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Are we in a golden age of film?

Posted at 6:30 pm, January 12, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment
Golden age of film

In the wake of a simply spectacular year for film in 2013 – and with a mouthwatering year ahead – we at Time Out found ourselves wondering: is cinema entering a new golden age? From international masterworks like ‘The Great Beauty’ and ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’ via Hollywood smashes like ‘Gravity’ and ’12 Years a Slave’ to DIY experiments like ‘It’s Such a Beautiful Day’ and ‘Computer Chess’, cinema is now more exciting, more vibrant and more democratic than it has been in years. But could it get even better? Here’s a handful of ideas we came up with for making the movie scene even more spectacular than it already is:

Hey, Hollywood – remember the basics. The big tentpole blockbusters get more visually spectacular every year, but in too many cases script and character seem to have been sidelined. Where are the Han Solos, the Ellen Ripleys, the John McClanes? (Yes, we know he’s still around. But he’s a shadow of his former self.)

Get foreign-language film to a wider audience. Even now, there’s a belief among mainstream British and American audiences that foreign films are all artsy-fartsy and impenetrable. It’s up to distributors, awards voters and film mags to challenge that lazy assumption.

Close the gender gap. The BFI proved recently that movies produced and/or directed by women make more money at the UK box office, but the majority of the stories we see on our screens are still fronted by men. Where’s the next Andrea Arnold or the next Lynne Ramsay?

Get David Lynch out of retirement. He hasn’t made a feature film since 2006’s ‘Inland Empire’, and all the fancy nightclubs, photography exhibitions, blues albums and transcendental meditation seminars in the world can’t make up for that.

Get Shane Meadows back where he belongs. Since 2006’s ‘This is England’, the great British filmmaker has been occupied by TV shows and docs (all of which we love, but it’s just not the same). It’s time that unique vision was put back on the big screen. And while you’re at it, give the great Ben Wheatley a proper budget.

Put Jennifer Lawrence in everything. Yep, you heard us. EVERYTHING. Especially the new Lynch and Meadows movies. Can you imagine?

So, do you agree that film is hitting new heights, and if not, why not? What do you think it’ll take for this new decade to rival previous golden eras like the ’50s and the ’70s?

Read the full story now and give us your thoughts below, or on Twitter @timeoutfilm – and remember to keep checking timeout.com/film for all the movie news and reviews.

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