The notably uncontroversial Dustin Hoffman (“The Graduate,” “Marathon Man”) drew a line in the sand recently with some incredibly impassioned remarks. During a recent interview, the Oscar winner admitted that he feels the film industry has entered its worst era in decades, while the television industry has become the medium to watch (no pun intended).

 

In case you think his statements have been taken out of context, here is a direct quote:

“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.”

 

He would go on further to lament the business side of the film industry; in his eyes, the pressures of finishing films quickly and efficiently detract from the passion filmmakers can inject into their projects.

 

Katharine Ross and Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate"

Katharine Ross and Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate” (1967). (amc.com)

With this mindset comes two schools of thought. On one hand, he has a point: the almost assembly line method of pumping out sequels and cinematic universes leaves very little room for innovation. A film such as “The Graduate” — Hoffman’s breakout performance, which took over 100 days to shoot — would likely never be made in today’s environment.

 

However, this also means that television has become more like film than ever before. Series such as “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” and even ones that fit into the superhero genre — see: “Daredevil” — consistently innovate and provide engaging stories for viewers on a regular basis.

 

Television shows have become miniature films in their own right. Everything from production values, to audience engagement via social media has caused the line between film and television to become more opaque than ever. Hoffman could not make “The Graduate” in today’s film industry, but it would make for perfect television.

 

Do you think Dustin Hoffman is right in his claims? Is that necessarily a good or bad thing? Comment below or tweet @connerws to tell us what you think!