Asylum Forums Pages (3): [1] 2 3 »
Show all 56 posts from this thread on one page

Asylum Forums (http://asylumnation.com/asylum/index.php)
- Sensory Overload (http://asylumnation.com/asylum/forumdisplay.php?forumid=6)
-- The trouble with Critics (http://asylumnation.com/asylum/showthread.php?threadid=24672)


Posted by pj on 07-12-2002 11:09 AM:

The trouble with Critics

quote:
Originally posted by Indigo
I think i hated it so vehemently because i was in the mood for a REALLY GOOD movie and the reviews I'd read had been obscenely good. Moreover, it seemed a good concept that failed to deliver.

I was angry at the film's failure to meet my expectations.



How many times have you read a review that hyped up a film so much you had to go see it, and then you left the film feeling like you had been cheated out of your money?

yes well a lesson to you all, most professional critics are bought off. You should already know this, but if you don't i am telling you that they are. Where did i hear this? From a professional critic named Peter Matthews who writes for the serious film Magazine Sight and Sound. Some critics may indeed like the films they give good reviews, but if that film is a studios big blockbuster for the summer then chances are it will get a favourable review. The only way to avoid getting screwed over by critics is to buy a serious review magazine that has no real ties to the Studios. I am not sure which magazine that might be in the States, although Pauline Kael used to write for the New Yorker (of course now she is dead) and she was very outspoken, so that might be a good one to read. For limeys i suggest the aforementioned Sight and Sound as it is a much more academic minded magazine which focuses or film and directors, and not stars. Of course if you like film gossip then his will not fulfil your needs. for film gossip you have to buy a corrupted magazine such as Empire or Total Film.

Finally tabloid critics are generally the worst, they are normally hired for writing style, and not their filmic knowledge, and they usually have alimit of about 70-90 words per blurb (they do not really review). Remember ladies and gentleman ( does anyone here qualify as a lady or a gentleman? and i include myself in that) Film is all about money, with one exception. Independent films.
__________________

Whatever.


Posted by Smug Git on 07-12-2002 11:16 AM:

Yeah, the tabloid critics are hilarious; they will call anything good if their paper can ride the merchandising/publicity wave (Independence Day, Godzilla, crap like that). You might as well ask McDonalds for a review of the film that for which they are giving away merchandised toys.

Independent films still need to pay their way, even if it is with state arts cash (which I don't much like), but they certainly aren't driven so far by the lowest common popcorn munching denominator; part of this must be that they cost less to make so need to sell less tickets, presumably? The now defunct (or at least heading that way) FilmFour made some good stuff (like 'Brassed Off', that I wrote about in another thread), although they are going bust too (and are not independent in the sense that you mean as they are, after all, a large production company by UK standards).

__________________

I want to live and I want to love
I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of


Posted by pj on 07-12-2002 11:38 AM:

quote:
Originally posted by Smug Git


Independent films still need to pay their way, even if it is with state arts cash (which I don't much like), but they certainly aren't driven so far by the lowest common popcorn munching denominator; part of this must be that they cost less to make so need to sell less tickets, presumably?



Exactamundo!!!

i have always wanted to say that, i have no idea why.

the independent films i am talking about are filmed on shoestring budgets and the expectations for these films is minimal so that gives the creators of the production to be more outgoing and more artistic/creative(same th8ing?) license.

Channel Four generally work with another film company to fund productions, but they have produced some of the best films of the last ten years or so.


Posted by Smug Git on 07-12-2002 11:41 AM:

I know someone who works for FilmFour (probably redundant now) and it looks rather gloomy for them. Shame, really.

__________________

I want to live and I want to love
I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of


Posted by The Buried Life on 07-12-2002 03:44 PM:

Re: The trouble with Critics

A few things...

quote:
Originally posted by pj

Some critics may indeed like the films they give good reviews, but if that film is a studios big blockbuster for the summer then chances are it will get a favourable review.




You know, I've never actually seen it that way. Sure, utter crap does get some praise because the critics are paid off. but I rarely ever see any of the real big name Critics that anyone actually listens to praise it...

It has been my experience that critics tend to lavish and praise artsy-fartsy drama flicks. Hell, I was more disappointed in the praise for A Beautiful Mind (Good, but very over rated, IMO) than any other film.

As for them praising the "Imminant Summer Blockbuster", I recall nothing about Pearl Harbor being a critics choice last year....

quote:
Film is all about money, with one exception. Independent films.



That's just a crock of shit, really. I enjoy independent films, but I don't pretend their shit doesn't stink. Just because it cost less to make an independent film (and thus easier to make a profit) doesn't mean they're less interested in the money...


Posted by pj on 07-12-2002 04:17 PM:

Re: Re: The trouble with Critics

quote:
Originally posted by The Buried Life
A few things...




You know, I've never actually seen it that way. Sure, utter crap does get some praise because the critics are paid off. but I rarely ever see any of the real big name Critics that anyone actually listens to praise it...
a big name critic please? who are big name critics?


quote:
Originally posted by The Buried Life
It has been my experience that critics tend to lavish and praise artsy-fartsy drama flicks. Hell, I was more disappointed in the praise for A Beautiful Mind (Good, but very over rated, IMO) than any other film.

As for them praising the "Imminant Summer Blockbuster", I recall nothing about Pearl Harbor being a critics choice last year....
]
i did not say every Blockbuster would get a good review, i said it was more likely. please pay more attention to what i write as opposed to what you think i write.

quote:
Originally posted by The Buried Life

That's just a crock of shit, really. I enjoy independent films, but I don't pretend their shit doesn't stink. Just because it cost less to make an independent film (and thus easier to make a profit) doesn't mean they're less interested in the money...

where did i say they were brilliant? where did i say that they dont get bad review or good reviews? I didnt, i said the reviews they get are not biased by big money, its more likely to recieve an honest review.


