Some Thoughts on American Cinema of the 2000s

Losing It

Maybe it was all a pressure valve for the horror of the September 11th, 2001 attacks—American Pie supercharged the teen sex comedy in 1999, and it was sex, sensationalism, and exploitation that sold through the next ten years. But hasn’t it always been that way? Not quite, and definitely not now: picture Billie Eilish or Dua Lipa breaking down and shaving their heads. Who will take their picture? Who will publish it? Who won’t expect to receive overwhelming criticism for exploiting someone experiencing a mental health crisis?

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Nicky Otis Smith is a filmmaker and writer. He was born and raised in New York City and has lived in Baltimore since 2003.

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