Author Topic: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions (2009-2016)  (Read 607740 times)

'Noke

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1610 on: April 03, 2010, 06:28:58 PM »
You could be right, 'Noke. Though I do think that the writer is aware that complaining about filmmakers of such obvious talent and caliber as the Andersons, the Coens, Fincher, and Soderbergh is, hmmmm, provocative.

For me, I guess I've just had the feeling of distance with those directors' stories and characters - and I've wondered about it, even as I recognized the greatness of their filmmaking.

I guess he's right about Wes Anderson, but maybe not the others. Soderbergh, especially this decade, I don't agree with. Sure Bubble and the girlfriend experience are more intellectual pursuits, but look at the rest of his work. Out of Sight, The Informant, The Oceans films, Erin Brokovich, hell, even Traffic presents a bunch of likable characters. The Coeans to. Their recent output has been more intellctual (though I feel utter compassion for Larry Gopnik and Llwellyn Moss), movies like Fargo show that, yah they're intellctual but can also show great compassion and warmth.

Fincher I've only seen Fight Club and Benjamin Button, but Fight Club is a movie where maybe compassion is lacking, but these characters are so fascinating I can't help but be enraptured. And Benjamin Button may have flaws, but lack of emotion is not one of them.

Anderson is the most outrageous claim for me. Yes, There Will Be Blood is portraying the life of a monster. And I don't think Boogie Nights is that great. But my love of Magnolia has a lot to do with the emotional reaction it gets out of me. Maybe some of the characters aren't pure of heart, but so what. They are human. They're cruelty comes from a place of compassion, from a place I can fully understand. I am fully onboard every step of the way. And, of course, Punch-Drunk Love is one of the best pure love stories of the decade.

And, as one more reason, the reason I love Wendy and Lucy is not becausde Williams is great, not because the craft is excellent, and the direction is wonderful, though all those are true. The reason I love it is because I was bawling at the end of the screening. It wasn't holding back tears, it was at the point where I was barely stopping myself from shouting at the screen.

If we have no emotions, then what are we?
I actually consider a lot of movies to be life-changing! I take them to my heart and they melt into my personality.

'Noke

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1611 on: April 03, 2010, 06:30:13 PM »
I didn't read the article... but I'm of the opinion that too many movies films think they are smarter then what they are... for instance.. the Pirate sequels... did they really need to be as convaluded as they were?  Your a movie about Pirates.. stop with this ancient mythical contradicting backstory.. we just want to see Indiana Jones on the high seas, with pirates....

The article was more about a writer's annoyance with Intellectual films then emotional ones, and his search for movies which go straight for your nervous system, as he says.

But it's a good point.
I actually consider a lot of movies to be life-changing! I take them to my heart and they melt into my personality.

Holly Harry

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1612 on: April 03, 2010, 06:31:46 PM »
You seem to be equating the term intellectual with like, I don't know, Gore Vidal or something. There is a clear intellectual reason behind every great joke and why it makes someone laugh, no matter how silly or vulgar. The thing with comedy is that if you dissect it and why it makes you laugh, which you could, it would probably make it unfunny and boring.

No, sometimes there is a guy saying whale's vagina and it's ya know funny, without any sort of intellectual reasoning behind it.

I'm going to make this joke boring and unfunny, so warning:

The absurdity of Burgandy's answer in relation to the translation of San Diego, in combination with his insistence on seeming smart, in addition to it being the first thing that Burgandy thinks of, makes the joke funny. And that is absolutely an intellectual breakdown. It's not just him saying whale's vagina that's funny, it's why he's saying it and the context of what he's saying. Comedy doesn't get nearly the respect it deserves on an intellectual basis on the whole.
"Political questions, if you go back thousands of years, are ephemeral, not important. History is the same thing over and over again."-Woody Allen.

Bill Thompson

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1613 on: April 03, 2010, 06:33:44 PM »
You seem to be equating the term intellectual with like, I don't know, Gore Vidal or something. There is a clear intellectual reason behind every great joke and why it makes someone laugh, no matter how silly or vulgar. The thing with comedy is that if you dissect it and why it makes you laugh, which you could, it would probably make it unfunny and boring.

