Derived Absurdity wrote:Inherent Vice - full confession: I only watched this for the sex scene. It was good. The sex scene was good. I guess the rest was good, I don't know, I was on my phone the whole time.
Interesting thoughts. For whatever reason, I don't remember this one as well as Sunrise. Perhaps because I saw Sunset long after Sunrise and the latter had already left a big impression on me so I already knew what (basically) to expect. I don't disagree about the characters being "smarter" and "more mature" but I'm not sure that's an innate positive. It reminds me of a lot of musical artists that "mature" and become boring compared to their earlier stuff that was much more exciting and innovative even if it was rough around the edges. Now, I don't think Sunset was boring/dull by any means, and I definitely appreciate how it's going for an entirely different tone/feel because of how the characters have changed, but I also felt like it was missing that "spark" that I saw in the first film. I still thought it was superb though, and I agree with most of the good stuff you said about it... I guess I just feel like I've seen more films like it--meaning films about adults working out the problems of adult life--than films like Sunrise that are so freewheeling, naive, jubilant, and just bursting with energy and idealism about life and love; probably because most filmmakers are too old themselves to connect to that feeling of youth. Maybe I just saw it at the right time.Derived Absurdity wrote:Before Sunset - I liked this one a lot more.
LOL, well, that explains a lot. I mean, I'm closer to the cynical/pessimistic type myself, but when it comes to films (or any dramatic art-form) I don't generally judge them for expressing different perspectives as long as I think they're doing it well. IOW, I don't think art should generally be an "I agree with the POV so it's good/I disagree with the POV so it's bad" kind of thing, especially because the best dramatic art tends to depict rather than judge (meaning: "this is who the characters are/what they think" rather than "this is what the author thinks"). That's why Shakespeare has survived as long as he has, because he was capable of non-judgmentally depicting such an incredible breadth and diversity of humanity while never (or rarely and, if so, obscurely) injecting his perspective.Derived Absurdity wrote:Oh yeah I kind of hate life and think optimism and idealism are stupid so movies that are bursting with energy and idealism and naivety and whatever kind of don't do much for me. You need some degree of cynicism and pessimism to connect with me 'cuz those are required in any honest reflection or appraisal of life, because it sucks. Before Sunset sort of had that, sort of, so it was better.
Honestly I'm not sure, since saying would require having a good historical understandings of what audiences expected and how they reacted to the judgement/depiction dichotomy in art. What I would say is that there was a fundamental change in popular aesthetic philosophy that started in Romanticism where art became primarily seen as the personal expression of artists rather than attempts at depicting people/reality as it was. MH Abrams called this difference "the mirror and the lamp" in his book on the subject; basically the idea is that a mirror reflects what is, while a lamp only illuminates what an individual points it at. If art becomes personal expression then it makes logical sense that part of that expression includes judgment. That also makes art easier to critique because judgment (especially of the philosophical and moral variety) comes naturally to people, much more so than more abstract aesthetic theories about intent, technique/style, narrative, tone, perspective, and whatnot.Raxivace wrote:Jimbo do you think there's more of a demand from audiences that art "judges" its characters these days?
This might be skewed from me spend too much time online but sometimes it seems like people want moralistic fables more than anything. It kind of reminds me of those that demand "likeable" main characters above all else.
Derived Absurdity wrote:It's amazing how so many people actually had a problem with Scorsese's comments on Marvel. Like they couldn't imagine how an extremely creative, thoughtful, and well-respected director would take some issue with film turning into bland factory-made assembly line-manufactured paste based on comics and children's toys. Like he wouldn't dare to have something mildly critical to say about the embodiment and symbolization of America's cultural decay.
Derived Absurdity wrote: I mean, it was right there. Realizing that the world is fundamentally unfair and tilted radically toward the upper crust would be a pretty good and authentic coming-of-age story, at least IMO, but we're not going to get that in a movie written and financed by that upper crust, are we, no matter how heartfelt and witty and empathic it might be.
