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Thread: 28 Film Discussion Threads Later

  1. #68151
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting PURPLE (view post)
    Hope the onlookers had fun. No more responses from me.
    WAIT DONT GO WHOS GONNA TELL US ABOUT WITTGENSTEIN

  2. #68152
    Quote Quoting PURPLE (view post)
    A person cannot drive a nail without a hammer. All those with hammers are in good nail-driving-taste.

    Nope. More accurately: Any person can drive a nail, all they have to do is pick up a hammer. If someone doesn't drive a nail, it doesn't mean that they have bad nail-driving-taste. Not every person has to drive nails. As such, there is no inherent superiority in any person driving a nail, so there is no inherent value in "having a taste for certain things" since anyone can do it. You could say, "This person chooses to hammer nails.", and if you consider hammering nails to be a good thing to do in life then you can say that the person made a "good choice to hammer nails", but it does not in any way mean that a person who does not hammer nails has made a bad choice since there are innumerable good choices available in life. When Ebert says:

    "Those who think "Transformers" is a great or even a good film are, may I tactfully suggest, not sufficiently evolved. Film by film, I hope they climb a personal ladder into the realm of better films, until their standards improve."

    He is saying, "Those people using screwdrvers are doing it all wrong; they need to hammer nails" without considering that perhaps he is the one lacking the screwdriver.

    But, of course, nobody actually uses "aesthetic attitudes" anymore, either, so...
    I honestly have no idea how any of this relates to the point I was making.

    In any case, what I take Ebert to mean in the line you quote is that people who like Transformers lack adequate cultural training of the sort that he received as a graduate English student. Accordingly, he demonstrates Bordieu's theory of cultural capital: Reviewers, like Ebert, confer prestige on certain films; Transformers received mostly terrible reviews and therefore lacks cultural capital; thus, people who like it are not demonstrating good taste. However, if they are teachable and curious, they may acquire the right sort of cultural training necessary for the demonstration of good taste--not only liking the right films but liking them for the right reasons.
    Last edited by baby doll; 05-29-2019 at 09:45 PM.
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  3. #68153
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    thus, people who like it are not demonstrating good taste.
    I know we're going in a circle here, but is it possible to like it while still admitting it has lots of faults?

  4. #68154
    Quote Quoting PURPLE (view post)
    Correct. Attitudes. Not ideas. If you convince someone that they can fly they will jump off of a building. We could say that people with ideas that they can fly have a sort of "culturally acquired indifference to gravity". This does not mean that they can fly. The idiotic attitude altered their sociological context, but it did not alter gravity.
    If you believe these metaphors are making your argument clearer, I'm afraid they're having the opposite effect. It makes no sense to liken taste as a social phenomenon with a scientific fact like gravity. Just what are you arguing here, anyway? Is your claim that aesthetic experience has nothing to do with cultural training, that there is a kind of spontaneous, untutored sensibility for art in all of us that our cultural training inhibits?
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  5. #68155
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    I know we're going in a circle here, but is it possible to like it while still admitting it has lots of faults?
    It depends on your reasons for liking it. Ebert's review of Fear Dot Com strikes me as a good example of a reviewer finding merit in a reviled film by appealing to accepted canons of taste. His argument is: The last part of this awful movie looks like German expressionism, ergo this part of the movie is actually brilliant.
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  6. #68156
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    It depends on your reasons for liking it. Ebert's review of Fear Dot Com strikes me as a good example of a reviewer finding merit in a reviled film by appealing to accepted canons of taste. His argument is: The last part of this awful movie looks like German expressionism, ergo this part of the movie is actually brilliant.
    What if I like a film that has lots of faults but without comparing it to any established pre-existing cinematic theory? Just because...I do?

  7. #68157
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    What if I like a film that has lots of faults but without comparing it to any established pre-existing cinematic theory? Just because...I do?
    Then you haven't demonstrated good taste. Not only that, you're not even making an effort to play the game.
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  8. #68158
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    is it possible to like it while still admitting it has lots of faults?
    To jump in: Yes, I think, absolutely.

