot could have been thought up within 20 minutes or an action film which is too over the top, even Nicolas Cage would have second thoughts staring in it. But, with recent trends of cinema, we are now getting more films where it is actually mandatory for the audience to not have a clue what is going on for the whole film. Honestly, for the past few years, my friends and I still don’t actually understand what happens in Memento but it doesn’t stop me from watching it over and over again to try and figure out what is actually going on, seriously, if you haven’t watched this film, I highly recommend it.
So, from this example, does this mean that audiences actually want to be confused and like the idea to try to figure out what is actually going on or is it showing how audiences tastes have changed over the years from big budget blockbusters like Independence Day in the late 90’s to more challenging films like any Christopher Nolan film that has been made throughout the Noughties? Even The Dark Knight trilogy tries to confuse the audience by creating a non-linear narrative and by creating so many plot lines, even the most experienced film goer may be slightly confused with the highly non-linear narrative.
On the other hand, I believe that this trend of films in which they make the audience think about what is happening on screen is not actually new but a homage to what has happened in the past. For example, many of Alfred Hitchcock’s films, like Psycho and Rear Window, have been shown to be films in which the audience has to interact and work out what is happening but have gone on to be some of the most celebrated films in history.
I do believe, that film, like most of the world’s businesses, do go through a transition of showing the same type of material as has happened in the past, like the resurgence of many fashion items from the 80’s now in the modern world. As it is known, the film world is a business so it may show that the resurgence of these films in which the main plotlines are quite though provoking, it may just show how this goes with the idea of the business world capitalising on this gap in the market.
Maybe, the film industry is just showing their business brains by capitalising on this new trend of being strange, and almost hipster-ish in a way and how even trends from the past can now be brought back into the public lime light. However this does not mean that the film industry can just bring back film series just because they can. I mean look at Alien vs Predator: it was actually said in a film environment that Alien vs Predator was a good idea and that it was going to revitalise the classics. Just let that sink in for a while, someone though Alien vs Predator was a good idea.
I suppose with films such as Inception, it wasn’t just the factor of it being a film where it involves Leonardo DiCaprio jumping from dream to dream and audiences becoming confused by the idea that the same group of actors which are involved in near enough EVERY (no exaggeration) Christopher Nolan film can still get different parts in other films not involving Nolan. But it is also the idea that it is actually a good film, even if you don’t understand the plot or what is actually happening, in which you can enjoy with the blistering action with the joy of Ellen Page just being herself.
However, in the end, is this trend of strange and perplexing films going to evolve into something else? By the unpredictability of the film industry, Adam Sandler may actually get roles where he is actually doing something different to what he does all the time, on the other hand, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.