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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #60 on: August 26, 2012, 12:18:36 AM »

There is a big essential difference to the money making attitude of todays corporates and the film business of the past. I said films should break even and make money but the way things changed over the last +/- 20 years it is no longer possible to make great films in Hollywood (OK, when you are 15 years old you'll find your favorites). No more risks, no more art really. Not much individual input possible anymore by the creators (except CGI of course). But what they really do great now is TV. Better than LA movies. Who would have guessed 30 years ago. Maybe NY should take over making features Smiley

 

film studios were always interested in making money, I don't think the executives of the 30's, 40's, and 50's were any less interested in making money than are the executives of the 80's, 90's, and 2000's.


Furthermore, whatever reasons you want to point to as for the decline in the quality of  movies since the Golden Era (the proliferation and advancement of television, the decline of the studio system, etc. etc. etc.) many of those reasons all come back to a loss in profit. Smaller movie audiences, and smaller studios with less money to spend on riskier projects, all can lead to a decline in the quality of movies. And much of that gets back to the loss in profit. The quality of movies was much greater at the time when the industry was flourishing financially. You can argue whether it was the chicken or the egg that came first, but the bottom line is that the greater the potential profits, the better the incentive to create a great product. A great movie will always make money, but when there is less profit in movies (eg. due to declining audiences cuz of proliferation of television and other entertainment), less movies will be made, and therefore less great movies will be made as well.

Sure, there are always specific contrary instances someone can point to where the interest of money killed a movie, such as the instances when studios would chop a movie's running time just to get an extra showing in, thereby greatly harming the movie. But generally, the more a product has potential for making large profits, that greater the incentive to make a great product. The laws of economics don't change; you'd be hard-pressed to find an industry that produced worse products at the same time that the profit-making potential increased.

Whatever reason there is for the decline in the quality of movies, the desire for large profits is not one of them.

« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 06:59:01 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #61 on: August 26, 2012, 04:43:35 AM »

Try to dig a little deeper. Can anybody help ? I got no time ...

Fact is, studio people used to care about films (I'm not only talking about the so-called moguls),
people used to know about movie-making. This changed. I mean this is common knowledge.
Almost every director who worked for at least 30 - 40 years mentions this in interviews,
audio commentaries and what have you. And all of us, from the big-time creators to us
small time independents are affected by it.

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« Reply #62 on: August 26, 2012, 05:12:39 AM »



Fact is, studio people used to care about films (I'm not only talking about the so-called moguls),
people used to know about movie-making. This changed. I mean this is common knowledge.
Almost every director who worked for at least 30 - 40 years mentions this in interviews,
audio commentaries and what have you.

I don't think so.

We see former times through very big nostalgia rose-colored glasses. I don't think that actual films are less well made than older films, that older films are better than more recent films.

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« Reply #63 on: August 26, 2012, 05:14:34 AM »

He he :

http://www.ultraculture.co.uk/12342-sight-sounds-10-greatest-films-of-all-time-and-their-one-star-imdb-reviews.htm

And Johnny Guitar got actually 8 votes

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« Reply #64 on: August 26, 2012, 06:12:03 AM »

I have no idea how this discussion turned to this. Anyway...

I think the real difference between the old Hollywood (1930s - 1970s) and the current Hollywood is the expected lifetime of films. Movies used to have months long runs at theaters (sometimes a full year or even more [and reruns!]) but nowadays it's rather a matter of weeks. The opening weekend is now everything, which means that a good movie does not equal a successful movie - good marketing does. Studios don't need to make good films, they simply need to make films which make great trailers i.e. with big explosions, battling car things and Megan Fox.
   

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« Reply #65 on: August 26, 2012, 06:16:45 AM »

Try to dig a little deeper. Can anybody help ? I got no time ...

Fact is, studio people used to care about films (I'm not only talking about the so-called moguls),
people used to know about movie-making. This changed. I mean this is common knowledge.
Almost every director who worked for at least 30 - 40 years mentions this in interviews,
audio commentaries and what have you. And all of us, from the big-time creators to us
small time independents are affected by it.

I think so...  they didn't have test audiences to dictate various production/directorial decisions, they flew by gut instinct (most of the time), took more chances, with a big spectrum of stories, at least it seems.

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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #66 on: August 26, 2012, 08:03:48 AM »

I think so...  they didn't have test audiences to dictate various production/directorial decisions, they flew by gut instinct (most of the time), took more chances, with a big spectrum of stories, at least it seems.

 Check out the "What is the Pre-release version?" bonus feature  on the My Darling Clementine dvd.
In it, they mention that Zanuck changed the ending -- he called Henry Fonda and Cathy Downs to the studio long after production had ended just to film a kiss between them; Ford's version would have had it end with a handshake -- after reading the responses of the 2,000 member preview audience.



