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December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'" 
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Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
MGamesCook wrote:
No one with a real passion for movies takes 3D seriously. I don't deny that Cameron had both passion and vision in his day, but somewhere along the road he lost it. Similarly, much as I admire Scorsese's earlier work, I think Hugo is a sign that he has no more stories to tell.


You may or may not be right in thinking that Scorsese has more stories to tell (I think you're wrong) but you're dead wrong if you assume he's not passionate about film. He cares more deeply about cinema than all of us put together do. Hugo is, after all, a love letter to early cinema. Is a love letter not a sign of passion?

I greatly dislike 3D. Except, what we're seeing isn't 3D. It's a stereoscopic image. Our brains are tricked into seeing image depth. My hope is that the continued development of the technology leads to real 3D. That is a "holographic" image, if you will. A person would be able to pause the image and look at it from different angles. That's the kind of visual evolution I'll be hoping for.


Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:49 pm
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
Ken wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
I realize I have no "hard evidence" to back up any of these claims, but I don't need it. I'm not trying to prove a mathematical theorem here, I'm merely stating the obvious through inference and intuition. I guess I could use straight experience to back it up. I've spent most of my life showing movies to the kinds of people I refer to as casual and common, and I've at least learned how to predict and interpret general reactions. Actually, it's the practice itself which gives you greater insight, because after all, you'd be embarrassed to show your friends a film if deep down, you knew they wouldn't like it. Helps flesh out intuition. Speaking of which, I find myself wondering how exactly I'd be able to show any of my friends Hugo, even if I wanted to, when I have no intention of purchasing a 3D TV.

There you have it, folks. MGamesCook's opinion is so right

("How right is it, Ken?")

MGamesCook's opinion is so right, that when he alleges a factual claim and evidence is presented that flatly contradicts that claim, he's still right, because--wait for it--if MGamesCook said it, the evidence must be wrong!

The casual snide remarks are one thing, but nobody here has any reason to respect anything you say if you reject out-of-hand any argument that isn't compatible with your hermetically sealed worldview.


One man's hermetically sealed worldview is another man's personalized worldview. I think you're just bothered by the fact that I take all of these arguments so personally. The aim of a personal viewpoint, however, is not to convince you of an absolute truth, but simply to point out an opinion that you may not previously have considered. I get a little more perturbed over 3D, because I'm surprised by how few people are willing to reject it outright. No one has said anything to convince me that their mindset goes any further than this: Hugo is made by Scorsese in 3D, Scorsese is unequivocally a great cinematic artist, therefore 3D must have potential for great cinema. What you refuse to acknowledge is that it doesn't work that way for anybody else. Most people don't care about Scorsese; they'll instinctively compare Hugo to Polar Express or even Narnia, maybe not even realizing that there is supposed to be a difference. If you gave the film any thought, you would recognize this dilemma, but instead you seem content to lean on the "evidence" of critical consensus and call it a day.


Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:50 pm
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
ed_metal_head wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
No one with a real passion for movies takes 3D seriously. I don't deny that Cameron had both passion and vision in his day, but somewhere along the road he lost it. Similarly, much as I admire Scorsese's earlier work, I think Hugo is a sign that he has no more stories to tell.


You may or may not be right in thinking that Scorsese has more stories to tell (I think you're wrong) but you're dead wrong if you assume he's not passionate about film. He cares more deeply about cinema than all of us put together do. Hugo is, after all, a love letter to early cinema. Is a love letter not a sign of passion?

I greatly dislike 3D. Except, what we're seeing isn't 3D. It's a stereoscopic image. Our brains are tricked into seeing image depth. My hope is that the continued development of the technology leads to real 3D. That is a "holographic" image, if you will. A person would be able to pause the image and look at it from different angles. That's the kind of visual evolution I'll be hoping for.


