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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 3950421 )
noodles_leone
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« #14160 : October 22, 2014, 02:20:36 PM »

Roger Ebert, in the very last line of his (wonderful) BRD commentary on Casablanca, says Citizen Kane is the greatest movie ever, but Casablanca is the one he enjoys the most. For me, that sort of distinction generally doesn't work. The difficulty and technique and 'genius' behind a work are all a means to the end of being entertaining.

No. I know a lot of masterpieces (movies, books, paintings...) that aren't even trying to be entertaining. I also know masterpieces that are nothing else than entertaining. But culture ISN'T entertainment. It's not above, it's just something else. The level of accessibility of a work of art has nothing to do with its quality. It has only to do with its box-office.


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« #14161 : October 22, 2014, 02:21:47 PM »

This is IMO one problem with how far people take the auteur theory, or their opinion of what art should be, or whatever.
A guy (Eastwood) who makes really good films but doesn't have a distinct style is not gonna be praised as much.
To me, a guy who makes that many good movies is doing something right. Maybe he "merely" chooses good scripts. Maybe he "merely" chooses good actors. Maybe he "merely" has good scores. Whatever he is doing right, all I know is that I've enjoyed watching almost every drama he ever made. To me, that's a great filmmaker, even if he doesn't make the sort of films that you could watch for one minute and instantly recognize, "That's an Eastwood film."

The point is not that they lack a distinct style, they may have one which I then do not recognize, the point is that his films could be so much better if he were a stronger director (that is, what I understand as such). As a result I do not enjoy his films that much, not that much beyond their entertainment value. They are mostly entertaining, some are even pretty good, but they rarely fascinate me. They lack this extra which makes other films for me great.

And like Noodles said, he is an auteur for the recurring themes and ideas in his films. He is so much an auteur that I call all films in which he acted and which were produced by his company Malpaso as Eastwood films, whoever directed them (Dust Devil won't accept this). Only exception are those by Don Siegel, who was a mentor and a huge influence on Eastwood. And the artistic father he could accept, unlike the other one, from which he unsuccessfully tried to distance himself.


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« #14162 : October 22, 2014, 02:27:28 PM »

I can get that.
(Still cannot get your Gone Baby Gone rating)


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« #14163 : October 22, 2014, 02:29:34 PM »

No. I know a lot of masterpieces (movies, books, paintings...) that aren't even trying to be entertaining.

I think they are entertaining, but only for a minority, that small minority which are able to appreciate and to understand them.

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But culture ISN'T entertainment.

I think it is. Or it should be.
If a film/book/comic/song is not entertaining it is not art for me. But being entertainment is only the minimum a work of art should also be. For being art it must also reach deeper levels in me, it must absorb me, it must fascinate me.
So then everything is art when it has at least one true defender ...


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« #14164 : October 22, 2014, 02:31:02 PM »


(Still cannot get your Gone Baby Gone rating)

Main thing is that I can get it. (see above)


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« #14165 : October 22, 2014, 03:32:23 PM »

No. I know a lot of masterpieces (movies, books, paintings...) that aren't even trying to be entertaining. I also know masterpieces that are nothing else than entertaining. But culture ISN'T entertainment. It's not above, it's just something else. The level of accessibility of a work of art has nothing to do with its quality. It has only to do with its box-office.

To be clear, I am certainly not saying that the best movie is the one that the most people like, and if a movie has a bad box office, that means it is a "bad" movie.

IMO there is no such thing as objectivity in art. Everything depends on the individual viewer. I'm just saying that while part of the entertainment level is dependent upon the art level (i.e., great achievements in art are entertaining to watch), art shouldn't be a goal for art's own sake without regard to entertainment. I don't wanna get too abstract here – then I'd sound like these snobby, nerdy critics who I am bashing  ;) – but my essential point here is, to make a style just to be noticed, to say "look, I'm a director," is silly; and to criticize artworks due to a (perceived) lack of director's style, and being unable to enjoy something that really can entertain you out of a snobbish insistence that non-stylized filmmaking is shallow, to me seems ridiculous.