So there certainly was a test audience in 1946, at least in that instance. And in Singin' In the Rain (1952), which supposedly takes place in 1927, the studio shows a preview screening to a test audience as well. But of course you can ague that that's different, cuz it was a major  picture;  maybe it's true that there were generally less frequent test audiences. We'd have to do some research to find that data.

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

RE: the discussion on the  Decline of Moviemaking :
(I'll focus on American movies and audiences, cuz those are mostly what I am familiar with) while I don't have the data in front of me, I'd bet that less and less total movies are being made annually. It's not like it used to be where everyone went to the town theater on Saturday night (plus a  few other nights a week) to watch the latest movie. Like the audiences in Cinema Paradiso  Wink Less total movies being made = less total great movies. And less profits with a less-thriving industry = lesser willingness to take a risk on a B-Picture ( many of which ended up being great movies).

Does any of this explain a complete lack of talent in Hollywood today? Not at all. There are still great directors and great actors and great screenwriters. Maybe many of those great creative minds are shifting their skills/resources/interests to television or the internet.    

[Personally, I've always complained that nobody will ever make a B-Western again: Westerns will occasionally be made, maybe like now, once every 3 years or so. But in the rare cases a Western gets made nowadays, they are made very very differently than the B-movies of the 50's. Today,  filmmakers feel like they have to use all sorts of shtick like they did with TAOJesseJamesBTCRobert Ford. When they were popping Westrens out of the assembly line left and right in the 40's and 50's, they didn't feel as if its a conscious revival of a dying genre, which Westerns made these day do feel like; they feel like they have to be extra special or extra epic, so use all sorts of shtick like TAOJJBTCRF did. In the 40's and 50's, so they would bang out lots of 'em off the assembly line, and between all the garbage, out came a few gems. Today, there could never be a Budd Boetticher just going off and making his Ranown cycle (not B movies but C movies, is what he used to say!), a studio exec saying, here's a few bucks, here, shoot me a little quickie. They turned out to be a classic cycle of films. But stuff like that could never be made today -- each new western made today tries to make itself feel like THIS IS THE END OF THE WESTERN, if you know what I mean]

Anyway, we can go on forever about what's the matter with Hollywood today, and I don't know how much anyone can be certain about any one factor. But one thing I can say for damn sure: The reason Hollywood is producing shit these days is NOT because the studio execs of today have a greater desire for money than did the studio execs of the Golden Age.


« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 08:32:25 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #67 on: August 26, 2012, 11:12:59 PM »

After looking at a lot of the director's lists, I question how many movies that they've seen. how can so many people have top tens filled with the same arthouse canon? I just don't get it.

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« Reply #68 on: August 27, 2012, 02:14:41 AM »

There is a simple reason why some films became the "usual suspects" and others not. Because people who love films loved these films once and still love them more than others, and for these reasons it seems that film lovers still love these films, while others went into obscurity.

I have read several of the comments of those who have voted and nearly all claimed to chose the films they liked the most, the ones which were the most fascinating for them, the ones they would chose as the "island" films. So actually this list should be called "the favourite films of people who love films and have seen an awful lot of films of all kind".

Of course there might be some for which it has become only a job, and there might be some which really chose only films of which they think they must be important (without really loving them).

For me this list is mostly a work of love. Don't blame the list because it does not contain the films you love.

To mention it again. The list can not transport facts, but only a consensus of subjective impressions. It is telling, but not prescribing. Nobody should take it too serious, but it is also too easy to simply dismiss it.

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« Reply #69 on: August 29, 2012, 02:23:34 AM »

After looking at a lot of the director's lists, I question how many movies that they've seen. how can so many people have top tens filled with the same arthouse canon? I just don't get it.

I don't get it either.
Maybe they subscribed to Criterion or what have you. Maybe they were embarassed to list ''ENTER THE DRAGON'' or ''ON HER MAJESTYS SECRET SERVICE'' Smiley. Maybe they checked out old lists beforehand. Maybe they don't have the time to dig into film history. Not everybody is Tarantino. I started making lists with my film making friends and colleagues, the results are already surprising..

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« Reply #70 on: August 29, 2012, 05:49:01 AM »

Maybe only because Enter the Dragon and this Bond film are not really good films? Wink

I can also easily imagine other films which are for me as good or even better than the ones on the list, but at least there are no mediocre or bad films on the list. These are all great films. Not for everyone, that's for sure, but obviously for those who voted for them.
And several of my favourite films are in the Top 100. (2001, Eight and a Half, Wild Bunch, OuTW, Apocalypse Now, Hour of the Wolf, Children of Paradise, Mulholland Drive etc.), while some others did not get one vote (Wenders' The State of the Things, all films by Julio Medem, Se7en, Sex Lies and Videotape etc.)

Eight and a Half is much more entertaining than ON HER MAJESTYS SECRET SERVICE, and much more fascinating. Much, much more. And I like the Bond films.

