Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:16 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 41 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Admiring the "wrong" characters. 
Author Message
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Admiring the "wrong" characters.
Alan Moore doesn't hate Watchmen, per se, but it's entirely possible to read his interviews and sense that he resents certain things about its success--number one being that he intended Rorschach as a reprehensible, repugnant character, and many fans ended up embracing Rorschach as the coolest character in the cast. Many new superheroes developed in the wake of Watchmen were clearly patterned after Rorschach's violent streak and inflexible worldview in an effort to replicate his appeal.

Fast-forward to Fight Club, which satirizes masculine interaction and the corporatization of modern life. Whatever the message of Fight Club is, Chuck Palahniuk (spelled it right on the first try!) was not simply writing a story about cool characters who start a basement wrestling club. Yet, for a subset of particularly impressionable people, it seems that was their takeaway. Real-life fight clubs started popping up around the country.

Fast-forward to the Wolf Of Wall Street, which has induced much debate about whether or not the movie leads viewers to admire the financial crimes, womanizing, and drug abuse of its lead characters.

I suppose my point is this: the world is full of different kinds of people--enough that there's somebody out there to identify with any character you can think of, no matter how bizarre or disturbing that character is.

Given this, do storytellers have a social responsibility to seed their stories with clear markers that indicate which characters are supposed to be seen as good and which ones are not? (Could be as subtle as devoting screen time to the victims of mafia crimes, or as obvious as a character who shouts "Kill the heroes!") Are they responsible if, for example, their story about an underground fight club causes an outbreak of the real thing? Do movies have a duty to steer people away from the wrong choice?

_________________
The temptation is to like what you should like--not what you do like... another temptation is to come up with an interesting reason for liking it that may not actually be the reason you like it.


Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:31 pm
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:04 am
Posts: 2469
Location: Lancashire, England.
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
Fight Club is a good example.

For my money, it's so well executed and acted that it becomes cool almost by accident.

_________________
... because I'm a wild animal


Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:53 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 929
Location: New Zealand
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
It's hard to not to sympathise with the goals of Durden. Resetting credit for all debt slaves seems a noble cause (more so than an evil one at any rate) to me. Further there is nothing inherently good about banks generally, which are purely parasitic by their very nature - skimming from both sides of every trade.


Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:20 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:37 am
Posts: 1046
Location: Laurel, MD
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
I don't think so. You can depict all sorts of illegal/immoral activity without actually condoning it, as THE WOLF OF WALL STREET and FIGHT CLUB showed us. I wouldn't touch quaaludes because I'm afraid of the mind-altering effects of it, and anything liberating about bare-knuckled boxing is far outweighed by the potential injury.

This really isn't much different from the bullshit that came out post-Columbine where people blamed The Matrix and video games for real-life tragedies.

Even JACKASS, with its abundantly clear skull-and-crossbones warning, couldn't even stop imitators.

_________________
https://www.facebook.com/ken.rossman.5


Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:23 pm
Profile
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3584
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
Natural Born Killers supposedly lead to a bunch of copycat crimes, though correlization is not causation, so there's no way to hell if those crimes wouldn't have happened had the movie not been made.

Sometimes I do find myself rooting for characters that I shouldn't, like with Hard Candy I couldn't help but root for Ellen Page's character even though that wasn't the directors intention.

I would disagree that banks are inherently evil, at least not all of them. People need banks, though I won't argue that the bigger ones like Bank Of America go way too far.

With Fight Club, Tyler's minions essentially end up trading one form of servitude for another, sure they may not belong to the 9-to-5 rat race anymore, but they are doing everything Tyler tells them without question.


Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:33 pm
Profile
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1709
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
Surprised to hear Alan Moore stating that about Rorschach, I always saw him as having a core of decency. I do think that was a danger with the Joker though. I do appreciate the more moralistic films, but sometimes morality is relative. I don't admire Stallone's character in Bullet to the Head, but part of the point of the movie is to show that within the context of the narrative, he has his own warped sense of right and wrong. I always though Rorschach served a similar purpose.


Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:09 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:22 pm
Posts: 766
Location: Hobart Australia
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
Ken wrote:
Alan Moore doesn't hate Watchmen, per se, but it's entirely possible to read his interviews and sense that he resents certain things about its success--number one being that he intended Rorschach as a reprehensible, repugnant character, and many fans ended up embracing Rorschach as the coolest character in the cast. Many new superheroes developed in the wake of Watchmen were clearly patterned after Rorschach's violent streak and inflexible worldview in an effort to replicate his appeal.

Fast-forward to Fight Club, which satirizes masculine interaction and the corporatization of modern life. Whatever the message of Fight Club is, Chuck Palahniuk (spelled it right on the first try!) was not simply writing a story about cool characters who start a basement wrestling club. Yet, for a subset of particularly impressionable people, it seems that was their takeaway. Real-life fight clubs started popping up around the country.