Posted by The Buried Life on 07-12-2002 04:54 PM:

Re: Re: Re: The trouble with Critics

quote:
Originally posted by pj
a big name critic please? who are big name critics?
[/B]


In other words, Ebert and Roeper or (to a lesser extent) Joel Siegel...


In other words, the shitty movies that do seem to get some praise tend to be from people like Joe Blow from Good Morning Fargo or some shit...

quote:

i did not say every Blockbuster would get a good review, i said it was more likely. please pay more attention to what i write as opposed to what you think i write.




... avd even then, I rarely see any Summer movies that have received any favorable review for the past few years.... So even if they're "more likely" to get a good review, they still don't...

quote:
where did i say they were brilliant? where did i say that they dont get bad review or good reviews? I didnt, i said the reviews they get are not biased by big money, its more likely to recieve an honest review.


Well, you didn't really clarify that. You just made it seem like Independent films are only about the Art, Love, and all that other bullshit of making Movies...


Posted by pj on 07-13-2002 12:14 AM:

Re: Re: Re: Re: The trouble with Critics

quote:
Originally posted by The Buried Life


In other words, Ebert and Roeper or (to a lesser extent) Joel Siegel...

you consider those guys to be serious reviewers? hmmm

quote:
Originally posted by The Buried Life

In other words, the shitty movies that do seem to get some praise tend to be from people like Joe Blow from Good Morning Fargo or some shit...

are you saying that that Fargo is a shitty movie?



quote:
Originally posted by The Buried Life

... avd even then, I rarely see any Summer movies that have received any favorable review for the past few years.... So even if they're "more likely" to get a good review, they still don't...

ok, Minority Report got good reviews, American Beauty got good reviews, Shrek got good reviews, shitloads of films that are big got good reviews. do you want me to go back over the history of all film to weed out all the films that got good reviews that should have got good reviews? cos i won't. Reviewing is subjective, And of course im English so im going on what i know about things here mainly.

quote:
Originally posted by The Buried Life

Well, you didn't really clarify that. You just made it seem like Independent films are only about the Art, Love, and all that other bullshit of making Movies...

you obviously don't read things properly. the last sentence or so was about money fuelling Hollywood. i will type it here again.

'Remember ladies and gentleman ( does anyone here qualify as a lady or a gentleman? and i include myself in that) Film is all about money, with one exception. Independent films.'

ok now how can you misunderstand that? i say all film is about money, the only exception is indie films which are about making films. and before you go slating all indie films, let me tell you that Clerks is an indie film, Swingers is an indie film, Ginger snaps was effectively an arthouse film and that is a bloody horror movie. you obviously know sweet F.A. about independent film. come back when you have watched these films and you can tell me who made Battleship Potempkin, La Haine, Sunrise, Festen, Read My Lips, The Shawshank Redemption (everyone has seen this), and THX1138. Maybe then you will have expanded your limited film repetoire, that is of course if you could be bothered to watch them.

right now you appear incredibly ignorant about film in general.


Posted by The Buried Life on 07-13-2002 12:37 AM:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The trouble with Critics

quote:
Originally posted by pj

are you saying that that Fargo is a shitty movie?




*shakes head in shame*

So I'm the one who lacks reading coprehension? Go read it again.....

ok, Minority Report got good reviews, American Beauty got good reviews, Shrek got good reviews, shitloads of films that are big got good reviews.

I personally liked American Beauty... And, as I recall, it wasn't that big of a film, either. I recall quite a bit of people wondering what the hell it was after it won all those Oscars.....

As for Shrek and Minority Report (which I haven't seen), regardless of whether or not they got good reviews, would you really expect either of the to bomb? SHrek is an animated movie (which tend to garner quite a bit of sales.) and MR was an action ovie released in the summer. Both had the right ingredients to a Blockbuster, regardless of quality......

Like I said before, Pearl Harbour wasn't exactly a critic's darling, yet it still grossed nearly 200 mill...

you obviously don't read things properly. the last sentence or so was about money fuelling Hollywood. i will type it here again.

'Remember ladies and gentleman ( does anyone here qualify as a lady or a gentleman? and i include myself in that) Film is all about money, with one exception. Independent films.'



I already commented on your reading comprehension, so I won't go into that again. Thank you for getting "More Indie Than Thou" on me, though... I always love that mentality.

ok now how can you misunderstand that? i say all film is about money, the only exception is indie films which are about making films.

Well, apparently, I got it right the first time when I called bullshit on that statement. If you honestly think that Independent film makers are in the biz solely for the love of making movies, you're only fooling yourself. God, how I hate that Indier-than-thou attitude...

right now you appear incredibly ignorant about film in general.

And right now, I think you're a hypocrite. If you don't like Hollywood, fine. Just don't act as though the Independent circuit's shit doesn't stink. Don't scold Hollywood for one thing and turn a blind eye when the Independent Circuit does the same...


Posted by CHiPsJr on 07-13-2002 01:01 AM:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The trouble with Critics

quote:
Originally posted by pj
you consider those guys to be serious reviewers? hmmm
...
right now you appear incredibly ignorant about film in general.



I can't let this pass.

Roger Ebert, who has won two Pulitzers for film criticism, has seen something in the neighborhood of ten thousand movies. I have often disagreed with his judgments, but I have yet to see him write a review that didn't include a consistent, coherent reason as to why he judged the film the way he did. And, like most reputable critics (say, James Giardelli as opposed to Jeff Craig), he tends to give both positive and negative reviews to films from all makers...independent, major studio, what have you. I've seen him give four stars to blockbuster summer flicks, and also half a star. I've seen him give four stars to indies and foreign films; also, no stars.

