“It was a great year for films, which seems odd given the shrinking film economy. What I think has happened is that the need to event-ize a film has crossed into the area of content and performance. Predictable mainstream drama (watching stars do what you’ve seen them do before, watching familiar plot lines) has been driven into long-form TV drama, which means that for a film to compete theatrically it must be an event. Ergo the glut of megabudget IMAX 3D CGI epics. But the need to event-ize also is affecting story and performance. ‘Stunt’ performances which were once relatively rare (DeNiro in Raging Bull, Cage in Leaving Las Vegas) are becoming a necessary audience hook: emaciated McConaughey, comb-over Bale, silent Redford as well as stunt themes: merciless look at slavery, nonjudgmental view of Wall Street immorality, computer love story. In some ways it is reminiscent of 1929, another great year for films. That year silent films broke boundaries trying to fight off sound. This year they broke boundaries trying to fight off multi-media competition for eyeballs. Every theatrical film has to be an event. I don’t know where this leads, but it’s been great for movies this year.” — from Paul Schrader‘s Facebook page.