We take out built environment very seriously - this is not a place we generally allow frivolous experimentation. If a polystyrene Zamboni collapses in an art gallery, a few egos get bruised, if a building collapses people die. Not to mention, bad art goes away. Bad architecture last for decades, even centuries, and an ugly skyskraper mares an entire city, they have the power to shame an entire nation (as was the case with the Ryugyong Hotel Tower in North Korea).
Movies stand between the extremes of the glass and steel towers and polystyrene installation art. A couple hundred thousand dollars in in production costs would get you a top of the line Richard Serra Torqued Elipse (Leonard Riggio got one for a million dollars from Larry Gagosian, you do the math), but two hundred thousand dollars wouldn't get you much of a movie. 200 million would get you a James Cameron blockbuster, but a piss poor Skyscraper.
Because movie audiences are so large, blockbusters feel at times like tower edifices, that what we see on screen has the depth and solidity of architecture, but it dosen't. Movies are nothing more projected light, no more substantial than the paper and polystyrene constructions made by contemporary artists. Because they are ephemeral, we allow movie makers to delight us with things we would fight against in a more solid form. Movie making allows for the intermixing of incompatible world views, and aesthetics.
And like a good city there is plenty of space for unscrupulous movie makers to steal from those around them - here more gaseous networks make for easy pickings. The Cell appropriated imagery from every major gallery show from Matthew Barney and Damien Hirst, to Shirin Neshat. But in the years since the Cell was made movies have out paced contemporary art's long held transgressive role. Movies are where we now go to be shocked, blasphemed, and overwhelmed.
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000) Daybreakers (2009); Inception (2010)
But unlike the best of cities, movies can build as high as they want without ever asking their neighbors for approval or worrying about the geological stability of the site. This is not the tip of the spear. It is the benthic edge of artistic production: the moment of confusion at the tip of a tree's root, where root, fungus and soil cannot be distinguished.