“In recent years, the movie audience has split into the audience for popular films—the mass audience—and the art-house audience, and movies, once heralded as the new great dramatic art, have followed the route of other arts. The advances are now made by ‘difficult’ artists who reach a minority audience, and soon afterward, the difficult artists, or their bowdlerizers,a re consumed by the mass audience. Yesterday’s interesting, difficult new directors become commercial, and their work becomes part of a film industry’s anonymous product, which will never be compared to Chartres. Infrequent moviegoers are likely to be irritated when they go to a highly recommended art-house picture and find it bewildering and obscure. What they many not be aware of is that in this new, divided world of film the commercial movies have become so omnivorous and so grossly corrupt that frequent moviegoers may, for the first time in movie history, be looking for traces of talent and for evidence of thought, and may care more for an ‘interesting’ failure than for a superficially entertaining ‘hit.’”
- From "A Sign of Life"
The New Yorker, December 28, 1968