No matter how much films may improve, their prospects are not likely to — which suggests that something has fundamentally changed in our relationship to the movies. The long, long romance may finally be losing its bloom, and that is why Hollywood should be concerned.
Movies were the barometers of the American psyche. More than any other form, they defined us, and to this day, the rest of the world knows us as much for our films as for any other export.
Today, movies just don't seem to matter in the same way — not to the general public and not to the high culture either, where a Pauline Kael review in the New Yorker could once ignite an intellectual firestorm. There aren't any firestorms now.
To the extent that the Internet is a niche machine, dividing its users into tiny, self-defined categories, it is providing a challenge to the movies that not even television did, because the Internet addresses a change in consciousness while television simply addressed a change in delivery of content.
The Internet ... plays to [a] powerful force in modern America and one that undermines the movies: narcissism.
In effect, we have become our own movies.