Shearer Delight

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"I was saying something to my wife the other day about how people in this town love to quote H.L. Mencken: 'Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public,'" he says. "But it's wrong. People do go broke doing that all the time. Talk to the guys who lost $50 million on a movie called Super Mario Bros. And yet they get to keep doing it. Nobody ever says, 'Ah ha, you made a mistake by underestimating the public. You can't do this anymore.' But you have low grosses with something smart or subtle, and they use it as an object lesson: 'See, the dogs don't eat that food!' And you never get to do it again. So the deck is totally stacked.

"But it's stacked by the industry. I don't think it's the audience. The audience doesn't impose the rule of mediocrity and blatancy. It's the industry. So, yeah, in that sense, you really have to fight to get a different style across. But I've felt that for a long time and in a lot of places, which is sort of why I try to make my own little spaces within this industry."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky