Corporatism, with its promotion of competition between individuals over scarce resources and money, laid the ground for individualism and for a heightened concept of the self.
How do we go back to the idea that ordinary can be extraordinary? How do we teach our children -- and remind ourselves -- that life doesn't have to be all about public recognition and prizes, but can be more about our relationships and special moments?
I like some comic-book movies very much, dislike others. But as a film lover I am frustrated by how the current system of flooding theaters with the same handful of titles limits my choices. (According to boxofficemojo.com "The Avengers" opened on 4,349 screens in the United States and Canada, close to 1 in 10.) The success of these movies also shores up a false market rationale that's used to justify blockbusters in general: that is, these movies make money, therefore people like them; people like them, therefore these movies are made.
I really wanted ten million dollars to make Spider and we could only raise eight. And at that point it was, okay, do we make this movie or not? You know, if we make it for eight then it means we all literally have to not get paid. And I include there, Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, and the Producer and the Writer and the Director -- me, but we all loved the project so much and we were already so far engaged in it, that we all agreed to do that. So we literally all of us, and Patrick McGrath the writer of the novel, we all literally didn't get paid and we made the movie for eight million, but we really needed ten. So that's an unusual moment, and just in terms of financial survival you can't do that very often, because you're spending two years of your life making a movie and you're making zero money during those two years. But that was sort of a happy case because we managed to survive it.
Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.
The day I saw Bicycle Thieves I had become an aesthete without realizing it, more concerned with how a particular film was made, than with whatever twists its plot had. All of a sudden, the way the camera moved, a scene was cut and a certain image was framed, were all-important to me. I'd lie in bed at night replaying some scene from a movie again and again, making it more suspenseful, erotic and, of course poetic, and taking immense pleasure in that activity. No wonder my friends began to think of me as being a little weird when it comes to movies.
In a world beset by doubt, there are great opportunities for those happy to pursue their beliefs to their logical conclusions and thrillingly thoroughgoing in the way they do so.
The super-wealthy may believe they are happier, and you may agree, but you both share a delusion.
Thinking about thinking changes things. Extrinsic rewards can steal your narrative.
It's precisely this hyper-sharing that is threatening our sense of happiness.