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Elite school references in film 
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Assistant Second Unit Director

Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:25 pm
Posts: 79
Post Re: Elite school references in film
Well part of it is cliche and lazy but part of it works so well because we are trained to accept--->Harvard = Smart. If you insert Tulane or Brown or Furman or any other very good private elite schools the stock smartperson elite college thing doesn't work so much.

A little off-topic but this can be extended to college's treatment in general by Hollywood. All nerds/geeks/social outcasts are painted with the same brush, smart in math/science but socially awkward. There's not much individual characterization I find. this is disappointing considering the very diverse nature of the nerd/geek population. Also, state school = animal house style party and dumb kids. Public ivies go directly against this stereotype as well as many other public universities.


Thu May 28, 2009 8:17 am
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Post Re: Elite school references in film
majoraphasia wrote:
authun wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:
Off topic for just a second:

Anonymity on this board isn't such a bad thing but it's left me wondering, more than once, if I knew a couple of the posters from college. Here we are, interacting, and we're fooled into thinking we've never met. And we probably haven't. But still... you never know.

Never attended any colleges on a lake. It would probably be fun to line on one, though. :)


It's more fun to live close to the Cuyahoga River, one of the perks of having moved to this area. Each time I see it's beautiful waters I think to myself, "It's really great to be living, and raising a child, near a river that was once so deeply polluted it burst into flame." There isn't a day goes by when my heart doesn't leap up in song.

Doh! I've heard of the Cuyahoga. That's one of the cooler Indian names. I hope you Ohioans can get/keep it clean. For a while, at least. :)


Thu May 28, 2009 9:05 am
Post Re: Elite school references in film
hgs0814 wrote:
Well part of it is cliche and lazy but part of it works so well because we are trained to accept--->Harvard = Smart. If you insert Tulane or Brown or Furman or any other very good private elite schools the stock smartperson elite college thing doesn't work so much.

A little off-topic but this can be extended to college's treatment in general by Hollywood. All nerds/geeks/social outcasts are painted with the same brush, smart in math/science but socially awkward. There's not much individual characterization I find. this is disappointing considering the very diverse nature of the nerd/geek population. Also, state school = animal house style party and dumb kids. Public ivies go directly against this stereotype as well as many other public universities.

I think it's perfectly okay in a social context as a reference. It's another matter when it's (always!) being used to fill in a character. Plus, there are plenty of reputable technical institutions at the disposal of the writer. The father of an old boss of mine (and founder of the company) was one of these thirteen year-old college entrants (maybe it isn't so commonly promoted now - don't know, don't care). He didn't go to any MIT. He went to Carnegie Mellon, the poor sod. Turns out their CompSci department is (vastly?) superior to MIT as it is. The moviegoer would never know that to be possible.

As to the geek bit, take James for example. He hauls off and gets an EE education while maintaining his interest in film, and the ability to analyze it, to the extent that he is praised as the top online critic.

He is surely excluded from the geek label, right? Or is he? 8-)


Thu May 28, 2009 9:16 am
Post Re: Elite school references in film
I want James to comment on the "madness" I'm raging on his boards.


Thu May 28, 2009 9:17 am
Post Re: Elite school references in film
Ratel wrote:
Trevor, in principle you have a point: it can help signify that an individual is intelligent or prominent. But it’s an overused device. And often it is lazy.


Slightly offtopic:

Another plot device I dislike involves Jeopardy!. Movie creators seem to think that the best way to demonstrate a character's intelligence is by having them get all the answers right on Jeopardy!. There must be a better way!

authun wrote:
P.S. How many films in the classic era of Hollywood relied upon this device? If they did, would the actors "play the part"?
P.P.S. I was somewhat inspired by Tony Stark in Iron Man, who I never "bought" as a tech head despite his MIT ;) attendance. The Berkeley vs. Brown discussion with the "journalist" (or was it "ho"? I couldn't tell...) was irritatingly lame. Overrated movie.


Holy postscripts...wait a minute...aameen, is that you?


Thu May 28, 2009 11:33 am
Post Re: Elite school references in film
ed_metal_head wrote:
Another plot device I dislike involves Jeopardy!. Movie creators seem to think that the best way to demonstrate a character's intelligence is by having them get all the answers right on Jeopardy!. There must be a better way!

You gotta figure if the movie places the character into a Jeopardy situation (Lord knows only the best ones do, P.T. Anderson), and said character is some form of hero, then he/she will tend to answer all of the questions correctly!

