Welcome to the latest edition of 24 Frames. Sahara Shrestha and Andrew Jamieson will be guiding you through the exciting, confusing and often brilliant world of 'film'. Expect news, trailers and plenty of opinion.

The latest edition is brought to you by Andrew Jamieson, who can be found on twitter over at @theghostwriterc.



The 'Hollywood Is Vribrant' Edition

I write this piece in response to Sahara's wonderful and persuasive piece from a few weeks back. Although I agree on some of the salient points from that article I do not agree that Hollywood is in a creative malaise, nor do I agree with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas's treatise last week that the future of film is moving toward an opaque and grotesque future.

It is true that Hollywood has found a new cash cow in the now dominant comic book movie genre that has risen from the days of Richard Donner's original Superman movie in 1976, to Tim Burton's Batman in 1989, and 2013's vintage of Man of Steel and Iron Man. However to suggest that this new dependence on already recognised properties in terms of comic books, fairy tales and other archetypal series is a new facet from an industry whose new dependence on recognised properties is stagnating character development and creativity, is simply untrue.

My main case for the defence is the fact that between 1995 and 1996 we had a large number of movies that were either based on established properties (Batman Forever, 1995) were remakes of older TV shows (Mission Impossible, 1996) or a re-hash of older ideas such as the take on War of the Worlds that was Roland Emmerich's Independence Day (1996). All of these movies were an illustration of the paradoxical nature of the studio system. A system that encourages creativity but ultimately must act at the behest of the bank sheet. However when you look at some of the other movies that came out in this period such as David Fincher's Se7en (1996) and Michael Mann's seminal work Heat, both of these movies were pioneered under the watchful eye of Warner Bros via Regency pictures and the Time Warner company New Line Cinema.

Both Se7en and Heat focused upon ideas and character as they sat by these larger franchise pictures. The main question is do we see these types of movies still being made today? I would argue yes, as the last twelve months have given us Lincoln, The Impossible, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Zero Dark Thirty, Byzantium and The Place Beyond The Pines - all of these movies stand up on an artistic and more character driven level.

I would also cite the fact that it is of course harder to get movies made when cinema receipts are falling and Blu Ray and DVD sales are going down. However as more movies are made independently before signing on to a distribution deal with a major studio (this is what happens at the ever annoying Cannes Film Festival) - this new approach has fostered an indie mentality in major studio's as shown by the expansion of secondary unit studios like 'Fox Searchlight'. This new market place can result in fresh talent coming to the fore.

I would also say that Warner Bros in particular stands behind new talent as it did with Christopher Nolan and the divisive Zack Snyder. In spite of the qualms surrounding larger comic book movies I would argue that the creative teams do have some sense of story development and character. This is best portrayed by Chris Nolan with Inception (2010) and The Dark Knight trilogy, where cinematic blockbuster scale is matched by intricacy and character development. While Man of Steel has divided audiences and critics alike, it has a far more intellectually sound grounding than what was previously pushed down our throat in previous decades.

While I do think that to a degree Hollywood still has many flaws in certain instances; such as its lack of promotion for female directors, gay and ethnic groups (as the failure to release Behind the Candelebra in the USA shows) I do believe it will refine and reduce these failures in the years to come. (See my piece on the glory of female talent in the industry later this week for a more detailed opinion on this!)

The film industry lives in a dynamic marketplace; while this has meant changes to the financial planning of each studio we must also be aware that as an industry we still have people in the mainstream Hollywood system making fantastic movies, from Martin Scorsese to Willam Friedkin there is so much to still appreciate in today's cinematic universe rather than pine after a golden age of Hollywood that never existed in the first place.

While this is my own subjective view, I know that since my birth I have grown up and become an adult with the likes of David Fincher, Katheryn Bigelow, Judi Dench, Tim Burton, Marion Cotillard, Christopher Nolan, Madeleine Stowe, Steven Spielberg, William Friedkin, John Williams, Oliver Stone, Guillermo del Toro and Michael Mann. Now that's just a few names I reeled off from a very long list of talent and I'm 31 years old. If there was a golden age, I am living in it. If Hollywood is over, nobody told me about the funeral.