I suppose that watching professional wrestling has overtaken watching movies as my primary hobby. I don't quite know why.
The 2000s were an exciting time to be a film fanatic in Minneapolis. Aside from being exposed to new recommendations in digital filmmaking school, there were a plethora of obscure videos to rent at Nicollet Village Video and a plethora of obscure films to see at the local Landmark Theaters, Oak Street Cinema (and later the Trylon Microcinema), the Heights Theatre, and the Walker Art Center.
But everything changed. I changed, for one, no longer content with watching many movies in my living room like I used to. Once upon a time, I would stay up until sunrise watching rented videos. But then streaming services happened, and my attention span crumbled. I now much prefer the cinema experience.
But there was more. Nicollet Village Video and the Oak Street closed their doors. Programmers at the Walker, Trylon, and Landmark cinemas changed - no longer were the most obscure of foreign films deemed financially sound. Audiences became less tolerable - mannerless elderly patrons took over Landmark and the Heights, while mannerless young patrons took over the Trylon. And foreign/indie cinema itself changed - once exciting breaths of fresh air, they now seemed largely stagnant.
Japanese cinema in particular - so thrilling from the late 1980s through the early 2000s - was taken over by TV studios and their risk-less endeavors as the direct-to-video market dried up. To examine the filmmakers that most hooked me when first being introduced to Japan, and their films that I last found wondrous:
Shinji Aoyama = Eli Eli Lema Sabachtani? (2005)It is only Katsuhito Ishii that remains consistently delightful in my eyes, his last film being 2014's Hello! Junichi.
Ryuichi Hiroki = Vibrator (2003)
Shunji Iwai = All About Lily Chou-Chou (2001)
Takeshi Kitano = Dolls (2002)
Hirokazu Koreeda = Distance (2001)
Kiyoshi Kurosawa = Doppelganger (2003)
Takashi Miike = 13 Assassins (2010)
Mamoru Oshii = Sky Crawlers (2008)
Toshiaki Toyoda = 9 Souls (2003)
Shinya Tsukamoto = Nightmare Detective 2 (2008)
So I watch more Hollywood blockbusters now. This is where my excitement has been transplanted - the curiosity to see if big budget studio films can pull off something unique and creative. I have seen what foreign and indie cinema can do, and they keep doing it. So I looked elsewhere.
It is hard to tell if these feelings are all my own fault. Much like with anime, I feel that I changed right alongside the industry at large, and it's now all sad and confusing.