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« #14166 : October 22, 2014, 03:53:04 PM »

I was reading far on purpose, because I don't really care either. He's a good director, that's enough to me. But I've read a lot about Clint Eastwood (books, articles...) and those debates are real stuff. Mystic River was often accused of being dangerously ultra right-wing (because of Penn's wife speech towards the end), and that's a movie that spends quite a lot of time on the themes of roots, family and community ("you should never have come back"). Unforgiven is all about Justice (in the larger possible meaning of the word). Absolute Power has a strong scene about self-justice toward the end (a scene that isn't necessary for the plot) and many of his films (as a director and as an actor) are based on this ideal. Josey Wales and Bronco Billy are about individuals who've been hurt by society and build communities to defend their own individual freedom. I'm just throwing examples, but even even Madison is about freedom and responsibility.

You can argue that if you look deep enough, every movie, even Jurassic Park 3, have a political point hidden somewhere. I'm not saying those films are political statements, I'm saying that if you look at every Eastwood film, you know what this guy think of human beings, society, America and many things. This is pretty rare and if that's not an "auteur" in a way, I don't know the meaning of the word.

I think you're getting carried away here. A movie about how a particular person acts in a particular situation isn't necessarily trying to make a political/ideological point.

I certainly, never for a single moment, believed that the movie sympathizes with Penn's wife's speech at the end justifying Penn's actions. No way. Penn is a bad character, and his wife is a bad person; what Penn did was wrong, her justification is wrong, and the movie is not in any way condoning him. To me, Mystic River is about loss and pain: the death of a child, the loss of innocence due to sexual abuse ... (btw, while the Robbins character obviously was permanently scarred by the incident, somehow I think the movie tries to imply that Penn and Bacon were as well; to me, that doesn't really work, but whatever).

In Absolute Power, I don't think there is any attempt at a  real-life justification for what the movie character does. Movies are often a different world, with a different set of rules, than real life. Often when a movie character kills someone – even when the audience is rooting for him to kill that person – it doesn't mean that we'd justify that killing in real life. Of course, there are some "message films" that specifically do try to make a message about real life, where the "rules" of morality are the same as real life, the movies that are made in a more realistic tone. But then there are some movies that are obviously made in a different, closed, movie world, with suspension of disbelief, etc. I never for a moment felt that Absolute Power was operating within real-life rules, that Eastwood's point is that in real that killing would be okay in real life. RE: Unforgiven, it's a friggin' Western (even if a revisionist one), because a killing is justified in the "rule of the Western" doesn't mean the director is condoning any idea of vigilante justice or whatever in real life. Like TMWNN is great as a Western hero; i real life we'd say he is a murderer. I think you are going waaaaay too far in reading political  motives into man of these movies. (I haven't seen Bronco Billy.) Eastwood definitely made some political movies (as actor or director) but IMO not nearly as many as you believe; I would not call him a "message-film maker" or a "political filmmaker." Just because he spoke to Obama's empty chair doesn't mean his movies are so politically motivated  ;)


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« #14167 : October 22, 2014, 04:12:17 PM »

I never said he did political movies. I've been very explicit about the fact that he has no political agenda with his movies. However those themes are in his movies and are discussed by thousands of critics, journalists and intellectuals all over the world (if you don't believe me, google it: there are tens of books about it). But more importantly, I said that I know Eastwood and what he thinks because I've seen his movies. That was my only point.

Still, don't underestimate the Unforgiven. It's about Justice. Everything in this movie that isn't about demystification is about Justice.

I agree with you on having a shiny style having nothing to do with someone being a good director.
I agree with Stanton when he says he needs to feel the director isn't interchangeable.