BruceSmith78 wrote:My wife and I tried watching Booksmart and it was one of those movies that seems to be trying really hard to be cool and funny and failing to do either one at every turn, and we turned it off after like 15 minutes. We never even came close to laughing or cracking a smile.
We wasted $5.99 renting it on PPV, too.
This is one of those films where I get why it's considered great, I get why people love it, I get why it was such an important film... but it's just never done anything for me personally. Unlike Raging Bull it just never really pulled me into the character or the world he inhabits. I don't know if I could put my finger on why that is, but I think there's something about the nihilism of Travis Bickle that's never really explained and always keeps me at a distance from it, so even though I can sympathize to an extent I never really empathize with him. OTOH, with Jake Lamotta it's pretty immediately understandable why a guy that's made his whole life around being able to beat people up has no concept of how to deal with people outside the ring, and how destructive that inner violence can be. Obviously that's not MY life, but I get on an intuitive/emotional level how someone can end up like that if that's all they've known. So I end up having much less empathy/sympathy for Travis than I do with Jake.Derived Absurdity wrote:Taxi Driver - spurred by current events, I watched this movie, my first "classic" Scorsese. I thought it was pretty good. That's my professional opinion. It's hard to believe this was a mainstream movie in the 70s; it's much more subtle and ambiguous than mainstream movies today. It has a lot to say about loneliness and alienation and toxic masculinity. The last few moments swerve very hard into This Says A Lot About Society mode.
Great film. You should check out more from Cronenberg. Even though The Fly might be his most overtly horrific, he has a lot of really weird, out-there stuff in many of his earlier films especially. Videodrome is probably my favorite from him, but something really out-there try Naked Lunch.Derived Absurdity wrote:The Fly (1986)
To me, the only real problem with what Scorsese said is that he's essentially making a subjective assessment via what is an objective, semantic classification. "Cinema" shouldn't be synonymous with "art-cinema," "cinema" should just be synonymous with theaters where films are shown. If it's shown in a theater, it's cinema. If it's shot on film, it's film. If it's a moving picture, it's a movie, etc. I don't see the point in saying something's "not cinema" when what you really mean is "I don't like these kinds of movies." It's the same way when people try to say rap or metal or [insert controversial music genre here] "isn't music" when what they really mean is "it's not the kind of music I like." There's no way to define cinema in a way that Marvel movies aren't cinema, and there's no way to define music in such a way to exclude rap and metal. That everyone has their tastes and dislikes is fine, but it's not hard to express them in a way that isn't trying to dictate what the medium is, or what people should/shouldn't like, and THAT'S what rubs people wrong about what Scorsese said.Derived Absurdity wrote:Yeah, because Martin Scorsese really needs to actually physically see Guardians of the Galaxy to know a movie about a talking raccoon set in space is not going to be high art.
The self-importance of some people. Like, does James Gunn actually genuinely think Martin Scorsese needs to show some respect for his cartoon action figure movies. I would think he would be the first to agree that they're just meaningless nonsense. Like they're somehow on the same level as westerns and gangster movies just because some people didn't like those, either. The difference is that many westerns and gangster movie are cinematic masterpieces, and superhero movies never will be. Ever. The concept of superheroes is fundamentally, inherently stupid and childish. That is the reason they first appeared in comic books eighty years ago, meant for children. Which is fine, as long as you just acknowledge it. I don't care if you enjoy art meant for kids. But to get pissy when someone points out the obvious, that these are stupid nonsense movies meant for kids and can never be anything else, shows some deep insecurity.
Hold my beer.Derived Absurdity wrote:You guys seem confused. This thread is about Midsommar now.
I think this is a really limited, myoptic view. First, I'd hesitate to call "power fantasies" "childish" since on a most basic, fundamental level the desire for power is about the ability to survive. As much as superheroes are power fantasies, so is the moment when Moonwatcher in 2001:ASO throws the bone/weapon in triumph into the air after having used it to conquer predators and the rival hominids. It could also be said that superhero films are really about the responsibility that comes with power and the destruction caused when the selfish and greedy refuse that responsibility, or that it's just exaggerated versions of how people irl must sometimes step up and fight the corrupt powers-that-be, so instead of being "childish power fantasies" the more about trying to inspire the individual to stand up to abuses of power.Cassius Clay wrote:Superhero movies are specifically "childish" in the sense their stories are absurd, simplistic power fantasies...appealing primarily to children because children are powerless and lack a sophisticated understanding of the world. That doesn't mean a dismissive attitude towards them is warranted tho(the appeal to children isn't were it ends). You could say stories in general are childish because they're all make-believe nonsense...but that would be silly.
