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Awake In The Dark
What you're watching these days on the Big Screen and the Small Screen.


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Old June 15th, 2004, 09:33 PM   #61
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Jim has a motto:

It's my f****** film and if you dont like it find someplace else to work.

Titanic was a great film. Fun fun eye candy. The Professor felt it extreme in its portayal of the aristocratic society? Im sure thats what the third class pasengers would think.

Were all of the 1st class passengers like Billy Zane? No of course not. In fact there are some brave men that went down with that boat that were in first and second class. In fact, Billy Zane and his 'henchman' David Warner are the only characters in the film I recall being portayed in this manner; sans Frances Fisher character who later in the film doesnt look too pleased about the chain of events.
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Old June 16th, 2004, 06:01 AM   #62
 
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By the way, John, my compliments on your signature quote there. . . . . god, how I love that film.
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Old June 16th, 2004, 09:26 AM   #63
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>>By the way Joe:
"I'm actually excited she married an American"
Now who's pushing shallow patriotism?<<
Not shallow patriotism, I just find English women
incredilby sexy. They usually won't give us yanks the
time of day, so it's great when one does. I'm happy for
him is all.

Man, talk about misinterpretations..

Seems everyone mistook what I said about the Nazis. I wasn't talking about the Nazis, I was talking about lazy writers who exploit what we all feel toward the Nazis. geez. And Cameron was jerking us all around with stereotypes, archetypes have more depth. And as far as his film. Well , it's my time and my money I just wasted. I enjoyed the film, but it is not 'art' by any means. It is very well crafted escapist entertainment. A visual version of a Danielle Steele novel. Women love that stuff. Nothing wrong with that either.

Also, what is supposed to happen is happening. Everyone is discussing and having a POV.

And Laurence, yes my comment about sanctimony was directed at your. But the response was inacurrate. I blame my third Scotch on that one. Sorry.

I was using Spiderman as compared to other scifi/fantasy movies. There was lots to complain about, and the CG was obvious (which means bad), but the story, poor as it was, is still a cut above most the other films. X-Men 2 should have been better, could have been better, but taking that long to figure out the hideout was insulting.

I was using films I'm sure most of us have seen. I could talk about Godard, Bunel, Truffault,Jon Jost...(who I know), but how many here have seen their films? I didn't want to discusss/debate by throwing in references many might not know about. Thats a cheap way to win a debate.
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Old June 16th, 2004, 09:31 AM   #64
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Robert,
You are quite right, I have no issue with different level of character depth in different types of movies. That said, originality is originality, and cheap, over used plot devices are cheap, over used plot devices, regardless of where they can be found, weather it is in a "comic book movie" or in so called "serious cinema".
My evil, rich industrialist question was posed in direct response to the two comments below.



Origianlly posted by Joe Carney
"On the other hand..
Take SpiderMan.
Great Special effects, but no better than other high budget films.
What made it a success? Great writing, great acting. Here we have a super hero who is a typical self absored teenager. Wow! Not perfect! In fact his selfish attitudes leads to the death of his Grandfather. Wow! consequences of one actions! What a novel concept. (okay, I'll stop being sarcastic). Though I don't think he exibited any true guilt over what happened. Instead he just takes revenge, as though that absolves him. Plus the producers don't dare give the audience enough time to stop and think about it.


Here's another one.
A sure sign a TV show has no talent hacks for writers is when they put their bad guys in Nazi Uniforms.
Think about it. Take one of the most horrific times in history and reduce it to a cheap easy plot device.
Out of ideas? Make your bad guys Nazis!!!
Even if the show is set in the 24th century or on some other planet, or dimension. Yeah.
It's an easy way to manipulate the audience.

Who with any sort of a conscience isn't offended and apalled by what the Nazis did? Hollywood bean counters are depending on it."

In the second of these statements Joe rails against the use of Nazi's as a plot device in ANY context: "Even if the show is set in the 24th century". I think this validates my question as it stands.