Fast-forward to the Wolf Of Wall Street, which has induced much debate about whether or not the movie leads viewers to admire the financial crimes, womanizing, and drug abuse of its lead characters.

I suppose my point is this: the world is full of different kinds of people--enough that there's somebody out there to identify with any character you can think of, no matter how bizarre or disturbing that character is.

Given this, do storytellers have a social responsibility to seed their stories with clear markers that indicate which characters are supposed to be seen as good and which ones are not? (Could be as subtle as devoting screen time to the victims of mafia crimes, or as obvious as a character who shouts "Kill the heroes!") Are they responsible if, for example, their story about an underground fight club causes an outbreak of the real thing? Do movies have a duty to steer people away from the wrong choice?


I do not think film makers should be imposed to have social responsibility and the only regulation should be who are allow to see their films: All family, Parental guidance or only adults. Films are only to make money and interesting enough those controversial examples that you bring in , they did not make much

Watchmen (2009) did not even break even (double their production budget)
and the same for Fight Club and Wolf of Wall Street has not broken even yet (although looks that could be the only one who will)

One interesting thing that these controversial film brings is that make people to talk about them in some depth and that is good. However, if you want to really talk seriously about banks or Wall Street then better read "non fiction" books or find good documentaries because films like "Fight Club" or "The Wolf of Wall Street" are not going to help much.

I personally go to the movies to be entertained . Now, If at the same time, a film besides entertain me make me think about a particular issue after I leave the Cinema well that's a bonus

_________________
The pen is truly mightier than the sword
The Joker (Batman - 1989)


Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:15 pm
Profile WWW
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
MGamesCook wrote:
Surprised to hear Alan Moore stating that about Rorschach, I always saw him as having a core of decency. I do think that was a danger with the Joker though. I do appreciate the more moralistic films, but sometimes morality is relative. I don't admire Stallone's character in Bullet to the Head, but part of the point of the movie is to show that within the context of the narrative, he has his own warped sense of right and wrong. I always though Rorschach served a similar purpose.

Moore's argument wasn't necessarily that people are supposed to sympathize or not sympathize with any particular character, but that the characters should be seen for what they are: screwed-up people who don't deserve to be placed on a pedestal. Rorschach in particular has a very definite moral core, which he pursues with psychopathic single-mindedness.

In my observation, Moore seems to sympathize most with Dan and Laurie, who are more or less regular people compared to the rest. Particularly Dan, whose motivation for the superhero thing is partly out of the pure and simple coolness of being a superhero. Hollis Mason as well, who's the only character who doesn't appear to have any particular psychological problems and just loves the adventure of it.

_________________
The temptation is to like what you should like--not what you do like... another temptation is to come up with an interesting reason for liking it that may not actually be the reason you like it.


Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:35 pm
Profile
Producer

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:04 am
Posts: 2188
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
I don't understand how anyone can see Fight Club and thinks that looks cool. The lead character, played by Edward Norton, is clearly pretty messed up.


Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:59 am
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:29 am
Posts: 339
Location: Watertown, SD
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
Well some of Tyler's quotes have become close to life mantras for me. There's clearly things to admire in the man.

_________________
https://twitter.com/Steven_Renner23


Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:44 pm
Profile WWW
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 2085
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
ilovemovies wrote:
I don't understand how anyone can see Fight Club and thinks that looks cool. The lead character, played by Edward Norton, is clearly pretty messed up.


And Rorschach is as thoroughly messed up as a human can be, and is a miserable human being. Fans may think he's cool, and he has an admirable streak, but who on Earth would want to be Rorschach?

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:52 pm
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 2085
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
I was watching The Goonies and found myself rooting for the villains. I don't think that was the intention.

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:04 pm
Profile
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1709
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
Steven wrote:
Well some of Tyler's quotes have become close to life mantras for me. There's clearly things to admire in the man.


What man? He's a figment of a shizophrenic's imagination. Even if he were more than that, he'd still only be a character in the movie. This is an example of a viewer taking a movie more seriously and literally than it takes itself. THAT's the problem I see in all these cases. It's the viewers who are being irresponsible, not the filmmakers. That's a big part of what Alan Moore has said on numerous occasions, and I think he's absolutely right. People treating these characters as seriously as if they were real people instead of as facets of a piece of artwork, which is all they really are. That's exactly the opposite of the correct way to treat narrative art.

The representation of Belfort in Wolf of Wall Street isn't real either, nor is Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave. They're fictional representations, but it seems like people are treating them more seriously than that.


Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:21 am
Profile
Assistant Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:56 pm
Posts: 189
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
MGamesCook wrote:
Steven wrote:
Well some of Tyler's quotes have become close to life mantras for me. There's clearly things to admire in the man.


What man? He's a figment of a shizophrenic's imagination. Even if he were more than that, he'd still only be a character in the movie. This is an example of a viewer taking a movie more seriously and literally than it takes itself. THAT's the problem I see in all these cases. It's the viewers who are being irresponsible, not the filmmakers. That's a big part of what Alan Moore has said on numerous occasions, and I think he's absolutely right. People treating these characters as seriously as if they were real people instead of as facets of a piece of artwork, which is all they really are. That's exactly the opposite of the correct way to treat narrative art.

The representation of Belfort in Wolf of Wall Street isn't real either, nor is Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave. They're fictional representations, but it seems like people are treating them more seriously than that.


Take a pill dude, the person taking this too seriously is you. I'm not sure based on some of your writings how art affects you but some people find things to pull out of it that they can apply to their lives. Not to mention I don't believe Stephen in his one sentence ever mentioned starting a fight club or being the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.

_________________
Never take a forum signature too seriously, even this one.


Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:29 am
Profile
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1709
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
JJoshay wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Steven wrote:
Well some of Tyler's quotes have become close to life mantras for me. There's clearly things to admire in the man.


What man? He's a figment of a shizophrenic's imagination. Even if he were more than that, he'd still only be a character in the movie. This is an example of a viewer taking a movie more seriously and literally than it takes itself. THAT's the problem I see in all these cases. It's the viewers who are being irresponsible, not the filmmakers. That's a big part of what Alan Moore has said on numerous occasions, and I think he's absolutely right. People treating these characters as seriously as if they were real people instead of as facets of a piece of artwork, which is all they really are. That's exactly the opposite of the correct way to treat narrative art.

The representation of Belfort in Wolf of Wall Street isn't real either, nor is Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave. They're fictional representations, but it seems like people are treating them more seriously than that.


Take a pill dude, the person taking this too seriously is you. I'm not sure based on some of your writings how art affects you but some people find things to pull out of it that they can apply to their lives. Not to mention I don't believe Stephen in his one sentence ever mentioned starting a fight club or being the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.


I didn't say he did Josh, maybe you're the one who needs a pill here.


Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:35 am
Profile
Second Unit Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:07 pm
Posts: 377
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
MGamesCook wrote:
Steven wrote:
Well some of Tyler's quotes have become close to life mantras for me. There's clearly things to admire in the man.


What man? He's a figment of a shizophrenic's imagination. Even if he were more than that, he'd still only be a character in the movie. This is an example of a viewer taking a movie more seriously and literally than it takes itself. THAT's the problem I see in all these cases. It's the viewers who are being irresponsible, not the filmmakers. That's a big part of what Alan Moore has said on numerous occasions, and I think he's absolutely right. People treating these characters as seriously as if they were real people instead of as facets of a piece of artwork, which is all they really are. That's exactly the opposite of the correct way to treat narrative art.

The representation of Belfort in Wolf of Wall Street isn't real either, nor is Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave. They're fictional representations, but it seems like people are treating them more seriously than that.


Well, Leo's Belfort is my hero. He is a true bro.


Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:43 am
Profile
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1709
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
Quote:
Well, Leo's Belfort is my hero. He is a true bro.


He ain't much like any of the bros I knew in college.


Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:54 am
Profile
Assistant Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:56 pm
Posts: 189
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
Well, Leo's Belfort is my hero. He is a true bro.


He ain't much like any of the bros I knew in college.


The bros I know don't quite have the ambition or the brains, and they usually can't make it through half a bottle of Bacardi without getting sloppy let alone Belfort's daily regimen. Also, it sounds a bit disingenuous or just plain distasteful claiming a hero from a cinematic characterization of a man that depicts said man beating his wife and endangering his daughter while driving coked off his ass. Real bro status. That'll sound good over cigars someday. Despite some of your more intriguing tastes in movies and additions to discussion here, your insistence on seemingly purposely missing the entire point of The Wolf of Wall Street has grown tiresome. Either go snort coke out of a hookers ass and betray/demonize/lose the confidence of everyone you know and care about so you have some place to talk from or stop berating us with your bad taste in human character traits.

_________________
Never take a forum signature too seriously, even this one.


Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:43 am
Profile
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1709
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
In case anyone wants to know, cocaine and other hard substances are absolutely not typical of college frat bros. Marijuana was heavily frowned upon in my frat, only about 10-15% of members indulged in it. Everyone else never went past alcohol. Being in a frat is all about alcohol. No cocaine, no quaaludes.


Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:51 am
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:09 pm
Posts: 1290
Post Re: Admiring the "wrong" characters.
Syd Henderson wrote:
I was watching The Goonies and found myself rooting for the villains. I don't think that was the intention.

:?

How could you not love Chunk? :P Granted, Robert Davi's character is quite charming... and Anne Ramsey has some of the best lines in the film ("Follow them size fives!" "We're getting closer to those kids; I can smell their bubblegum!" 8-) ).


Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:36 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 41 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr