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YouTube-isé20/03/2008 - par Mark Tungate
Ibelieve we're witnessing the YouTube-isation of Hollywood. I came to this conclusion after watching two recent movies. The first was Michel Gondry's new film, Be Kind Rewind (presented in France under the less melodious title of Soyez sympa, rembobinez). For those of you who haven't seen it, this whimsical yet strangely touching film is about two friends who accidentally erase every single tape in their local video club while looking after it for the owner. Dismayed, they decide to remake all the movies in their own amateurish fashion. The sight of them re-shooting Ghostbusters (SOS Fantômes) in tinfoil suits, with sieves on their heads, is just one of the treats of the tale.
Needless to say, nobody is fooled by the remake. But here's the twist: the customers love it. They're soon queuing around the block, clamouring for more amateur versions of classic movies. And pretty soon, they're playing parts in the films too. Inevitably, the villain of the piece is a movie industry lawyer who tries to shut the project down. Are you listening, Hollywood? Thanks to YouTube, people would rather create their own films that watch yours.
The recent monster movie Cloverfield was the second indicator of this trend. It's the first blockbuster that looks as if it's been entirely shot by an amateur, on a video camera. It may bear a passing similarity to The Blair Witch Project, but my bet is that it was also inspired by YouTube.