I don't deny that that's true. My question is, why does Scorsese choose to direct that passion toward someone like Melies? I don't see how anyone could be truly passionate about the Melies films themselves, and passion for early filmmaking in the general sense just doesn't work for me. Why not make a film about a director he admired in his documentary, like Jacques Tourneur or Howard Hawks? I would have been much more interested to see Hugo meet one of those guys. Instead, he makes a paean to a director who nobody really knows or cares about. Just like the Hell's Angel's sequence of Aviator, another movie that nobody watches anymore. I love film, but I don't believe in general passion. My own passion is directed toward specific movies and specific directors. In that sense, I agree, Scorsese must obviously have more passion toward Melies than all of us put together.


Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:56 pm
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
"My, my, my".

Say it with me: "Martin Scorsese is not my bitch".

"Passion for early filmmaking in the general sense just doesn't work for" you, but clearly it does for Scorsese. I would imagine that this is a passion he's trying to awaken in others. Aren't you more passionate about Anthony Mann than the rest of us? Aren't you trying to share that passion even though many don't currently know or care about Anthony Mann? Scorsese is trying to share his early cinema passion. Perhaps he's deliberately chosen a filmmaker "nobody knows or cares about" because he cares about him and wants others to do so too. Don't fault him for not trying to further something which means nothing to YOU.


Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:03 pm
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
ed_metal_head wrote:
"My, my, my".

Say it with me: "Martin Scorsese is not my bitch".

"Passion for early filmmaking in the general sense just doesn't work for" you, but clearly it does for Scorsese. I would imagine that this is a passion he's trying to awaken in others. Aren't you more passionate about Anthony Mann than the rest of us? Aren't you trying to share that passion even though many don't currently know or care about Anthony Mann? Scorsese is trying to share his early cinema passion. Perhaps he's deliberately chosen a filmmaker "nobody knows or cares about" because he cares about him and wants others to do so too. Don't fault him for not trying to further something which means nothing to YOU.


Here's another problem: that Scorsese's attitude to love film in the general sense flies directly against the documentary he made in the 90s. He said almost these exact words: I can't cover everything; I can only focus on the films which had a personal influence on me. For those who haven't seen the full documentary, I can assure you that he does not cover Melies. Therefore, not only do I disagree with the idea of general love for the movie expressed so excessively, I don't quite buy Scorsese's own stance on it as professed in Hugo, because it does not gel with his earlier attitude.


Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:34 pm
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Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
MGamesCook wrote:

Here's another problem: that Scorsese's attitude to love film in the general sense flies directly against the documentary he made in the 90s. He said almost these exact words: I can't cover everything; I can only focus on the films which had a personal influence on me. For those who haven't seen the full documentary, I can assure you that he does not cover Melies. Therefore, not only do I disagree with the idea of general love for the movie expressed so excessively, I don't quite buy Scorsese's own stance on it as professed in Hugo, because it does not gel with his earlier attitude.


The movie is based on a book. Melies is a huge part of the book. There's almost certainly a personal element of tribute in HUGO, but it's reasonably faithful to the source material.

The question you might ask is "Why adapt *that* book?" Can't answer that.


Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:08 am
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Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
MGamesCook wrote:
One man's hermetically sealed worldview is another man's personalized worldview.
Your worldview isn't any more personalized simply because you stick to it like glue and refuse the intrusion of any information that contradicts it.

Quote:
I think you're just bothered by the fact that I take all of these arguments so personally. The aim of a personal viewpoint, however, is not to convince you of an absolute truth, but simply to point out an opinion that you may not previously have considered.
Most people here seem to have covered the spectrum of arguments both for and against 3D. As far as I've noticed, you're the only one shouting about it through a megaphone. Contrary to what you might think, being aggressive and dogmatic about everything is only hurting your chances of convincing anybody of anything.

Quote:
I get a little more perturbed over 3D, because I'm surprised by how few people are willing to reject it outright.
People seem to recognize that it is not typically in the nature of things to be absolute. In everything from the arts to the sciences, there is always room for error, for long-held assumptions to be disproved, for things to happen that change the status quo. This is why so few people, even 3D detractors, are insisting that 3D can't work. It's a big, long-lived universe that we live in.

