With films like "Noah" and "Into the Storm" -- and "Interstellar" coming in the late fall -- Hollywood has seen the handwriting on the wall and embraced the emerging new genre of "cli fi." And there's more to come, writes DANNY BLOOM
But while Hollywood and studio marketing people (and online social meda reporters covering new film releases) have welcomed cli fi into the fold, the entrenched powers in the literary world controlled by book editors in New York and London seem to be aloof to all this and show little interest in the rise of the cli fi genre term.
I am not sure why, but maybe it has to do with literary critics and book section editors feeling that literature is a ''sacred calling'' and only the all-powerful editors -- as ''gatekeepers'' -- can decide what's real and what's not in the literary world. So be it.
The more I thought about the disconnect between the literary world of the book industry compared with the open arms in Hollywood, the more I began to realize that the print novel is basically dead -- in the rising waters of global warming -- and has little power anymore to influence people or impact society. It's just a bunch of gatekeepers and the gatekeepers don't seem to care about climate change. They have their own agendas. Like a long liquid lunch at the Four Seasons. Like being cool and trendy and avantgarde and the like. Climate change is apparently not on the menu at the hip restaurants where they dine in Manhattan and London.
So I feel that the real power of cli fi to change the world, to wake people up lies in Hollywood and world cinema, indie cinema as well. And Hollywood and the media covering Hollywood, much more than the literary gatekeepers in New York and London and Washington and Los Angeles, are getting the cli fi message much better and much more directly than the print media gatekeepers.
A sea change is happening: Hollywood and the media covering Hollywood have really embraced cli fi and that is where the real wake-up call power of public awareness now lies.
Novels about climate change still will have a place in our culture but a very limited one, and one getting smaller day by day in this digital world of 500 channels and multiple YouTube distractions. Speculative fiction and eco-fiction novels still find readers. Look at Margaret Atwood; look at Barbara Kingsolver
I've noticed this sea change as Hollywood directors and PR mavens have recently become much more with it, in terms of "getting" the cli fi message. When TIME magazine did a three-page cli fi spread on summer cli fi movies in its May 19, 2014 issue what went worldwide, I began to notice the way the print and online media were handling the new, mushrooming cli fi genre.
After the TIME article by Lily Rothman came out, the New York Times ''Room for Debate'' forum picked up the Hollywood angle for cli fi movies, assigning academics and experts to talk about films such as "Snowpiercer" and "Into the Storm" and the upcoming "Interstellar."
So I came to realize that Hollywood is where cli fi can have its biggest impact, since print novels are dead in the water (see above) and the few that do get published by the major publishers are reviewed only by the gatekeepers at the New York Times and the Guardian in London.
I see a big future of cli fi movies in Hollywood. Big.
Look around in the social media world: From TIME to the New York Times, from Mashable's Andrew Freedman to the New York Post's Page Six gossip column, there has been more ink about Hollywood and cli fi than anywhere else.
The Big Six book industry is blind to cli fi. Books are dying. Few people read anymore, on a large scale. Novels have little impact anymore. Movies reign supreme, and this is where I see cli fi blooming now: in Hollywood. Hollywood players get it, the Hollywood media gets it, and books are dead and movies rule the day now. Publishers Row is dithering. London, too.
So I am following my gut instinct and my media radar and hoping to see cli fi genre turn into a real bonanza in the realm of Hollywood film directors and producers and writers. There is a future for cli fi in Hollywood.
Movie directors get it and they want to wake up the world. And make a little spare change along the way, sure. It's a business. So cli fi has found its true home not on Publishers Row in Manhattan but in Hollywood, and just in time. And it's good, this is a good development.
Cinema has the power to impact the world over important issues of climate change and global warming. Novels have no such power anymore. Print is dying, cinema is alive!
Of course, speculative fiction novels and eco-fiction novels still have a place in our culture, and many of these novels will be adapted as screenplays and see the light of day as popular movies, so writers still have a role to play in all this.
As a climate activist and PR guy, I take the cli fi genre very seriously, and I now see that Hollywood is where cli fi belongs, front and center.
Do the math: movies reach millions. Novels reach 3000 people, if that many.
Therefore: cli fi has come to Hollywood and its about time.