Here we are. It’s now the New Year and I’m sure that many of you ended up with massive hangovers that made the aspirin companies cry with joy. Now it’s 2004. Now is the time for resolutions. However, resolutions are likely to be tossed out with New Year’s Eve’s empty beer bottles. Consider this then my hopes and wishes for a good new year, for myself, for other moviegoers and TV viewers, and for the world of cinema: 

1. Yeah, “educated consumers” are out there, but as it is, there are not enough of them. I hope that this year, many consumers will learn what widescreen can actually do for a film and not reject it just because “those black bars bother me. I can’t see as much because of it.” You can see more because of it. Dust off that unused gray matter in your head and put it to good use while watching movies from now on.


2. Pipe dream, but how about banishing directors like McG and other followers just like him? I like my movies to be interesting, sometimes challenging, but I don’t want them looking like a f*****g 90-minute music video. I see enough MTV at home and I don’t want to see it at the movie theater. In a perfect world, there’d be more Spike Jonze-type music video directors. But this is not a perfect world, at least not yet.


3. Sofia Coppola, Spike Jonze, Cameron Crowe, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, and others: PLEASE MAKE MORE MOVIES!!!! We need your films! I understand that Cameron Crowe’s already working and Wes Anderson has “The Life Aquatic” going for him. Coppola and Jonze are most assuredly going through a divorce, but don’t wait too long to make another movie. As it stands now, Spike Jonze was hired to direct the film version of Maurice Sendak’s “Where The Wild Things Are” and has an untitled horror project going on at Columbia with Charlie Kaufman. As for Sofia, she’s proven many times over that she’s a much better filmmaker than she is an actress and I hope she extends her talents even more with new works.


4. Alright you indie filmmakers, moreso the ones that haven’t gotten off their a***s yet. You think you can’t make that film you’ve had a vision for? Keep the vision, but get up and go do it. Write the script. Make it what you think it can be. Massage investors in ways that please them (and not always THAT way) so that they can give you money to make those films. If you prefer to work on the budgetary fringes, then make whatever it is you’ve had in mind. Keep the indie film world strong and remember the many filmmakers that came before you. They did something about their ideas and you should too.


5. To the Independent Film Channel: Keep doing what you’re doing over there. More “Dinner For Five”. More new indie film premieres. Don’t cop out like American Movie Classics and try to cater to a younger, stupider crowd with programming that’s not even worth the camera it’s filmed on. “Man In La Mancha” is premiering in late January, and so is “Wake Up And Smell The Coffee”, a monologue film by Eric Bogosian, a favorite monologist of mine. This is what IFC is all about: Helping people discover gems in indie film and also surprising people like me with titles that I didn’t think would be aired for a long time.

6. To Turner Classic Movies: You’re all that’s left. AMC copped out, started programming garbage, and even inserted commercials during the movies. There’s enough of that from TNT, TBS and many others. You still stick to the widescreen format, remain commercial free and show treasures that many people should pay attention to. Stay the course.


7. To Vidiots, Amoeba Music, Rocket Video, Eddie Brandt’s Saturday Matinee and countless other video stores in Southern California: Thousands of movie buffs depend on you guys, including many that are probably prowling the site right now. You’ve done great already. Keep us nourished!


8. To Blockbuster: Kiss my a*s.


9. To all the readers of Film Threat: Stick around. It’s gonna be a great 2004.

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