Movie-Viral: The Dawn of a new Era in Cinematic and Political Comment
Dearly Beloved Readers:
WE ARE RE-BRANDING and RE-LAUNCHING. We’d like to make YOU a part of that.
Politics and Film: Two natural bedfellows. Some of the best movies manage to address political concerns. And the political arts have themselves benefited hugely from a cinematic refit in recent years. Politicians now are either heroes or villains to their supporters and detractors. Meanwhile, comic book cinema seems to integrate a C-Span style of script-writing.
The parallels between a party or candidate’s fortunes and the marketing decisions they take run almost in direct parallel to the movie moods of the day.
Consequently, the ‘trending’ items on social media will be either political or cinematic, especially in the era of Trump, Brexit and the daily drama defining Washington, Europe and Downing Street and beyond. Matters helped further by the fact that some of the biggest stars on social media (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alec Baldwin et al) actively use their film based following to progress awareness of their most beloved political causes. Politics IS enetertainment, always has been, always will. It’s just even more apparent than ever right now.
So it is no accident that House of Cards (a very polished, cinematic quality Netflix product) is so popular at present! We have also noted, with interest, our ‘hits’ increased substantially, when we added a political or satirical spin to certain articles (we thank President Trump for his column, even if it was ‘fake’ ;))
It therefore makes commercial and creative sense to cement further and so harness this red-hot fusion of politics to film. We thereby forge a unique selling point (USP), in an increasingly saturated market of film news.
Film news and comment on its own simply is not enough in today’s media market. Notice that a news item usually finishes with some speculation as to its follow up.
Case in point: the recent sacking of Lord and Miller at the Han Solo movie was reported with most commentators asking who should be nominated as a successor. Within hours? We knew it would be Ron Howard. Great! Except, that speed of news turnover thereby renders the efforts invested in the first report redundant as soon as one has hit the online equivalent of the ‘press’.
In short: whilst movie-making remains a ripe and fertile ground for comment and reporting, film based sites require a unique spin / selling point.
And ours, from here on, is the celebration and application of political concern to the cinematic medium. Cinema is a forum whereby contentious political concerns can be discussed, debated, dramatised and resolved. And so: that’s the new pitch, basically. MovieViral = Politics + Film = FUN via ‘Edutainment’.
If anything, this new focus will open new territories for material and features: one art form as ‘way in’ for discussion of the other. That’s particularly pertinent as Political Cinema remains such a vital genre, with Biopics frequently a source of the best acting, direction and writing.
Revisionist History is happening faster and being bolder, as more recent events creep onto cinematic platforms as though desperately trying to remain relevant in an ever changing world. Forget waiting a generation for wounds to heal or time to pass; surrender notions of an amnesty on a political leader’s legacy being evaluated until they die.
HISTORY is HAPPENING NOW. And it’s probably echoed, rapidly, in a Cinema near you. So enter a new and improved MovieViral to ensure you stay ahead of the debate.
Heck, every film arguably has SOME political subtext, ripe for exploration. From Bond to Batman and Marvel to DC; from Dark Universes to Aliens via Rom-Coms and so on..and even the odd bit of sister medium, television (shock! horror!)..EVERYTHING is political, once you scratch the surface.
Conversely, it is important to celebrate the movies as an ideal escape pod from an increasingly nasty trend in our political landscape. Gone alas seem the days of the Third Way. Much missed are the methods of seeking common ground to fight shared battles through cross party consensus, in recognition of shared challenges presented by our still young and promising yet also potentially dangerous twenty first century.
It therefore falls upon Cinema to reawaken that humanity in the political discourse. We can respect and embrace differences of opinion. At the same time, we can seek to forge a focus on defeating evils that threaten all, whatever one’s political party, race, creed, gender or class background.
In effect: Cinema is a Holy Grail of moral neutrality, but as a doorway to taking ultimate responsibility in rehearsing our best civil actions. Sadly, as with politics, the well of film communities has been poisoned, too.
We have seen, first hand, the most vicious, prolonged and unacceptable attacks against our own website. Well listen up because trolling days are done. You know who you are. Your behavior was criminal and its malice was matched only by its ultimate inanity and futility. Be gone! Be Done! No more.
That said, we have also seen the very BEST of freelance contribution, shared discussion and genuinely good will. Heartwarming bonds of friendship have been forged across the Atlantic, through shared passions for film and the fragile and competitive yet still deeply rewarding art and craft of the critic.
So: a massive THANK YOU to those who have contributed, positively to this site since we acquired it. Nick Clement, Frank Mengarelli, Darren Linder and ALL contributors: your work is of great value and we relish any and every opportunity to share it with a wider audience in a renewed context of political /cinematic crossover.
‘Sometimes counting on someone else is the only way to win’ (Batman and Robin).
Indeed, THAT is one of the REASONS WHY we are re-branding and rebuilding with even greater resolve. To get the best writers SEEN and the most important cinematic and political topics DISCUSSED, in tandem. ‘STRONGER TOGETHER’. And yes, we can make that happen from a UK base. Yes, even post Brexit. Honestly. 🙂
The ‘viral’ in movie viral is now about the virus of comment, debate and genuinely FREE ideas that can harness the power of cinema to combat core difficulties that we all face, across society’s boundaries. Viral campaigns and content may of course still get some column inches here. It’s just going to be a little more exciting when mixed in with a bout of political context and comment!
Above all: we’d like to make YOU, dear readers, a part of this initiative. So we will be hosting more advertorials for local, national and international charities, causes and businesses. Let’s be ambitious here, both commercially and communally. A true ‘third way’!
Make politics and film work for all of us.
Our main event each week will be a PODCAST. A panel of guests will discuss the week’s main news items in both politics and film, before focusing on the thematic threads that unite the disciplines in a spirit of creative and pastoral concern. Episode One launches this week. Listen out. Provisional title: ‘PolitFlix’.
Welcome to a new world of cinematic and political comment. Welcome to the new Movie-Viral. We thank you for your ongoing and invaluable support and look forward to keeping you both informed and entertained in these exciting times.
Oh and Happy July 4th Celebrations: I could not think of a better seasonal background to this new and exciting initiative.
James Murphy /Editor in Chief / June 2017