Quote:
No one has said anything to convince me that their mindset goes any further than this: Hugo is made by Scorsese in 3D, Scorsese is unequivocally a great cinematic artist, therefore 3D must have potential for great cinema.
First poisoning the well, now the straw man. I almost have a winning combination on my logical fallacy bingo card.

Quote:
What you refuse to acknowledge is that it doesn't work that way for anybody else.
I guess I'm one of the people who made that claim that you said people are making about Hugo. I'd point out that I'm not and that the same goes for just about everybody else here, but I'm sure your worldview on the subject is, shall we say, "highly personalized".

Quote:
If you gave the film any thought, you would recognize this dilemma,
Is "no true Scotsman" on the card? Yes, it is! BINGO!

Quote:
but instead you seem content to lean on the "evidence" of critical consensus and call it a day.
You've provided no evidence to counter it. You can't laugh off the quality of the evidence for the other side if you've provided none to speak of in response. Anecdotes and "intuition" definitely haven't earned you the far higher degree of certainty that you hold of your position than anybody else's.


Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:27 am
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
Ken, you lost me. I don't know what you're talking about with references to bingo and logical fallacies, but I do know that specific opinions are taken more seriously than off-topic generalizations.


Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:37 am
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
My opinion--my specific, unvarnished, honest opinion--is that all you've brought to the table is your own certainty. You have a right to your opinion. As a relatively rational person, I have to respect that right. But the reasoning you provide for that opinion is another matter entirely.

When you say things like "Nobody who gave the film any thought would say [such and such]", or "[such and such] can't happen; it is fundamentally impossible"... those aren't arguments. Those are attempts to undermine the opposite position so you don't have to form a cogent, rational counterargument. In the world of persuasive strategies, they're junk food.

One particular element of this discussion that hasn't seemed to sink in is that I have yet to make any statement that's actively in favor of 3D, be it in general or in the specific case of Hugo. This hasn't stopped you from treating me the same as you would any 3D proponent, or from lumping me into the same strange assertion that the only reason anybody is disagreeing with you on this subject is that everybody is too protective of Scorsese to criticize him. Incidentally, a straw man* if there ever was one.

(*By the by, that's the logical fallacy where one guy restates the other guy's argument in a way that is deliberately oversimplified or otherwise inaccurate.)

I believe this topic can provide genuinely stimulating discussion, but that's providing that people play nice and don't simply dig in their heels and attempt to undermine the credibility of anybody who disagrees with them. It's also providing that people don't assume that something fundamentally just cannot be. That level of certainty is the end of productive argument.


Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:01 am
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
The medium is important, but never as important as the message. I am also fine with films going completely digital, as long as they're watchable in the most important way.


Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:44 pm
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
Ragnarok73 wrote:
The medium is important, but never as important as the message.
I'm a proponent that they're one and the same. Imma get all metaphorical on this:

Imagine that the medium is a Boca Burger. (Put a slice of cheese on it if you want. I recommend provolone or muenster.) The Boca Burger is transmitting the sum total of all the nutrients contained within--gluten, soy protein, and so on. Prepared such as they are, all those constituent particles--the content, or the message--come together in the form (i.e. the medium) of the Boca Burger.

If the message is the combined preparation of all those constituent parts that make up a Boca Burger... then is that not essentially a Boca Burger, full stop? Aren't the Boca Burger as form and the Boca Burger as content simply two different ways of thinking about the same thing?

Movies, as we know them, are changed forever. Perhaps, at a glance, the change isn't necessarily noticeable, but the gradual transition to digital has morphed the identity of movies. I personally don't view this to be a good thing or a bad thing. It's simply another signpost on the evolutionary journey from point A (movies as codified by Welles, Renoir, and company) to point B (new media?) and beyond.

I'm definitely interested in seeing where it's all going. I think one of the things digital promises is more democracy in filmmaking. The tech will become more and more widely available, for less and less money.

