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January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art" 
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Post January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
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Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:18 pm
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Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
Quote:
As everyone knows, the white hat has long since been knocked off Gibson's head.


To be replaced by a white hood! Zing!

By the way, what did Elia Kazan do?

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Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:38 pm
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Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
JamesKunz wrote:

By the way, what did Elia Kazan do?


He named names.


Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:44 pm
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Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
Let's talk about the very nature of Cinema, from a purely technical standpoint. Also Photography, about how the camera never lies (the photographer is the liar, the camera is impartial). Then we need to look into the idea of first and second order meanings (the signified and the signifier etc). How do these things differentiate with mass media? They don't, really. They still exist and are still important, we just chose to not acknowledge them when it comes to 'real life'.

I can very much see and agree with JB on this one. However I must ask, who would buy a painting by Adolf Hitler?

Two bands that I like have members who have been to prison for murder. I own records by said bands released both before and after said people have done their time. No, I feel no shame in liking the music.

I mentioned first and second order meanings but I feel the need to repeat myself a little. For a person to avoid seeing movies by or starring Mel Gibson based on what the media has told them about him requires a certain stance on the difference between right and wrong. Given the subjective nature of such things, the view itself must therefore also be entirely based on opinion, not truth or facts. Sticking to this stance would probably be rather hard since if a person has in fact been hiding something, viewing their work will have caused you to break your own rules.


Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:15 pm
Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
Dragonbeard wrote:
I can very much see and agree with JB on this one. However I must ask, who would buy a painting by Adolf Hitler?


Ah google! This is what I came up with.

http://articles.cnn.com/2009-04-23/worl ... s=PM:WORLD

http://www.usmbooks.com/hitler_paintings.html

http://snyderstreasures.com/pages/real_deal.htm

In any case, there is apparently a market.
-Jeremy


Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:25 am
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Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
I refuse to watch a movie by Victor Salva. Well actually, I did watch Jeepers Creepers but I really didn't want to and was glad it wasn't any good.


Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:56 am
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Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
Perhaps the most prominent example of this is the Rap/Hip-Hop industry, you'd be hard pressed to find a rapper who HASN'T been to jail or at least gotten in trouble with the law, but unlike other celebrities, they wear it like a badge of honor-everytime a rapper gets in trouble, they end selling twice as many CDs, which is really messed up when you think about it.

I remember in your review for Georgia Rule, you mentioned not being able to seperate Lohna's character from her real life personality(which I think the media greatly exaggerates) I personally didn't have that problem with her, and I didn't have it with Gibson either, the difference is i'd love to meet Lohan in real life, but i'd avoid Gibson like the plague.

Also, people should seriously stop trying hold up celebrities as role models, it's not a celebrity's job to be a "role model" for anyone, i'm not saying they should be given free reign to behave badly, but they're every action shouldn't be scrutinized either, any parent that thinks celebs should be role models for they're own kids needs to have thier head-examined.


Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:25 am
Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
Vexer wrote:
Perhaps the most prominent example of this is the Rap/Hip-Hop industry, you'd be hard pressed to find a rapper who HASN'T been to jail or at least gotten in trouble with the law, but unlike other celebrities, they wear it like a badge of honor-everytime a rapper gets in trouble, they end selling twice as many CDs, which is really messed up when you think about it.


What the hell? That’s an insane thing to say. I'm not saying that what you're describing doesn't exist in certain parts of rap culture, but you're essentially saying that nearly every rapper in the world is a criminal, which is just... wow.


Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:19 am
Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
That's a bit of an exaggeration, but I get what he's saying. Mainstream hip-hop (and correct me if I'm imagining this) has a tendency to celebrate violence and materialism, and those two things often intersect as a celebration of the criminal lifestyle.

That's not to paint all hip-hop artists with the same brush, nor to excuse artists of other genres who are guilty of the same accusations. But hip-hop's influence as a dominant form of popular music, plus the messages it carries with it, can't be denied.


Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:26 am
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Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
James Berardinelli wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:

By the way, what did Elia Kazan do?


He named names.


Ahh yes. And then made On the Waterfront as a salve to his conscience.

