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Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good? 
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
There's a difference between not liking something and trying to convince others why they shouldn't like something.

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Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:35 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
I'm not much of a Chinatown fan either(which i'm sure surprises absolutely no one). In general I just don't think much of Roman Polanski as a director(or as a person, but that's neither here nor there), his films just never really did much for me. His worst film was Rosemary's Baby, which I found to be totally outdated, forgettable and mediocre, not sure why people call that one a "classic". Not everyone HAS to love classic films, and they're not wrong for not doing so, there's a difference between liking something and trying to convince someone why they should like something.


Last edited by Vexer on Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:42 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
I liked The Pianist, but the only time I saw it was on a seat-back screen with shitty headphones on a flight to England. I need to re-visit one of these days on my bigger screen at home. I recently watched Rosemary's Baby and while I was a bit underwhelmed, I can see why it had the impact it did at the time it was made.


Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:00 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Love Rosemary's Baby. Rarely have I tensed up so much at a horror film like in that movie's climax.


Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:02 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Johnny Larue wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Yeah I just feel sorry for anyone who doesn't appreciate Chinatown


You've used this line before and it comes off as a tad bit arrogant. Not abusively arrogant; but subtly arrogant. I am not seeking your pity nor do I feel some sort of shame for declaring that I didn't care for the movie. Did I hate it? No. Saw it once. Don't find the need to revisit it again.


I can take being a tad bit arrogant. But the sentiment is legitimate. I don't want to tell you you're wrong, I just feel bad that you don't appreciate it. Just like, on the flipside, I don't feel everyone else is wrong about sushi tasting good -- I just wish I liked it too

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Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:04 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
peng wrote:
Love Rosemary's Baby. Rarely have I tensed up so much at a horror film like in that movie's climax.


Rosemary's Baby is a solid film. My only problem with it is that I watched it just after reading the book and the film is SO literal to the book that I shrugged and wondered what the point of adapting it was.

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Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:05 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
One interesting aspect of debating the "classic" status of Star Wars: to realize that compared to many other franchises, Star Wars is hardly "classic" at all.

List of franchises whose literal roots are much older than Star Wars:

Lord of the Rings
Superman
James Bond
Planet of the Apes
Mission: Impossible
Star Trek
Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolf Man, etc., etc.
The Twilight Zone

More Generally:

Akira Kurosawa
WWII espionage flicks
Technically every modern superhero has his/her origins before Star Wars.
Anything rooted in the Old American West.
Pretty much any sword-sandal yarns based in pre-existing myths.
Pretty much anything related to gangsters/criminals in the first half of the 20th century.
Frankly, anything related to aliens or alien invasions.
Space Adventures in general (because of Forbidden Planet and others)
And finally, of course, telepathy and telekinesis.

And Star Wars owes something, in varying degrees, to every single one of the above and more. Since it is indeed a "cocktail of a million myths," calling it a "classic" seems somewhat contradictory right? If anything, is it not the ultimate anti-classic? The ultimate dilution of popular myth? Aren't light-saber fights the ultimate anachronism, bridging mythological practices across millennia?

I would argue that Star Wars is the ultimate meta-franchise. The problem is, its craziest fans often seem to have it backwards. They associate Star Wars too much with classicism, too much with originality, and too much with myth-making. It's really the opposite of all that. Instead of being a part of classicism, it's really a celebration of classicism. Instead of being truly original, it's really a compilation/concoction of pre-existing myths. So in 2015 we're faced with the irony that of all the franchises being featured in 2 years, Star Wars seems to carry with it the most prestige. Even though it is, by far, the youngest.


Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:45 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
I promised to rant on The Seventh Seal on another thread, so rant, rant rant.

It's a classic because it has iconic images and is influential and has inspired better films, such as Woody Allen's Love and Death and whomever's Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. Yes, I do think Bogus Journey is a better film even though it's silly as hell. But The Seventh Seal really isn't a good film. The hero's dull, Death manages to be silly (he works better in comic relief), and the only really interesting character is the hero's Sancho Panza. Bergman's made some truly great films and it's sad that this gets presented as his most iconic film. Why not Wild Strawberries or The Virgin Spring?

It says something that the best films The Seventh Seal has inspired are parodies.

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Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:37 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Syd Henderson wrote:
I promised to rant on The Seventh Seal on another thread, so rant, rant rant.

It's a classic because it has iconic images and is influential and has inspired better films, such as Woody Allen's Love and Death and whomever's Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. Yes, I do think Bogus Journey is a better film even though it's silly as hell. But The Seventh Seal really isn't a good film. The hero's dull, Death manages to be silly (he works better in comic relief), and the only really interesting character is the hero's Sancho Panza. Bergman's made some truly great films and it's sad that this gets presented as his most iconic film. Why not Wild Strawberries or The Virgin Spring?

It says something that the best films The Seventh Seal has inspired are parodies.


Completely with you. It was my first Bergman (I bet that's true for a lot of us) and it gave me the wrong idea of him as a director. Or maybe not the wrong idea, per se, but it put me off him for years. Then I came back with Wild Strawberries and Cries and Whispers and Fanny och Alexander and Scenes from a motherfucking Marriage and I was like "Holy shit this man's amazing." But The Seventh Seal? Eh.

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Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:47 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
I have to wonder what people would think of The Seventh Seal if they weren't already familiar with its most worn images.

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Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:20 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Vexer wrote:
I'm not much of a Chinatown fan either(which i'm sure surprises absolutely no one). In general I just don't think much of Roman Polanski as a director(or as a person, but that's neither here nor there), his films just never really did much for me. His worst film was Rosemary's Baby, which I found to be totally outdated, forgettable and mediocre, not sure why people call that one a "classic". Not everyone HAS to love classic films, and they're not wrong for not doing so, there's a difference between liking something and trying to convince someone why they should like something.


I like Chinatown, but it overshadows The Long Goodbye, which I think is equally great.


Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:43 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
JB didn't like Seventh Seal either, I recall mentioning in his Reelthoughts that he found it "boring".


Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:59 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
I've only skimmed the 4 pages of this thread, so feel free to cuss me out if someone has made this point, but...OF COURSE IT CAN! Just because you (yes, you...asshole) don't think a movie is any good doesn't mean a lot of other people think the same. For instance, some people said they don't care much for Chinatown. That's fine (although I think you're kind of crazy), but it's undoubtedly a classic film. You can't talk about film in the 70s without talking about it's star, director, screenwriter, or the movie itself. It's meaningful to the history of the medium regardless of whether or not you enjoy it. It's also pretty unanimously considering excellent.


Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:35 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
One facet of movie viewing that determines "good" (in my opinion) is the timeliness of the movie, i.e. how does it fit with societal norms, perceptions, prejudices, trends, etc at the time of it's release, verses the present time. We like to think of "classic" as being able to stand the test of time and have just as much impact on an audience that may be distantly removed from the themes on display.
Also;
If "classic" = "influential" then I'm not sure "good" or likeable is required.

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Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:50 pm
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