"About Spiderman- how is the evil and rich industrialist (Green Goblin Ranger) any less a "button to be pushed" than Nazi's?"

Furthermore:
His last statement could easily be changed to: Who with any sort of conscience isn't offended and appaled by what evil, rich, industrialist weapons manufacturers have done?

That would seem an awfully good reason for the afore mentioned "Hollywood bean counters" to select the green goblin as the featured villian in the Spiderman movie- it's a quick and easy hate. A button to be pushed. The cheap way out. Something Joe, by his own admission hates, and rails against the rest of us for being duped by.



Thanks,
Michael
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Old June 16th, 2004, 10:54 AM   #65
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//Here's another one.
A sure sign a TV show has no talent hacks for writers is when they put their bad guys in Nazi Uniforms.
Think about it. Take one of the most horrific times in history and reduce it to a cheap easy plot device.
Out of ideas? Make your bad guys Nazis!!!
Even if the show is set in the 24th century or on some other planet, or dimension. Yeah.
It's an easy way to manipulate the audience.//

I take you didn't like the season ender of Enterprise?
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Old June 16th, 2004, 11:04 AM   #66
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//Here's another one.
A sure sign a TV show has no talent hacks for writers is when they put their bad guys in Nazi Uniforms.
Think about it. Take one of the most horrific times in history and reduce it to a cheap easy plot device.
Out of ideas? Make your bad guys Nazis!!!
Even if the show is set in the 24th century or on some other planet, or dimension. Yeah.
It's an easy way to manipulate the audience.//

I take you didn't like the season ender of Enterprise?
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Old June 16th, 2004, 11:53 AM   #67
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Laurence Maher

Jaws is one of the reasons I want to make films! :)

Titanic was indeed PURE ESCAPIST ENTERTAINMENT; does this mean its not art? This is the big question I think. Can we define art or is subjective to only each person as in "One mans Monet is anothers Velvet Elvis"
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Old June 16th, 2004, 01:04 PM   #68
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"This is the big question I think."

Art is an instrument to revelation: "art is the lie that reveals the truth." Picasso's aphorism is not a meaningless platitude: it does nothing less than show all of art's meaning, and distinguish art from other human works.

Someone said earlier in the thread that sometimes, art teaches us something. No; teaching is a logical process, in which some truth is shown to us by reason. Revelation is an analogical process, in which truth is stricken upon, each one of us for ourselves, by intuitive faculties proper to living beings. (In the history of science, there are many great examples of discoveries as the result of analogical thinking: Newton hitting upon universal gravitation after witnessing a falling apple; Kekulé's dreaming up the ring structure of benzene in the form of circles of fiery serpents biting their tails.)

For art to reveal to us something about the world in which we live is banal--powerful art reveals to us something about ourselves.

One thing further. Labeling one work "art" is said to be subjective, but this is really not so. "Subjectivity" is another term for "affective blindness," vain lying our subconsciouses submit us to about ourselves. As all of us have the capacity for introspection, and the ability to spiritualize and sublimate truths about ourselves, what is art and what is not art should ideally an objectively qualifiable standard. Whether any of us is sufficiently capable of checking our repressions is another thing to be argued altogether.
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Old June 16th, 2004, 01:42 PM   #69
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<<<-- Originally posted by Robert Knecht Schmidt :
Someone said earlier in the thread that sometimes, art teaches us something. ////

I believe I am the guilty party on that one. I was paraphrasing R. Carney, however, or my misunderstanding of whatever it is he's trying to say, so please don't hold me to that statement.

I like your discription better.
Although, I think that truly great art reveals or can reveal something about the world we live in and about ourselves- and often our place within the whole.

There is a chapter in Mellville's "Moby Dick" entiltled Fast fish or loose fish" which seems to me to be illustrative of what you are saying. It begins as almost a verbal game and ends up asking the reader a very simple, yet very profound question about him/herself. A question that although simple, is not easily answered.