I think that definition is a bit limiting, and even downright wrong if we're trying to include non-narrative/dramatic art like music that doesn't deal with representational themes at all (one could also put painting and sculpture into that category, though perhaps more controversially). But even if we limit it to narrative/dramatic art I think it's too limiting. If I was trying to define it, which I'm loath to do, I'd say high art is closer to a powerful, imaginative rendering of experience through a medium. That "experience" can absolutely include dealing with deep themes in emotional and/or intellectually mature ways, but I don't think it always has to. For one thing, I think you can remove the "deep themes" altogether and still create high art--this is perhaps most evident in the masterpieces of the silent era like Sunrise, Metropolis, and The Passion of Joan of Arc in which there are no "deep themes" (at best they're just archetypal), and what themes there are are quite superficial.Derived Absurdity wrote:To me "high art" is something that deals with deep themes in an emotionally and intellectually mature way. That's my pithy definition of it. So it's not that superhero films don't or can't have thematic substance, it's just that I think they can't be emotionally or intellectually mature about it. They can also be well-made, of course, with good scripts and editing and whatnot, but that's not the point. Films can be technically well-made but still feel thematically empty and/or childish. (And many films can be amateurishly made on a technical level but still feel thematically rich/mature.) I just think the whole concept of superheroes is stupid. They're inherently absurd simplistic power fantasies, at the core. You can't build an emotionally or intellectually mature piece of art around them. People have tried, but the inherent stupidity of the core concept always weakens the attempt. It's not a coincidence that the one piece of superhero media that managed to be close to "high art", Watchmen, deconstructed the whole idea.
Like, people say The Dark Knight is an example of a superhero film being "high art", but I don't think it is. It has some interesting ideas (nihilism, anarchy/chaos, and so on), but isn't very mature or deep in exploring them. Partly because it has to work around the inherently stupid idea of a billionaire dressing up as a bat in his spare time and beating up a homeless man dressed as a clown. And if you try to make superhero movies "realistic", as it did, sort of, you automatically get some incredibly reactionary and quasi-fascist elements, which it has, because superheroes, if they were transplanted to the real world with real people, would be reactionary and fascistic. Fascism, as well as being evil, is fundamentally childish and immature. That's why superheroes can never be melded organically with real-world mature themes, unless you're outright deconstructing them.
Well, my mom's far from a cinephile and Rosemary's Baby is one of her favorite films. She watches it almost every time it's on TV, which is quite a lot. As far as its ranking among cinephiles, I checked Theyshootpictures and it's ranked #140 on their Top 1000 Films list, which is even higher than I thought. I think it's sandwiched between a lot of better films, though: The Passenger, Do the Right Thing, Stagecoach, Un Chien Andalou, Come and See, A Matter of Life and Death, The Lady Eve, The Conversation, are all better IMO. In fact, the only film around it I'm seeing that I don't like better is Brief Encounter.Derived Absurdity wrote:I think Rosemary's Baby was a bit more intimidating to me because it doesn't seem well-known among the general public at all (unlike other classic horror films like Psycho or The Exorcist), regular people don't talk about it much, but it seems universally well-regarded among cinephiles. So it's almost like it's so good that it wasn't even able to seep down into the popular consciousness much. It was like it's on a pedestal all of its own. I wouldn't really have felt the same way if I watched a movie everyone already knows about. I know that doesn't make any sense.
Raxivace wrote:If Rosemary's Baby isn't as well known today, I think its probably because it doesn't have any single scene that's as easily parodied or recreated as Psycho's shower scene or The Exorcist's head spin.
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