Film Criticism

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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Oedipax
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Re: Film Criticism

#901 Post by Oedipax » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:58 pm

Well, I think it's for people with lots of disposable income who want to contribute a larger sum to Slant each month to keep it running, not as a 1:1 exchange for the chance to win a blu-ray.

But that having been said, I never read Slant and won't miss it when it's gone.

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domino harvey
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Re: Film Criticism

#902 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:20 pm

It's more the paltry $158 a month from 26 readers that makes me cringe. It's like in high school, what happens if you throw a party and no one comes?

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Oedipax
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Re: Film Criticism

#903 Post by Oedipax » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:22 pm

On the upside, it makes winning the blu-ray drawing easy if you're the only one contributing \:D/

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Dead or Deader
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Re: Film Criticism

#904 Post by Dead or Deader » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:01 pm

A long Twitter rant from Matt Zoller Seitz on the laziness of "film buffs". An insightful to the growing issue that is hurting the film community and how to combat this growing ignorance of members who don't want to broaden their horizon.

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domino harvey
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Re: Film Criticism

#905 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:08 pm

Yikes, those responses are why intellectual discourse is rapidly dying

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knives
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Re: Film Criticism

#906 Post by knives » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:40 pm

Nothing good can come from twitter so I'll wait for his next book.

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Re: Film Criticism

#907 Post by FrauBlucher » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:30 pm

Dead or Deader wrote:A long Twitter rant from Matt Zoller Seitz on the laziness of "film buffs". An insightful to the growing issue that is hurting the film community and how to combat this growing ignorance of members who don't want to broaden their horizon.
Matt Zoller Seitz‏ @mattzollerseitz Jul 12
This entire thread is inspired by recommending RIFIFI to a young friend and seeing his face fall twice, at "French" and "black and white."

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chiendent
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Re: Film Criticism

#908 Post by chiendent » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:49 pm

I agree with a lot of what he's saying but is a tweetstorm the best way to get that across? Also given the recent David Brooks column debacle it doesn't seem like the best timing to make an impassioned case on Twitter for intellectual curiosity and seeking out the unfamiliar. As the replies already reflect the pitchforks are kinda pre-sharpened.

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Re: Film Criticism

#909 Post by FrauBlucher » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:55 pm

Indeed. Twitter is trolls' paradise.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Film Criticism

#910 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:04 am

I signed up for Twitter -- but find it very unappealing. I'm just too old for it, I guess (having just passed 65).

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tojoed
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Re: Film Criticism

#911 Post by tojoed » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:59 am

I'm about the same age as you, MK, and I feel the same. It's a place where people go to be outraged,and it's about as interesting as those letters in "The Times" that tell us that somebody has heard a cuckoo in spring.

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tenia
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Re: Film Criticism

#912 Post by tenia » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:20 am

Having had to cope sometimes with fellow critics (not just friends) that clearly showed a lack of general knowledge about what they were discussing, I can only second what MZS is saying (well, most of it).

It just feels that in many cases, general culture is lacking and people end up trying to discuss something only from a pure subjective limited point of view WITHOUT the will to actively broaden their understanding about it.

I had a long (and relatively tiresome) about Get Out for instance, because the reviewer who typed the critic for the website clearly misunderstood the movie, but also had no societal knowledge about what the movie was discussing and clearly had no will to go around and look for more contextual elements to widen his understanding. I mean, you really didn't know about Trayvvon Martin and Michael Brown, but are typing the main review for Get Out ? Wow.

There's a real lack of curiosity and of willingness to be curious that isn't much different that what can be found in some movie buffs, but really, that isn't much different than what was happening 10 years ago, where I was already having the discussion between cinephile and movie-eaters. Many people watching lots of stuff think they're movie buffs, but they don't always understand the forward curiosity and the awareness this requires (and, then, the subsequent time), and they certainly don't go outside of the watching itself to learn more about the movie's background, the context of what can be discussed in it, etc.

However, I don't agree about the way he tries to split older vs newer movies. I know it's Twitter and he might have simplified his speech on this matter because of the format, but older movies that feel slow quiet and opaque VS newer movies that are all commercial products ? Really ?