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Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:04 am
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Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
I would have no problem buddying up with Tom Cruise whatsoever. He seems like a cool guy, is obviously an incredibly hard working, professional and seems like he would be fun to hang around. I could care less about his jumping on Oprah's couch or whatever religion/cult he believes in (they are all pretty out there anyways). The only questionable things he's ever done IMO is when he acted like an ass in that Matt Lauer interview and he was a bit of an ass to Brooke Shields but he has since apologized about both incidents and has made up with Shields and Lauer. If they can move on and forgive, then I think everybody else should too.

So, in other words, I'm saying I don't think Cruise deserves to be mentioned with the likes of Gibson, Polanski, Kastan, etc.


Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:53 am
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Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
Ken wrote:
That's a bit of an exaggeration, but I get what he's saying. Mainstream hip-hop (and correct me if I'm imagining this) has a tendency to celebrate violence and materialism, and those two things often intersect as a celebration of the criminal lifestyle.

That's not to paint all hip-hop artists with the same brush, nor to excuse artists of other genres who are guilty of the same accusations. But hip-hop's influence as a dominant form of popular music, plus the messages it carries with it, can't be denied.


You're certainly correct. Most rappers in the mainstream do sing the praises of the drug game, violence, and treating women poorly. The fact that most are suburban wannabes isn't relevant because they are promoting these choices.

That said, that's very different from Vex's ridiculous assertation that "you'd be hard pressed to find" rappers who haven't been in trouble with the law.

As far as what James B said, I think the most important part is that (as he said at the end) the celebrity of the individual shouldn't change how we treat them or what we expect of them. Personally I won't watch Polanski's work because of what he's done and because of his lack of repentance for it. I won't support him because he won't acknowledge that he's done anything wrong. Were he to admit that, come to the US and deal with the consequences, I would feel differently. As JB says, I'm not above anyone else's actions and I'm not incapable of what he did anymore than anyone else is. And I'd apply the same standard in my personal life: individuals who have have harmed others and are unrepentant are not people I'm willing to support. Would I befriend them? In certain cases, yes, because again I don't think I'm inherently above them. This isn't an option with Polanski, but even if I met him and decided he was a nice and jolly dude, I still wouldn't support or see his work.


Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:26 pm
Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
AJR wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Perhaps the most prominent example of this is the Rap/Hip-Hop industry, you'd be hard pressed to find a rapper who HASN'T been to jail or at least gotten in trouble with the law, but unlike other celebrities, they wear it like a badge of honor-everytime a rapper gets in trouble, they end selling twice as many CDs, which is really messed up when you think about it.


What the hell? That’s an insane thing to say. I'm not saying that what you're describing doesn't exist in certain parts of rap culture, but you're essentially saying that nearly every rapper in the world is a criminal, which is just... wow.

OK, I'll admit was exaggerating a bit there, but you have to admit that alot of artists in the Hip-Hop industry do pride themselves on getting in trouble with the law(T.I. being one example), it seems like every week there's another rapper getting arrested, though I wasn't exaggerating about their record sales doubling everytime they get arrested, that's very true unfortunately.


Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:53 pm
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Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
I try to judge every film by its own merits. But it's hard when an actor's off-screen persona dominates the headlines. Mel Gibson is a perfect example. The other night, I caught a rerun of What Women Want on TV. I remember moderately enjoying it when it came out: not a great movie, but an entertaining romantic fantasy, and a role that Gibson fit like a glove. Now, when I look at him on the screen, I can't separate the character in the movie from the hate-spewing drunkard that we saw (and heard) in the news. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to see a Mel Gibson movie in the same way again.

Polanski is a tough call. Virtually all of his films are worth seeing, and some of his films are among my all-time favorites (Chinatown is on my top-five list). But I can't condone his actions, and my college-age daughter refuses to see any film he makes. But I see his films anyway, and try to judge them on their own merits. I've always thought that Polanski should just come back to the US, face the music, and get on with his life.


Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:02 pm
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Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
I've said it many times: I prefer to separate the art from the artist. This is to say that I have no problem watching a Roman Polanski film, or a Mel Gibson film, or so on and so forth. I've never met these men, and I don't know what's truly in their hearts, which is why I prefer to just watch the films and keep whatever opinions I may have of their character on the side.

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Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:05 pm
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Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
Good Reelthoughts entry. I've been thinking about this myself lately.

