Bankers – the new curators of cinema?
Would you like to have a substantial influence on which movies other people watch or don’t watch?
Then you definitely shouldn’t become a film critic. And you shouldn’t work in film business either, with sales and distribution. The real power lies somewhere else. I present to you the new curator of cinema: The Banker.
For a long time they kept it a secret. I’ve always wondered what they were doing in the bank offices in the afternoons, since most of them close early, about 3PM. Now we know. They all gather in a secret vault where they watch movies.
They are the ones who have to make the final judgement over movies. Which movies are morally acceptable and should be allowed to be distributed on the market? Which movies are unsuitable and offensive and must be stopped?
It’s a tough call to make, but someone has to do it. And they are the chosen ones.
Blacklisted horror distributor
I know it might come as a surprise to you. I didn’t see that coming either. Not until this week when it became known to the public that a Swedish distributor of horror movies had to shut down his business after being blacklisted by the Swedish banks and payment services.
The movies in question aren’t illegal and don’t contain child pornography. But the banks have labelled them as “offensive to the public opinion”, and that’s enough cause for them to refuse to serve the company. So after ten years of struggling the owner of the little online shop finally decided to give up. This will also lead to the disappearance of a dozen cult and horror movies from the market, since he owned the distribution rights to them.
Naturally this has caused a bit of a stirrup in Swedish media. But the bank representatives deny that it’s a case of censorship. They believe they’re navigating according to a “moral compass”, complying with international agreements.
I have to assume that the bankers have good intentions as they enter the role of being curators of cinema. The question is if they’ll achieve their goal to decrease the spread of morally questionable movies. It could very well have the opposite effect.
If someone tries to prevent me from watching a film because they don’t think it’s good for me, I become like a rebellion teenager who wants nothing but watching the said film. Regardless of what the bankers try to do, people will keep finding those films; it’s just that they’ll find new and probably sometimes more shady ways to get hold of them. Perhaps there’s more going on in those secret bank vaults than we thought of? Do I spot a conspiracy with an unholy alliance between bankers and pirates? The mystery deepens.
I don’t wish bad movies to take over the market, but bankers are not the ones to make those decisions for me. In the year to come I will make an effort to watch more offensive and morally questionable movies than I have in the past. Just because.
If you want to join me in this crusade against “good taste”, a good place to starts seems to be the YouTube channel run by Troma, which is an independent film distribution company I recently found out about. For years they have produced loads and loads of movies that would make the Swedish bankers faint. Hundreds of titles are available online, legally and for free.
Zombie Werewolves Attack, Rockabilly Vampire and Flesh Eaters from Outer Space – never before have I felt any urge to watch this kind of movies. Now I’ll try to endure them, regardless how crappy they are. It’s for a good cause.
The fight against the curators has only begun.