The man ain't for sale to ANYBODY, and he is as serious and respected a film critic as exists in the western world. The fact that he happens to have a television show doesn't do a thing to reduce his credibility.

I wish to god that pj, who is so bloody willing to call other viewers "incredibly ignorant", could go toe-to-toe with Ebert on overall knowledge of the filmmaking process and film history. It would be an astonishing and embarrassing spectacle.

I also wish pj would give some thought to reading the reviewers he condemns before condemning them.


Posted by DevilMoon on 07-13-2002 01:18 AM:

wtf does sweet fa mean anyway (other than a love and rockets cd title)

sweet fuck all I am guessing


Posted by The Buried Life on 07-13-2002 01:31 AM:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The trouble with Critics

quote:
Originally posted by CHiPsJr


I can't let this pass.



here here! I forgot to defend Ebert...

Granted, he has made some questionable reviews for some movies, but overall, he'll generally give a movie the review it deserves. If it deserves 4 stars, he'll ost likely give the same rating. If it's pure, utter shit, he'll usually catch it.


And, as Chips said, his scope isn't limited to just Hollywood flicks. I've read many reviews on independent, foreign, and animated (not just Disney) films. The man is definately a reliable source.


Posted by pj on 07-13-2002 02:31 AM:

hehehehe

where exactly did i insult Ebert? Please show me.

There are lots of people who have seen over ten thousand films, and i bet that David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson could match him toe-to-toe for filmic knowledge. Kim Newman could also give him a run for his money.like i said before (ages ago infact), just because someone does something a lot, it does not nessarily make them good at it. Quantity is not a factor in quality.

Independent film is free to be innovative without having to worry about whether or not it breaks even, although it always good if a film does. Surreal arthouse films, and dogme 95 films could not care less about the moeny involved and yet some of the best films i have seen have come from the dogme 95 group. i am not anti-hollywood, but i do tire of some of the crap it produces.

to 'theburriedlife' when i say "are you calling fargo a shitty movie?" it is a question, because i did not understand your phrasing and i wanted clarification. it is you who chose to jump the gun.

TBL do you think that Battleship Potempkin was an indie film? how many indie films have you really seen? my point is that you appear to think that all indie film are about love and art, and that is simply not true.

Chips Jnr, i would never engage with a movie critic in a contest over filmic knowledge, they get paid to watch films and review them, i dont, they have been on the planet longer than i and have probaly seen more films than i. to engage with such a person when at such a disadavantage would be folly. However like i said before most critics are under orders to produce favorable reviews for big studios, obviously there is give and take in this, but it does happen, and more often than one thinks. Critiscism is a subjective thing, its all opinion based on personal preference, its hardly science.

oh just to clear things up, to appear something doesnt mean you are something.


Posted by pj on 07-13-2002 02:57 AM:

MINORITY REPORT / **** (PG-13)

June 21, 2002

John Anderton: Tom Cruise
Agatha: Samantha Morton
Director Burgess: Max von Sydow
Danny Witwer: Colin Farrell
Gideon: Tim Blake Nelson
Twentieth Century Fox and Dreamworks Pictures present a film directed by Steven Spielberg. Written by Scott Frank and Jon Cohen. Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. Running time: 145 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for violence, brief language, some sexuality and drug content).


BY ROGER EBERT

At a time when movies think they have to choose between action and ideas, Steven Spielberg's "Minority Report" is a triumph--a film that works on our minds and our emotions. It is a thriller and a human story, a movie of ideas that's also a whodunit. Here is a master filmmaker at the top of his form, working with a star, Tom Cruise, who generates complex human feelings even while playing an action hero.

I complained earlier this summer of awkward joins between live action and CGI; I felt the action sequences in "Spider-Man" looked too cartoonish, and that "Star Wars Episode II," by using computer effects to separate the human actors from the sets and CGI characters, felt disconnected and sterile. Now here is Spielberg using every trick in the book and matching them without seams, so that no matter how he's achieving his effects, the focus is always on the story and the characters.

The movie turns out to be eerily prescient, using the term "pre-crime" to describe stopping crimes before they happen; how could Spielberg have known the government would be using the same term this summer? In his film, inspired by but much expanded from a short story by Philip K. Dick, Tom Cruise is John Anderton, chief of the Department of Pre-Crime in the District of Columbia, where there has not been a murder in six years. Soon, it appears, there will be a murder--committed by Anderton himself.

The year is 2054. Futuristic skyscrapers coexist with the famous Washington monuments and houses from the 19th century. Anderton presides over an operation controlling three "Pre-Cogs," precognitive humans who drift in a flotation tank, their brain waves tapped by computers. They're able to pick up thoughts of premeditated murders and warn the cops, who swoop down and arrest the would-be perpetrators before the killings can take place.

Because this is Washington, any government operation that is high-profile and successful inspires jealousy. Anderton's superior, bureau director Burgess (Max von Sydow) takes pride in him, and shields him from bureaucrats like Danny Witwer (Colin Farrell), from the Justice Department. As the pre-crime strategy prepares to go national, Witwer seems to have doubts about its wisdom--or he is only jealous of its success?

Spielberg establishes these characters in a dazzling future world, created by art director Alex McDowell, that is so filled with details large and small that we stop trying to figure out everything and surrender with a sigh. Some of the details: a computer interface that floats in mid-air, manipulated by Cruise with the gestures of a symphony conductor; advertisements that crawl up the sides of walls and address you personally; cars that whisk around town on magnetic cushions; robotic "spiders" that can search a building in minutes by performing a retinal scan on everyone in it. "Blade Runner," also inspired by a Dick story, shows a future world in decay; "Minority Report" offers a more optimistic preview.

The plot centers on a rare glitch in the visions of the Pre-Cogs. Although "the Pre-Cogs are never wrong," we're told, "sometimes ... they disagree." The dissenting Pre-Cog is said to have filed a minority report, and in the case of Anderton the report is crucial, because otherwise he seems a certain candidate for arrest as a pre-criminal. Of course, if you could outsmart the Pre-Cog system, you would have committed the perfect crime ...

Finding himself the hunted instead of the hunter, Anderton teams up with Agatha (Samantha Morton), one of the Pre-Cogs, who seemed to be trying to warn him of his danger. Because she floats in a fluid tank, Agatha's muscles are weakened (have Pre-Cogs any rights of their own?) and Anderton has to half-drag her as they flee from the pre-crime police. One virtuoso sequence shows her foreseeing the immediate future and advising Anderton about what to do to elude what the cops are going to do next. The choreography, timing and wit of this sequence make it, all by itself, worth the price of admission.

But there are other stunning sequences. Consider a scene where the "spiders" search a rooming house, and Anderton tries to elude capture by immersing himself in a tub of ice water. This sequence begins with an overhead cross-section of the apartment building and several of its inhabitants, and you would swear it has to be done with a computer, but no: This is an actual physical set, and the elegant camera moves were elaborately choreographed. It's typical of Spielberg that, having devised this astonishing sequence, he propels it for dramatic purposes and doesn't simply exploit it to show off his cleverness. And watch the exquisite timing as one of the spiders, on its way out, senses something and pauses in mid-step.

Tom Cruise's Anderton is an example of how a star's power can be used to add more dimension to a character than the screenplay might supply. He compels us to worry about him, and even in implausible action sequences (like falls from dizzying heights) he distracts us by making us care about the logic of the chase, not the possibility of the stunt.

Samantha Morton's character (is "Agatha" a nod to Miss Christie?) has few words and seems exhausted and frightened most of the time, providing an eerie counterpoint for Anderton's man of action. There is poignancy in her helplessness, and Spielberg shows it in a virtuoso two-shot, as she hangs over Anderton's shoulder while their eyes search desperately in opposite directions. This shot has genuine mystery. It has to do with the composition and lighting and timing and breathing, and like the entire movie it furthers the cold, frightening hostility of the world Anderton finds himself in. The cinematographer, Janusz Kaminski, who has worked with Spielberg before (not least on "Schindler's List"), is able to get an effect that's powerful and yet bafflingly simple.

The plot I will avoid discussing in detail. It is as ingenious as any film noir screenplay, and plays fair better than some. It's told with such clarity that we're always sure what Spielberg wants us to think, suspect and know. And although there is a surprise at the end, there is no cheating: The crime story holds water.

American movies are in the midst of a transition period. Some directors place their trust in technology. Spielberg, who is a master of technology, trusts only story and character, and then uses everything else as a workman uses his tools. He makes "Minority Report" with the new technology; other directors seem to be trying to make their movies from it. This film is such a virtuoso high-wire act, daring so much, achieving it with such grace and skill. "Minority Report" reminds us why we go to the movies in the first place.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ok how many people have actually seen Minority report?
How many people actually agree with Eberts review?
How many people can see Ebert waxing lyrical about Spielberg?


Posted by Paint CHiPs on 07-13-2002 07:24 AM:

you consider those guys to be serious reviewers? hmmm

I think you're the one having reading comprehensive (or is that argument cohesion) problems here, pj. In the context of the post, there is pretty much no other way to take that but blatant sarcasm calling into question the capabilities of the people TBL mentioned. Backpeddel all you like.

One of my issues with your opinion of film in general, pj, is that you seem to hold the view (deny it all you like) that only people "cultured" enough (generally academic elite, as you tend to pull credentials an awful lot and like to think yourself a cinematic egghead, which you, btw, are not) should have any opinions on film. You do this with music too ("I don't like his drumming" "You don't know what you're talking about, you're not a drummer"). That, if somebody disagrees with you, you don't agree to disagree, you tend to put your nose in the air and assume the other person must be some sort of lowly ignoramous, because obviously, if they knew anything about film, they would agree with you. That sort of attitude, in anything, bugs me, but especially when it concerns one of the central preoccupations of my life, film.

Of course, much of what you have said is absolutly right. Regarding critics, I'm often astounded that people will read "An edge of your seat thriller! Ben Affleck rocks!" ---WKBM Cincinnatti, and actually be swayed by that. There are no laws in place at all regarding film critics (or book critics, or art critics, or any critics for that matter), they can say whatever they like for whatever motives they so choose. About a year ago there was a bit of an uproar when it was discovered that one studio (Paramount I think), had bypassed the paying off of no-name critics to get good blurbs thing, and just wrote their own blurbs and made up a critic to attribute them to. They had this person writing for some no-name newspaper, and it worked for awhile until somebody who worked at said no-name newspaper started noticing all the blurbs, and thinking "wait a minute, *I'm* the reviewer for this no-name paper, who the hell is this other guy?" The repreccussions that the studio endured? They issued a statement saying "Yeah, our bad on that one." Or even widely known critics like, as Jr mentioned, Jeff Craig, who gets his paychecks from Disney (publically known for anybody who cares to look).

However, I can't say most people, but most people here I would imagine, don't listen to these critics.

While there are no regulations in place to check this (and there probably shouldn't be), a critic lives and dies by his reputation alone. For that reason, nobody knows who the hell WBKM Cincinnati is, but most everybody knows Roger Ebert or whoever. There is a reason for that. And frankly, it isn't very hard to tell a blurb-machine from a real critic, unless you're a complete pinhead.

I mean, you can say you disagree with Ebert's review of Minority Report. That's fine. Now show me how that makes him biased? Or even, a bad critic. Show me, I dare you.

But you're right, many "critics" (usually no-name unheard of blurb machines and not, as you seem to ascertain, big name critics with good reputations), are completely bought off. More people should realize this, yes. But this does not mean that only people who work for academic journals should be trusted, or that, because a bunch of no-names are paid off by studios, that all, or even most, of known critics are. And just because you don't agree with a critic (or a group of "elites" don't), that doesnt' mean there's something wrong with the critic. It just means you don't agree with them.

That's a pretty solid rule of Advice in General. Don't just take it at a whim. If I want to know if a movie is good or not, I don't grab some guy coming out of the theater and say "Hey, was it good?" and respond to him saying "yeah, it was pretty cool," or (more importantly) "no, it sucked" by running over and buying a ticket. Normally, I go to people that I know something about. People that, while I may not agree with them all the time (or even usually), I have a good bead on where they're coming from and what their own criteria are. People I am familiar with and whose opinions, even if not matching up with mine, I can respect or at least understand. And, even if I did pull a random guy off the street, his opinion could be useful, so long as he mentioned what he liked, what he didn't like, what it was like, etc, and then I could filter his subjective opinion through my own.

the ultimate point here, one that maybe you're not aware of pj, is that the most effective critic, to you, is you. Never let the opinions of others rule your perspective. I read critics opinions because I think it's interesting to see other people's perspectives (same reason I'll post threads about movies to see what other people thought). You can't reason me out of whether I liked a movie or not, however. Or whether I should or should not like a particular movie (whatever that means). Generally, I don't read reviews before I see a movie. I like to read them long after. And the blurbs I see on video boxes or movie posters, I rarely pay attention to, and when I do the first thing I look at is who said it, and it will only mean anything to me if that person is someone whose perspectives I have found interesting in the past. And of course, people's whose perspectives are often founded based on their pocketbooks alone, whether I know it are not, are people whose perspectives I usually don't find interesting.

Independent film is free to be innovative without having to worry about whether or not it breaks even, although it always good if a film does. Surreal arthouse films, and dogme 95 films could not care less about the moeny involved and yet some of the best films i have seen have come from the dogme 95 group. i am not anti-hollywood, but i do tire of some of the crap it produces.

That is such a load of horsehit independent film snobbery that it somewhat amazes me. Free to be innovative without worrying about whether or not it breaks even? Could care less about the money involved? What world are you living in? I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you simply worded that poorly.

Assuming you meant what you said, however, you're just flat out wrong. Chances are, unless you are involved in a student film film festival circuit (and even then you can be damn sure the artists there had money on the brain at some point, even if it was wishful thinking), the "independent" movies you see are as mired in money as the big studio productions (well, perhaps not as mired, but certainly knee-deep in it). Most independent films don't get made for pocketchange. Pulp Fiction, for instance, cost over a million to make, and was considered tres independent. Even the scummiest shoestring low budget pictures you uncover and think "man, that's so fucking FRINGE" probably cost at least a couple hundred thou. It is an INCREDIBLY rare thing indeed for a group of investors to gather together and say "well, even if we don't make any money, it's a neat idea". Investing in independent film requires a FIRM belief in the film, and it is always a gamble (and, as with all gambles, is dependent on the belief that you may end up cashing out). Nobody puts in a few hundred thousand dollars and says to themselves "well, that's money wasted because nobody will see it or like it but me, but you know, it's for the art man." They do it because they think "hey, I may be on to something". And I'm not even talking about distrubutors (chances are if you've HEARD of a movie, a not-insignificant amount of money went into making sure you heard of it, so it can make money and so the distrubution company can get their return). Going back to Pulp Fiction, do you think it would have ever gotten the release it did if everybody at Cannes thought it sucked and it didn't have big names in it? The true "independent with no concern for money" films you idealize about are ones you've never seen, because no distrubutor ever picked it up. Why? Because they thought it wouldn't make any money. I hate to break this too you, but even with independent films, they would never get made, and you would never have seen them commercially, if somebody somewhere was not rubbing their palms together thinking "I'm gonna make me some money off of this."

And non-independent films are not all guilty of pure whoring, at least not to a different degree that you seem to paint it as. There have been some masterpieces of non-independent films released in the last 5 years. I read a really interesting article asking the question "Why does Hollywood continue to invest the majority of their money into R rated pictures?" Do you know what movies usually evoke the highest rate of returns? Children's movies. The straight-to-video sequel of Alladin made more than Being John Malkovich American History X combined. of course, the year's box office is almost always ruled by your Harry Potter's and Shrek's and things like that, but even Gordy or Shyloh or Lilo and Stich make INCREDIBLE dough. And yet studios still invest tons of money, not just in the making but in the publicity, distribution, etc, of American Beauties, or Shawshank Redemptions, or Fight Clubs, or what have you. Why? This article suggested that studios look for prestige as much as profits (and of course the two can be interchangable, and the motives behind seeking prestige, as it is in 99% of cases of anybody investing money into anything, is that it will lead them to...you guessed it, more money.) A studio would rather have an American Beauty to their credit than a Gordy. So they take chances. They give people like Spike Jonze free reign (relativly anyway). They take chances on people named M. Night Shyalaman. They invest millions in distributing and marketing little shoestring movies like The Blair Witch Project.

Why do they do this?

They do this because they think "Hey, I could really make some dough with this."

Why do they think this?

Because they also think "This is really, really good."

This line of thinking is interchangable, be it Hollywood or independents.

Anyway, long ramble. I had a few good points in this post that I think probably got lost in the translation.


Posted by raginghobo on 07-13-2002 07:33 AM:

Arranger771: You should weigh in on this thread, once my post goes through.

Okay, Brad.

"Yes."


Posted by urbanjunkie on 07-13-2002 07:37 AM:

at the end of the day, you can't be in the right Paint, because pj is a drummer and a film student, and thus a more superior human being than you.


