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Are Movies on Their Way Out? 
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
But this partly assumes pacing more important than content.

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Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:42 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
I have friends that are so busy that they do not have time to follow a story arc in several episodes so they do not see TV series but now and then see films where a story is told between 1 1/2 to 3 hours (the most) as entertainment for them. Now, these friends also normally see their movies on TV or by renting at home lol

I personally get so into the hype of a particular film that as soon as it is released in my local Cinema then I have to go to see it HaHa

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Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:55 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
NotHughGrant wrote:
But this partly assumes pacing more important than content.


No, it doesn't. It assumes that they are inseparable and of equal importance.

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I think you view films too impersonally. You said yourself that you see composition, symmetry, lighting etc as the basis of a film, and even though a number of TV shows do match films in these regards, they can't just be about those things, because when the law of diminishing returns kicks in, the audience wants more.


Films are my entire life. I think of and partake in nothing else on a day to day basis. I also know several hundred times more about film than most of the people who watch these shows. Yet my passion comes from that the fact they ARE movies. And not real life. What you're basically saying here is that most viewers are vain, and in vanity prefer to see themselves and their own lives on the screen. I'd rather see things that are foreign and exotic to my own life experience. For me a film is a window to another perspective, to a world outside of my own. But current culture makes people so vain and self-centered that all they want to see in a movie or TV show is their own life. That's why in Gravity, Bullock's part is misogynistic in its depiction of a scared house-mom instead of the tough professional cool that many real-life female astronauts do in fact have. Only Clooney is allowed to have that, I guess, because he's the man. And critics would prefer to ignore Milla Jovovich's tougher demeanor in Resident Evil, because I guess that's not how women are supposed to behave.

There's differences between empathy, voyeurism, and vanity. You're mostly identifying the third.

The interests of the director and writer are what should matter, not the interests of the viewers. That's what makes it art, and not just product.


Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:15 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
It's not vain to see yourself on screen, it's completely natural. Otherwise art would exist in a pure vacuum, independent of the people who create and observe it

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Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:13 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
The film industry has a chronic problem over coming the "men do; women are" dichotomy. Gravity is an excellent subversion of that problem--not a dry, mechanical, one-to-one subversion, but a messy, human, and ultimately successful one. Clooney's character is an archetype. Bullock's character is a person, with an inner life and troubling thoughts.

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Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:17 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
Ken wrote:
The film industry has a chronic problem over coming the "men do; women are" dichotomy. Gravity is an excellent subversion of that problem--not a dry, mechanical, one-to-one subversion, but a messy, human, and ultimately successful one. Clooney's character is an archetype. Bullock's character is a person, with an inner life and troubling thoughts.


And a woman who demands to be a man is a 'strap a dichotomy' :D

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Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:42 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
MGamesCook wrote:
Yet my passion comes from that the fact they ARE movies. And not real life. What you're basically saying here is that most viewers are vain, and in vanity prefer to see themselves and their own lives on the screen. I'd rather see things that are foreign and exotic to my own life experience. For me a film is a window to another perspective, to a world outside of my own.


Word to this for sure. Not so much that everyone is vain (although they might be anyway for other reasons), but that movies represent a window to another world. Even something taking place in modern-day society can offer its own twist. Some of the best movie dialogue is too mannered and scripted to reflect real life, but I love the way it sounds in a movie, so I can't complain.

MGamesCook wrote:
And critics would prefer to ignore Milla Jovovich's tougher demeanor in Resident Evil, because I guess that's not how women are supposed to behave.


Now this I just don't see, at least not with most critics. If they thought that way, they'd be praising the TWILIGHT saga for its characterization of Bella but bashing ALIENS for that of Ripley. Thank God that's not the case.

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Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:54 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
I have little doubt that had the Resident Evil films been made in the 80s, they might be better thought of today as being "progressive." The irony is that in the age where prejudice isn't supposed to exist anymore, it seems like nobody wants a heroine like Ripley anymore.

Ken wrote:
The film industry has a chronic problem over coming the "men do; women are" dichotomy. Gravity is an excellent subversion of that problem--not a dry, mechanical, one-to-one subversion, but a messy, human, and ultimately successful one. Clooney's character is an archetype. Bullock's character is a person, with an inner life and troubling thoughts.