And, assuming SOPA and PIPA don't fuck our shit up, the Internet is and will continue to be a viable marketplace for new ideas, unencumbered by the industry. Assuming they do fuck our shit up, it will be to our great misfortune. These plutocratic lumps of legislation could end up having more to say about the future of movies than digital filmmaking can hope to have. SOPA and PIPA are essentially the industry's way of clinging to a monopoly on the ability to distribute entertainment for as long as possible.


Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:11 pm
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
Ken wrote:
Movies, as we know them, are changed forever. Perhaps, at a glance, the change isn't necessarily noticeable, but the gradual transition to digital has morphed the identity of movies. I personally don't view this to be a good thing or a bad thing. It's simply another signpost on the evolutionary journey from point A (movies as codified by Welles, Renoir, and company) to point B (new media?) and beyond.


In other words, you have no real love for movies, as we currently know them. You are anxious for them to change. Movies haven't changed since Griffith, it's just that more and more stuff shows that's anti-cinema to the point where some people cannot, or choose not to tell the difference. But that doesn't really matter, because traditional movies will always be made. Will they always be as popular as they are now? Maybe not. But as long as their are people who actually have passion for movies, they will always be made.

Ken wrote:
I think one of the things digital promises is more democracy in filmmaking. The tech will become more and more widely available, for less and less money.


But that won't produce a greater quantity of talent. There will be just as many quality directors as there always have been at any given time; only difference is that we may have more crap to sift through. Personally, I think your theory is a possibility that will ultimately be defeated. It's true, there's lots of hacks who want to make movies, but fewer audiences who actually have patience for the movies they make. People want good stuff, and it will always be up to a select few to provide them with it.


Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:26 am
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
MGamesCook wrote:
In other words, you have no real love for movies, as we currently know them. You are anxious for them to change.
I have no idea why I ever took you off ignore.


Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:48 am
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
Ken wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
In other words, you have no real love for movies, as we currently know them. You are anxious for them to change.
I have no idea why I ever took you off ignore.


You just don't get it. You just don't understand that ideas can offend in and of themselves whether they're presented harshly or cordially.


Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:37 am
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
MGamesCook wrote:
You just don't get it.


:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

MGamesCook wrote:
You just don't understand that ideas can offend in and of themselves whether they're presented harshly or cordially.


Everyone understands this. Please. You choose to offer your ideas in the harshest, most dismissive, most childishly pompous way possible nearly when your ideas don't warrant such an approach.

Again, you're right: some ideas are offensive in and of themselves. We all get that. But your ideas don't fall into that category, you just choose to present them harshly, and that doesn't make them offensive, it just makes your conversational approach offensive.


Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:48 am
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
Ken wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
The medium is important, but never as important as the message.
I'm a proponent that they're one and the same. Imma get all metaphorical on this:

Imagine that the medium is a Boca Burger. (Put a slice of cheese on it if you want. I recommend provolone or muenster.) The Boca Burger is transmitting the sum total of all the nutrients contained within--gluten, soy protein, and so on. Prepared such as they are, all those constituent particles--the content, or the message--come together in the form (i.e. the medium) of the Boca Burger.

If the message is the combined preparation of all those constituent parts that make up a Boca Burger... then is that not essentially a Boca Burger, full stop? Aren't the Boca Burger as form and the Boca Burger as content simply two different ways of thinking about the same thing?

Movies, as we know them, are changed forever. Perhaps, at a glance, the change isn't necessarily noticeable, but the gradual transition to digital has morphed the identity of movies. I personally don't view this to be a good thing or a bad thing. It's simply another signpost on the evolutionary journey from point A (movies as codified by Welles, Renoir, and company) to point B (new media?) and beyond.

I'm definitely interested in seeing where it's all going. I think one of the things digital promises is more democracy in filmmaking. The tech will become more and more widely available, for less and less money.

