Posted on March 25, 2011 at 8:48 am in Directors, Film | RSS feed
I don’t know if you’ve read this article on GQ about the failures of Hollywood. Initially, he seems to be saying that Top Gun is to blame. But it’s not. It’s the whole taking over of cultural production by marketing execs that know nothing about making something beautiful. I know somewhere in Hollywood there is a little corner, probably in a toilet, where someone has written “Slow self-lobotomy”.
The article’s a good summation/analysis of what’s been happening for awhile now. A few years ago, The Believer published an interview with Gus Van Sant where he said something like, “Hollywood doesn’t want to make the first film, it just wants to make the sequel.” It’s also sad to me that we live in an age where Inception is a “smart.”
This week, 30 Rock had a quick sight gag where Tina Fay looks at a poster for Transformers 5 and it says “Written by No One.”
La Amistad, a serious story about slavery, suffered the Spielberg treatment.
The cast or slaves looked more like hollywood dancers than slaves suffering on a ship. There is no grit in his movies. They are cartoonish, even in his most serious endeavor. His movies lack any depth.
Kubrick set out to play the iconoclast and overthrow the established narrative form, but in doing so, he sacrificed many of the fundamental elements of good storytelling, one of which is coherence.
He also, apparently, made an old man cry (as can be seen in the quote below).
“The film contains little explanation for the events taking place. Clarke, on the other hand, wrote thorough explanations of “cause and effect” for the events in the novel. James Randi later recounted that upon seeing the premiere of 2001 for the first time, Clarke left the theatre in tears, at the intermission, after having watched an eleven-minute scene (which did not make it into general release) where an astronaut is doing nothing more than jogging inside the spaceship, which was Kubrick’s idea of showing the audience how boring space travels could be.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_C._Clarke#2001:_A_Space_Odyssey
And if you still think Kubrick “rules’, then make a nice cup of tea and watch the first 15 minutes (or at least up to the second rape scene) of A Clockwork Orange with your mother. I’m sure it will, at the very least, “force her to think” (apparently Kubrick was fascinated by the idea of forcing people to do things).
The idea that there are “fundamental” elements to storytelling is part of a proscribed viewpoint of Western culture that buys into the notion of stable, absolute identity.
It’s this same viewpoint that leads people to resist films by other auteurs (Terrence Malick comes to mind).
But who says Kubrick gave up coherence? 2001 isn’t incoherent at all—it simply challenges audiences. Paths of Glory incoherent? Barry Lyndon incoherent?
Who cares what Clarke thought of the film? He was not the film’s author, Kubrick was.
There are dozens of movies I can think of off the top of my head that I wouldn’t necessarily want to watch with my mother—but “whether or not one feels *comfortable* watching a film with one’s mother” is no critical rubric to appraise a film.
Also, it’s worth pointing out that plenty of *mothers* can appreciate Kubrick’s films, A Clockwork Orange too, and perhaps not want to watch them with their sons/daughters.
I mean, clearly there are filmmakers like Spielberg and his many, many copycats who can produce nice, reasonable, oh-so-coherent cookie-cutter films that affirm the audience’s beliefs, find meaning and redemption in every tragedy, and give us a nice, oh-so-conclusive conclusion. And that’s fine. There will always be a place for that.
But a lot of us want more from film.
“Who cares what Clarke thought of the film? He was not the film’s author, Kubrick was.”
- I think Clarke earned the right to care after spending over two years working in close collaboration with Kubrick developing both the novel and the screenplay. But that’s just my opinion (which you can’t blame “me” for anyhow, unless you buy into the notion of a stable, absolute identifiable “me”).
And I admit that I did make a mistake in suggesting that there are fundamental elements to good storytelling (how Western of me). In fact, just last year I traveled to China and India, where in lieu of telling Western-culture-style stories, the locals just shouted random words at me with no apparent meaning or connection to reality.
What kind of idiot would bring up watching a movie with their mother? That’s the test of a good film? This guy can’t be taken seriously after that remark. A Clockwork Orange is one the greatest films period. With your mental capacity, you should stick to Toy Story.
Anyone who thinks that, has mental illness or is very idiotic and watches Fox News and voted for Bush
You may want to try a rational argument next time in lieu of ignorant personal attacks. The internet is chock full of rudeness, bad manners and cowards casting insults from behind keyboards. Please keep your insults to yourself and try to be civil.
Please keep your insults to yourself and try to be civil. There’s no excuse for bad manners, even on the internet.
Mr Gilliam is too civilized. Mr Spielburg is a pervert. He lives to distort reality. Sherwood Swartz did it with the Brady Bunch. Frank Capra did it with It’s A Wonderful Life. Leni Riefenstahl did it with Triumph of the Will. John Wayne did it with The Green Berets. The sickest most cowardly members of the art world exist to make their audience happy. They grovel and pander. They never force their audience to look in the mirror. Nothing angers terrifies and disturbs more than the depraved depths of human behavior. So we must pretend it is not there. We must shield our children. We must lie. We must hide. We must pray. We must cower in fear of that image in the mirror. Spielburg is a threat to anyone who watches his films. He is a deceiver. He is a pervert. Keep him away from your children.
Filmmaker Ernie Tarte claims to have already begun Kubrick’s “Napoleon” and that Spielberg’s production is a theft. Here is his response. http://tiny.cc/i1wstw
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