Yes, a person who is shown to be weak, surviving on luck and with the help of George Clooney. But why? It's not as if that's more realistic. Female astronauts are trained to be cool and professional, as much as men.

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It's not vain to see yourself on screen, it's completely natural. Otherwise art would exist in a pure vacuum, independent of the people who create and observe it


I think that may apply to comedies, particularly rom-coms, because people may want to see their own relationship problems played out on the screen. But a great many movies are not for that purpose at all: action, science fiction. I am a person who exists, but I recognize there are other people who exist who are nothing like me. Those are the people I want to see in movies. Your theory might explain the popularity of films like Juno, 500 Days of Summer, and Her. But I don't see the connection to Breaking Bad or True Detective or Shawshank. I definitely don't see myself in characters, I simply enjoy watching them because they're interesting. Film is definitely a voyeuristic and empathetic art form (because voyeurism is about empathy anyway), but that's very different from saying you literally see yourself in the characters. You mentioned Shawshank Redemption, but I don't think fans of that movie see themselves in the characters. It's just an entertaining and uplifting movie by itself.


Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:30 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
MGamesCook wrote:

I think that may apply to comedies, particularly rom-coms, because people may want to see their own relationship problems played out on the screen. But a great many movies are not for that purpose at all: action, science fiction. I am a person who exists, but I recognize there are other people who exist who are nothing like me. Those are the people I want to see in movies. Your theory might explain the popularity of films like Juno, 500 Days of Summer, and Her. But I don't see the connection to Breaking Bad or True Detective or Shawshank. I definitely don't see myself in characters, I simply enjoy watching them because they're interesting. Film is definitely a voyeuristic and empathetic art form (because voyeurism is about empathy anyway), but that's very different from saying you literally see yourself in the characters. You mentioned Shawshank Redemption, but I don't think fans of that movie see themselves in the characters. It's just an entertaining and uplifting movie by itself.


I disagree. "Fear can keep you prisoner, hope can set you free" is about as universal a piece of homespun philosophy as I can imagine.

And Walter White, how many people out there see something of Walter in themselves? Millions. It's forensic. An intelligent, respectable guy who alas feels that he has underachieved and harbours a degree of self-loathing because he can't fully provide for his family to the extent he wishes. I bet 100 million people identify with that in America alone. Then add about a billion across the rest of the world.

When I say identify with, I mean more metaphorically than literally. I don't mean you need to literally be a chemistry teacher with cancer, or falsely imprisoned for the murder of your Wife.

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Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:51 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
MGamesCook wrote:
That's why in Gravity, Bullock's part is misogynistic in its depiction of a scared house-mom instead of the tough professional cool that many real-life female astronauts do in fact have. Only Clooney is allowed to have that, I guess, because he's the man. And critics would prefer to ignore Milla Jovovich's tougher demeanor in Resident Evil, because I guess that's not how women are supposed to behave.


Sorry, that's nonsense and suggests that you haven't seen 'Gravity' and that your ideas of emancipation and strong female characters are, well, misguided.

In 'Gravity', Sandra Bullock's character is a scientist who has undergone space training in order to being able to install a device, which she has developed herself, on a satellite. Of course, she is presented a top professional and not as a "scared housewife". But she is not a veteran astronaut, in contrast to George Clooney's character. It is completely logical that she would be more prone to panic once things start to go wrong. In the course of the movie, she overcomes this panic and her desperation and proves to be very tough and resilient indeed. How is this mysoginistic?

Why is Milla Jovovich's performance critically overlooked in the Resident Evil movies? I can only guess, because I've only seen the first and second one (plus a number of other movies, in which she stars in an action role), but could it be because she is a really bad actress? Moreover, the type of action heroine which she usually plays (presumably also in Resident Evil #3 and #4) is of the scantily clad hot chick with Kung Fu skills-type, which is a male fantasy (or male teenage nerd fantasy). These "bondage revenge Barbies" (as they've been fittingly called in a recent article in the Guardian) are not exactly models of female empowerment, are they?


Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:53 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
Unke wrote:
Moreover, the type of action heroine which she usually plays (presumably also in Resident Evil #3 and #4) is of the scantily clad hot chick with Kung Fu skills-type, which is a male fantasy (or male teenage nerd fantasy). These "bondage revenge Barbies" (as they've been fittingly called in a recent article in the Guardian) are not exactly models of female empowerment, are they?


