The American movie industry has devolved into producing garbage for infantile audiences, Konstantin Ernst, the head of Russia’s Channel One, said on Thursday at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
“On the one hand, Hollywood is truly the biggest movie-making machine in the world. On the other hand, Hollywood has been producing so much crap for the last 15 years,” Ernst said during a SPIEF discussion about Russian cinematography.
According to Ernst, all the “serious people” left to make TV series instead, because the movies “have become juvenile.”
Major Hollywood studios – Universal, Sony, Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros. – blacklisted Russia in March 2022, in protest at Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. Some Russian officials, including former President Dmitry Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy head of the Security Council, have endorsed piracy as a way of retaliating. Russian movie theaters have done brisk business showing domestic productions, however.
Ernst argued that the biggest obstacle for the domestic industry was what he described as the “masochist psyche” nurtured in Russians throughout the 20th century, which manifests itself in believing that anything foreign-made is better.
Channel One recently produced the first-ever movie filmed in outer space, ‘The Challenge’, which was released in April. In interviews promoting the movie, Ernst said that the cast and crew were all fans of the 2013 Hollywood blockbuster ‘Gravity’, but while the US film was all CGI, the Russian feature was “made with real butter.”
The head of Mosfilm studio, Karen Shakhnazarov, also recently made scathing comments about modern cinematography, saying it was on the level of “cave paintings.”
“You will be surprised, but I do not consider cinema an art, although I have been working in it all my life,” said the 70-year-old, who directed ‘White Tiger’ (2012) and ‘Anna Karenina: Vronsky’s Story’ (2017).