Are you familiar with it?

Hemmingway and Faulkner, at their best, both do this for me as well.

Michael
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Old June 16th, 2004, 01:43 PM   #70
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Well, not to be a stickler, but it sounds rather ridiculous and pompous to even discuss whether or not something is "art."

To do it in that way insinuates that all "art" is inherently good and has value in some sort of objective way. Titanic is surely a piece of 'art.' It also happens to be a piece of something else (in my opinion of course).

Like everything else, there is good and bad within 'art.'
To say something, like Titanic for example, is not art begs the question, "then what is it?"


As another side note, Robert, I would argue that there is art in the world that does teach. And just because it does so analytically does not devalue it as art. How would you catagorize documentary films? The work of Errol Morris for example?

But, I do see where you are coming from....
and not to get too zen here, it may be more fitting to say
that although the best art may not teach us, we do learn something from it.

-Luis

ps.
i swear to god i'm not this pretentious in real life.
:)
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Old June 16th, 2004, 03:04 PM   #71
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<<I take you didn't like the season ender of Enterprise?<<
Keith I was refering to Star Trek Voyager when they got captured by the Hirogen and were forced to replay WWII simulations in the holodeck. Really sad, and it was a two episode story. I kept watching out of habit, but the show lost what little respect I had left for it.

Another was 'Angel', one of the episodes had the 'Bad Demons' put on Nazi uniforms. I never watched another episode after that.


Worse.. it promotes a stereotype about Germans that hasn't been accurate for over 50 years. Ask anyone who has lived there since 1950 (like myself).

Remember, only a small minority of the German population was allowed to join the Nazi party prior to and during WWII. It's been officially outlawed over there since then.

I realize we need to never forget what happened, but crappy TV shows aren't the answer. I'm willing to bet they actually desensitize us more than anything.

Luis, true art is neither good nor bad.

That is a moral or somtimes ethical judgement, based on personal prejudices.

Remember, our own village idiot er.. puritan er.. US Attorney General (Ashcroft) felt the need to cover up the bared breast of the statue (relief) of Justice. Considering his background, I guess we shouldn't be surprised he got aroused by a concrete boob.
Made us the laughing stock of the world (justified btw).
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Old June 16th, 2004, 04:20 PM   #72
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"How would you catagorize documentary films?"

A documentary that does not strike at the eternal, superconscious truth, that does not in some way entreat the viewer to "know thyself," that does not reach, as if for the stars, toward ever-greater lucidity and objectivity, the very ingredients of consciousness, is either a mere exercise in depiction, or propaganda, or pornography.

To call such a goal (be it intentional or intuitive) pomposity, or to dismiss it out of hand by labeling it pedantry, is little more than a vain denial of the condition of joy in knowledge, a repression, a shying away from revelation. In short, it is missing the point.

What I'm defining here as "art," a student of critical studies would probably label "high art," (i.e., that which makes the symbolically-encoded call of the superconscious, proper to myths and dreams), as opposed to "low art"--the "high concept" hook, the fascination proper to novelty, fantasy, or voyeurism. Take STAR WARS--a splendid example of a pastiche of high art and low art elements. It's the spaceships and laser guns of Flash Gordon welded to the austere bushido cult of Akira Kurosawa films. It's flightly hill lore fraught with fairies and goblins interwoven with imposing Greek tragedy populated with gods and monsters. The best film--the best literature, painting, song--that which hopes to stand the test of time--neglects high art elements at its peril. The reason for this is low art elements are low-investment, ephemeral pleasures, but the human condition cries out for that which is permanent and perfect (a predicament that has inevitably led to all mythologies and religions). We desire to be more than who we are; we feel like we are angels trapped in the bodies of brutes. High art reflects this immanent intentionality towards a more conscious evolution, and so we crave it, and cherish it more than we do low art. How can something so integral to the human moral destiny be discarded as academic pretense? Vanity, vanity. Those with ears to hear, let them hear.
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Old June 16th, 2004, 04:42 PM   #73
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Wow, some interesting points of view in this thread.
I find this very fascinating, and I think that now I am
beginning to understand where some of you are coming from.

