There is a petition to convince director Uwe Boll to stop making movies. Boll has apparently said if the petition gets a million signatures, he’ll quit [story]. Now, the director has proven a bit quirky — challenging film critics to boxing matches, which Boll won, and featured in Postal — but, there is something of this particular instance of weirdness that seems to speak to some of the notions of cultural enfranchisement that get thrown about whenever people talk bout participatory culture. Boll is perhaps best known for his movie versions of video games, including House of the Dead, BloodRayne, and Dungeon Siege.
Now, as much as stunts and stories like this may garner publicity for Boll or for other celebrities who find themselves in a similar position, the thought of a coalition of critics, fans, and other viewers being able to quite literally vote against the continuation of someone’s career is a bit unsettling. Would Boll actually quit making films if confronted with a million signatures? I’m not sure. The bigger question is, should he? And, if he were to quit, what would that say about his work as a filmmaker, and about the act of filmmaking in the era of participatory culture?