Author Topic: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions (2009-2016)  (Read 607785 times)

oneaprilday

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1600 on: April 03, 2010, 05:46:33 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.
I'm with smirnoff here. I really don't think this Slate writer is saying he wants movies to be dumber, and I don't think he's saying the intellectual precludes the emotional. He just wants movies that are smart to be emotionally engaging as well - offering heart-felt emotion, rather than the distant, self-aware, ironic kind that's often found in films like Wes Anderson's.

He writes,
". . . the Coens, David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky, Steven Soderbergh, Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson—they all fight shy of the kind of direct strike on an audience's emotions that is usually Hollywood's raison d'etre. They excel at distance, dislocation, anomie, alienation, emotional cauterization, and cosmic melancholy, with a light dusting of irony covering all. Feelinks, not so much."

You seem to be saying, with your Serious Man example, that movies that are intellectually engaging are necessarily emotionally engaging? I don't think that always follows though it certainly can and often does. Lots of things can be philosophically or intellectually engaging without being emotionally engaging. I think A Serious Man was one of the smartest, best films of the year last year, but quite honestly, I wasn't very emotionally engaged with the characters, so I get what this writer is saying. I wouldn't necessarily want A Serious Man to be any different, but I guess, I have found myself wishing that some of the films those directors make could have irony, alienation, emotional cauterization, and more direct feeling, too.

'Noke

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1601 on: April 03, 2010, 06:01:03 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.
I'm with smirnoff here. I really don't think this Slate writer is saying he wants movies to be dumber, and I don't think he's saying the intellectual precludes the emotional. He just wants movies that are smart to be emotionally engaging as well - offering heart-felt emotion, rather than the distant, self-aware, ironic kind that's often found in films like Wes Anderson's.

He writes,
". . . the Coens, David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky, Steven Soderbergh, Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson—they all fight shy of the kind of direct strike on an audience's emotions that is usually Hollywood's raison d'etre. They excel at distance, dislocation, anomie, alienation, emotional cauterization, and cosmic melancholy, with a light dusting of irony covering all. Feelinks, not so much."

You seem to be saying, with your Serious Man example, that movies that are intellectually engaging are necessarily emotionally engaging? I don't think that always follows though it certainly can and often does. Lots of things can be philosophically or intellectually engaging without being emotionally engaging. I think A Serious Man was one of the smartest, best films of the year last year, but quite honestly, I wasn't very emotionally engaged with the characters, so I get what this writer is saying. I wouldn't necessarily want A Serious Man to be any different, but I guess, I have found myself wishing that some of the films those directors make could have irony, alienation, emotional cauterization, and more direct feeling, too.

Hmm..

Now, see, I agree with OAD and noff, I understand where he's coming from. It makes perfect sense where he's coming from, I completely feel the same way, but I feel as though he's kinda whining and that there are many films that have been emotionally powerful in the past few years. Brothers Bloom, Where the Wild Things Are, 35 Shots of rum are all movies I'd consider that were released this past year.

And I get emotional payoff from more "intellectual" pursuits too. Inglourious basterds, there is nothing more sad then the moment where Fassbender says "They say there's a special place in hell for people who waste good scotch."

So yah, I get where he's coming from, I just think he's looking in the wrong places.
I actually consider a lot of movies to be life-changing! I take them to my heart and they melt into my personality.

oneaprilday

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1602 on: April 03, 2010, 06:09:19 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.

Holly Harry

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1603 on: April 03, 2010, 06:10:27 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.
"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 #1604 on: April 03, 2010, 06:12:07 PM »
No, not really. Unless pissed off counts as an emotion.

Sure.
"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 #1605 on: April 03, 2010, 06:14:48 PM »
Laughter is an emotion, if you want top get technical it can be considered joy or some emotion like that, and there are plenty of comedies that don't engage me at all intellectually and yet draw lots of emotion from me. Similarly well made thrillers/action films, etc. can draw emotion from me despite not being intellectually engaging. I don't believe a film needs to be intellectually engaging in order to draw emotion from the viewer, nor does a film need to draw emotion in order to be great.

Holly Harry

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1606 on: April 03, 2010, 06:19:20 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.
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Bill Thompson

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1607 on: April 03, 2010, 06:20:27 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.

oneaprilday

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1608 on: April 03, 2010, 06:21:12 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.)

joker

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Re: Random Movie Thoughts/Questions
« Reply #1609 on: April 03, 2010, 06:26:18 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....
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