No, sometimes there is a guy saying whale's vagina and it's ya know funny, without any sort of intellectual reasoning behind it.

I'm going to make this joke boring and unfunny, so warning:

The absurdity of Burgandy's answer in relation to the translation of San Diego, in combination with his insistence on seeming smart, in addition to it being the first thing that Burgandy thinks of, makes the joke funny. And that is absolutely an intellectual breakdown. It's not just him saying whale's vagina that's funny, it's why he's saying it and the context of what he's saying. Comedy doesn't get nearly the respect it deserves on an intellectual basis on the whole.

That's you applying an intellectual basis for the joke where one doesn't need to be applied. Dave Chappelle has talked about this a bunch, intimating how sure, he tries to write smart jokes, but every once in a while a joke about a crack head is just a joke about a crack head and digging deeper into it is just foolish.

Holly Harry

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1614 on: April 03, 2010, 06:35:23 PM »
http://www.slate.com/id/2248669/

Unless this article is satirical, which I don't think it is, this is quite frankly the dumbest article I've read all the way through in a farily long time. He's actively wishing for popular movies to be less smart. He also seems to think that a film being intellectual precludes being emotional, which of course, is nonsense.
rather than the distant, self-aware, ironic kind that's often found in films like Wes Anderson's.


The Darjeeling Limited and The Life Aquatic brought tears to my eyes.

And no, I'm not saying that movies that are intellectually engaging are always emotionally engaging, I'm saying that it is impossible, at least for me, for a movie to be emotionally engaging without being intellectually engaging. Emotions just don't come out of nowhere.

So, for instance, the question of whether there is a creator and do our morals mean something is an intellectual theme in A Serious Man, but it's a theme that is very close to me, for whatever reason (the similarly themed In Bruges was my favorite movie of 2008), and it got me emotional. If it didn't have the intellectual componet, it wouldn't have worked on me emotionally. Of course, not everyone will have that reaction, because that theme isn't as much of a concern or focus of everyone, but look at a love story like Bright Star, also from last year. If that film moves somebody, isn't it because of the ideas (I.E. the intellectual elements) of love, loss, distance, very human themes, that leads to a direct emotional responce? To me, people don't just react emotionally to human characters doing or not doing something, it's the ideas behind what they're doing that bring the emotion because of how it relates to them as a person. So, if a film has a person dying, I think the emotion that comes from that has as much, if not more, to do with the ideas of death and how it effects us and the people around us, as much as it has to do with a character we like dying. I don't think you can have emotion without intellect.

And I have no idea what a "direct strike" of the emotions is, and why one would go about doing it. I still think it's a stupid article.

I get all of that, and I completely agree - except I didn't have the emotional reactions you did the films you mention, even if I did like them a lot.

I guess I'm mostly defending the writer some, in that I think you're presuming too much about what he's saying. I don't think he ever said or implied that emotions come out of nowhere. I think his primary frustration is that exactly because the smartest films are so smart, and the best filmmakers are so great, he wishes they delivered more emotional impact. That's all.

But maybe what we can say out of all of this is that his article is based on his personal responses to films, and he shouldn't make the generalities that he does. You responded emotionally to the Wes Anderson films and to A Serious Man, so his argument, for you, doesn't follow.

(Btw, maybe you're a better person than I am, but sometimes I react emotionally to films that intellectual crap! :D  And I hate myself afterwards, of course.)

I'm not calling the writer stupid, I'm not familiar with who he is, but I do think the article's insistence that intellect and emotion are somehow seperate is what I found stupid. Perhaps, I was too harsh.

And listen, I love Step Brothers, so who I am to look down on "intellectual crap".  ;D
"Political questions, if you go back thousands of years, are ephemeral, not important. History is the same thing over and over again."-Woody Allen.

Holly Harry

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1615 on: April 03, 2010, 06:44:59 PM »
You seem to be equating the term intellectual with like, I don't know, Gore Vidal or something. There is a clear intellectual reason behind every great joke and why it makes someone laugh, no matter how silly or vulgar. The thing with comedy is that if you dissect it and why it makes you laugh, which you could, it would probably make it unfunny and boring.

