Last night HE’s “Knox Bronson” lamented the theatrical absence or elimination, really, of the peak Tony Gilroy and Alexander Payne big-screen aesthetic, certainly as it existed 15 or 20 years ago. To which I responded…

“This is the death-pill essence of the current cultural depression. Theatrical audiences will almost certainly never again savor adult dramas as whipsmart and meditative and emotionally satisfying as Sideways or Michael Clayton. They weren’t arthouse profound in an Ozu or Bresson or Hitchcock or Bergman-esque sort of way but they were SO DAMN SATISFYING in their jaded, well-ordered, ‘somewhat older guy who’s been around and suffered a few bruises’ fashion, and now, as Ray Liotta’s Henry Hill says at the ending of Goodfellas, ‘It’s over…last night I ordered pasta and they gave me egg noodles and ketchup.’

“The industry currently trying to make product that will fill the 2022 gladiator megaplex arenas…the film industry as we know it has completely thrown in the towel as far as that sort of theatrical film is concerned. It’s over and done with and will never, EVER return. Millennial and Zoomer taste buds + the Marvel scourge + streaming + 80-inch UHD home theatre systems + wokester intimidation & terror + a two-year Covid suffocation have killed this sort of theatrical climate forever.

“Film festivals and streaming are where the action is. Theatrical is a mosh pit these days — purely about satisfying movie fans who’ve been raised and conditioned to expect and accept genre crap and cinematic degradation and the superhero tentpole zoneout syndrome. It’s a whole different realm out there now — the last five or six years have delivered the death blows, shattering those of us who knew the mid-to-late 20th Century film-church realm and occasionally felt the nutrition and the nurturing.”