Producer J. Todd Harris: This Year’s Prestige Titles Reaffirm Faith in Movies (Guest Column)
by J. Todd Harris 12/17/2015 3:15pm PST
‘Spotlight,’ ‘Concussion’ and ‘The Big Short’ have all taken on massive institutions and could “influence how we view those institutions and their impact on our lives.”
Sometimes when you go out and see so many silly movies playing at the multiplex, you can rightfully wonder if movies have lost their relevance on our cultural landscape, or if all the sociological conversation has migrated to television. As someone who produces movies for a living and actively pursues some titles simply because I believe they can sell a lot of tickets, it’s possible to sometimes be disheartened by participating in a Hollywood machine that cranks out its share of meaningless fare. Not that I have anything against escapist entertainment — we all need a break from our current reality.
Now 2015 may or may not be a better year at the box office, or for movies in general, but in the rush of prestige movies that floods the marketplace in the late fall, I have been inspired and re-invigorated by several pictures that have reminded me of the power of movies and their potential to get audiences thinking and actually to shape the national conversation.
At least three movies this season have taken on massive institutions that have knowingly pursued profit and self-preservation at the expense of the American public. For me, these films have inspired relevant dialogue and will — hopefully — influence how we view those institutions and their impact on our lives.