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Stop Making This Film


Festoon
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Films of a type people should stop making. Inspired by the daft Spencer trailer

 

1. Diana films. They're all terrible because they all establish widdle old commoner Diana lost marrying the Prince of Wales. Except for the fact that the Spencers are as posh as the Windsors. That is not what made Diana interesting.

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23 minutes ago, hmm said:

You're going to have to help me out with the thing that did make Diana interesting.

 

She looked down and then up a lot. Like George Clooney used to do.

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Romantic comedies where a woman has to choose between two men. 

 

Invariably, despite being the captivating object of both's affections, everything she does is to make a choice between two men with more entertainingly written personalities than her, and she becomes a default prize to be won. A conduit to see two guys be wacky and make grand gestures.

 

Similarly, films where someone is hedonistic and averse to marriage/kids, but ultimately sees the light once they've found 'the one' who leads them back to the straight and narrow. Just let people enjoy what they enjoy and don't passively judge them in 2021. 

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3 hours ago, Fierce Poodle said:

Films involving Liam Neeson punching people. Or wolves.

I for one am on board with a film about wolves punching people.

 

Maybe even a couple of sequels that explore other animals punching people.

 

This could be an entire "nature punches people" cinematic universe!

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2 hours ago, schmojo said:

Romantic comedies where a woman has to choose between two men. 

 

Invariably, despite being the captivating object of both's affections, everything she does is to make a choice between two men with more entertainingly written personalities than her, and she becomes a default prize to be won. A conduit to see two guys be wacky and make grand gestures.

 

I need to write that Kissing Booth post. It messes with this so badly. The competition for the heroine's affections in the second film is amazing - she has no interest in him whatsoever. It's utterly bizarre. The heroine has a male best friend who's insanely possessive, selfish and weird ( this is not portrayed as a bad thing ). Her bf is a violent idiot with anger management issues - no problem - he's just misunderstood. He hits people a lot.

 

The heroine is 5'4", her boyfriend is 6'5". They don't get her to stand on a box so when shooting over his shoulder looking at her the camera is up a ladder, but for the reverse the camera has to go so low it's comical, and the angle makes him look even more elongated and shot like he was a Transformer.

 

Absolute madness. Netfilx have money to burn.

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31 minutes ago, Chadruharazzeb said:

 

Seen it? I haven't even heard of it! 

 

Naomi Watts did a famously chippy interview with Simon Mayo about it. She was clearly aware the film was bollocks but she was weird from the off. Ended the interview early but Mayo was just asking bland questions and she was answering like he was the Gestapo.

 

 

Warning: cringe

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5 hours ago, Festoon said:

1. Diana films. 

 

5 hours ago, Fierce Poodle said:

Films involving Liam Neeson punching people. Or wolves.

 

For a moment I thought these were one film that I would clamber over my own grandmother to see.

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All superhero films. The populace is fascist - and stupid, and consumerist - enough as it is, without being encouraged to buy even dumber fascist-friendly consumable serialisations in lieu of art or human expression. Besides, the best superhero film ever made was made already, over forty years ago: https://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/277369-amazon-prime-video/&do=findComment&comment=13290565. And at least that guy could shake a peg or two on the way to his bloodthirsty caste-aligned holy revenge against the criminal classes.

 

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"Turn off your brain" blockbusters.

 

People shit on the MCU, but at least for big summer tentpole fare they're not like Transformers, or Jurassic World, where the competition in each scene seems to be to be as aggressively stupid as possible.

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Well of course John McLane is a fascist - the whole of Die Hard celebrates the power of the Individual American Cop With A Gun, and regards the chorale of Beethoven's Ninth ('All men become brothers', the anthem of European Union) in purely ironic terms. But it's a brilliant film. After that, yes, they should have stopped making them too, because while Die Hard is a truly great piece of action cinema - a totally satisfying standalone film - the others are merely instalments in a franchise. Which is kinda the point. 

 

I think much of the gaming industry is the epitome of consumerism in many ways. Destiny is by no means a standout there, nor is it the zenith of the form. But then, I don't think Destiny is much of a vehicle for artistic expression, nor is almost any game. Film - though it certainly shouldn't be all the time - certainly can be. I don't really want cinema to reflect a lot of gaming's franchise-based-let's-see-how-much-of-your-time-we-can-capture approach to its purpose quite as much as it has for a while, so I'd like to see some trends - like the now long-running superhero franchises - just go away for at least a few years. Just have one or two of them from time to time, rather than the incessant franchises and subfranchises and spinoffs and extended universes that seem to constitute 90% of film and TV, the endless diet of the unending. I'd like to see a lot more stories and experiences that are genuinely new things, new experiences, and have a start and an end in one viewing in a cinema (pandemic notwithstanding). I don't think the balance in the industry - or its primary motivation - is anywhere near right, and hasn't been for a long time. You must buy this product to understand this product, and each product on its own is nothing without buying access to the others. Each on its own is nothing really. Because there really isn't much in it apart from hooks to a lot of other stuff, often in other media. Just one strand in a big web of buy everything. There's too much of that abroad, and not enough of whatever else film is capable of being. This is hardly a new or controversial opinion, but at the same time it being not a Brand New Hot Take doesn't make it wrong.