Posted by DevilMoon on 07-13-2002 10:38 AM:

there are many an art student who have crappy taste in art, that is all I know.


Posted by pj on 07-13-2002 11:51 AM:

quote:
Originally posted by Paint CHiPs
you consider those guys to be serious reviewers? hmmm

I think you're the one having reading comprehensive (or is that argument cohesion) problems here, pj. In the context of the post, there is pretty much no other way to take that but blatant sarcasm calling into question the capabilities of the people TBL mentioned. Backpeddel all you like.

see this is where the internet has its major flaw. Anyone who uses chat will know that I say Ďhmmmí all the bloody time. But of course if you donít know that, then I can see how it might be read as sarcasm.


quote:
Originally posted by Paint CHiPs
One of my issues with your opinion of film in general, pj, is that you seem to hold the view (deny it all you like) that only people "cultured" enough (generally academic elite, as you tend to pull credentials an awful lot and like to think yourself a cinematic egghead, which you, btw, are not) should have any opinions on film. You do this with music too ("I don't like his drumming" "You don't know what you're talking about, you're not a drummer"). That, if somebody disagrees with you, you don't agree to disagree, you tend to put your nose in the air and assume the other person must be some sort of lowly ignoramous, because obviously, if they knew anything about film, they would agree with you. That sort of attitude, in anything, bugs me, but especially when it concerns one of the central preoccupations of my life, film.


See I tried to have this discussion with you in PM weeks ago PC but you didnít seem to be interested. I do not regard myself to be a cinematic egghead. However I do like to have discussion with a person who really knows their subject, which is why I wanted to try and resolve this issue with you before, because you have a passion for film and I wanted to have a discussion with you, without getting into all this. Do I put my nose in the air? Hmmm. On some occasions because there are some people who simply do not know that much about film, and yet still think that they are right when they are fundamentally wrong. I can accept other points of view even when I disagree with them. If I didnít I would never have survived three years of my film degree. I accept that Goatboy thinks that Traffic is a shit movie, even though I think it is a great social commentary. I accept that Phil thinks Fight Club is shit, even though I think if you look at it closely you can see Sept 11th in that film, which makes it interesting. You assume things about me that you donít know, and you donít attempt to get to know me to find out if you are wrong or right. Somethingís I cannot tolerate, such as when people refuse to see things that are blatantly obvious, what I try to do is point out thing to people, but Iím not a literary genius, so some things get lost.

On the drummer issue with music, ok, there are some things that unless you have played the drums you are simply not going to understand the complexity of, simply because you have never played the instrument, and you have no idea how awkward it is to play 15/9 whilst also playing a 4/4 shuffle pattern. This is not a put down; itís just a fact. One can imagine how hard it is, but one cannot really know. So yes I value the opinion of someone who plays the drums more then that of someone who does not. And to the best of my knowledge I think there is only one other drummer at the asylum, Gorilla Biscuit (much as I disagree with him about lots of things musically), has some understanding of drumming simply because of his musical interests, there is another, but I cannot remember their name.

quote:
Originally posted by Paint CHiPs
Of course, much of what you have said is absolutly right.

Why thank you. At least Iím not wrong about everything.

quote:
Originally posted by Paint CHiPs
However, I can't say most people, but most people here I would imagine, don't listen to these critics.
but isnít that an assumption?


quote:
Originally posted by Paint CHiPs

I mean, you can say you disagree with Ebert's review of Minority Report. That's fine. Now show me how that makes him biased? Or even, a bad critic. Show me, I dare you.

I never said he was a bad critic, to be perfectly honest Ebert isnít that known outside of America. I am more familiar with the likes of Alexander Walker, Kim Newman, Mark Kermode, and the guy who writes for the Guardian who name illudes me at this time. What I would say about Ebert is that his review for Minority Report heaps praise upon Spielberg like he is the second coming. Tell me, was the review for AI as complimentary ?

quote:
Originally posted by Paint CHiPs
But you're right, many "critics" (usually no-name unheard of blurb machines and not, as you seem to ascertain, big name critics with good reputations), are completely bought off. More people should realize this, yes. But this does not mean that only people who work for academic journals should be trusted, or that, because a bunch of no-names are paid off by studios, that all, or even most, of known critics are. And just because you don't agree with a critic (or a group of "elites" don't), that doesnt' mean there's something wrong with the critic. It just means you don't agree with them.
Did I say that only academic writers should be trusted? I think academic writers are more concerned with film as opposed to the trappings of film, thatís much is true. But think you will find that I never said to only trust Academic writers. Pauline Kael is a good example of that, and I recommended her former publication, before she died.. And yes reviewers are built on their reputation, but reputation only arrives after many years in the industry. Once a critic submits a review quite often it will get subbed, shortened or just plain re-arranged entirely.



quote:
Originally posted by Paint CHiPs

the ultimate point here, one that maybe you're not aware of pj, is that the most effective critic, to you, is you.

I am totally aware of it. I rarely ever read reviews, and when I do read them I rarely deposit any value on them, for its just some other guys opinion, and opinion is subjective.

quote:
Originally posted by Paint CHiPs
Never let the opinions of others rule your perspective. I read critics opinions because I think it's interesting to see other people's perspectives (same reason I'll post threads about movies to see what other people thought). You can't reason me out of whether I liked a movie or not, however. Or whether I should or should not like a particular movie (whatever that means). Generally, I don't read reviews before I see a movie. I like to read them long after. And the blurbs I see on video boxes or movie posters, I rarely pay attention to, and when I do the first thing I look at is who said it, and it will only mean anything to me if that person is someone whose perspectives I have found interesting in the past. And of course, people's whose perspectives are often founded based on their pocketbooks alone, whether I know it are not, are people whose perspectives I usually don't find interesting.
you donít realize how alike we are in our attitudes on this point.


quote:
Originally posted by Paint CHiPs

That is such a load of horsehit independent film snobbery that it somewhat amazes me. Free to be innovative without worrying about whether or not it breaks even? Could care less about the money involved? What world are you living in? I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you simply worded that poorly.



