"We are at a point in our culture when we actually have to pull for grown-up movies, when we must try to encourage them and laud them when they come by. David Lean wouldn't be allowed to make movies today. John Ford would be forced to turn John Wayne into a 30-something failure-to-launch hipster whose big moment is missing the toilet in the vomit scene in Hangover Ten. Our movie culture has descended into immaturity, deep and inhuman violence, a pervasive and flattened sexuality. It is an embarrassment "In Iraq this year I asked and Iraqi military officer doing joint training at an American base what was the big thing he'd come to believe about Americans in the years they'd been there. He thought. "You are a better people than your movies say." He had judged us by our exports. He had seen the low slag heap of our culture and assumed it was a true expression of who we are." Link here.
Well said. It seems to me that this is hard to argue with when you look at the lion's share of what is produced. It further seems that it's difficult to make a compelling argument that this is a good thing. One might say, "Well, I like it." But that doesn't mean it's good or right or desirable. The quote from the Iraqi officer is interesting to me. Noonan says he had assumed our movies accurately expressed who we are. How long can we produce and consume that kind of thing before it becomes who we are?