Same goes for melodramas : my GF certainly is now used to older movies, because that's what I make her watch very often, but she loved All That Heaven Allows and other Sirk melodramas for instance.
tojoed wrote:I'm about the same age as you, MK, and I feel the same. It's a place where people go to be outraged,and it's about as interesting as those letters in "The Times" that tell us that somebody has heard a cuckoo in spring.
Oh, I tend to like Twitter, because it's a place where people from the industry are relatively reactive so you can fire there a quick question and it's likely you'll get an answer. It's sometimes better than sending an email that might be overlooked.

However, it's a bit ironic for MZS to speak about the future belonging to "memes, gifs and texted pics" by doing a 30-tweets rant that might have been more readable as, well, a text.

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Re: Film Criticism

#913 Post by John Shade » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:41 am

I have friends in their 30s and older who absolutely refuse to watch anything in black and white or subtitled. He's definitely right--with the glut of superhero films and the younger generation that I see interested in film still with the tendency to think Tarantino and Nolan are the only directors (I actually love some of Nolan's films, but still), and that Amelie is the only foreign film in existence (I also like that one and Jeunet's others, weirdly I feel ashamed to admit I like it since it's the token foreign film for people who don't like movies)--basically that empire list is composed by the person Seitz is talking about. I can't blame him for this rant and don't find it comparable to the weird Brooks article.

At the same time, don't most high schools and probably all liberal arts colleges offer intro to film classes? At my high school we offer some kind of film elective. Sadly it's only every two years. I also think it tends to be a mix (sadly) of more recent American Oscar winners with Casablanca and some other Hollywood classic tossed in. Maybe if some kind of AP Film was created you could sneak in more. By creating some bureaucratic board to grade film essays of 18 year olds we might be able to find a few curious film-seekers.

On a somewhat related note, all of this reminds me of the argument in the Wonder Woman thread about American critics overpraising recent, soon to be utterly forgettable movies that aren't worthy just to pump the hype machine. Richard Brody sounded that note at the end of his review of Baby Driver, while simultaneously clinging to a few of his typical arguments:
Wright doesn’t let himself go, but his movie has still satisfied critics who are in love with the idea of Hollywood providing something that’s not based on a superhero franchise, providing something that, with its retro soundtrack and retro cleanness, reminds them of a Hollywood that no longer exists—even if some of its luminaries certainly do. Great directors of the New Hollywood of the seventies—an age when the studios put big money into ambitious filmmakers’ wide-release movies—are still working, with independent financing, lower budgets, and more limited releases, but more daringly and originally than ever; along the way, they have outrun the critics who love their early stuff best. The nostalgia of “Baby Driver” is more than a celebration of the past; it’s a repudiation of much of the best and most original filmmaking of the present day.

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tenia
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Re: Film Criticism

#914 Post by tenia » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:58 am

JohnShade wrote:He's definitely right--with the glut of superhero films and the younger generation that I see interested in film still with the tendency to think Tarantino and Nolan are the only directors (I actually love some of Nolan's films, but still), and that Amelie is the only foreign film in existence (I also like that one and Jeunet's others, weirdly I feel ashamed to admit I like it since it's the token foreign film for people who don't like movies)--basically that empire list is composed by the person Seitz is talking about.
I still strongly believe that this is something that vastly pre-dates the "glut of superhero films" and the current younger generation.
I've been very interested by cinema for about 20 years, and already at that time, I was seeing people who had no will at all to get out of their comfort zones and being curious about older movies or foreign ones. I feel like I've always been told "that can't be, you're actually making that director's name up, aren't you ?" It's definitely not a recent thing.

And actually, at least around my place, it goes a bit the other way around now, with more and more subtitled movies being shown in the bigger theater in Metz (the biggest town near where I lived with my parents) rather than just in the small arthouse one, and my small town theater starting to show some subtitles movies on a regular basis since roughly 2012.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Film Criticism

#915 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:44 am

Even is the S/N ratio of Twitter were higher, following it seems too much like work (and seems too disruptive of "real life"). ;-)

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Re: Film Criticism

#916 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:10 pm

tenia wrote:I still strongly believe that this is something that vastly pre-dates the "glut of superhero films" and the current younger generation.
I've been very interested by cinema for about 20 years, and already at that time, I was seeing people who had no will at all to get out of their comfort zones and being curious about older movies or foreign ones. I feel like I've always been told "that can't be, you're actually making that director's name up, aren't you ?" It's definitely not a recent thing.
I think this is inherently true for large segments of every generation. People get locked into the comfort of the mainstream and never want to or care to expand more than that. I can't tell you how many times I heard someone say, "I don't want to think when I watch movies. I just want to be entertained."