I am not involved with any student films whatsoever. Ok I will refer back to my favourite independent film. Kevin Smiths Clerks. Made for about $28,000, did not get a theatrical release until it was bought up by Miramax. This is an independent film. Pulp Fiction was not what I class as an independent film. It was a regular film, there were expectations for it, if Clerks had disappeared, no one would have lost out except for Kevin Smith. I know you are going to disagree with me on this, but Pulp Fiction was a Miramax Film and therefore was a studio film. I also know that you are a Tarantino enthusiast and thatís all well and groovy, but I do not share your opinion about the man. There is a difference between small productions and independent productions. I think the comparison between Clerks and Pulp Fiction shows this.
As to the independent films you think I havenít seen. Well because of my film course I have a bucket load of them, a lot of them are weird arty pieces, some of them are mildly interesting, and some of them are brilliant. Make of that what you will.

The Dogma 95 have this code of conduct known as the vow of chastity where they impose restrictions upon themselves in order to come up with interesting and realistic films. The rules are as follows.
The Vow of Chastity
I swear to submit to the following set of rules drawn up and confirmed by DOGMA 95:
1. Shooting must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in (if a particular prop is necessary for the story, a location must be chosen where this prop is to be found).
2. The sound must never be produced apart from the images or vice versa. (Music must not be used unless it occurs where the scene is being shot).
3. The camera must be hand-held. Any movement or immobility attainable in the hand is permitted. (The film must not take place where the camera is standing; shooting must take place where the film takes place).
4. The film must be in colour. Special lighting is not acceptable. (If there is too little light for exposure the scene must be cut or a single lamp be attached to the camera).
5. Optical work and filters are forbidden.
6. The film must not contain superficial action. (Murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.)
7. Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden. (That is to say that the film takes place here and now.)
8. Genre movies are not acceptable.
9. The film format must be Academy 35 mm.
10. The director must not be credited.
Furthermore I swear as a director to refrain from personal taste! I am no longer an artist. I swear to refrain from creating a ďworkĒ, as I regard the instant as more important than the whole. My supreme goal is to force the truth out of my characters and settings. I swear to do so by all the means available and at the cost of any good taste and any aesthetic considerations.
Whether considered a gimmick or not it is an interesting idea that spawned the special jury prize at Cannes some yearís back, I think Scorsese was on the panel that year.
quote:
Originally posted by Paint CHiPs

Anyway, long ramble. I had a few good points in this post that I think probably got lost in the translation.

possibly, but I hope you will actually reply to my PMís in future, then maybe this post need not have happened in the way it did.


Posted by Smug Git on 07-13-2002 12:05 PM:

pj is right that Ebert is not known here, but I guess that will be true of any nation's arts critics.

At the least, critics simply serve their audience's interests; a mass media critic is going to have problems reviewing for a mass audience (to the point where I can't see the point of it), although it doesn't imply corruption.

__________________

I want to live and I want to love
I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of


Posted by morgana on 07-13-2002 04:21 PM:

originally posted by pj:

but isnít that an assumption?

---------------------------------------------------

yes well a lesson to you all, most professional critics are bought off.

this part was amusing to me. you challenge paint chips' point of view as an assumption, yet your entire thread has been one huge assumption since the first paragraph. you've talked to one film critic who freely admits that other critics are bought off. you heard a rumour from one person and have taken it as gospel. not that i disagree with you- i also assume that most critics of anything, be it music, cars, movies, whatever, have a monetary attachment to their columns. but don't accuse others of utilizing their assumptions in a debate when you started with one.

secondly, i'm very tired of hearing you say that just because people don't play an instrument, they can't truly appreciate the beauty of a song. that is complete and utter bullshit. i may not know the technical terms, but i CAN hear, and when i listen to tool, i hear the same thing you do. that doesn't disqualify my opinion. i can hear a 15/9 time signature and still appreciate it even if i don't know what to call it. perhaps you've forgotten that a lot of great drummers, guitar players and bassists started out in their garage making that sound before they knew the technical name for it too.

and for the record, i am very close to a young man who just wrote a script for an independant film, and he will begin shooting in about 6-9 months. he's already talked to some people he rubs elbows with in the film industry, and he has high hopes about getting it shown at sundance. he has been involved in filmaking for a few years now, and follows his peers in the independant film arena very closely. and yes, money is a HUGE factor in the independant film community. sorry to burst your bubble. he's told me about how the fight over investors in films is downright scary, and a lot of filmakers these days are more worried about catering to suit a potential investor than sticking to their true vision. they think that once they earn a reputation for themselves that they can then be more honest with their work.

so based on conversations we've had, it's actually the opposite, pj. hollywood directors enjoy a lot more freedom- once you have a name for yourself, you can pretty much pick and choose your battles, and create what you will due to your previous successes. it's the little known filmakers that have the harder time staying true to their vision.

of course, that's all my lowly, ignorant assumption.