Ah, the male gaze. Some reading on this subject: https://wiki.brown.edu/confluence/displ ... ive+Cinema

I haven't considered the camera's POV for a while and this is as good a time as any to unearth the subject. These 'bondage revenge Barbies' have been around for a bit but the POV of a movie like Sucker Punch, where unambiguous sexuality is welded to female liberation, is the strangest mix of early feminism and contemporary military fetishising. It isn't specifically a geek fantasy though it is often associated, by me, with geekdom. This male gaze is not limited in use to men as movies such as Bridesmaids offer a similar POV with less overtly sexual imagery.

I only wish I could comment on the Resident Evil series; as it stands, I've only seen the first entry. I don't know if the characters are models of female empowerment but there's every possibility that they're males who happen to have breasts and ovaries, curves where men don't typically curve.

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Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:20 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
I didn't identify one bit with White, which is mainly why I gave up on the series.

Also Milla is not a "bad actress" at all, if you want to see how good she can be outside of the RE series, then check out "No Good Deed"

Also I disagree that her character in the films is a "male nerd fantasy" or whatever.


Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:41 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
But you did identify with Mario in Super Mario Bros?

Plagued by turtles as you are

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Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:00 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
MGamesCook wrote:
Yes, a person who is shown to be weak, surviving on luck and with the help of George Clooney. But why? It's not as if that's more realistic. Female astronauts are trained to be cool and professional, as much as men.

This weak person who survived on luck, was apparently untrained and unprofessional,
[Reveal] Spoiler: Gravity
yet managed to safely land a Soyuz while flying solo and with controls in a language she didn't speak?

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Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:07 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
Vexer wrote:
Also I disagree that her character in the films is a "male nerd fantasy" or whatever.


Call it what you want, but when a heroine is dressed/not dressed impractically, it can never be anything above silly entertainment to me.

MGamesCook wrote:
That's why in Gravity, Bullock's part is misogynistic in its depiction of a scared house-mom instead of the tough professional cool that many real-life female astronauts do in fact have. Only Clooney is allowed to have that, I guess, because he's the man.


First, what Ken said. Also, the film is clearly intentional in making Bullock not a professional astronaut. And Clooney is being Clooney. I don't think the movie's good, but that it attempts to induce empathy in simple way doesn't make it sexist. There's a litany of examples of sexism in film, but this seems like a bit of a reach in this case.

MGamesCook wrote:
And critics would prefer to ignore Milla Jovovich's tougher demeanor in Resident Evil, because I guess that's not how women are supposed to behave.


And that's beyond a reach and pretty insulting. Perhaps critics just didn't like the performance? Perhaps the one-note toughness doesn't warrant praise in their minds? Off the top of my head, Red Eye and Hanna both have strong female leads, came out around the same time as RE films and were more widely liked by critics. Again, no one's denying sexism in this industry, but I'm not sure the connection you're making here is very stable.


Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:12 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
What about the scene in Gravity where Bullock strips down to short shorts and tank top? Clearly meant to titillate male viewers. I don't deny there are similar scenes in the Resident Evil films. The difference seems to be that Gravitys supporters aren't willing to admit the guiltier aspects of it. Why couldnt Clooneys character be a woman and the man be the rookie? RE fans don't seem to have a problem admitting anything, including Anderson himself, Millas husband no less. I also don't think Millas character restricts itself to being a male fantasy. She's shown to be a courageous leader and an empathetic person capable of great feeling, not just a girl in a tight outfit.

Anyway, I still say seeing yourself in Walter White or Andy Duphraine is vain, even if only in a figurative sense. More vain still is the idea that you have to see yourself in order for the character to be interesting. It's like the scene in Nashville where every girl in the bar thinks Keith Carradine is singing specifically to her. It's not a vacuum. It's just something other than a mirror. I'm deeply interested in people who are nothing like me.


Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:22 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
MGamesCook wrote:
What about the scene in Gravity where Bullock strips down to short shorts and tank top? Clearly meant to titillate male viewers. I don't deny there are similar scenes in the Resident Evil films. The difference seems to be that Gravitys supporters aren't willing to admit the guiltier aspects of it.

Ah, yes, Gravity supporters and the many times they've notoriously maintained their intractable silence on the many crimes committed by the film. Will it never end?

