I was watching Robert Rossen's 1961 classic film "The Hustler" on our PBS HDTV affiliate on the night of July 13th, 2012—the night that I began this writing. It was the feature film on Elliot Wilholm's classic movie. He lauded with great praise the writer/director Rossen, Paul Newman and cast, set designers and everyone but the accounting firm and limo drivers. And then he said this one thing, which is as egregious to me as is it seemingly a bitterly sad statement on our current reality: "A film like this would never get made today. Executives would never green-light its dark and…" And that's when everything "went all black". When I awoke figuratively, I was literally writing the following:
When a great work of times gone by is lauded in apotheosis with the phrase 'It would never get made today', is it an indictment of present culture, or resignation to bow to trends? The obvious follow up would have to be "Why not?" Those of you who’ve read me or have spoken to me have probably heard me make this complaint: in this day and age, where technologically we have to tools at hand to create the greatest artistic works ever, why does mediocrity (and or mediocrity mistaken for minimalism) excel commercially and so often in the arena of critical acclaim? Roseanne Roseannadanna might respond, "Mr. SIDney Howard, you ask a lot of stupid questions."