David Denby writes in The New Yorker: "In the past, commercially successful artists like Alfred Hitchcock, Preston Sturges, George Cukor, John Ford, and Billy Wilder would have been astonished if anyone had told them that they could succeed with only slivers of the audience. They thought they were working for everybody, and often they were. Today, with a few exceptions like Ang Lee, Scorsese, Spielberg, and Eastwood (and not necessarily with all their movies), the artistically ambitious director who is considered to have universal or even widespread appeal is an endangered species. Part of the reason, perhaps, is that directors are working for an audience more diverse than the audience of fifty or sixty years ago. The most important reason, however, is that, by splitting the audience into a spectacle-and-comedy, opening-weekend crowd and a specialty-division urban élite, the studios have given up the old dream of movies as an art form for everyone."
And mind you, according to Denby, that isn't the worst of it
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