Donald Larson wrote that he:
>"... would note that in the past, most epics had a historical,
Biblical-historical, or (most often) pseudo-historical (or biblical) theme.
Those themes (aside from some usually independently-produced films like
DANCES WITH WOLVES or GLORY) have largely been subsumed by TV mini-series."<
Good point. And what's more, I feel that Hollywood has taken to producing
films that are more and more like big tv episodes. Aside from the obvious,
("Beverly Hillbillies", "Star Trek(s)", et al,) look at films like "Speed",
"Lethal Weapon(s)", and the Indiana Jones series, all are entertaining, (even
superb, as is the Indiana Jones series,) but all are structured, paced, and
even lit as for television. A local reviewer said that "The Client" was a lot
like an episode of "Murder She Wrote" but longer. (I haven't seen the film so
I don't have an opinion yet.
Not that there's anything wrong with big tv. But, in a sense, a lot of the
potentials intrinsic to film, such as nuance and doubt, are wasted when the
instant gratification formula so common in television story development is
applied to theatrical film.
As to real epics, yes, a lot of them are religious in theme, but from what
I've noticed a lot of people also include other large themes, (as in "Dances
With Wolves.") I almost feel like including "Malcolm X" because of the depth
of character of the subject, and the manner it was handled. And "Full Metal
Jacket," (which I finally just saw,) because of the intensity and sharpness
of the depiction of its subject. Still, these are not everyday films.
Please don't take my previous post on epics as a condemnation of Hollywood,
there are still gems like "Wrestling Ernest Hemingway" being produced. Just
not as many as before. And in the case of many, (as in W.E.H.) the release is
limited and fleeting. Here in Miami, where that film was shot, out of a
myriad of screens, it was shown only at two theatres, and hardly promoted. (I
thought that the performances of Richard Harris and Robert Duvall were
excellent and Randa Haines' direction was smooth and full of care.) Is it
studio politics or chance? The film deserved more attention. As do many
others. At least, "The Piano" got it.
Thanks for your attention.
Sincerely, Chad Dominicis, Miami, FL.