Loss of Reality (2/4): Bourgeois Film

The bourgeois film industry can be identified by the following three major characteristics due to it being an extension of the status quo and a method to retain power.

Bourgeois film emphasizes quantity over quality, seeks to retain bourgeois cultural hegemony, and is characterized by the ownership of the means of production.

Quantity over quality.

The first characteristic of bourgeois film is its emphasis of quantity over quality. The bourgeoisie have adopted a model that produces thousands of movies each year, which means that not every film has to be critically successful.
Hollywood is a well-known area of Los Angeles ...
Often, the model is for the bourgeoisie to produce blockbusters that typically rely upon spectacle (rather than substance), star power (the commodification of individual actors), and massive advertising to attract a profitable audience size.

Further assisted by the presence of amoral heroes and ubiquitous sexuality and violence that appeals to primal instincts, films made in this manner do not emphasize nor require professional-quality acting, directing, or screenwriting.

Cultural hegemony.

It is in the interest of the current status quo, the bourgeoisie, to further consolidate their power through cultural hegemony. These attempts in film are most easily identified by a lack of perspective, narrow-mindedness, or ignorance, which stems from the natural tendency of the bourgeoisie to assume that bourgeois reality is more common than it really is.

There also comes a significant bourgeois apprehension against foreign-language films for these same reasons, that the bourgeoisie seek to minimize any influence that could usurp their power.

Not only do the bourgeoisie assert their cultural hegemony through bourgeois film, but they also promote imperialism through glorified depiction and practice. Films that promote imperialism, glorifying and attempting to morally justify it, are natural for the bourgeoisie to promote their own preservation. Then, the actual projection of imperialism through the imposition of cultural hegemony with the outsourcing of the film industry abroad.

If you believe this is restricted to private industry, I must interject that bourgeois governments also act in conjunction with the bourgeois film industry since their hegemonic interests adhere to the same strategy.

Means of production.

A tell-tale sign of any bourgeois venture is the ownership of the means of production, disallowing other, perhaps more capable producers of quality content in the name of hording capital.

Though there are many capable actors, directors, screenwriters, etc., only those with a relatively significant base of capital may find success in the bourgeois film industry. In later stages of capitalist development, this stifles creativity and innovation by relying on only those already within the industry who have found financial success in the past.

We see now the same creative teams working on similar films made by the same studios, creating a redundancy of efforts to produce additional capital, when in reality they are stagnating their own growth.

The independent studios not supported by larger studios’ financial resources must attempt to create professional-quality products with a minimal budget, which more often than not leads to commercial failure.

Larger studios, the more successfully exploitive capitalists, by contrast focus on extremely expensive releases every year in order to remain profitable. The financial capital invested into special effects and actor commodities require an enormous budget, offset by an audience large enough to reap considerable profits. Don’t think for a moment though, that the capitalist is risking anything. The film industry steals ten billion dollars a year from its audiences.

The advent of piracy is a logical growth with the proliferation of technology, and though it can be literally 1,000 times cheaper to purchase pirated films, the bourgeois film industry of course has had a backlash against piracy.

Their stranglehold on capital gain milks audiences for ten billion dollars a year, yet the actual cost of proliferation is miniscule in comparison, without even mentioning digital file-sharing.


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