• Lead
Film

Opinion: Can Kickstarter help revive the great, lost genres of cinema?

Posted by James Cartwright,

This week editor James Cartwright laments the loss of ham-fisted cinema and urges us to let Kickstarter revive it. As always, you comments are encouraged below.

The angry people of the internet have got beef with Kickstarter. They’re sat at their computers taking issue with the crowd-funding platform for all sorts of bizarre reasons. Some complain of “having my account banned on a whim by a mean Kickstarter employee, despite being a regular and active customer”, others gripe that “Kickstarter is a good fundraising platform, however it offers no protection and no guarantees that projects will be finished and delivered. This creates a good opportunity for Kickstarter scams, when people raise money for projects that were never planned to be completed, or projects that lie about the quality and basically resell low quality Chinese stuff 40 times the bulk price.” – which sounds like paranoia pure and simple to me.

But what I’d like to say to these online naysayers is this: “Chill the heck out guys, because Kickstarter is making the impossible possible!”

Allow me to put forward a little case study. Right now there’s a project up for funding called Kung Fury which bills itself as a “visually spectacular action comedy that has its foundation in 80s cop movies.” But they’re selling themselves short. Kung Fury is in fact the bastard offspring of Repo Man, Akira and the appalling film they made of Playstation mainstay Tekken that we all regretted watching well after our bedtime at the age of 11. It’s the kind of film that proliferated during the golden age of 1980s cinema, part of the genre upon which Kurt Russell managed to base his entire career. It’s action and adventure, sci-fi and skateboarding, it has Nazis, crazy special effects and an improbable love story that has no narrative grounding whatsoever.

In short it’s the kind of conceptual mishmash we’re all secretly baying for. This is the kind of film that we once snuck into underage, and then planned entire weekends around as pre-booze-drinking teenagers because it offered pure, unadulterated escapism. But none of the money-men want to touch these films anymore. The Hollywood studios gave up on them long ago in favour of financial safe bets and James Cameron. However, in Kickstarter we have the opportunity to revive this celebrated underdog of a genre and bring bizarre, computer game-based entertainment back into cinemas the world over. Because who wants to watch another Wolverine prequel/sequel/remake again anyway?

I long to feel once more the confused tears of joy stream down my face as I laugh at the deadpan delivery of a humourless script and marvel at the cheapness of the set design I’ve just witnessed. Let me enjoy what promises to be the 2014 answer to Buckaroo Banzai.

In short, my point, I think, is leave Kickstarter alone, because I want to see this film made. And also they do loads of other great stuff too that has nothing to do with Kung Fu or the 1980s. Yeah?

comments powered by Disqus
Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Film View Archive

  1. Main

    Hardly anyone’s been on an uphill-climb as fast as Tyrone Lebon. One day he plopped into our lives with his photographs and films, and then the next minute he’s everywhere – shooting people all over the world and being talked about by countless magazines and websites. Just to reassure us that he’s no flash in the pan he’s just created this fantastic, informed collage of a film.

  2. Main

    If you’re slightly unhappy in your day-to-day job and secretly feel that perhaps you should be doing something a tad more creative, look away now. This film leads you up whitewashed stairs to a gargantuan, high-ceilinged New York studio, inhabited by two well-known artists, Ana Kras and Devendra Banhart. We’ve featured Ana’s work a few times on the site for her beautiful, simplistic, friendly furniture design and works on paper.

  3. List-3

    I’m happy to admit that after watching all three minutes and 47 seconds of Stevie Gee’s new music video for Archie Bronson Outfit, my computer desktop is littered with so many screenshots of boobs, beers and motorbikes in psychedelic hues that I can scarcely find anything else. And the thing is I don’t even mind.

  4. Main

    This is nuts. When you thought OK GO couldn’t do any better in one take than their last, famed effort then think again. The foursome are back with one of the most staggering efforts in the history of music videos, this time set in some sort of airport where the gang ride around on electronic unicycles popping umbrellas with about 1000 extras to form kaleidoscopic patterns when shot from above. The jaw dropping first few minutes is totally trumped in the last minute where the whole formation quadruples in size leaving you with your jaw resting on the desk in front of you. Unreal.

  5. List

    There are moments in life when Abba really seem to speak to us. Not just in how the band really seems to get how it feels to be seeing the winner smugly taking it all, or to be terribly grateful for the music, but in the literal sense that they’re actually talking to us. This nonsense is all now a reality thanks to the superb video for beatboxer Roy Kafri’s single Mayokero that’s been doing the internet rounds for a few days.

  6. List

    Some writers create page-turners; masters of narrative and plot that compel you to keep on reading. In some ways Joan Didion is the opposite, although her writing is no less compelling. When reading her work, its brilliance stops me dead over and over again, such is her ability to analyse a person, a place or a concept and then articulate her thoughts.

  7. List-2

    Peter Brookes is a demigod among political cartoonists. The septuagenarian is now in his 22nd year at The Times where he still produces a cartoon every day, distilling the frustrations, jibes and political unrest of the nation into one biting image to a looming and unmoveable deadline. This short film The Art of Satire examines Peter’s work in the contexts both of political cartooning and of The Times, who recognise Peter’s exceptional skill by allowing him to contradict the editorial direction of the paper in favour of following his own line.

  8. List

    New York-based artist Daniel Arsham is a figure with fingers in a lot of different conceptual pies, from installation works to short films. While architecture plays an important part in his work, so too do the paradoxes and oddities of human nature, and that’s what’s under the microscope here.

  9. List

    CANADA are the epitome of supercool; everything our favourite Barcelona-based filmmakers and producers touch turns to chic, so it’s time the rest of us just put down our on-trend moccasins, blacked-out sunglasses and tiny man-buns and just let them get on with it. What better way to retire our cool-hunting ways than to watch the collective’s latest short, Laberinto (Labyrinth), directed by Marc Oller, which sees the classic love story of a boy chasing an aloof girl played out sublimely.

  10. List

    In the design world, the brief plays many different roles – ubiquitous, all-important, loathed, misunderstood; it can be a starting point, a back-up and a battleground. And yet we don’t often hear that much about the brief and its place in the creative industry – enter design strategy firm Bassett & Partners. Posing the question “if every project starts with a brief, why aren’t there more projects that end up with exceptional results?” the San Francisco-based company have tried to rectify this imbalance with their interesting short film Briefly.

  11. List

    Guillermo Del Toro usually associates himself with the darker side of filmmaking, but the Mexican director and producer has just finished work on an altogether more upbeat and life-affirming movie. The Book Of Life follows the story of Manolo, a young man caught in the middle of a wager between two deities who must embark on an epic adventure in order to see the woman he loves again.

  12. List

    Gothenburg’s Goat are probably one of the most interesting bands out there at the moment. Their infectious fusion of world music, psych and heavy rock has captured the imagination of a now massive fan base, and their live performances are notoriously theatrical; the whole band costumed and gyrating like some kind of ancient Dionysian cult. Their music videos are pretty nuts too.

  13. Jw2list

    It actually takes a lot of hard work to make something seem effortlessly cool, but it helps if the raw ingredient you’re working with is, well, Jude Law. And your backdrop is the tranquil waters of the British Virgin Islands. This great new short for Johnnie Walker Blue Label opens with two men entering into a wager: if one wants to win the other’s vintage yacht, he’ll have to dance for it.