When I first came to university I had already decided that somewhere down the line I would like to go to film school and become involved in making movies. I had a good taste in movies and a somewhat good eye for what are big pieces of shit. Yet I really didn’t look at film the way I do know until I took a few film classes at my university.
The major point my professor makes about films is that we are entertaining ourselves to death. We are ambushed by so much Hollywood shit that we aren’t thinking about anything. Now, my professor goes a little extreme saying that there is NO place for entertainment (as I feel you need a healthy dose of both) but he did open my eyes to thinking about how I watch film.
One of the biggest things I came to realize is that films have become the narrative of our generation. Literature has taken a step back. There is still a lot of reading going on (don’t mistake me for a second) but the majority of our storytelling comes through movies. So don’t they have the same responsibility as good literature to have meanings and messages embedded in the stories (ones that aren’t cookie cutter meanings that studios like Walt Disney have been throwing at you sense birth)?
Now I realize because of the wonderful lust for money that this isn’t always so. Hollywood is a money-making industry. Sometimes we have some amazing films that come out of Hollywood but that’s usually when a director can work within that system, manipulate its resources, to produce a result that is an amazing piece of art.
However what about filmmakers that work outside the system creating wonderful pieces of art? Truly they exist right? Sure they do. We’ve seen many great examples of this time after time.
So my point in this entry:
Recently I get pissed off when having conversations with friends who are like “No, your wrong, it’s all about entertainment and that’s it”. I’ve had people suggest to me that I’m taking “movies” too seriously and I need to lay off of it. That any movie that is a piece of art is “accidentally” a piece of art. So am I going completely insane?
I understand there are always going to be people out there that would rather watch “Dukes of Hazard” all day long then anything challenging. However, Is it wrong (or maybe pretentious) of me to try and show them the “errors” in their ways?
In another community someone said that Remember the Titans was racist. Now, I could definitely understand someone not liking the movie, but declaring it racist seems to be the opposite direction. The whole movie is about people coming together and treating each other as equal. That is a definite point in the movie, that Mr. D. Washington doesn't want his black players being over-supported by the white coaches. He wants the coaches to treat the players the same, even if they treat them badly. So, why would this person say that the movie is racist? Is it evidence that this person is actually a jerk for accusing the film of having the opposite of its intended moral? Is the movie actually racist, and I'm the jerk? I am coming to this community to see if anyone else has seen this movie, and to see if you have an opinion on whether or not this movie is, indeed, "racist." Not that I don't understand how hard, and perhaps impractical, it is to tack a movie down with such an expansive buzzword as "racist."
Also, the person accused the film of being "inaccurate." That set me to wondering, how important is it that a film is as accurate as possible when portraying history? It has to be hard to set a historical occurrence into two hours, so condensing and allegoric writing should be expected, if not unavoidable. I think people usually just accuse films, based on history and books, of being "inaccurate" just to have some dirt to throw in a film discussion. Personally, I feel that a movie is a piece of art, always, because at it's most basic level a film is an abstraction, and in that it is symbolic. So, even if a movie is based on a true story, or a book, it is a piece of art in it's own right and not just a way of transferring another story to the movie theater. The book, or event, should be considered when judging a movie's artistic worth, but more over, the film should be separated and left to stand alone, to see if it is worth a damn. Right?
Woody Allen. I have long been a fan of the man’s work. Doubtless, he is one of the best original screenwriters in America today if not ever, and in the last few decades only Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorcese, & Francis Coppola can even rival the quality of his output. I have listened often to the complaints of many about the man’s personal distastefulness even prior to the Soon-Yi scandal. A lot of seemingly intelligent people cannot separate the man from the artist, they refuse to even watch his films: [“Do you really want to give your money to a man like that?”] But I have never had any problems with the man because I do not know him so his personal life is irrelevant to my liking his art. Also, even his obsessions with sex & death have not troubled me because he has always handled them so well especially contrasted to others in film. He rarely condescends to his audience even in his early farces. Comparing him to a Steven Spielberg or Spike Lee best illustrates the point of the man’s ability to actually create characters that are believable,his female characters have always been a cut or 3 above the typical Hollywood heroine’s mere ornamentality. No wonder big-name actors -and especially actresses- flock to appear in his films. From the early Diane Keaton characters up to her late ‘70s Annie Hall, Renata, & Mary Wilke characters, thru the range of the more dramatic Mia Farrow years, the great female characters in Interiors, Stardust Memories, Hannah & Her Sisters, Husbands & Wives, the whole oeuvres of Dianne Wiest, Julie Kavner, & Judy Davis, the towering supernal performance by Gena Rowlands as Marion Post in Another Woman, right through to Samantha Morton’s Hattie in Sweet & Lowdown, Allen has been lauded as a feminist’s ideal male writer.
My favorite films by him are "Manhattan", "Annie Hall", "Stardust Memories" and "Sweet and Lowdown."
Did anyone notice that the movie "the increidles" was included in this communities interests? If this isn't a typo, which it obviously is, then I'm going to go right out and track this movie down. On second thought, I think I'm going to dedicate my life to making this movie a reality. I was thinking maybe a crew of dyslexics entering a spelling bee. Or perhaps, a family of spanish illiterates trying to make it in Wisconsian.
What's a better idea? It could be more self-aware, like a movie about someone making a movie called "The Increidles." The director misspelled the movie "The Incredibles" and refuses to admit his mistake, so rewrites the movie with nothing but spelling errors instead of proof-reading.
