Author Topic: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts  (Read 473005 times)

sdedalus

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Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #910 on: August 08, 2008, 11:46:46 AM »
I've been having trouble with documentaries lately.  So much of our reactions to them seems based on whether or not we're interested in the subject, and less in the unique ways the story is told. 

but sometimes that a story is told at all is unique.  that said, i don't find the need to fetishize the new and assume that there is something better about a unique style or technology being utilized.  if the objective of documentary is to teach/share new information (whether that be content or form (not that i want to press the case that there is much of a difference there)), then what matters is the reception of the text and whether or not it is understood by the audience. 

sean, question for you.  that you have trouble with an interest in subject matter, is this to say that you judge documentaries only on form?  to get a better idea where you are coming from, which documentaries do you like (and why)? 

Well, this is my problem.  I look back at the documentaries I like and see that the reasons I like them are almost entirely base don their content.  But I think there should be more to a great film than simply a great story.  A great story you can tell in any form; there should be something uniquely cinematic about a great movie (should there not?).  I don't know that I've seen many documentaries that meet that standard though (Sans Soliel, F For Fake maybe Dont Look Back).
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smirnoff

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Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #911 on: August 09, 2008, 12:24:24 AM »
Dead Man vs In The Company of Men


Dead Man

There is much to like about this movie. Sharp, beautiful black and white cinematography; A sound track that really works wonderfully; Bizarre characters that were fun to watch; and a story that befitting any good western. So are you waiting for the other shoe to drop? Well, it's the pacing. It's too slow. I was nearly entranced with the first half, interested in the third quarter, and getting very restless for the last 20 minutes. Ultimately, what does one make of this film? My experience with it paralleled that of the main character, a steadily fading interest for a steadily fading man.

In The Company of Men

Eckhart plays one despicable son of a b****; It's a great performance. So convincing, it's seems fortunate that he's not been typecast. Stacy Edwards performance is also remarkable. To find out afterwards that she is not deaf at all was surprising. And my god, she's beautiful. Too beautiful actually. Trying to imagine a woman like her being completely innocent in the ways of the world was a stretch. All of the characters are exaggerated really, but it's nothing major. The movie itself is not much an eye opener by today's standards. It feels like the cutthroat, cold-hearted business world thing has been covered a lot. Even though it isn't a fresh concept, I still found myself interested in how it was all going to play out. I would've liked to have had a character to root for, and you would think Edwards would be that character, but even she didn't get much sympathy. I wanted someone to get what they had coming to them, but that didn't really happen either (unlike, say, Closer. You may hate them all, but at least they get their comeuppance in turn). In the end this movie didn't provide any great insights previously undiscovered, but I appreciated it.


Verdict

Dead Man will stay with me. While not wholly enjoying it, it gave me something to chew on, to ponder. I like that. I think I could even revisit it in time, which is no small compliment. I would likely choose to break it up into 2 viewings though.

Dead Man wins by way of intellectual knockout.

Junior

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Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #912 on: August 09, 2008, 12:28:28 AM »
LAME!

Dead Man is the worst movie ever made in the history of eternity.
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smirnoff

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Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #913 on: August 09, 2008, 12:34:19 AM »
I felt that way at times.

skjerva

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Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #914 on: August 09, 2008, 12:39:04 AM »
LAME!

Dead Man is the worst movie ever made in the history of eternity.

you've become more reactionary than me :D
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Pacze Moj

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Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #915 on: August 09, 2008, 12:44:24 AM »
I've been having trouble with documentaries lately.  So much of our reactions to them seems based on whether or not we're interested in the subject, and less in the unique ways the story is told. 

but sometimes that a story is told at all is unique.  that said, i don't find the need to fetishize the new and assume that there is something better about a unique style or technology being utilized.  if the objective of documentary is to teach/share new information (whether that be content or form (not that i want to press the case that there is much of a difference there)), then what matters is the reception of the text and whether or not it is understood by the audience. 

sean, question for you.  that you have trouble with an interest in subject matter, is this to say that you judge documentaries only on form?  to get a better idea where you are coming from, which documentaries do you like (and why)? 


Quote
A documentary's primary focus should indeed be to inform us on a particular subject.

I think the focus of a documentary should be to document an unscripted event—one that would be happening whether the camera was there or not. Hence, footage of some guy on a tightrope in New York is documentary footage; an interview with that guy and any dramatizations based on his life are not. It would also help if there wasn't a lot of editing involved, no outside music, etc.

why do you think this is what a documentary should be?

to me that sounds horrible.  a very stagnant idea of what a document is, or can be.  of course, there is always outside-the-camera editing, which "purist" positions, like you take here, ignore. 

Because if you start putting fiction into a document, it becomes fiction. I enjoy talking heads films as much as the next guy (OK, maybe a lot less); I just wouldn't call them documentaries.

And you're right, it is stagnant. However, if things get moving too much, soon every film is a documentary that documents a bunch of actors saying their lines.
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St. Martin the Bald

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Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #916 on: August 09, 2008, 01:00:58 AM »
LAME!

Dead Man is the worst movie ever made in the history of eternity.

you've become more reactionary than me :D

Is that possible? :P
« Last Edit: August 09, 2008, 01:01:56 AM by pixote »
Hey, nice marmot!

skjerva

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Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #917 on: August 09, 2008, 01:29:02 AM »
LAME!

Dead Man is the worst movie ever made in the history of eternity.

you've become more reactionary than me :D

Is that possible? :P

i was hoping for a better reactionary link.  TDK just wasn't very good, hardly the kind of reactionary rant that you should come to desire :)  (i did note it could have been great with an hour chopped off, right?)
But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams. 
                        - Iris Barry from "The Public's Pleasure" (1926)

skjerva

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Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #918 on: August 09, 2008, 01:34:24 AM »

Because if you start putting fiction into a document, it becomes fiction. I enjoy talking heads films as much as the next guy (OK, maybe a lot less)


"putting fiction into a document"?   what does that even mean? 


I think the focus of a documentary should be to document an unscripted event—one that would be happening whether the camera was there or not.

true, one of my fave docs
But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams. 
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St. Martin the Bald

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Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #919 on: August 09, 2008, 08:38:51 AM »
LAME!

Dead Man is the worst movie ever made in the history of eternity.

you've become more reactionary than me :D

Is that possible? :P

i was hoping for a better reactionary link.  TDK just wasn't very good, hardly the kind of reactionary rant that you should come to desire :)  (i did note it could have been great with an hour chopped off, right?)

I'm sorry Jon - but it was late and I was tired. :P

For better, more reactionary skjerva: see this thread.....
Hey, nice marmot!