A growing plot device I would gripe about is the injection of concurrent pop figures directly into plots, often unnecessarily. I'd say we have that Zemeckis mediocrity to thank for this. His influence turns a film similar to a modern version of Nashville into Magnolia. I liked Magnolia but I'm not so interested in what less than one percent of the population is experiencing versus what a story has to say about my life, at least peripherally.

ed_metal_head wrote:
Holy postscripts...wait a minute...aameen, is that you?

P.S. Me know no aameen


Thu May 28, 2009 2:17 pm
Post Re: Elite school references in film
ed_metal_head wrote:

authun wrote:
P.S. How many films in the classic era of Hollywood relied upon this device? If they did, would the actors "play the part"?
P.P.S. I was somewhat inspired by Tony Stark in Iron Man, who I never "bought" as a tech head despite his MIT ;) attendance. The Berkeley vs. Brown discussion with the "journalist" (or was it "ho"? I couldn't tell...) was irritatingly lame. Overrated movie.


Holy postscripts...wait a minute...aameen, is that you?


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

no brother, im not making double accounts just so i can discuss universities while everyone thinks im from germany.
:lol:



good spot,ed.


Thu May 28, 2009 9:28 pm
Post Re: Elite school references in film
authun wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:
Holy postscripts...wait a minute...aameen, is that you?

P.S. Me know no aameen


Well, then look at the post immediately beneath yours and meet aameen. As you become more acquainted you'll notice his sharp wit and tendency to use lots and lots of "P.S." postscripts.


Fri May 29, 2009 1:16 pm
Post Re: Elite school references in film
ed_metal_head wrote:
authun wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:
Holy postscripts...wait a minute...aameen, is that you?

P.S. Me know no aameen


Well, then look at the post immediately beneath yours and meet aameen. As you become more acquainted you'll notice his sharp wit and tendency to use lots and lots of "P.S." postscripts.

Smart guy, I can tell. 8-)


Sat May 30, 2009 5:39 pm
Post Re: Elite school references in film
now just wait a second!!

































alright, carry on.


Sat May 30, 2009 9:12 pm
Post Re: Elite school references in film
Okay, we need to find something to entertain ameen. Uh...

I really don't mean to turn the Coppola progeny into a personal demon, but was it really much of a surprise to find out, upon a (forced) second viewing of Lost In Translation, that (Scarlett Johansson... okay, wait... character's name is...) Charlotte was a convenient Yale graduate, although it was completely and utterly irrelevant to the story?

Uh, no.

Lord knows the Yalees are known for their taste in superficial, clearly unproven yet brutally overpaid photographers (or was it videographer? whatever), especially as completely undeveloped characters in hollow films. Granted, it was all based in Japan, so we're not to forget that anything's possible...


Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:50 pm
Post Re: Elite school references in film
authun wrote:
Okay, we need to find something to entertain ameen. Uh...


now there is so much wrong with this....i wont even say.




:lol:

authun wrote:
I really don't mean to turn the Coppola progeny into a personal demon, but was it really much of a surprise to find out, upon a (forced) second viewing of Lost In Translation, that (Scarlett Johansson... okay, wait... character's name is...) Charlotte was a convenient Yale graduate, although it was completely and utterly irrelevant to the story?

Uh, no.

Lord knows the Yalees are known for their taste in superficial, clearly unproven yet brutally overpaid photographers (or was it videographer? whatever), especially as completely undeveloped characters in hollow films. Granted, it was all based in Japan, so we're not to forget that anything's possible...


hmm...odd. the character went to yale?
ive seen it 5 or so times, i didnt notice it - but i dont know.

also, whats with the criticism of the photographic skills of a character we never even see taking a photograph. WHATS WITH THAT?!?! and of course he's undeveloped. who cares about him. he's just there for us to register that she's in a marriage where both dont understand each other.




i demand an apology.









for getting my name wrong, that is. :lol:

so far its been aamen, aameeen, ameen, and finally, - the best one - aamens.


Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:57 am
Post Re: Elite school references in film
aameen wrote:
so far its been aamen, aameeen, ameen, and finally, - the best one - aamens.


I'm still waiting for someone to call you "amen". I'm sure it'll happen someday. In all fairness though who else has twice as many vowels as consonants in their name? :P


Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:15 pm
Post Re: Elite school references in film
ed_metal_head wrote:
I'm still waiting for someone to call you "amen". I'm sure it'll happen someday. In all fairness though who else has twice as many vowels as consonants in their name? :P


well, just ask my friend Lee.

or...or....Paulie, yeah he's my friend too.


...or...or.....



Damn It!!!


:)


Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:08 pm
Post Re: Elite school references in film
authun wrote:
Okay, we need to find something to entertain ameen. Uh...

