Dustin Hoffman is a very good actor who has done tremendous work in films like The Graduate, Tootsie, Midnight Cowboy, and numerous others. He is also very down on the state of contemporary cinema, as he reveals in a new interview with The Independent. In the kind of statement different folks roll out every year or so to demonstrate that kids these days and when ice cream cost a nickel, the actor is pretty sure that cinema is just the worst right now. On the upside, the guy from Kramer Vs. Kramer thinks television is pretty good. (He must be watching The Americans.)
I think right now television is the best that it’s ever been and I think that it’s the worst that film has ever been—in the 50 years that I’ve been doing it, it’s the worst.
And don’t worry, because Hoffman is only too happy to elaborate.
It’s hard to believe you can do good work for the little amount of money these days. We did The Graduate and that film still sustains, it had a wonderful script that they spent three years on, and an exceptional director with an exceptional cast and crew, but it was a small movie, four walls and actors, that is all, and yet it was 100 days of shooting.
100 days of shooting is indeed a long time. Why, the very hills of Hollywood itself would crumble if a current film spent so much time shooting. Then again, as Hoffman points out, The Graduate was a very small film, and nobody spends much time making those any more. It’s possible that Hoffman is trying to say something about the difficult nature of big-budget Hollywood films, and how the major studios are mostly in the business of sequels and superheroes these days. But that’s not what he said. He said cinema is garbage right now, and that means we get to Photoshop him into the above Simpsons image, as per official A.V. Club policy.