No, sometimes there is a guy saying whale's vagina and it's ya know funny, without any sort of intellectual reasoning behind it.

I'm going to make this joke boring and unfunny, so warning:

The absurdity of Burgandy's answer in relation to the translation of San Diego, in combination with his insistence on seeming smart, in addition to it being the first thing that Burgandy thinks of, makes the joke funny. And that is absolutely an intellectual breakdown. It's not just him saying whale's vagina that's funny, it's why he's saying it and the context of what he's saying. Comedy doesn't get nearly the respect it deserves on an intellectual basis on the whole.

That's you applying an intellectual basis for the joke where one doesn't need to be applied. Dave Chappelle has talked about this a bunch, intimating how sure, he tries to write smart jokes, but every once in a while a joke about a crack head is just a joke about a crack head and digging deeper into it is just foolish.

Oh God, you're missing his point and you're missing my point.

My point was not that there's some intellectual themes or societal issues in the whale's vagina joke. My point was that the joke has an intelletual function as to why it works. Meaning, there is a reasoning that you can break down, and then, it transmits to your brain (probably your subconcious, because that's how most great jokes work) and it makes you laugh. By your reasoning, all somebody has to say a non-senical non-sequitor in order for it be funny. This is incredibly disrespectful to comedy as an artform.

Chappelle's point is clearly that there isn't always a societal parable or satire in something. Sometimes, something is just funny.

But, a crackhead joke (a good one, anyway) has an intellectual construction.

In other words, the image of a crackhead lifting a bus is funny because of the dichotomy between the frail frame of the crackhead and the size of the bus, in correlaton with the crackhead's extreme motivation. This is clearly an intellectual construction, and there is an intellectual reasoning as to why it's funny. Sorry for making that joke unfunny now. Nothing more unfunny than explaining why a joke is funny. It should work on a subconscious level, like I said.
"Political questions, if you go back thousands of years, are ephemeral, not important. History is the same thing over and over again."-Woody Allen.

oneaprilday

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1616 on: April 03, 2010, 06:46:06 PM »
And listen, I love Step Brothers, so who I am to look down on "intellectual crap".  ;D
We all have our weaknesses. :D 

(I think you have some company around here with Step Brothers though.)

What about a movie you know is, intellectually, bad, in fact, you hate the movie, but it managed to get an emotional response out of you?

Holly Harry

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1617 on: April 03, 2010, 06:55:11 PM »
And listen, I love Step Brothers, so who I am to look down on "intellectual crap".  ;D
We all have our weaknesses. :D 

(I think you have some company around here with Step Brothers though.)

What about a movie you know is, intellectually, bad, in fact, you hate the movie, but it managed to get an emotional response out of you?

I can't really think of one, to be honest. I usually hate movies that try to "move" me. Stuff like Patch Adams (which I find shameless) or A Time To Kill (which I find genuinely offensive) are some of my least favorite movies.
"Political questions, if you go back thousands of years, are ephemeral, not important. History is the same thing over and over again."-Woody Allen.

Bill Thompson

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1618 on: April 03, 2010, 06:58:19 PM »
You seem to be equating the term intellectual with like, I don't know, Gore Vidal or something. There is a clear intellectual reason behind every great joke and why it makes someone laugh, no matter how silly or vulgar. The thing with comedy is that if you dissect it and why it makes you laugh, which you could, it would probably make it unfunny and boring.

No, sometimes there is a guy saying whale's vagina and it's ya know funny, without any sort of intellectual reasoning behind it.

I'm going to make this joke boring and unfunny, so warning:

The absurdity of Burgandy's answer in relation to the translation of San Diego, in combination with his insistence on seeming smart, in addition to it being the first thing that Burgandy thinks of, makes the joke funny. And that is absolutely an intellectual breakdown. It's not just him saying whale's vagina that's funny, it's why he's saying it and the context of what he's saying. Comedy doesn't get nearly the respect it deserves on an intellectual basis on the whole.

That's you applying an intellectual basis for the joke where one doesn't need to be applied. Dave Chappelle has talked about this a bunch, intimating how sure, he tries to write smart jokes, but every once in a while a joke about a crack head is just a joke about a crack head and digging deeper into it is just foolish.

