Hollywood is nothing if not formulaic, and part of the formula for a left-wing dominated Hollywood is message movies. A piece this week in Crisis Magazine “Out-of-Date Message Movies” completely nailed the movie industry’s commitment to anachronism. Addressing the new film Philomena, author William Kilpatrick points out that:
The larger problem with the film is that it is seriously dated. More often than not, movies that deal with the recent past are meant to be relevant to the present. But just how relevant is Philomena? Like many other movies of its kind, Philomena aims to teach us a lesson, but, as with so many other recent movies, the lesson it teaches is one we all learned decades ago. In short, the message has passed its sell-by date. The problems depicted in such movies are yesterday’s problems. Rarely does the film industry address the problems of today.
The movie is a perfect example of the myopia of an industry that thinks the days of slavery, racism and misogyny are ever at the door crouching to destroy the progressive utopia we’ve experienced since the Age of Aquarius. Kilpatrick writes:
For instance, one of the “lessons” imparted by Philomena concerns the harmful consequences of attaching social stigma to unwed pregnancies. Because of the moralistic climate in Ireland circa 1955, Philomena was pressured to give up her baby—an act she regretted for the rest of her life. That’s fine if you’re addressing your message to the conscience of a 1955 audience, but the filmmakers don’t seem to have caught up with the fact that we live in a changed world. Many of the problems we face today stem from the fact that there is practically no social stigma attached to illegitimacy. Indeed, there are numerous social incentives for unwed mothers to remain unwed. As a result, the incidence of out-of-wedlock births has skyrocketed and, along with it, rates of poverty, crime, drug abuse, child abuse, child neglect, and abortion. What followed in the wake of the new non-judgmental morality was a seemingly endless cycle of husbandless mothers and fatherless children. Moreover, the number of children forcibly separated from their mothers by court order far exceeds anything seen in previous eras. If the filmmakers were really serious about addressing the issues of the day, the blight caused by the sexual revolution would be one of their top priorities.
Of course this won’t happen until the hippie reject baby boomers that dominate the movie industry go on to meet their maker, and young conservatives with a vision of cultural engagement take their place. This isn’t a call for conservative “message” movies per se (all art conveys messages because it conveys one way or the other the worldview of its maker), but we do need people in Hollywood who will challenge the current progressive orthodoxy, status quo and liberal group think.
I’m optimistic that one day this will actually happen because the right broadly speaking understands the importance of culture (as opposed to just politics) as it never has. We need to staff the professions of popular culture with people who reject post-modern naturalism and the enervating subjectivism that results from it. Kilpatrick tells us why this is so important:
For many young people, the entertainment world is their sole window on the real world, and most of them have little awareness that the Hollywood worldview is a dangerously distorted one. Obsessively focused on the past sins of the West, the Hollywood gatekeepers have seriously neglected the present dangers that Western cultures face. In short, they don’t seem to have noticed that the world has changed profoundly since the 1950s.