It's sometimes repulsive to think about, but in a word, "No". I wouldn't boycott someone's films(or what have you) if they turned out to have done something heinous. Like what James said, I wouldn't want to have dinner with Roman Polanski, and I can't forgive him or anyone who's committed a similar crime until they've paid a proper debt to their victims. But the works that they create can stand on their own. They may come from a warped mind, but to say that their works should be censored implies that they are dangerous to society somehow, which blatantly isn't true. Somebody watching "Rosemary's Baby" isn't suddenly going to become a child rapist, a person seeing "Mad Max" for the first time isn't going to turn into a wife beater, and even someone viewing "The Triumph Of The Will" isn't suddenly going to embrace Nazi ideology.

On another note, I'm not familiar with the baseball writer that James was talking about, but whether he's innocent or not, his life is pretty much screwed. The attitude against child abusers today is a modern day witch hunt(whether or not it's completely justified is a different story), and has resulted in a lot of innocent interactions between adults and children(for instance, a grandfather walking down the street with their grandchild) being seen in a sinister light. This doesn't excuse the crimes leveled against this guy, but people are just going to assume that he did something whether he did or not.


Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:12 pm
Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
I don't usually watch Polanski or Allen's films, but not because of any moral objections, simply because i'm not really into they're films.


Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:40 pm
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Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
Like many others here, I think the output of the work should stand on its own merits, independent of any biases associated with its creator. Accepting the work is not the same as condoning the behaviour of its creator. I take this stand while acknowledging that the behaviour of the creator may or may not have any input into the work itself; i.e. some artists use drugs (i.e. LSD) which gets them into their creative state. I think this applies to all types of work, whether it be directors, artists, writers, actors / actresses, and even scientists.

Suppose that we discover tomorrow that someone like Leonardo da Vinci did terrible things in the past - does that diminish the important of his work or contributions? I do not believe so. Our opinion of him might change, but our opinion of the work should not.


Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:50 pm
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Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
James,

Being from Pennsylvania, I thought that you might have commented on Sandusky situation and what it has done to the legend that was Joe Paterno. I know you went to Penn, but did you ever follow Penn State football? If so, in what light do you now see Joe Pa?

I know this has nothing to do with movies, but it fits in this conversation being that a legendary coach, whom many regarded as one of the best of all time (I did, as I follow college football religiously), will forever have this looming over his head.


Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:56 pm
Post Re: January 11, 2012: "When a Monster Makes Art"
Vexer wrote:
Perhaps the most prominent example of this is the Rap/Hip-Hop industry, you'd be hard pressed to find a rapper who HASN'T been to jail or at least gotten in trouble with the law, but unlike other celebrities, they wear it like a badge of honor-everytime a rapper gets in trouble, they end selling twice as many CDs, which is really messed up when you think about it.

I remember in your review for Georgia Rule, you mentioned not being able to seperate Lohna's character from her real life personality(which I think the media greatly exaggerates) I personally didn't have that problem with her, and I didn't have it with Gibson either, the difference is i'd love to meet Lohan in real life, but i'd avoid Gibson like the plague.

Also, people should seriously stop trying hold up celebrities as role models, it's not a celebrity's job to be a "role model" for anyone, i'm not saying they should be given free reign to behave badly, but they're every action shouldn't be scrutinized either, any parent that thinks celebs should be role models for they're own kids needs to have thier head-examined.


More or less totally agreed. It's not that you'd be hard pressed to find said rappers, they just don't get the exposure. De La Soul anyone? :)

I've been called many things for my dislike of certain types of music, in this case the word 'racist' is carelessly thrown about. Is it at all surprising that the styles of music I like the least all happen to be deeply ingrained into issues of race? I don't see this as a bad thing to be honest... but there we are. Combine this inherent need to outcast certain people with the glorification of what is essentially bullying and petty crime and I don't really feel at all bad for denouncing such things (not as a whole, just in most cases). Compare such 'scenes' to that of rock and heavy metal and I think it's pretty safe to see which is the most tolerant and open minded!

More on topic, what exactly is Gibson meant to have said? Was he putting down the Israeli peoples or making remarks about Judaism as a religion? Because the latter happens all the time, coming from and aimed at virtually all forms of religious dogma. Is it right to claim that some are more relevant and acceptable than others?


Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:11 pm
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