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Dead or Deader
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Re: Film Criticism

#917 Post by Dead or Deader » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:44 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
tenia wrote:I still strongly believe that this is something that vastly pre-dates the "glut of superhero films" and the current younger generation.
I've been very interested by cinema for about 20 years, and already at that time, I was seeing people who had no will at all to get out of their comfort zones and being curious about older movies or foreign ones. I feel like I've always been told "that can't be, you're actually making that director's name up, aren't you ?" It's definitely not a recent thing.
I think this is inherently true for large segments of every generation. People get locked into the comfort of the mainstream and never want to or care to expand more than that. I can't tell you how many times I heard someone say, "I don't want to think when I watch movies. I just want to be entertained."
One cousin of mine said that she can't get into science fiction because "she doesn't want to think hard when watching a movie". I can't fathom just how depressing it is to convince others to watch my recommendations because they are outside their comfort zone of movie watching. Arthouse films especially, because of the subtitles and that whole anti-intellectual stance taken by the likes of my cousin.
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Re: Film Criticism

#918 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:46 pm

There's nothing wrong with casual viewers who only want disposable entertainment-- that's the majority of movie watchers. So long as they aren't claiming otherwise, of course

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Re: Film Criticism

#919 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:42 pm

I think the problem is ferocious dogmatism on the part of a certain type of movie fan who has only a limited exposure to cinema (in geographic and/or historical scope) but is certain he/she knows all that needs to be known....

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Re: Film Criticism

#920 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:45 pm

I agree. I just don't want to conflate that with casual viewers who know they're casual viewers and don't care to change that.

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Re: Film Criticism

#921 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:50 pm

People who simply view new mainstream movies as consumables (as Hollywood always intended) are not the problem -- except when they also have a fundamental anti-intellectualist bent (that views anyone who watches -- or worse, prefers -- other types of movies as unacceptably deviant). ;-)

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Re: Film Criticism

#922 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:05 pm

domino harvey wrote:I agree. I just don't want to conflate that with casual viewers who know they're casual viewers and don't care to change that.
My wife isn't interested in film as a serious art form and never will be. I knew this going in, and don't have the slightest problem with that.

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Re: Film Criticism

#923 Post by Big Ben » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:13 pm

Twitter is enjoyable as long as you stay safely within your own bubble. Said bubble is unfortunately tiny however. What I recommend is finding individuals you like and following them and sticking only to them.

Some good ones, all official. More often than not commenting on film culture and criticism.

Ken Loach
BFI
William Friedkin
John Carpenter
Guillermo del Toro (He gives out recommendations on many things including rare books and art. A personal favorite.)
Edgar Wright
Rick Baker
Both MichaelB and perpee (Nick Wrigley) are on their too. Wrigley posts a lot and I enjoy his tweets quite a bit.

The only one I can warn you about as appropriately bad is James Woods' account. The man is on record as making incredibly bigoted comments about just about every minority group. He even tried to sue a man for comments he made there.

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Re: Film Criticism

#924 Post by FrauBlucher » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:29 am

domino harvey wrote:There's nothing wrong with casual viewers who only want disposable entertainment-- that's the majority of movie watchers. So long as they aren't claiming otherwise, of course
Agree that films to entertain only is fine. But when people verbalize "just want to be entertained and don't want to have to think" that it's usually to be dismissive of other forms of cinema. Otherwise why say it at all. That has been my experience.

I work with a bunch of guys (age range 30s and 40s) that think they are "movie" connoisseurs, but ask them if they've seen The Seventh Seal. Crickets start chirping. But they talk QT till the cows come home. Which is to the original point of these recent posts.

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Re: Film Criticism

#925 Post by Perkins Cobb » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:45 pm

Yikes. Pretty unfortunate Bordwell / Rosenbaum throwdown happening on the latter's Facebook page right now.

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