« : October 23, 2014, 01:49:08 AM noodles_leone »

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« #14168 : October 22, 2014, 04:29:33 PM »


I agree with you on having a shiny style having nothing to do with someone being a good director.
I agree with Stanton when he says he needs to feel the director isn't interchangeable.

I don't think Eastwood is interchangeable. I don't think that if someone else had made Eastwood's movies they would be similar. I am a huge fan of Eastwood's movies and don't think the director of them is interchangeable. Not having a distinct visual style doesn't mean you're interchangeable.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what stanton means, but if he is implying that not having a distinct visual style means the director is interchangeable, well, that seems to be what Emerson says, which I strongly disagree with.
You think if someone else had made all the movies Billy Wilder directed, they would have turned out more or less the same (even assuming the same writing team of Wilder and a collaborator)? I say no way.

« : October 22, 2014, 04:47:27 PM drinkanddestroy »

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noodles_leone
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« #14169 : October 22, 2014, 04:49:35 PM »

I don't think Eastwood is interchangeable.


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« #14170 : October 22, 2014, 06:53:17 PM »

You think if someone else had made all the movies Billy Wilder directed, they would have turned out more or less the same (even assuming the same writing team of Wilder and a collaborator)? I say no way.

Ninotchka begs to differ.



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stanton
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« #14171 : October 23, 2014, 01:40:47 AM »


Maybe I'm misunderstanding what stanton means, but if he is implying that not having a distinct visual style means the director is interchangeable,

Yes, you misunderstand me, this can not be inferred from what I have written. You also misunderstood half of the things Noodles had written? How comes?



IMO there is no such thing as objectivity in art. Everything depends on the individual viewer.

Yes, but if this is really your stance, why don't you accept other people's opinions?
Why are other people assholes, jerks, idiots, snobs etc if they have an opinion you don't like?

If art is always subjective there is no reason to blame anyones opinion, as ridiculous they might seem.

Quote
I'm just saying that while part of the entertainment level is dependent upon the art level (i.e., great achievements in art are entertaining to watch), art shouldn't be a goal for art's own sake without regard to entertainment. I don't wanna get too abstract here – then I'd sound like these snobby, nerdy critics who I am bashing  ;) – but my essential point here is, to make a style just to be noticed, to say "look, I'm a director," is silly; and to criticize artworks due to a (perceived) lack of director's style, and being unable to enjoy something that really can entertain you out of a snobbish insistence that non-stylized filmmaking is shallow, to me seems ridiculous.


At first, how do you know for sure if a style was only done for style's sake? Even if it appears to you, the artist may have had other intentions.

And then, I don't think it is wrong to make art for art's sake as long as the result is art for me and not pseudo-art.

Drink, you should have more respect for other people. It would cost you some signatures, but would make life more pleasant for you.

(Mike Siegel would appreciate this too)


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« #14172 : October 23, 2014, 01:52:11 AM »

Just because he spoke to Obama's empty chair doesn't mean his movies are so politically motivated  ;)

He apologized for that. Leave Clint alone!   :'(


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« #14173 : October 23, 2014, 09:49:47 AM »

OMG who did I call an asshole, jerk, or idiot? Nobody on these boards, that's for sure.
Yes, I said some of the critics' writings seemed snobbish, but that's nobody that reads these boards, I'd kid around with nasty shit about critics that'll nevr read my posts, but I've never said anything like that about anyone here. I've never been rude to someone over their movie opinions.
 I think you are taking things just a wee bit too seriously. (mike takes too seriously anyone who criticizes Peckinpah). Fortunately, n_l doesn't.
I guess it's not always easy to understand someone's thoughts/emotions through written posts. But take it easy, this should be all fun.


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« #14174 : October 23, 2014, 09:54:37 AM »

Did Eastwood really apologize for his "empty chair" speech? What the hell for? That was the one truly funny moment I've ever seen at the silly shit that we call political conventions (which I usually don't even bother watching).


There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
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