Oh God, you're missing his point and you're missing my point.

My point was not that there's some intellectual themes or societal issues in the whale's vagina joke. My point was that the joke has an intelletual function as to why it works. Meaning, there is a reasoning that you can break down, and then, it transmits to your brain (probably your subconcious, because that's how most great jokes work) and it makes you laugh. By your reasoning, all somebody has to say a non-senical non-sequitor in order for it be funny. This is incredibly disrespectful to comedy as an artform.

Chappelle's point is clearly that there isn't always a societal parable or satire in something. Sometimes, something is just funny.

But, a crackhead joke (a good one, anyway) has an intellectual construction.

In other words, the image of a crackhead lifting a bus is funny because of the dichotomy between the frail frame of the crackhead and the size of the bus, in correlaton with the crackhead's extreme motivation. This is clearly an intellectual construction, and there is an intellectual reasoning as to why it's funny. Sorry for making that joke unfunny now. Nothing more unfunny than explaining why a joke is funny. It should work on a subconscious level, like I said.

You're missing my point, sometimes a joke is funny, there isn't nor does there need to be an intellectual reason behind it. There doesn't need to an intellectual construction behind a joke, and you can explain why you think a whale's vagina is funny from some sort of intellectual construction standpoint, but none of that matters to me, I found it funny simply because Burgundy said Whale's vagina. You can argue that there is some sort of reasoning for why I find a joke funny and I will counter that your surmising simply isn't always the case.

I think it's disrespectful to the art form of comedy to argue otherwise actually, because every comedian worth their salt will tell you that some of their funny material is throwing shit at a wall and seeing what sticks. They don't have an intellectual response in mind when telling the joke, they aren't telling it to you from the perspective of how you will break it down, they are telling you something that they think is funny, and that is it. Intellect isn't always involved in emotion, heck, it hardly ever is, and comedy is probably the second best example of that behind love.

oneaprilday

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1619 on: April 03, 2010, 06:59:51 PM »
I guess he's right about Wes Anderson, but maybe not the others. Soderbergh, especially this decade, I don't agree with. Sure Bubble and the girlfriend experience are more intellectual pursuits, but look at the rest of his work. Out of Sight, The Informant, The Oceans films, Erin Brokovich, hell, even Traffic presents a bunch of likable characters. The Coeans to. Their recent output has been more intellctual (though I feel utter compassion for Larry Gopnik and Llwellyn Moss), movies like Fargo show that, yah they're intellctual but can also show great compassion and warmth.

Fincher I've only seen Fight Club and Benjamin Button, but Fight Club is a movie where maybe compassion is lacking, but these characters are so fascinating I can't help but be enraptured. And Benjamin Button may have flaws, but lack of emotion is not one of them.

Anderson is the most outrageous claim for me. Yes, There Will Be Blood is portraying the life of a monster. And I don't think Boogie Nights is that great. But my love of Magnolia has a lot to do with the emotional reaction it gets out of me. Maybe some of the characters aren't pure of heart, but so what. They are human. They're cruelty comes from a place of compassion, from a place I can fully understand. I am fully onboard every step of the way. And, of course, Punch-Drunk Love is one of the best pure love stories of the decade.
To be fair, the writer - I really should look at his name . . . Ok, Tom Shone. So, to be fair, Shone did say that he liked Erin Brockovich. I think you're right though that when you start listing what these filmmakers have made, it's difficult to make a blanket statement about their not making movies that pack some emotional punch.

Still, I suppose the article resonated with me some because I was thinking about some of the things he's saying when I watched such recent films as A Serious Man, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and, though Shone doesn't mention Jonze, Where the Wild Things Are - all three filmspotting favorites.

And, as one more reason, the reason I love Wendy and Lucy is not becausde Williams is great, not because the craft is excellent, and the direction is wonderful, though all those are true. The reason I love it is because I was bawling at the end of the screening. It wasn't holding back tears, it was at the point where I was barely stopping myself from shouting at the screen.

If we have no emotions, then what are we?
Exactly. Shone wants to bawl at the end of a movie. I guess he hasn't in a while. :)