 

Btw consumerism isn't 'trying to sell a product for cash'. That would be a silly take, embracing within its vague, ill-considered ambit both Van Gogh's The Red Vineyard and Marx's Das Kapital alongside such obvious bedfellows as the horse armour from Oblivion.

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8 hours ago, Stigweard said:

"Facist" :lol: fucking hell. You really don't need to get that deep with them. Why stop at superheroes, why not nearly every action film ever where vigilantism or unwavering power runs deep throughout? Is John McClane facists because he did things out of his jurisdiction, causing death and destruction with no consequences like a superheroe? Where do you draw the line? Everytime a character is shown to be facists or have facist tendencies they're always depicted as being bad (Red Skull, Evil Superman, Thanos etc) and the good guys, despite all their power are show to be good and stop them and never once using it directly on people. I mean who are you sticking up for here when called superhero facists? the goverments of the world because...yikes 😬

 

I love my superheroes. But I don't think there's anything wrong with critiquing how uncomfortably connected they are to things like Might Makes Right, and other attitudes that we are skeptical of in real life.

 

I don't think it's spoiling the fun to ask things like "is The Incredibles a pro-Objectivist movie?" (IMO, no) and "do Batman stories only exist because we secretly want to see a billionaire beat up poor people and the mentally ill?" (you can reduce them to that, but I don't think it's the most interesting way of looking at them).

 

One of my favourite critics Abigail Nussbaum has talked about this quite often. e.g. this interesting thread about accountability for what happens in Age of Ultron. A shorter example is this post about way that the TV series The Flash imprisons all its supervillains in tiny solitary confinement cells, outside the legal system, and never questions this.

 

 

Sometimes the stories themselves do try to directly address the uncomfortable real-world conclusions of their stories - but in doing so they venture into territory that the genre should only tackle with great care. Sometimes it's better to ignore the uncomfortable stuff completely than to risk muddling the message by tackling it half-heartedly. (See the difference between The Dark Knight and The Avengers. Countless words have been written over the years about the ending of TDK, where Batman's possession of a mass surveillance gadget, which he recognises just be destroyed after just one use, was read as an allegory for the PATRIOT act. Compare that to The Avengers, where global surveillance by SHIELD is used as a matter-of-fact plot device that's over and done with in 30 seconds. Would Avengers have been improved if it had spent as much time questioning the ethics of that as TDK did?)

 

 

 

But having said that...

 

11 hours ago, Gorf King said:

without being encouraged to buy even dumber fascist-friendly consumable serialisations in lieu of art or human expression.

 

Not sure here if your "in lieu of" here is meant to imply that superhero movies are just lacking in art or human expression, or that they are not art and contain no human expression at all?

 

If you mean the latter... that attitude bothers me in the same way as the people online who make fun of "capeshit" fans by characterising them as mindless drones, endlessly chanting "CONSOOM PRODUCT", as opposed seeking out "real kino". :hmm:

 

I really really hate it when people limit on what sort of craftsmanship does or does not qualify as art. Like when Roger Ebert argued that video games cannot/will not ever be considered art.

 

You're welcome to think that superhero movies, or Liam Neeson Punching Wolves movies, or anything else mentioned in this thread, are bad art. But I believe that no matter how constrained a film is by the aim of making money, or how ineptly made it is, things that are specific to its creators' artistic skills are visible in the final work.

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Ok, so no gender questionable film (boy meets girl, hilarity ensues), fascist super hero movies, movies that suggest might is right, Biopics of people that are rich/successful/did bad things once. 

 

What does that leave us with ?

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In this oddly absolute and reductive future... everything else?

 

19 minutes ago, Nick R said:

Not sure here if your "in lieu of" here is meant to imply that superhero movies are just lacking in art or human expression, or that they are not art and contain no human expression at all?

 

If you mean the latter... that attitude bothers me in the same way as the people online who make fun of "capeshit" fans by characterising them as mindless drones, endlessly chanting "CONSOOM PRODUCT", as opposed seeking out "real kino". :hmm:

 

I really really hate it when people limit on what sort of craftsmanship does or does not qualify as art. Like when Roger Ebert argued that video games cannot/will not ever be considered art.

 

You're welcome to think that superhero movies, or Liam Neeson Punching Wolves movies, or anything else mentioned in this thread, are bad art. But I believe that no matter how constrained a film is by the aim of making money, or how ineptly made it is, things that are specific to its creators' artistic skills are visible in the final work.

 

I mean they lack them in any meaningful sense. And that doesn't mean I think every film has to be primarily driven by them, because obviously they don't. But I do think far too many films do lack them, or, even where the intention is there to illuminate some aspect of the human condition, they fail to deliver that well. 

 

As for any attempt to agree on what 'art' means anyway, no thanks. Which means we can't agree on what does or doesn't constitute it. What little I will say is that in this kind of context I prefer a meaning to the word that doesn't make it synonymous with 'craft'. Because if it's basically the same thing, it might as well not exist. Skills are one thing, craft is one thing, but something I consider art doesn't essentially depend on those, and for me it's possible for someone to be a highly skilled craftsperson and produce a thing that's not art (and which you don't consider art yourself). Similarly you don't need to be 'skilled at a craft' to produce something of artistic merit. I find any interpretation that necessarily links one to the other immediately suspect on a fundamental level. But that's just me, and I don't see any agreement about this being possible really; not after several centuries of it being impossible.

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