Just watched the trailer for Lions for Lambs with Ryan. My first reaction was “They are capitalizing on the current social and global situation! How dare they!?” But then I remembered how many well-intentioned theatre artists have lamented the fact that plays which deal with social issues – plays that are social commentary – do not typically get bums in seats. So let’s capitalize on Tom Cruise to raise social issues in the minds of the general movie-going public! Great idea.
Ryan’s reaction was, “It just seems so heavy-handed!” To which I replied, “But an artist, if he’s being an honest artist, is incapable of being objective.” And I really think so. An honest artist has to write-produce-create from a place of subjectivity. You might say, “A producer should be objective!” But a producer is an artist too! “Well, then, the studio should be objective! It’s a corporate entity!” But the studio is operating in an artistic medium!
Frankly, I think the studios, producers, directors, screenwriters, filmmakers responsibility is NOT to be objective or to raise objective questions. Perhaps we could make that argument of documentarians (Mike Moore might disagree), but I strongly defend the artist’s right to react honestly to the world as he see it – whether that artist is a student filmmaker, a community theatre cat, or a studio producer.
Whatever brings the social issues of the day to the forefront of the minds of the general movie-going public is a good thing, right?
Watch the trailer. What do you think?