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Author Topic: Unpopular Movie Opinions  (Read 144234 times)

Bondo

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Re: Unpopular Movie Opinions
« Reply #2260 on: January 26, 2022, 10:11:11 AM »
Was just thinking about this again from a slightly different angle. Slate has a “Why is this song #1” series, and I think that’s an interesting frame for critical analysis. You start from the response and work backwards. But the key I think is to take the popular response as valid, not as problematic.

I see too much that does implicate the normie viewer as having bad taste, preferring the unoriginal, rather than more neutral or even positive frames. The reason they like a sequel is because it provides a comfort in the familiar/recognizable, because it reconnects a parasocial relationship that we build with characters over a series that makes us feel part of a family or less alone. Maybe they shy away from heavy dramas that critics like because they need escape from sometimes dreary real life, and don’t want to watch stuff that makes them sad. None of this makes them less sophisticated, a lot of these aspects are at the very heart of the oral storytelling tradition. Common themes (man v man, man v nature, etc) are common for a reason.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Unpopular Movie Opinions
« Reply #2261 on: January 26, 2022, 09:01:39 PM »
I wrote a whole long thing but I think it boils down to the idea that we can both accept we each have personal reactions to art AND we can find value in critics giving us historical, technical, aesthetic, etc., contexts to art. This whole idea we've got to go to a plurality of equal voices or a gatekeeping elite is just a silly false dichotomy.

There are experts in all kinds of fields but they don't dictate your individual personal tastes. A master chef can tell you a Big Mac is a bad burger and go into the reasons but that isn't going to stop the average person from enjoying eating one. Does that mean the average person is wrong for enjoying the Big Mac? If your metric is finding food enjoyable, then no.
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smirnoff

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Re: Unpopular Movie Opinions
« Reply #2262 on: Yesterday at 03:28:28 AM »
The actual rating, or saying whether or not something is good or not good, is probably the lowest or most trivial aspect of a critic's job. The most important parts include placing the work within the greater context of cinema and art (i.e. movements, styles, influences, etc.) and forming a coherent analysis based on the most prominent features of the film (how the editing/performances/etc. serve the story or make/alter meaning, how the film as a whole advances/changes/sets back cinema).

Problem is, of course, that since society does not value expertise

It's no wonder that society finds no value in a critics expertise if those are the most important parts of a critics job. Society has never wanted these things from critics. It wants a value judgement. It wants someone to say if X film is worth the cost of a ticket. We used to have to open a newspaper or turn on the tv, and see if 2 guys held their thumbs up. If wasn't any better at predicting a good film experience than a weather forecast is at helping us decide if we should go camping next week, but it was all we had, and people used it because having something to go on felt better than nothing at all. I believe too that it's in people nature to prefer disappointment to regret. Or more accurately, it's the expectation of regret that people are wanting to avoid. And so forearming oneself with a critic's blessing is how one avoids the pain of choosing a bad film on their own, and being responsible for it. In these ways critics had, and can still have, utility to people.

But historical context and categorizations of style and observations about theme... if it's devoid of any value judgement then it lacks that utility, and criticism becomes the practice of merely noticing things. Which, in a sense, is simply intellectual flexing. If a critic says "the shadows in the background mimic the shattered skyline of post-ww2 berlin" without speaking to its effect on them, than people will not appreciate the observation. People want to hear how that subtle visual left the critic gutted or made their heart weap. Or, they want to hear how that visual failed to do those things and left the critic scoffing. Because they too are human, and they are looking for some indication of how other humans reacted to the stimuli. Again, disappointment being preferable to regret. That's why they're listening to what the critic has to say in the first place.

So to me a critic saying how good they found a film (explicitly, as in a rating, or by communicating that in their analysis), is anything but trivial. It is essential to giving the criticism utility and authenticity.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 03:30:02 AM by smirnoff »

 

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