Hollywood trying to please foreign audiences

An avid moviegoer, Lindsay Bern takes in a flick at her local multiplex about twice a week. But Bern, the co-owner of a Los Angeles recording studio, has recently become irritated by what she sees as a disturbing trend on the big screen: the obliteration of New York City.

In particular, she has been annoyed by "I Am Legend," the Warner Brothers hit that stars Will Smith in a post-apocalyptic Manhattan, and "Cloverfield," the Paramount film about a monster that implodes the Empire State Building, tears down the Brooklyn Bridge and generally reduces the city to a smoking pile of rubble and despair.

"Can't they destroy another city for once?" Bern said in an interview at a local movie theater. "It's despicable that the studios are using the destruction of New York to sell movies to me."

Hollywood uses the stunt to sell movies all right - but not primarily to Bern or anyone else in the United States, for that matter. If Americans go to see the Statue of Liberty's head ripped off, as they have in droves for "Cloverfield," all the better. But the fans the studios are really trying to attract with such imagery are in Eastern Europe, South Korea and Latin America.

(San Francisco Chronicle)

Commentary, Hollywood, International Cinema

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