Joe:
"true art is neither good nor bad. That is a moral or somtimes
ethical judgement, based on personal prejudices."


So are you saying that art merely is? It is a noun, like any other.
I can see that.

Now that leaves me asking, as I pointed out before, what is it?
We keep pointing to different works and saying 'that is art, that
is not.' But there seems to be no definition of the term. We are
beginning to sound a bit like Jesse Helms talking about
pornography, "I don't know what it is, but I know it when I see it."

What definition can you possibly give of 'art' that would
not rely on some sort of 'judgement' or 'personal prejudice'
(to use your terms).

And, as a side note, simply using the terms 'good' and 'bad' does
not necessarily denote a moral or ethical judgement. It is simply
a judgement on whether or not a thing is effective. Refering to a
artistic work as "bad" is no more of a moral or ethical judgement
than is calling a chair with a broken leg a "bad" chair.

I still believe that there is 'good' and 'bad' art.
I'm not saying those designations are objective, obviously
they are not, they are judgements. Just not moral or ethical ones.



Robert:
"A documentary that does not strike at the eternal,
superconscious truth, that does not in some way entreat the
viewer to "know thyself," that does not reach, as if for the stars,
toward ever-greater lucidity and objectivity, the very ingredients
of consciousness, is either a mere exercise in depiction, or
propaganda, or pornography"


Okay, would that then be your definition of 'art'?

And if so, I assume it is safe to say that whether or not
something is 'art' is simply a subjective judgement call,
and therefore based solely on the experience of the viewer?

In which case, one man's Monet is truly another man's Velvet Elvis, as John said earlier.

-Luis

PS.
Out of curiosity Robert, could you give me an example of
a work that you feel fits the description you gave?


__________________________________

Well, I guess Robert was editing his post as I was typing, so a few of my questions seem irrelevant now.

"To call such a goal (be it intentional or intuitive) pomposity, or to dismiss it out of hand by labeling it pedantry, is little more than a vain denial of the condition of joy in knowledge, a repression, a shying away from revelation. In short, it is missing the point.

Did someone here call that goal pompous or pedantic?
I hope I didn't give you that impression.


"that which makes the symbolically-encoded call of the superconscious, proper to myths and dreams"

So are you saying that is your definition of art?
A symbolically encoded call of the superconscious, proper to myths and dreams?

I just want to make sure I understood you correctly before I respond with too much detail. (that and I need to think about it)
:)
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Old June 16th, 2004, 06:49 PM   #74
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We're getting pretty heavy here.

I can do no better than to quote the words of my favorite author.
Quote:
All true art consists of revealing the vision of the splendor of life, the vision of beauty. To do this, art must reverse false idealization; it must uncover what is stupid, cowardly and repulsive in deformation. Art, in all its forms, is the mirror of life, of both its formation and its deformation. Literature awakens the sense of beauty by unmasking ugliness. Its means vary from the tragic to the comic. The tragic is the essential saddening that occurs when a man endowed with an intense vital impulse is a prey to deformation; his life is seen in its tragic aspect when art—without becoming didactic—brings out the essential truth: the link between guilt and punishment (Greek tragedy, Shakespeare). The comic is the ridiculous unmasked. Laughter rises up irresistibly when vanity is unmasked, when in an unexpected and sudden way, the game of wrong motivation is discovered, when behind the torn away mask of false justification—which has a tendency to go as far as false self-idealization—behind the mask of convention, appear stupidity, cowardice, repulsiveness. Put differently, laughter appears when suddenly the absurdity of the affective thought that nevertheless dominates the world is laid bare.
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Old June 16th, 2004, 10:25 PM   #75
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Nice.
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