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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?

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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.

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