    One of my favorite reviews by Pauline Kael was one where she talked about how unfortunate it was that mainstream criticism was mired in binary recommendation --- see it or don't -- and no one had room or heart enough to talk about specific elements that worked well, and thus made the movie worth seeing all by themselves, even though the rest wasn't on the same level.

    In keeping with her own ideas, her review of "Klute" almost exclusively speaks to Jane Fonda's wonderous performance, while she only briefly admits the film isn't very good on the whole.

    TBH, I think DaMU ended up in the same sort of place --- he posted once about reading films in the most generous way possible. I really dug that, even if I'm not capable of doing it myself very often.
    Last edited by Irish; 05-29-2019 at 10:17 PM.

  9. #68159
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Then you haven't demonstrated good taste. Not only that, you're not even making an effort to play the game.
    I'll have you know, sir, that when I went into an alternative record store to sell a buncha DVDs, the clerk behind the counter took one look at my collection and said -- out loud -- that I had good taste.

    And as we all know, there is no greater cultural authority than the independent record store clerk.

  10. #68160
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Then you haven't demonstrated good taste. Not only that, you're not even making an effort to play the game.
    I didn't say my hypothetical review didn't have reasons and examples of things that were good and bad. Do I specifically need to reference pre-existing cinematic theories to "demonstrate good taste"?

  11. #68161
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    I didn't say my hypothetical review didn't have reasons and examples of things that were good and bad. Do I specifically need to reference pre-existing cinematic theories to "demonstrate good taste"?
    You don't have to cite André Bazin, if that's what you mean by referencing film theories, but your justification needs to be one that is persuasive for your intended audience (e.g., the film has an inventive visual style).
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  12. #68162
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    I always thought Purple was a bot.

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  13. #68163
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    What would Pauline Kael and André Bazin have to say about, say...

    Superman IV: The Quest for Peace?

  14. #68164
    I've not found any evidence that Kael reviewed Superman IV but here's the opening paragraph of her review of Superman III, which is reprinted in her collection State of the Art:

    Quote Quoting Pauline Kael
    When we go into the theatre to see Superman III, we know that whatever else happens we're still going to have the pleasure of seeing a man fly without an airplane and without wings. But when I (for one) came out of the theatre it was with the distinct feeling that if the director, Richard Lester, had been able to deprive us completely of this pleasure he would have done so--not because he didn't want us to have a good time but because he loses touch with the simple, basic elements of his material. For roughly the first forty minutes of Superman III, during which Richard Pryor as Gus Gorman, who has been a flop at every job he has ever had, discovers that he's a computer wizard, Lester provides an agreeable mixture of the grandiose and the everyday. Our expectations are aroused: he must have some tricks up his sleeve. And he does, but the scattered impulses behind the movie cancel each other out.
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  15. #68165
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    LOL omg that's fantastic

  16. #68166
    MadMan After Hours MadMan's Avatar
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    People unless you have something to say about Superman IV, I don't care. Now if you want to comment on the 1987 movie that covers the Cold War and the threat of nuclear destruction, I am all ears.
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  17. #68167
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    Superman III is trash. So bad.
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  18. #68168
    Since 1929 Morris Schæffer's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Peng (view post)
    Sorcerer (1977)

    I watched The Wages of Fear a long time ago, but my impression in comparison to Friedkin's film is that Clouzot's feels more elemental and leaned down, despite being 20 minutes longer, probably because Friedkin takes time to introduce each of the four characters. These segments are all engaging and nicely add to the film's overall sense of fatalistic doom, but they feel minor in the grand scheme of things, and ultimately come off like a camouflage to set up that last scene. Asides from that though, this completely stands on its own as a great nightmarish angst of a film, with our protagonists so boxed in by the world that they have no choice but to take that deadly ride. Bridge scene is one for the ages. 8/10
    The sweat, the mud, the grime, the filth, the palpable feeling of watching something that's been shot in the most unforgiving of locations. This was great, and the 2014 blu-ray remaster absolutely revelatory.
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  19. #68169
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    Still remember a story recited by Jon Cryer (who played Luthor’s nephew, Lenny, in Superman IV).