And, assuming SOPA and PIPA don't fuck our shit up, the Internet is and will continue to be a viable marketplace for new ideas, unencumbered by the industry. Assuming they do fuck our shit up, it will be to our great misfortune. These plutocratic lumps of legislation could end up having more to say about the future of movies than digital filmmaking can hope to have. SOPA and PIPA are essentially the industry's way of clinging to a monopoly on the ability to distribute entertainment for as long as possible.

I'll clarify a bit: I don't care as much about what medium a film is presented in as I do about how good I feel the film is. Case in point: bringing the Star Wars prequel films into the 3-D format in theaters starting this coming year. Will they look good? Of course. Would I still watch them again? Hell no. Crap put into a shiny packaging is still crap.


Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:21 pm
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
Quote:
Again, you're right: some ideas are offensive in and of themselves. We all get that. But your ideas don't fall into that category, you just choose to present them harshly, and that doesn't make them offensive, it just makes your conversational approach offensive.


I understand, and I could definitely improve in that capacity. But I wasn't suggesting that my ideas were offensive; your ideas and those of others are sometimes offensive, which is what leads me to respond harshly. "Movies are changed forever," "more democracy in filmmaking." Even if I'm a lot ruder than anyone else, I'm not the only one making sweeping, outlandish statements. I don't have a problem with harsh ideas as long as you're able to defend them and to take harsh criticism for them. I think personally, I've lived up to that pretty well. I've never said anything that I wasn't prepared to defend.


Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:29 pm
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
MGamesCook wrote:
your ideas and those of others are sometimes offensive, which is what leads me to respond harshly.


What ideas of mine are offensive, and what about them forces you to respond in anger?

Is it offensive that I liked Drive? That I don't worship at the throne of Spielberg? That I don't think Adam Sandler is worthwhile? What exactly are my offensive ideas?


Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:08 pm
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
Shade wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
your ideas and those of others are sometimes offensive, which is what leads me to respond harshly.


What ideas of mine are offensive, and what about them forces you to respond in anger?

Is it offensive that I liked Drive? That I don't worship at the throne of Spielberg? That I don't think Adam Sandler is worthwhile? What exactly are my offensive ideas?


I was making a generalization about forum members in general. But here's what not offensive: defending a personal idea with honest emotion to back it up. If you really care about an opinion, then harsh defense should not be frowned upon. Disagreeing is fine, but it's important that people understand different perspectives without dismissing them as "trollish." Using the label of troll is easy. Turning an opinion over in your brain until you see its point of view? That's harder. You don't have to agree that Spielberg is the best, but you should at least understand why he's been labeled as such by some, and not try to simplify the reasons. For me, it's just a question of understanding two perspectives, then realizing which one is deeper and more meaningful.

For example, I don't even need to turn on my brain to understand why people like The Artist. Critics are impressed with a silent film in 2011; simple as that. Why do people like Drive? Because it appears to be iconoclastic; simple as that. Seeing why Hugo is far below the level of Tintin? That's harder, and it takes a deeper level of recognition and reasoning (though for casual viewers it's a simple matter of entertainment). I don't take offense at the opinions of others. But I would like to see people understand that White's opinions, and sometimes my own, come from a deeper level of thinking and understanding than many other critics choose to explore. No one can be forced to explore this deeper level, but they should at least acknowledge that it's there.


Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:54 pm
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
MGamesCook wrote:
But I would like to see people understand that White's opinions, and sometimes my own, come from a deeper level of thinking and understanding than many other critics choose to explore. No one can be forced to explore this deeper level, but they should at least acknowledge that it's there.


You know, you're going to catch some hell for writing that but I'm in some kind of agreement with you. I haven't seen Hugo or The Artist -- I'm interested and believe they both look good -- but there are few things more insufferable than watching a gimmick get confused for anything other than gimmickry. Whether we agree on the quality of those films remains to be seen but there have been cinematic frauds (Dancer in the Dark, for example) that have gotten praise for the very thing that makes them hideous.


Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:19 pm
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