The Festival. The Market.

Film in America is dead.

Of course, this is an exageration but after attending the American Film Market, I realized something incredibly awful - filmic rape.

Filmic Rape is the way, the only way, to describe the horror of the scene. Walking into the Lobby of the fancy, upscale hotel. On the beach. Beside the Santa Monica Pier.

Thousands of people - and hundreds of shitty, straight to crap videos all across your eyes. The horror genre oversaturated - viseral posters - films made only to be a product to sell to Thailand.

Thailand is hungry.

Walking the corridors of the hotel - reading sign after sign of these film production and distribution companies - these companies that acquire these made for shit films - only to sell to foreign markets for a ridiculous price. Film is dying.

A woman approached us. She was no more then five feet. Small, meek - amazingly sweet - and honest. Fear came across her eyes. She wanted us to be interested in Thailand. Intrested in the films they have acquired. She showed us the posters of her films.

There was a film similar to American Pie - but with Thai actors - a fantasy film in the vein of Dungeons and Dragons - about Thai myth - but with the graphic design of some 3rd grade high schooler.

It was terrible. Heartbreaking - and awful. I was both embarrassed and sad at the sheer desperation in her eyes. She wanted us to visit Thailand. It's a beautiful country. She wanted us - to want them.

And I'm a nobody.

She was on the lower floors.

Above us - on the 8th Floor - stands New Line, Focus Features International - and the Weinstein Company. They have no interest for soliciting nobodies.

Each production company sits in their suites - ready to sell their products - these films they've made for a shit less than humanly possible - only to sell for profit.

They're selling bananas.

I do not grow bananas.

William Friedkin spoke and said he no longer buys green bananas. He was a brilliant, amazing speaker - speaking to the heart of what I wanted to hear.

"STOP MAKING SHIT." He says.

I clapped - agreeing with him. But how can you do it? How can you - in this market - STOP MAKING SHIT!? You can't sell art. Art is private, personal - and "Not For."

How is my film going to play among this crowd? How is this film, The Lonely Lights. A film extremely personal, different, unusually - non traditional - experimental - but not. Who knows what the fuck it is.

It is what it is.

And that's why I like it. And that's why I made it.

I'm not selling Lonely Lights.

America is dying. I see it before my eyes. The films that we are producing are more and more - disgusting. Terrible - and just plain - horrible. Today, I saw two films. One made by a filmmaker in Denmark, where the government sponsered his work, paid for his art.

It was called THE ART OF CRYING. It was about a father who was depressed, suicidal (or so he says) and a child molestor to his daughter. It was told through the innocence of an 11 year old boy. It was optimistic.

It was terrifying. And funny - and uncomfortable. It was incredible.

I saw another film - American - called - AFTER...
Well, it'll sell to Thailand.

Where has American Cinema gone too - who the fuck kidnapped it? William Friedkin - calls it the - oh fuck - I forgot - but basically - he said that we're Hypontized by Television. He made a direct reference to the boring horrible technique of SHOT REVERSE SHOT.

Over the shoulder. Over the shoulder. Master.

He says, getting older he doesn't sleep well. He goes to movies to do so. He's bitter. And should be.

When asked - who's inspiring him - he spoke of an Austrian named - Michael Haneke - he directed a film called Cache - and Funny Games. This was not an American. It's frustrating.

Fuck man - I want to be patriotic - I want to be proud again! GOD BLESS AMERICA. AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL. and all that crap. But - we've got a lot to do or we're going to begin falling into the Fall of Rome.

The Fall of Rome. I didn't believe it until I saw posters for PLANE DEAD. And KILLER BEES ON A PLANE.

Why is Woody Allen - financing his films in London/Europe? Why is Sophia Coppola trying to make a European Film? Why is Michel Gondry so fuckin' brilliant?

I am eager to regenerate my love of America with Wes Anderson and P.T. Anderson. And David Fincher. Innovators - rejuvinating American Film.

Parts of me are contemplating leaving. Moving from the country. It's not worth it here. It's not worth burning your soul over. Making films is an art form.

And yes - YES - it's a fuckin' business. But we're the only country stuck with the idea that the only reason to finance a film - is to make money. I'm jaded. And maybe, I'm wrong.

Denmark needs filmmakers. They are trying to build their market. India does not - and produces hudreds of straight to crap video. I just wish for a balance. I ache for that - if I felt that - if I could just smell the need for that in America.

I'd be happy.

But - today was just a day of disappointment. On Monday, I'm going to be pitching to the likes of Palm Pictures, Yari Film Group, Warner Independent. I'm scared shitless - I'm too jaded now - I need to perk up and enjoy cinema again.

I'm going to watch 2001 tomorrow and smile. And know that once it was great and again - it can be.

I love America.

PS _ I don't give a shit if you thought you were a Republican (aka me) - VOTE VOTE VOTE ON TUESDAY goddamnit - and vote DEMOCRAT. Get this country moving in the other direction. I NEED BALANCE.

Where is my balance?