This year saw the opening of the fabulous IMAX cinema on London's swinging Southbank. This landmark heritage project funded by the State not only provides visitors with a spectacle more real than life itself, it also provided the authorities with an excuse to demolish the Bullring underpass which had become home to a community of homeless people, who after a bitter struggle were evicted from their cardboard boxes and moved on to somewhere less spectacular.
Now devotees of Mozart, Monet and Merchant Ivory no longer have to run the gauntlet of fucked up humanity on their walk from Waterloo to the Cathedrals of Art. MEANWHILE Plans are well underway for the building of a huge multiplex cinema/car park in Crystal Palace Park destroying trees and generally trashing the park in spite of the fact that South London's original cinemas have been allowed to fall into dereliction, in fact, less than two miles away a beautiful egyptian style cinema in Forest Hill is boarded up and having its windows smashed. This colonial cinema culture is imposed on us from above, we are always the fans condemned to gaze at the distant stars, always the audience never in the film, the story grinds on relentlessly. But its not the only cinema, anyway what is popular cinema for? Is it an industrial process? Is it a scientific experiment? Is it a holy union with the divine? Is it the expression of an Artistic genius? Is it a consumer product? We love it, we made it popular, It's the cinema of the people, it should belong to us.... and soon it will. The age of the MASS media and elite ART is over, the monoculture is over.
Neither the velvet nap of the multiplex or the sacred reverance of the gallery can hold cinema now, both the million dollar factory feature film and the Art masterpiece are irrelevant. The accelerating development of digital technology, the web, the breakup of state broadcasting, the diversity of urban subcultures, all these factors are making the desperate legitimacy of the bourgeois monoculture ever more laughable. Cinema is no longer the privilege of an elite caste of technicians and Artists, now anyone can and will make their own cinema. Underground cinema doesn't want to take over the industrial multiplexes, the T.V. stations or the museums, they're just boring actually. If the multiplex cinema is a visual symphony then the Underground is a song, its not imposed from above, it grows beneath the flawless monoculture, it is the flower that cracks concrete.