“The movies are a habit, and a big part of us just wants them to be like they were before. Surprise me, we ask, show me something new — but let me recognize it. [The movies are] a business, and if the public likes a personality, you tell the stories that make the personality look good. A mythology develops, a whole set of legends — we call it the star system and the code of genres.
“Of course, the movies are changing. Many of the old rules are crumbling. And there are artists ready to test us in new ways. But as soon as the new ways work, they become institutionalized.
“No one thought The Godfather would do well. It became the most successful film made in 1972. So they let Coppola make The Godfather, Part II. It did far less well, but it’s a better film because in doing part one Coppola had learned new ways of doing a story, and the uneasy possibility that at the end a villain could be left in charge. That was new for a moment. Now everyone does it.” –from David Thomson‘s “The Comfort of Deja Vu,” in the 1.1.07 Guardian.