Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

Is American TV better than American film?

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik February 20, 2007 at 4:16AM

Is American TV better than American film?
1

"Is the Small Screen Better?," asks Devin Gordon in this provocative Newsweek article. With shows like "Rescue Me," "The Sopranos," "The Wire," "The Office" and many would add "Deadwood" -- which one filmmaker recently told me was "one of the best pieces of American filmmaking in ten years" -- television has proven itself to be a more potent American medium, with more nuance, complexity and great writing, than just about everything that we see in multiplexes.

The article taps into a story of my own that I'm researching at the moment: If TV can be so damn good nowadays, how come film critics -- those highminded arbiters of taste and shrewd analysts of popular culture -- don't spend more time thinking and writing about the medium. The same could also be said for direct-to-DVD and web cinema: As multiple distribution platforms upend the tradtional theatrical premiere, where is the press? Are the conventional arts-and-entertainment pages lagging behind where the actual media is going? Shouldn't the New York Times and other large media outlets be expanding its arts coverage -- not cutting it down -- to include everything from YouTube webisodes to cable-shows to world-cinema Jaman downloads never before seen in the U.S.? If the borders are blurring between film-TV-DVD-Internet, perhaps film critics and journalists should more readily follow suit.

If you're a filmmaker who has gone straight to DVD or cable TV, I'd be interested to know your experiences with the press coverage around your film. Do you feel like the media world is catching up to the new distribution paradigms? Or is it woefully behind the times?

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Tony: I saw this with my girlfriend. She was completely taken in by it. This movie is no better than a soap opera. Absolute drivel, pandering to…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 28th, 2015 1:03am

By Joe Britz: While rape is a horrible crime, it doesn't mean we simply toss Blackstone out the window. The foundation of our justice system is innocent…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 28th, 2015 12:31am

By Amelia: It reminds me of the Dark Ages, where people would accuse a woman of being a Witch and everybody would simply believe the accusation because…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 27th, 2015 3:25pm

By Joe: There is no rape culture. Rape is a sickening and illegal act but apparently there are some who want to return to the old fashioned lynch mob…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 27th, 2015 1:31pm

By roosevelto: I think that this movie is many things, one of those is political. Even if we suppose that it wasn't Afflec's intention, when has become…

"Argo" Reconsidered: Ben Affleck is a Right-Wing Propagandist

Jan 16th, 2015 5:08pm

By roosevelto: I watched the movie with the most naive eyes possible. I said to myself, don't care about facts, don't care about propaganda, don't care abou…

"Argo" Reconsidered: Ben Affleck is a Right-Wing Propagandist

Jan 16th, 2015 4:53pm

By Anthony Kaufman: "The Look of Silence" will definitely be on next year's list! It hasn't opened in the U.S. yet.

The Top 12 Documentaries of 2014

Jan 3rd, 2015 1:09pm