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Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:40 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
Ken wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
What about the scene in Gravity where Bullock strips down to short shorts and tank top? Clearly meant to titillate male viewers. I don't deny there are similar scenes in the Resident Evil films. The difference seems to be that Gravitys supporters aren't willing to admit the guiltier aspects of it.

Ah, yes, Gravity supporters and the many times they've notoriously maintained their intractable silence on the many crimes committed by the film. Will it never end?


You tell me. But the main thing in Gravity isn't sexism, it's really just the vanity thing. Bullock behaving like a normal person (non-astronaut) so that non-astronaut viewers can connect. But in past space films, the director often simply counted on the viewer to be interested in astronauts just as astronauts. The way Bullock plays it, it's more like a Kafka-esque fantasy where a woman wakes up in outer space for no answerable reason. Maybe it would help matters if anything like the Gravity incident had ever happened, but it hasn't. It doesn't have the real-life connection like Open Water or 127 Hours. But it also doesn't pitch itself as a fantasy.

An even better comparison may be Touching the Void, also featuring two people struggling to survive (though mostly just one).


Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:38 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
MGamesCook wrote:
What about the scene in Gravity where Bullock strips down to short shorts and tank top? Clearly meant to titillate male viewers. I don't deny there are similar scenes in the Resident Evil films. The difference seems to be that Gravitys supporters aren't willing to admit the guiltier aspects of it. Why couldnt Clooneys character be a woman and the man be the rookie? RE fans don't seem to have a problem admitting anything, including Anderson himself, Millas husband no less. I also don't think Millas character restricts itself to being a male fantasy. She's shown to be a courageous leader and an empathetic person capable of great feeling, not just a girl in a tight outfit.


I don't remember the scene, in which Bullock takes off her space suit, in sufficient detail. Perhaps it is meant to titillate a male audience, although I didn't feel this way when I saw the movie. But that's an isolated scene and not at all the argument which you have made. You stated:

MGamesCook wrote:
That's why in Gravity, Bullock's part is misogynistic in its depiction of a scared house-mom instead of the tough professional cool that many real-life female astronauts do in fact have. Only Clooney is allowed to have that, I guess, because he's the man.


And that's simply wrong: the Sandra Bullock character is demonstrably not depicted as a "scared house-mom", but as a competent scientist and technician. And she is not presented in a "Meg Ryan as a helicopter pilot"/ "Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist" way, she is actually shown performing complex technical features in a difficult environment. Yes, she panics once the catastrophe starts, but she overcomes this in the course of the movie, proving great resilience and ingenuity.

Would you seriously consider it less mysoginistic if the George Clooney part were played by a woman and the Sandra Bullock part by a man, i.e. the female character would die after less than a third of the movie and the focus would be on a male protagonist like in so many other movies?


Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:33 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
MGamesCook wrote:
You tell me. But the main thing in Gravity isn't sexism, it's really just the vanity thing. Bullock behaving like a normal person (non-astronaut) so that non-astronaut viewers can connect. But in past space films, the director often simply counted on the viewer to be interested in astronauts just as astronauts. The way Bullock plays it, it's more like a Kafka-esque fantasy where a woman wakes up in outer space for no answerable reason.

Bullock's problems in the film are entirely human. And despite the fact that astronauts are pretty much the closest thing we have to real world superheroes, guess what they are? You think these people never had troubled thoughts, whether on the job or otherwise?

You're right about one thing, though--past space movies have mostly kept the humanity of the astronauts at a distance and trusted the job itself to draw in viewers. Perhaps that's not a good thing, and perhaps that's why those movies tend to strain credibility much more than the relatively realistic scenarios of Gravity do.

MGamesCook wrote:
Maybe it would help matters if anything like the Gravity incident had ever happened, but it hasn't. It doesn't have the real-life connection like Open Water or 127 Hours. But it also doesn't pitch itself as a fantasy.

A troubled astronaut becoming stranded in space? No, it hasn't happened, and we're damned lucky for that. But whether or not it's happened has nothing to do with how plausible it is. Despite the fact that 127 Hours actually happened, the accident was so freakish that it's probably less plausible than astronauts being put at hazard by space debris. Remember the chain of havoc caused by a single cracked rubber gasket on the real-life Apollo 13 mission.

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Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:55 am
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