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-- The movie recommendations thread, son
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Posted by GoSpeedGo! on Jan-26-2012 09:53:

quote:
Originally posted by EgosXII
I can't think of one hollywood action film which has any moral or artistic value


Really? I can think of plenty (Bourne trilogy comes to mind but there's a lot more).


quote:
You always rage on about films "intentions": This film, more than any I've seen you defend met and exceeded the intentions. I don't think it was ever aiming to be anything deep or intelligent; it was aiming to draw emotions and 'increase testosterone' levels, and I think it nailed that perfectly



You got it mixed up again - I'm talking about what's actually in the film (the text), not what it was supposed to say. Ironically, you're the one preoccupied with "what the film was aiming to be" as if there was some unquestionable artistic intention, even though you don't directly personalize it.

It seems to me that instead of actually trying to interpret the film, you rely on prejudices and popular half-truths like "Hollywood films have no meaning ever". Look, no film exists in a vacuum. Even if the artist says "I'm going to do something utterly mindless" there will still be meaning and subtext - partly because he doesn't have full control of his subconscious so a lot of "meaning" is completely accidental, but that doesn't invalidate its existence.

Fighting dramas are often also social dramas so obviously I'm going to be interested in how it deals with this subtext. The problem I have here is that Warrior uses the impending foreclosure to motivate the character's decision to go fighting again and then it is completely marginalized as soon as the family problems are introduced. At the end, every one is carried away by the intense fights so they forget there was that trouble with the mortgage. It implies that everything's fine, it stopped being important, and we shouldn't care about it either. It also isn't good storytelling, which is art in and of itself.


Posted by EgosXII on Jan-26-2012 12:36:

quote:
Originally posted by GoSpeedGo!
Really? I can think of plenty (Bourne trilogy comes to mind but there's a lot more).





You got it mixed up again - I'm talking about what's actually in the film (the text), not what it was supposed to say. Ironically, you're the one preoccupied with "what the film was aiming to be" as if there was some unquestionable artistic intention, even though you don't directly personalize it.

It seems to me that instead of actually trying to interpret the film, you rely on prejudices and popular half-truths like "Hollywood films have no meaning ever". Look, no film exists in a vacuum. Even if the artist says "I'm going to do something utterly mindless" there will still be meaning and subtext - partly because he doesn't have full control of his subconscious so a lot of "meaning" is completely accidental, but that doesn't invalidate its existence.

Fighting dramas are often also social dramas so obviously I'm going to be interested in how it deals with this subtext. The problem I have here is that Warrior uses the impending foreclosure to motivate the character's decision to go fighting again and then it is completely marginalized as soon as the family problems are introduced. At the end, every one is carried away by the intense fights so they forget there was that trouble with the mortgage. It implies that everything's fine, it stopped being important, and we shouldn't care about it either. It also isn't good storytelling, which is art in and of itself.


So does the creator, or the viewer create meaning in a film?


Posted by DJRYAN™ on Jan-26-2012 12:51:

Just got finished watching Butterfly Effect 3. Kind of a crazy flick but if you've seen the first two you've got to see this one. Of course both the second and third will never be as good as the first, but this one fits right in. Check it out!!


Posted by LAdazeNYnights on Jan-26-2012 23:47:

quote:
Originally posted by EgosXII
So does the creator, or the viewer create meaning in a film?


the film creates it's own meaning.


Posted by EgosXII on Jan-27-2012 00:14:

quote:
Originally posted by LAdazeNYnights
the film creates it's own meaning.


so no human has any access to it, or control over it?


Posted by srussell0018 on Jan-27-2012 00:16:

I'm pretty sure I would hate 90% of movies mentioned in this thread. In general, if film fags feel the urge to write about a movie, it's probably pretty gay.


Posted by LAdazeNYnights on Jan-27-2012 00:28:

quote:
Originally posted by EgosXII
so no human has any access to it, or control over it?


i was really just trying to sound stupid

but i guess you could say there are 3 different worlds around a film : world of the creator, world of the film, world of the audience.

p.s. srussell is a foggot


Posted by srussell0018 on Jan-27-2012 00:29:

Let's all touch each other while discussing how movies make us feel.


Posted by Halcyon+On+On on Jan-27-2012 00:31:

OLOLOOo 2 KEWL 4 U!!!


Posted by srussell0018 on Jan-27-2012 00:36:

Shouldn't you be waxing something?


