This year’s top five grossing films include three sequels, a spinoff, and one original story. The lack of imagination in modern American cinema is becoming more self-evident every weekend at the box office. This fact has had no negative effect on revenue, but are we giving birth to Generation Reboot? What will the studios have left to remake 20 years from now? What will our cinema say about us 50 – 100 years from now? Stories shape who we are as we grow up and preserve moments for future generations to better understand us. Stories have a way of capturing the human experience like no history book can. As long as Hollywood remakes the greatest films from past generations we are slowly choking out the new voices of our time and that is not acceptable.
Let look at a Hitchcock’s, Psycho, written by Joseph Stefano based off of the novel by Robert Bloch. This is a post-World War II horror film that suggests that evil is not a monster like a Vampire or Werewolf anymore. It can be the man living next door to you. This original story seen in historical context not only shifts the way we look at the film but also the way we look at the world.
That one original story in the top five box office hits of 2015 is the animated film, Inside Out, written by Pete Docter. He saw adults and children laugh for no reason or have a big emotional outburst and wanted to explore why that could be happening. The end result was a screenplay produced by Pixar. The story enables us to easily draw parallels to the over medicating of a generation of children due to emotional outbursts. History can only tell the greater meaning that will inevitably unfold from a film like, Inside Out.
When I was a child I honestly believed there was a time in our history when color did not exist. I thought the whole world was in black and white and somehow, one day everything just burst into color. I believed this because of black and white movies and TV shows. It is incredible what the imagination of a child can believe to be true. I don’t believe I was a unique child in this regard. I feel that it is a safe bet to say that almost all children have a limitless imagination because they are born not knowing a thing. They learn most of what they know through the use of story. It is probably the most rudimental education tool a parent or teacher possesses. Everything you tell a child who is experiencing the world for the first time is a story. The word story means history in Latin. All of our first stories were seen as truths passed down from generation to generation.
Original stories are a part of us. They shape who we are and we sleep easier at night hearing them told to us. They remind us of who we once were and the challenges we have overcome. They enable us to dream of new worlds that don’t exist yet or at least in our conscious minds. They enable us to leave our mark on this world and say, “Hey, we were here, and we were not rebooted.”