__________________

generated by sloganizer.net


Posted by pj on 07-13-2002 05:00 PM:

quote:
Originally posted by morgana


quote:
Originally posted by morgana
this part was amusing to me. you challenge paint chips' point of view as an assumption, yet your entire thread has been one huge assumption since the first paragraph. you've talked to one film critic who freely admits that other critics are bought off. you heard a rumour from one person and have taken it as gospel. not that i disagree with you- i also assume that most critics of anything, be it music, cars, movies, whatever, have a monetary attachment to their columns. but don't accuse others of utilizing their assumptions in a debate when you started with one. [/B]


i knew it was only a matter of time bfore you chimed in. Ok i said spoke to Peter Matthews, a critic with some 20 years experience, that does not mean i have not spoken to other critics. It's not a rumour, its FACT. Period.


quote:
Originally posted by morgana
secondly, i'm very tired of hearing you say that just because people don't play an instrument, they can't truly appreciate the beauty of a song. that is complete and utter bullshit. i may not know the technical terms, but i CAN hear, and when i listen to tool, i hear the same thing you do. that doesn't disqualify my opinion. i can hear a 15/9 time signature and still appreciate it even if i don't know what to call it. perhaps you've forgotten that a lot of great drummers, guitar players and bassists started out in their garage making that sound before they knew the technical name for it too. [/B]

seeing as you can tell which songs are being played in 15/9 go ahead and tell me. i never said that people cannot appreciate the beauty fo song, i said they cannot appreciate the difficulty of the drumming, they can say that think its tricky, of difficult, but they don't actually know how diffuclt or tricky until they really understand whats going on and how sadi drummer actually manages it.

quote:
Originally posted by morgana
and for the record, i am very close to a young man who just wrote a script for an independant film, and he will begin shooting in about 6-9 months. he's already talked to some people he rubs elbows with in the film industry, and he has high hopes about getting it shown at sundance. he has been involved in filmaking for a few years now, and follows his peers in the independant film arena very closely. and yes, money is a HUGE factor in the independant film community. sorry to burst your bubble. he's told me about how the fight over investors in films is downright scary, and a lot of filmakers these days are more worried about catering to suit a potential investor than sticking to their true vision. they think that once they earn a reputation for themselves that they can then be more honest with their work. [/B]

ok, getting people to invest has always been tricky, this much has is widely known, for me its a given. However films that come under the Dogma 95, and other arthouse productions and certain other indie film are more free to innovate more than a block buster because they arre not expected to recoup their cost, they are lucky if the actually manage to get distributed. i think the term indie film is causing confusion to a degree


quote:
Originally posted by morgana
so based on conversations we've had, it's actually the opposite, pj. hollywood directors enjoy a lot more freedom- once you have a name for yourself, you can pretty much pick and choose your battles, and create what you will due to your previous successes. it's the little known filmakers that have the harder time staying true to their vision.

of course, that's all my lowly, ignorant assumption.

[/B]
it is very rare that a directoor will get total control over a film if it is a studio production, if it is an indepandent production the chances are much higher that the director will have total control.


Posted by pj on 07-13-2002 05:04 PM:

ok im going to work i will resume later.
the funny thing is that most people have agreed with me about the critics being crap.
its seems that the argument now is over money, independent film and artistic freedom..

that and the fact that i wind up people really easy. quite amusing really.


Posted by morgana on 07-13-2002 05:43 PM:

quote:
Originally posted by pj

i knew it was only a matter of time bfore you chimed in.


i would be more inclined to listen to your arguments with an unbiased ear if you would refrain from saying things like this.

Ok i said spoke to Peter Matthews, a critic with some 20 years experience, that does not mean i have not spoken to other critics. It's not a rumour, its FACT. Period.

1: maybe it's just me, but you have a track record of waving credentials under peoples' noses when you post. i would assume that if you had discussed this with any other reputable persons you would have mentioned it in your first post.

2: it is not a FACT until you provide proof. at the most, it is a widely held opinion substantiated by reputable sources.


seeing as you can tell which songs are being played in 15/9 go ahead and tell me. i never said that people cannot appreciate the beauty fo song, i said they cannot appreciate the difficulty of the drumming, they can say that think its tricky, of difficult, but they don't actually know how diffuclt or tricky until they really understand whats going on and how sadi drummer actually manages it.

you're completely missing the point...again. i can clearly hear the same complex patterns and changes in time in the music as you. and anyone who's watched a drummer play can see the difficulty involved with the instrument. so tell me: how does knowing the definition of a term make your opinion more valid than mine?


ok, getting people to invest has always been tricky, this much has is widely known, for me its a given. However films that come under the Dogma 95, and other arthouse productions and certain other indie film are more free to innovate more than a block buster because they arre not expected to recoup their cost, they are lucky if the actually manage to get distributed. i think the term indie film is causing confusion to a degree

since you have already admitted to not being involved in the production or actual making of a film, this is all pure conjecture on your part. everything you know comes from a magazine or a textbook. have you ever been on the set of an actual independant film as it's being made? have you been in the office while the frantic search for investors is taking place? there's a HUGE difference between reading an interview and actually being there. you yourself say that critics are bought and paid for- do you think those independant film magazines you read are any different?


it is very rare that a directoor will get total control over a film if it is a studio production, if it is an indepandent production the chances are much higher that the director will have total control.

see my above post- you've never been there, so it's all pure assumption on your end. even i can admit that my opinion is formed on bias and conjecture. all i know is from people i know who really do make movies. you need to learn when to admit that your opinion isn't flawless and isn't FACT. period.
__________________

generated by sloganizer.net


Posted by raginghobo on 07-13-2002 06:07 PM:

quote:
However films that come under the Dogma 95, and other arthouse productions and certain other indie film are more free to innovate more than a block buster because they arre not expected to recoup their cost, they are lucky if the actually manage to get distributed.


I really want you to loan me some money.


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:48 AM. Pages (3): [1] 2 3 »
Show all 56 posts from this thread on one page

Powered by: vBulletin Version 2.2.8
Copyright © Jelsoft Enterprises Limited 2000 - 2002.
Copyright © 2014- Imaginet Inc.
[Legal Notice] | [Privacy Policy] | [Site Index]