I really don't mean to turn the Coppola progeny into a personal demon, but was it really much of a surprise to find out, upon a (forced) second viewing of Lost In Translation, that (Scarlett Johansson... okay, wait... character's name is...) Charlotte was a convenient Yale graduate, although it was completely and utterly irrelevant to the story?

Uh, no.

Lord knows the Yalees are known for their taste in superficial, clearly unproven yet brutally overpaid photographers (or was it videographer? whatever), especially as completely undeveloped characters in hollow films. Granted, it was all based in Japan, so we're not to forget that anything's possible...


Your referring to the "we couldn't all go to Yale" line that the photographer uses on Charlotte when she corrects the pronunciation of Evelyn Waugh -- only one line and I've always taken it as "we can't all be as smart as you," as opposed to anything else. It isn't meant to establish Charlotte as a daunting intellect, at any rate. No comment, at least yet, on the "clearly unproven yet brutally overpaid" thought... it's okay to dislike the movie but, really, come on.


Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:47 am
Post Re: Elite school references in film
aameen wrote:
well, just ask my friend Lee.

or...or....Paulie, yeah he's my friend too.


...or...or.....



Damn It!!!


:)


:lol: At least you thought of 2 more than I could...


Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:02 pm
Post Re: Elite school references in film
ed_metal_head wrote:
aameen wrote:
well, just ask my friend Lee.

or...or....Paulie, yeah he's my friend too.


...or...or.....



Damn It!!!


:)


:lol: At least you thought of 2 more than I could...



joe.....


MMMWUUUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!


Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:53 am
Post Re: Elite school references in film
aameen wrote:
also, whats with the criticism of the photographic skills of a character we never even see taking a photograph. WHATS WITH THAT?!?! and of course he's undeveloped. who cares about him. he's just there for us to register that she's in a marriage where both dont understand each other

The problem is that there's essentially nothing to qualify her discontent, aside from his understandably being busy, beyond extended stretches of panning the camera to focus on Scarlett's ass. Now, that's Oscar-worthy.

The Yale reference makes it essentially impossible to believe that they ever would have had more than an inkling of interest for one another in the first place. Sorry for you that you can't get that. You provide lazy moviemakers too many free passes. It's like marrying Weird Al Yankovic to Sophia Loren and calling the rest a deep movie.

I can see how Bill Murray can afford the hotel, but not some pud, effeminate poser with zero style (what's with his hideous wardrobe?!? and no, i didn't see anything cool about it). The vantage point from, and in, the hotel is about the only cinematographically rewarding aspect of the film, by the way.

aameen wrote:
i demand an apology.
for getting my name wrong, that is. :lol:

I'll run with "spaceeater" as necessary in the future...


Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:59 am
Post Re: Elite school references in film
majoraphasia wrote:
Your referring to the "we couldn't all go to Yale" line that the photographer uses on Charlotte when she corrects the pronunciation of Evelyn Waugh -- only one line and I've always taken it as "we can't all be as smart as you," as opposed to anything else. It isn't meant to establish Charlotte as a daunting intellect, at any rate. No comment, at least yet, on the "clearly unproven yet brutally overpaid" thought... it's okay to dislike the movie but, really, come on.

Read the rest of the thread. It's the sort of lazy ploy weak scripts rely on when their characters are otherwise unconvincing in a role.

In this case, it's so unnecessary in that we merely need to know that Charlotte is well-educated. She is not, and need not be, stuffy beyond that. So why the unnecessary and, in fact, inappropriate name drop?

The discussion of this thread has to do with this lazy trend, and I was but providing one more example.

I agree with both spaceeater and you that the husband was not so integral to the story, but the foundation of the film is such crap it disturbs me that it is so undeservedly praised highly. I agree that the movie is actually quite good once Bill Murray's character comes to life. The music was exceptional, too. The first half, however, is so much drivel.


Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:01 am
Post Re: Elite school references in film
authun wrote:
The problem is that there's essentially nothing to qualify her discontent, aside from his understandably being busy, beyond extended stretches of panning the camera to focus on Scarlett's ass. Now, that's Oscar-worthy.

dont you insult that shot. this is one of the best shots in the film. it puts us right into the pace where the director wants us. and it does so with a beautiful pose. lying down. exactly how the character should open. just dont insult that shot. JUST DONT!!!



authun wrote:
I'll run with "spaceeater" as necessary in the future...

authun wrote:
I agree with both spaceeater and you that....


ok. now you're starting to really annoy me. please stop.




PS - no, ed, whatever this may lead you to think, im not having an "argument" with "myself", now. :lol:


Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:28 am
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