David Denby: The End of Movies?

The New Yorker’s David Denby on the future life – or death – of the movies.

A poster for the upcoming movie Sharknado. (The Asylum)

A poster for the upcoming movie Sharknado. (The Asylum)

Have American movies gone to the dogs?  New Yorker film critic David Denby – one of the biggest voices in the country when it comes to film – says yes.  Not all.  Not always.

But the movies as a vital national touchstone of what matters in human affairs, in human nature, are in deep trouble, he says.  The new economics of cinema bring us empty, big-budget, souped-up spectacle.  “A thundering farrago,” writes Denby, “of verbal and visual gibberish.”

This hour, On Point:  The New Yorker’s David Denby asks – do the movies have a future?

-Tom Ashbrook


David Denby, staff writer and film critic at The New Yorker. He’s the author of Do the Movies Have a Future?

From Tom’s Reading List

IndieWire “There are certainly some valid reasons for pessimism. We just escaped a particularly dreary summer movie season. Actual film — light captured on and then projected through celluloid — is vanishing at an disturbing rate. 3-D is still darkening theater screens and emptying patrons’ pockets. Our children’s notion of “the movies” will look completely different than ours. ”

The Guardian “There’s been a lot of death-of-film talk recently, as there often is when the first leaves of fall bid their first, golden adieus. “I’m made crazy by the way the business structure of movies is now constricting the art of movies,” fumed David Denby in The New Republic after a summer which steamrolled one action blockbuster after another into a single strip of blurry, brazen fury.”

Variety “Its biggest star, George Clooney, is simply a co-producer and its protagonist (Ben Affleck, who also directs) never does anything heroic except negotiate. So “Argo” is clearly not so much a hit as an accident. Or is it?”


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“Hand Covers Bruise” from The Social Network by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

“There Will Be Blood” from There Will Be Blood by Jonny Greenwood

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