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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

What Did John J. Avildsen Movies Mean To You?

First reactions online (especially on Twitter) to the passing of the director of The Karate Kid, Lean on Me and Rocky have been emotional. What did his movies mean to you, from childhood, later?

3 Responses to “What Did John J. Avildsen Movies Mean To You?”

  1. Sideshow Bill says:

    They meant a lot to me, especially The Karate Kid. I still remember the first time I saw it, on an old VHS tape. I love it to this day. I introduced my kids to it years later and they loved it too. Underrated filmmaker. Had a very gentle humanism. The moment at the end of TKK where Johnny congratulates Daniel has always stuck with me. And as a bonus Elizabeth Shue war gorgeous in that movie (still is). RIP

  2. PTA Fluffer says:

    I was the only film student movie snob working at the multiplex (four screens!) the weekend Karate Kid opened. Audiences were going nuts, but I was dismissive. He’s just repeating himself with another underdog sports story! Who? they asked. The director, John G. Avildsen. Who???!

    Nobody cared about who directed it. Karate Kid made viewers have an emotional experience at the movies, they cheered at the end, etc. No higher compliment could be paid to a filmmaker.

  3. hcat says:

    No matter how many times I have seen the end of Rocky or the Karate Kid, they still get me so immersed in them I am nervous watching the endings, and even though I know it is coming (and any film watcher knew it was coming when watching it the first time) the feeling of elation and tension when Daniel hobbles into the crane pose….while we often lament straight over the plate filmmaking, when it is this well done, just delivers the magic of movies.

    And of all the love stories that have been filmed in my lifetime, I gotta put Rocky in the top ten, beautiful switch at the end where the climax is not the bell to end the fight but his calling for Adrian after the fight is over.

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How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

Filmmaker Cédric Klapisch