Mike, do you really think most of those who voted for Vertigo don't think it is one of the most fascinating they ever saw?

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« Reply #71 on: August 29, 2012, 08:23:17 AM »

I love VERTIGO, of course... Next to SHADOW OF A DOUBT, REAR WINDOW and certain others my favorite Hichcock.
Except for those awful distracting sound effects made for that 70mm print in the 90s. (What a great evening nevertheless).

And it even pops up at a 'Top 10' lists I got from film making friends! #7. On one list (out of 14 so far).

It is a masterpiece no doubt. But it has flaws. If such a seriousely taken list must really exist, I rather see a flawless
timeless masterpiece on its top. Like Umberto D., LADRI DI BICYCLETTE, HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY,

When there's writing about OHMSS, there's always the line 'considered by some as the best 007 entry...'.
I'm just one of those 'some'. Smiley.
Connery is the best Bond of course, R. Moore one just has to like as 007 (at least until 1983).
But OHMSS is the best Bond film regarding its qualities as a feature film. The only one that provides
an additional level - love & tears. Diana Rigg works great as an (almost) equal. Great soundtrack, no space ships.

Maybe this tread changes my life and I'll finally start with a Top 10 list:
OHMSS
GOLDFINGER
FROM RUSSIA
LIVE AND LET DIE
THUNDERBALL
SPY WHO LOVED ME
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
DR. NO
CASINO ROYAL (Craig)
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

oopps. Which one do I dismiss ? Bloody lists Smiley


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« Reply #72 on: August 29, 2012, 08:55:50 AM »

Maybe they checked out old lists beforehand.
This is my suspicion. Ugetsu always shows up in spite of the fact that Mizoguchi made at least 10 better films. And if everyone loves Tokyo Story so much, where are the other Ozus of comparable worth?

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« Reply #73 on: August 29, 2012, 01:39:08 PM »

This is my suspicion. Ugetsu always shows up in spite of the fact that Mizoguchi made at least 10 better films. And if everyone loves Tokyo Story so much, where are the other Ozus of comparable worth?

There are other Ozu films in the list. It is quite astonishing how popular Ozu still is amongst film buffs.

And if Ugetsu is Mizoguchi's best or not is as subjective as if Vertigo is Hitch's best or not. For me not, but it seems for many it is.

And then, how comes that Au hasard Balthasar is the most popular Bresson film, and not A Man Escaped (or Pickpocket or Mouchette)?

I see not much reason for suspecting that the voters only voted for films because they were already suspected to be great. The comments of some of the voters sound more like they named their personal favourites.

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« Reply #74 on: August 29, 2012, 01:50:13 PM »

I love VERTIGO, of course... Next to SHADOW OF A DOUBT, REAR WINDOW and certain others my favorite Hichcock.
Except for those awful distracting sound effects made for that 70mm print in the 90s. (What a great evening nevertheless).

And it even pops up at a 'Top 10' lists I got from film making friends! #7. On one list (out of 14 so far).

It is a masterpiece no doubt. But it has flaws. If such a seriousely taken list must really exist, I rather see a flawless
timeless masterpiece on its top. Like Umberto D., LADRI DI BICYCLETTE, HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY,  

A flawless John Ford film? I doubt that such a thing exists. Ford, and I like Ford very much, has meanwhile become an absolutely overrated director. At least if I see how many of his films were named in the S&S poll.

I have recently watched Umberto D. for the first time, and yes, despite some sentimental stuff a beautiful film. Never liked Bicycle Thieves that much, but still a 8/10 film

Quote
When there's writing about OHMSS, there's always the line 'considered by some as the best 007 entry...'.
I'm just one of those 'some'. Smiley.
Connery is the best Bond of course, R. Moore one just has to like as 007 (at least until 1983).
But OHMSS is the best Bond film regarding its qualities as a feature film. The only one that provides
an additional level - love & tears. Diana Rigg works great as an (almost) equal. Great soundtrack, no space ships.

Maybe this tread changes my life and I'll finally start with a Top 10 list:
OHMSS
GOLDFINGER
FROM RUSSIA
LIVE AND LET DIE
THUNDERBALL
SPY WHO LOVED ME
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
DR. NO
CASINO ROYAL (Craig)
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

oopps. Which one do I dismiss ? Bloody lists Smiley


OHMSS is the best of the old Bond films.

For me the Craig Bonds are much better than every one of the old Bonds, and of those 2 Quantum of Solace, and now you will be shocked, is much better than Casino Royale. A fascinating watching experience which grows on me with every viewing. A pure pleasure. I really love it meanwhile.

From the older Bonds my favourites are :

GOLDFINGER
THUNDERBALL
OHMSS
LIVE AND LET DIE
SPY WHO LOVED ME
Licence to Kill
GoldenEye

« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 01:53:22 PM by stanton » Logged

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