In light of a few of our recent topics covered here at Band Wagon, including Xavier Dolan’s withdrawal from Cannes 2017 and Ulterior Motives within film criticism, we send our appreciation to one of our dedicated followers who has, as of recently, brought a strong IndieWire article to our attention. Alex Proyas, director of Gods of Egypt (2016) has faced many challenges with film critics in his career. However, both Proyas and Lionsgate came to the defence of their expensive 2016 film when it was accused for a lack of diversity not long after the first trailer was released. Following on from the harsh criticism that ensued, Gods of Egypt opened in February of 2016 with a low $14million in revenue in its first weekend, with “reviews even worse,” as Kevin Jagernauth of IndieWire recalls.
As the film performed under-whelmingly, with now a surprisingly dismal 16% critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Proyas took to social media to vent and defend both himself and his film against what he appears to think are the “deranged idiots” of the film criticism world. Proyas examines:
“Seems most critics spend their time trying to work out what most people will want to hear… Lock a critic in a room with a movie no one has even seen and they will not know what to make of it. Because contrary to what a critic should probably be they have no personal taste or opinion, because they are basing their views on the status quo.”
Included in this tirade is the description of modern film critics as “less than worthless.” It is interesting to note that Proyas himself believes that the current critical climate of the cinematic industry is riddled with those opinions that instead of judging a film on its individual merits, would instead lean toward an unoriginal point of view of trying to please the majority crowd. However, Proyas’ most influential words are:
“…I applaud any film-goer who values their own opinion enough to not base it on what the pack-mentality say is good or bad.”
It appears that Proyas would be a whole-hearted supporter of our campaign. He believes that the real power should lie in the voices of the individual, where usually unique and personal opinions are those that are being shunned by the cinematic world. It is obvious that Proyas would love to hear the voices of you as individual audience members, as opposed to the modern film critic who he believes is unoriginal and through conformity, ultimately bias. Therefore, through Proyas’ thorough perspective, we further encourage you as an audience to value your own opinion, as it is him as a modern film director that is asking to hear it the most, proving that you have a voice in the professional field of cinema. And, as Proyas says it best, don’t jump on the critical Band Wagon, drive your own unique opinion. It will appear to do some justice in the professional industry.