All these young idiots


Can you believe it? They don’t go to the movies anymore?
They spend their lives on their dirty phones.
On social networks – on Facebook….
They didn’t go to see the last movie of Mr. Ridley Scott – who lost a lot of money.

I have to admit, I’m not that young – and I didn’t go see it either.
That’s good, it makes me feel young.

I’m probably a little late on Mr. Ridley Scott’s furious statement – I live in a remote village in the somewhere of France – but it finally reached me…

And it makes me laugh, frankly, it amuses me.
I could just as easily find it unbearable. I prefer to laugh about it.

It’s easy to beat up on young people, isn’t it? It makes you feel good, it makes you feel smart. Crumbling, but smart.
Okay, that pissed me off.

Still, here’s another clue that argues for a real revival of the entertainment arts.
The cinema is dying as it made the theater die in its time.

You can spend the rest of your life crying about it, mind you.
You can also consider what is technical about an art – and wonder what has changed.
And avoid the appalling platitudes – holding up the walls of cafes was no better than holding up your phone now.
With that, Facebook has become a den of old people who think they are young – well, I’ll shut up.

But to understand what’s going on, it’s still useful to ask what has really changed in this new audience.
It’s almost nothing, I keep saying it over and over again – but this almost nothing is simply fundamental.
It is called: participating.
Mr. Scott leaves his audience in the room.
Mr. Joly, a theater director, takes his spectator into the room – and keeps him there for hours and hours – on shows that are much more intellectual and difficult than the story of a rape in the Middle Ages – one rape in the Middle Ages? but where? in which country? a victorious soldier, as many rapes as the guy had a hard-on ; the losers were not fighting for metoo, but for not being disembowelled after the rape. As for the judgment of God, everyone knew it at the time – yes, at a time when people believed in God in a way that is inaccessible to us. What I mean is that rape was such a lesser evil compared to the common practices of that time that frankly, it is a rotten subject – yes I’m bitching even though it’s all coming out of a French novel, which makes a magnifying glass effect on a period news story . I, the French Literature professor with a medieval major at the university, don’t take my students to see “that” – my students read Rabelais, Villon, Joinville, at least. And they know the Middle Ages through its texts and through its contemporaries. So much for Mr. what’s-his-name talking nonsense about young people who are being taught by people like me and who are succeeding. It’s true that our lessons don’t cost us as much to prepare. Besides, we’re not artists – at some point, history has to be learned, too. Zut. Okay, I’m totally pissed.

Mr. Ancel, a video game developer, taught his players that they were part of his stories – him and all other video game developers.

D’ in the end.

Bringing that audience into stories you love starts with listening to that audience – instead of calling them stupid.

I don’t worry – until someone understands that, Altair will remain an alien novelty.
The day I hear of a theatre that works with this basic Altair principle of bringing the audience into the show, through the door or through the window, is the day I can get depressed because I’ll be useless.
But on that day, within the walls of this kind of Altair, there will be an audience.

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4 Thoughts

  1. Old people whining about the “young idiots” of today is a predictable arc I want to avoid as I get older. There are lots of young people doing amazing things these days, just look at the ones fighting the climate crisis.

    And plenty go to the cinema still, too, they just also watch films on their laptops/phones. If they didn’t see Scott’s latest, it’s probably because the reviews haven’t been middling and the marketing campaign was rubbish.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes you are totally right – I found this reaction … I don’t know if it translates into English: mofo – “cad” seems better, no ?
      Young people who don’t want to learn, that really pissed me off – my teacher side came out in three seconds.

      Liked by 1 person

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