What would be a good dramaturgical diagram of this movie? You know, the old rising action/climax/resolution diagram. Rising action; the writer of "the incredidles-or-whatever" has locked himself in his trailer and refuses to spellcheck the script. The actors, whose character names are horribly misspelled, join forces to try and get the writer to admit his mistakes and change the script. The rising action; after being caught forcing a dictionary on the writer, the actors are fired, so they try and burn the movie set down. The climax; the actors end up taking the writer hostage and read him letters from six year olds, which are horribly misspelled and lacking in grammar, the writer breaks down crying and admits that he cannot spell.
That movie sounds like it fucking sucks, actually. But it is the best I could do in five minutes. Maybe if we got Lily Tomlin and Jim Carey as the actors and Larry David as the writer.
I've been watching Requiem for a Dream all day long, then I began to wonder if people based their movie preferences more on politics or on actual quality filmmaking(which is a stupid question). Speaking of stupid questions:
1. Is Darin Arinofski the best director to produce a film in the past 10 years?
2. Do you think a life of heroin use will lead to arm amputation/jail time/a big, black dildo/electro-shock therapy?
3. How is this not anti-drug propaganda with a good cinematographer?
4. If you found out that D.A. was supporting Arnold Schwarznegger in his re-bid for governor, and was an avid supporter of the NRA, would you say he was the best director to produce a film in the past 10 years?
5. Do you think that a filmmaker's politics do not effect your appreciation of their art?
6. If so, why is everyone talking shit about Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ, when they loved Braveheart?
7. If you had to watch a movie right now, would you rather watch Requiem, or Braveheart cut down to the length of Requiem?
8. If Darin Arinofski re-made the entire Lethal Weapon series into an epic saga, would you pay $12 and 12 hours to see it?
9. If Mel Gibson re-made Pi and Requiem for a Dream would anyone go see it? (sub-question: Would Braveheart have been as popular if it was called Passion of the Scotland?)
10. If I told a girl, just after sex, that I happen to liked Man without a Face, do you think she would still respect me in the morning?
Not to beat a dead horse, but I liked where this debate was going. I came up with a few more self-serving questions to help guide the debate.
Kill Bill: 1 & 2
1. Why is Kill Bill so good? Why is it not good?
2. Is Kill Bill a let down when compared to the directorial debut of Reservoir Dogs or the follow up Pulp Fiction, in terms of writing quality and character development?
3. Is the subtlety of Pulp Fiction one of its most important components? Is it Kill Bill's? In other words, does Pulp get better with more viewings? Does Kill Bill?
4. In a film comparison of greatness, where would you place these two movies in relation to each other?
5. How does Tarantino rank among other contemporary movie makers, including anything between Wes Anderson and Tim Burton, to Brian De Palma, to Guillermo Del Toro? Where does Uwl Boll fit in there?
6. Should we eventually expect a Planet of the Apes from all auteur directors?
7. Is Tarantino impotent as a director if not for violence and bombastic dialogue?
8. Why does Spielberg suck so bad?
9. Was Kill Bill as good as Tarantino fans expected when it was first announced?
10. Is the director the most important component in producing a film?
hi all. just joined. giving the obligitory greeting post and whatnot. i don't have much else to say, because i'm tired as hell. so i suppose this post is really just a waste, but i thought i'd just make myself known, so when i post no one says, "who the fuck is THIS asshole". nope, now when i post you'll know the asshole is me.
P.S. just out of curiousity: is anyone here a hal hartley fan, or am i alone on this?
Based on a conversation with another member of this community, genmazor I believe, I decided to post some questions involving Tarantino's opus. The problem is, where to start. So, I decided to start with the obvious.
1. Why is Pulp Fiction so good? Is it because I saw it when I was fourteen? Marijuana? The way it cleverly superimposes gangland over the life of hipster socialites uniting the world of its fandom with a world they admire? Humor, perhaps? Its slashing and burning of modern, linear film conventions?
2. Is Pulp an all out placation towards the drug culture? Or a clever story written by someone inside of the drug culture? Is it rational to include the drug culture at all?
3. Could the presence of Samuel L. Jackson and Ving Rhames be considered blacksploitation? Are the rapist southerners considered a stereotype?
4. What is the absolutely best line in the movie? Defend.
I didn't know that a movie was made for this album until very recently, but here it is: Pink Floyd's "The Wall" (1982)
To my astonishment, this movie was fantastic. But not in the conventional sense of a film with conventional plot structures, dialogue, and outcome: more as a piece of art wrapped around the concept album released in 1977 entitled: "The Wall" (and yes, about every song from the album is featured at length in the movie).
The film follows a protagonist anti-hero, Pink (a famous British rockstar), on a mind-bending journey through his inner-most thoughts: his over-protective mother, his father's death in World War II and the comparisions he draws between his mad-dog fans and impressionable youth flocking to him like a fascist dictator straight out of Orwell's head. The film is loosely a musical but, predominantly, it's a piece of art about a man building a wall to close himself off from a post-war world which he perceives as superficial, maniacal and ultimately confused. This film is very open-ended for those of us who are sick of didactic films.
If you like to get high (I don't), you might want to do so the first time you see this film. The animated sequences and killer soundtrack will melt you into the seat and mindfuck you.