Posted by EgosXII on Jan-27-2012 03:10:

quote:
Originally posted by LAdazeNYnights
i was really just trying to sound stupid

but i guess you could say there are 3 different worlds around a film : world of the creator, world of the film, world of the audience.



Posted by LeopoldStotch on Jan-27-2012 04:46:

quote:
Originally posted by LAdazeNYnights
i was really just trying to sound stupid

but i guess you could say there are 3 different worlds around a film : world of the creator, world of the film, world of the audience.

p.s. srussell is a foggot


you missed one more .. the world of voice (documentaries).


Posted by GoSpeedGo! on Jan-27-2012 09:34:

quote:
Originally posted by EgosXII
So does the creator, or the viewer create meaning in a film?


To paraphrase a popular saying, "The author is dead, Roland Barthes killed him."

What post-structuralism introduced is the idea that an author can't be a source of any definitive meaning - it's up to the viewer/reader to infer meaning from the text. Or, to directly quote Barthes:

quote:
Originally written by Roland Barthes
To give a text an Author and assign a single, corresponding interpretation to it is to impose a limit on that text.


In other words, there's no denying that certain artistic intentions exist. However, we can never know what they truly were (especially in such a collaborative medium like film) and even if we did, it wouldn't matter much. So the most sensible approach is to forget the author figure and work with what's fully accessible to us - the film/text itself.

This viewpoint is shared even by cognitivists (Bordwell & Thompson) whose neoformalist approach is dominant now in film studies, and is far more analytical - in a sense that "analysis" doesn't try to figure out what the film says (the message), but rather how does it say that (grammar/syntax). Their book "Film Art" is well known and is a great introduction to this.

I probably just barely scratched the surface, but this is such a broad topic that I didn't know where to start. I can elaborate on some of this if it isn't clear.


Posted by EgosXII on Jan-27-2012 10:39:

quote:
Originally posted by GoSpeedGo!
To paraphrase a popular saying, "The author is dead, Roland Barthes killed him."

What post-structuralism introduced is the idea that an author can't be a source of any definitive meaning - it's up to the viewer/reader to infer meaning from the text. Or, to directly quote Barthes:



In other words, there's no denying that certain artistic intentions exist. However, we can never know what they truly were (especially in such a collaborative medium like film) and even if we did, it wouldn't matter much. So the most sensible approach is to forget the author figure and work with what's fully accessible to us - the film/text itself.

This viewpoint is shared even by cognitivists (Bordwell & Thompson) whose neoformalist approach is dominant now in film studies, and is far more analytical - in a sense that "analysis" doesn't try to figure out what the film says (the message), but rather how does it say that (grammar/syntax). Their book "Film Art" is well known and is a great introduction to this.

I probably just barely scratched the surface, but this is such a broad topic that I didn't know where to start. I can elaborate on some of this if it isn't clear.


I'm well aware of all this, but am trying to understand where you're coming from with your claims; given this post-modernism/structuralism. If there is no hard form in a given text how can you claim that what you say of it is accurate to anyone except yourself? Or you can't?


Posted by GoSpeedGo! on Jan-27-2012 11:24:

quote:
Originally posted by EgosXII
If there is no hard form in a given text how can you claim that what you say of it is accurate to anyone except yourself? Or you can't?



I'm not sure what you mean by "hard form", but I assume you're talking about a definitive meaning of some sort.

Basically, what I guess you're asking is: What makes an individual interpretation valid if there is more than one possible/"correct" interpretation of a given text?

That's quite hard to answer and I'm not sure if anyone's come up with a set of rules that would be able to guarantee a perfectly valid interpretation. What's undeniable is that the interpretation should be supported by evidence from the text and ideally, there shouldn't be anything in the text that would contradict that interpretation.

For example, Melancholia is about the collapse of western culture because the film shows us only white people gathered around a mansion - symbol of western values. (This is really simplistic but it should help to illustrate the point.)


Posted by EgosXII on Jan-27-2012 11:52:

quote:
Originally posted by GoSpeedGo!
I'm not sure what you mean by "hard form", but I assume you're talking about a definitive meaning of some sort.

Basically, what I guess you're asking is: What makes an individual interpretation valid if there is more than one possible/"correct" interpretation of a given text?

That's quite hard to answer and I'm not sure if anyone's come up with a set of rules that would be able to guarantee a perfectly valid interpretation. What's undeniable is that the interpretation should be supported by evidence from the text and ideally, there shouldn't be anything in the text that would contradict that interpretation.

