Christopher Nolan and Edgar Wright want you to fill up movie theaters again once the current pandemic ends.
Nolan is the maestro behind “The Dark Knight” trilogy and “Inception.” Wright brought “Shaun of the Dead” and, most recently, “Baby Driver” into theaters and, later, living rooms.
The directors’ intentions are sound, pure even, but there’s a significant catch to their pleas. Why should the same Americans repeatedly denigrated by Hollywood rescue the industry once the New Normal returns?
Nolan used The Washington Post to share his plea. Sadly, the op-ed is behind a paywall – that’s lousy optics from the start, particularly given The Post’s overt bias in recent weeks.
Here’s an excerpt from Nolan’s commentary:
“The movie business is about everybody: the people working the concession stands, running the equipment, taking tickets, booking movies, selling advertising and cleaning bathrooms in local theaters. Regular people, many paid hourly wages rather than a salary, earn a living running the most affordable and democratic of our community gathering place,” he wrote. “Our nation’s incredible network of movie theaters is one of these industries, and as Congress considers applications for assistance from all sorts of affected businesses, I hope that people are seeing our exhibition community for what it really is: a vital part of social life, providing jobs for many and entertainment for all.”
Wright’s gentle tug includes a way to help theaters today, not just tomorrow.
As Nolan suggests, “One way of showing your unwavering support is to become a member of your favorite cinema. After you’ve read this, why not buy a membership for yourself, or for someone close to you. Buy some gift cards. Donate where you can. Consider, if you can afford to, not asking for your unlimited subscription to be refunded. Yes, you may not be able to go back in the coming months, but you’ll feel better for having helped now than if you later found your local church of cinema had been forced to close for good.”
“Local church of cinema?” That’s as out of touch as millionaires singing the John Lennon song “Imagine” from their palatial homes.
Still, neither Nolan nor Wright are partisans in the Sean Penn mold. Heck, it’s hard to say where they stand on Brexit, the border wall or other hot-button issues.
They mostly talk about movies, and bless them for that. This lifelong movie fan feels their pain. We all can look back on memories of being scared, thrilled and tickled pink in movie theaters over the years.
And it all happened in the dark, a place where we watched those magnificent images unspooled before us.
Many of us feel something else, though, something impossible to deny. Up until recently a large swath of the film industry hated us … for voting the “incorrect” way.
They gave an indie film about Planned Parenthood fits because it didn’t like the angle in play.
They insulted anyone who voted for President Donald Trump in the worst ways possible. Celebrities on screens small and large called us racist for wanting to secure our southern border.
Nolan and Wright represent, fairly or unfairly, Hollywood, Inc.
Some stars have done all they can to bring us together since the pandemic happened. Actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively rush to mind, giving $1.5 million, to date, for various noble causes.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson used their celebrity to calm our fears when they contracted CO-VID 19.
Yet other parts of Hollywood, Inc. doubled down on their hate, their divisiveness, all aimed at conservatives.
Director Rob Reiner’s litany of anti-Trump rage is too long, too ugly to even coalesce here.
Actress Rosanna Arquette tried to gin up support for the #TrumpGenocide hashtag. “Star Trek” alum George Takei called the president racist for using the acceptable, time-honored label for the CO-VID 19 virus.
“Tank Girl” star Lori Petty dubbed Republicans a “death squad” for supporting Trump.
Legendary director Ridley Scott slammed Trump as a “nutcase” while praising CNN, a source of endless media bias and lies.
Actress Ellen Page circled back on Climate Change, saying President Trump’s reaction to it endangers the world … ignoring the far greater impact China has on the environment.
This is just a small sample of Hollywood’s hyperbolic reaction to the virus. It doesn’t include how many stars share Fake News stories for toxic political purposes.
It’s a lousy way to ask half the country to help the theatrical experience bounce back, no?
To be fair, most stars are staying silent during the crisis. Many may disapprove of the divisive tactics of their peers.
Still, roughly half the country hears what Wright and Nolan are saying, as well as the crush of far-left stars who can’t stop insulting us. They may shrug their shoulders at their local theater when the nation’s “all clear” sign blinks on.
Christian Toto is editor of HollywoodInToto.com, the Right Take on Entertainment