    He said when he went to the premiere, he saw Christopher Reeve there who was happy and friendly and stupidly charming as per usual, but the second they were alone together Reeve went into a curse-riddled rant about how the movie was “a fucking disaster”, and they were “in deep shit”.

    He said in all the time he knew him, that was the only time he ever heard Reeve swear, or saw him become heated. Other than that, he pretty much was Superman.

    I found it so sad to read how much Reeve had invested in the film personally, only to end up with one of the biggest critical and financial failures of all time. I mean, he even helped write the thing.

  20. #68170
    MadMan After Hours MadMan's Avatar
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    Yeah that is sad. Cannon really screwed him over, and also killed off the Superman series at the time.
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  21. #68171
    Cinematographer StanleyK's Avatar
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    Well, it took me about two years, but I've seen all of the Disney theatrical animated featuresTM.

    [
    ]

    I looked at the Match Cut threads for the most recent ones (the 'new Renaissance') and noticed that my opinion diverged from the consensus in almost all of them. MC didn't like The Princess and the Frog, I thought it was cute and a decent throwback to their 90s stuff. MC loved Tangled, I thought it was basically a subpar Dreamworks movie. MC didn't like Wreck-It Ralph, I thought it was their best movie in like two decades. MC liked Frozen, I thought it was a piece of shit. MC liked Big Hero 6, I thought it was the most generic movie that ever generic'd. Our tastes only coincided with Zootopia, which everybody in the world liked.

    My overall verdict: A few good movies in there, but a lot of crap to wade through to get there. Not really the studio you'd want owning half of the world's entertainment, but I guess you could do worse.

  22. #68172
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting StanleyK (view post)
    Well, it took me about two years, but I've seen all of the Disney theatrical animated featuresTM.

    [
    ]

    I looked at the Match Cut threads for the most recent ones (the 'new Renaissance') and noticed that my opinion diverged from the consensus in almost all of them. MC didn't like The Princess and the Frog, I thought it was cute and a decent throwback to their 90s stuff. MC loved Tangled, I thought it was basically a subpar Dreamworks movie. MC didn't like Wreck-It Ralph, I thought it was their best movie in like two decades. MC liked Frozen, I thought it was a piece of shit. MC liked Big Hero 6, I thought it was the most generic movie that ever generic'd. Our tastes only coincided with Zootopia, which everybody in the world liked.

    My overall verdict: A few good movies in there, but a lot of crap to wade through to get there. Not really the studio you'd want owning half of the world's entertainment, but I guess you could do worse.
    Weird that you're posting this now because my wife and i just started watching them all starting with Snow White and moving in chronological order.

    I'm surprised you have Dumbo at such a low grade, because I feel like it's top tier most powerful messages Disney has ever produced. Up there with Zootopia and Pinocchio.

    Saludos Amigos is next on our list.

    And I know you said "theatrical animated" features, but you wouldn't consider the The Reluctant Dragon to be a part of that list?

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  23. #68173
    Cinematographer StanleyK's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem
    I'm surprised you have Dumbo at such a low grade, because I feel like it's top tier most powerful messages Disney has ever produced. Up there with Zootopia and Pinocchio.
    It's okay, but even as short as it is it has a lot of filler. I feel like it would be more effective as a 10-minute short.

    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem
    And I know you said "theatrical animated" features, but you wouldn't consider the The Reluctant Dragon to be a part of that list?
    Gotta say I've never heard of that one; I looked it up and it's a mixture of animation and live action. In any case, I only considered the official canon movies as appears in this list.

  24. #68174
    Quote Quoting StanleyK (view post)
    Well, it took me about two years, but I've seen all of the Disney theatrical animated featuresTM.
    Why?
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  25. #68175
    Cinematographer StanleyK's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Why?
    Sometimes I feel like watching some lighter fare.

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