For example, Melancholia is about the collapse of western culture because the film shows us only white people gathered around a mansion - symbol of western values. (This is really simplistic but it should help to illustrate the point.)


Yeah that's the basic concern.
Using the Melancholia example you gave: If Lars didn't do that intentionally; and denied any kind of meaning like that, would your suggestion still be valid, or not?

I think the problem with that type of analysis is that its unfalsifiable; you could say x means y and never be wrong, but it doesn't mean that you're ever actually right about it... If you continue the logic of this it would mean that any film is meaningless; a blank slate against which the viewer sees a reflection of their psychological state. This clearly would invalidate all claims about the film itself.


Posted by GoSpeedGo! on Jan-27-2012 13:38:

quote:
Originally posted by EgosXII
Yeah that's the basic concern.
Using the Melancholia example you gave: If Lars didn't do that intentionally; and denied any kind of meaning like that, would your suggestion still be valid, or not?


Yes, it would, authorial intent doesn't matter.

Again, this example I used is very simplistic and unfortunately I don't have time right now to write long paragraphs that would give a better explanation, but obviously there would be much more evidence - found throughout the whole body of work - and the interpretation wouldn't seem so arbitrary.

quote:
I think the problem with that type of analysis is that its unfalsifiable; you could say x means y and never be wrong, but it doesn't mean that you're ever actually right about it... If you continue the logic of this it would mean that any film is meaningless; a blank slate against which the viewer sees a reflection of their psychological state. This clearly would invalidate all claims about the film itself.


That's not true. If you closely follow form and style of a given text and the themes it employs, you can't possibly come up with infinite number of interpretations.

I will write more about this later. For a good example of such an extensive, well-reasoned interpretation, read some of the articles here: http://nilesfilmfiles.blogspot.com/

I really liked the one about the new Fincher movie where the guy shows how is the film about post-humanism and the relationship of words & image. http://nilesfilmfiles.blogspot.com/...fuck-david.html


Posted by LeopoldStotch on Jan-28-2012 04:39:

just want to take note his top 10 list, which is interesting:

1. A Dangerous Methos / The Tree of Life
2. Drive
3. Terri
4. Take Shelter
5. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
6. Shame
7. Meek's Cutoff
8. Hugo
9. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
10. Midnight in Paris

one thing i feel good about. He left out 'Tinker Tailor Solider Spy' out of his list, and marked it as an honorable mention.


Posted by EgosXII on Jan-28-2012 06:09:

quote:
Originally posted by LeopoldStotch
just want to take note his top 10 list, which is interesting:

1. A Dangerous Methos / The Tree of Life
2. Drive
3. Terri
4. Take Shelter
5. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
6. Shame
7. Meek's Cutoff
8. Hugo
9. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
10. Midnight in Paris

one thing i feel good about. He left out 'Tinker Tailor Solider Spy' out of his list, and marked it as an honorable mention.


who??


Posted by LeopoldStotch on Jan-28-2012 15:27:

quote:
Originally posted by EgosXII
who??


Niles Schwartz's Top 10

http://nilesfilmfiles.blogspot.com/...lm-in-2011.html


Posted by GoSpeedGo! on Jan-28-2012 16:01:

Yeah, I really like his list, though I still haven't seen half of it. Hugo and Tinker, Tailor next week hopefully.

His essay on The Tree of Life is great, too, probably best piece about it on the internet.


Posted by LeopoldStotch on Jan-28-2012 16:22:

I've been meaning to watch Hugo. It's a tossup between girl with the dragon tattoo or Hugo. I might as well watch both this weekend.


Posted by Jarvmeister on Jan-28-2012 16:26:

Watched 'Submarine' 3 times this week - and I expect it to be the best film I see all year.

It's about a schoolboy's developing relationship with a new girlfriend and his efforts to keep his parents marriage from falling apart.

Heart warming and funny, and exactly the way I looked at life when I was 15.

SUPERB.


Posted by WittyHandle on Jan-28-2012 17:54:

Hugo bored me to tears. Some nice shots in it tho.


Posted by LeopoldStotch on Jan-28-2012 18:24:

quote:
Originally posted by Jarvmeister
Watched 'Submarine' 3 times this week - and I expect it to be the best film I see all year.

It's about a schoolboy's developing relationship with a new girlfriend and his efforts to keep his parents marriage from falling apart.

Heart warming and funny, and exactly the way I looked at life when I was 15.

SUPERB.


Richard Ayoade has a ton of potential. I look to see him in the next couple of years as an actor or director.


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