No Mystery Here – Uncompromising Filmmakers Make Hits

AO Scott ponders the phenomena of Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 9/11’s success at the box office. “It was clear long before anyone had seen a frame of either “Passion” or “Fahrenheit” that what audiences would witness was the uncompromised, unfiltered vision of a strong-willed, stubborn and bloody-minded director. Is it too idealistic of me to think that this freedom from compromise is part of what attracted audiences? Perhaps more than ever before, the movie studios are ruled by timidity, anxiously tailoring their releases to avoid giving offense. Yes, they sometimes engage in the mock-provocations of sex and brutality, but these tepid buttons are pushed much less forcefully than they were 30 years ago. For the most part, movies, intent on maintaining an illusion of consensus, tread cautiously around the thornier thickets of our civic life.”