theme revamping in progress //
I am so annoyed at so many things right now
I think there’s nothing wrong with being fixated on superheroes when you are 7 years old, but I think there’s a disease in not growing up. The corporation and the hedge funds have a hold on Hollywood and they all want to make money on anything that signifies cinema. When you put $100 million and you get $800 million or $1 billion, it is very hard to convince people. You tell them, you will put in $20 million and you will get $80 million. Now, that is a fucking amazing business, but they say, “$80 million? I want $800 million.”
I sometimes enjoy them because they are basic and simple and go well with popcorn. The problem is that sometimes they purport to be profound, based on some Greek mythological kind of thing. And they are honestly very right wing. I always see them as killing people because they do not believe in what you believe, or they are not being who you want them to be. I hate that, and don’t respond to those characters. They have been poison, this cultural genocide, because the audience is so overexposed to plot and explosions and shit that doesn’t mean nothing about the experience of being human.
[…] just the word hero bothers me. What the fuck does that mean? It’s a false, misleading conception, the superhero. Then, the way they apply violence to it, it’s absolutely right wing. If you observe the mentality of most of those films, it’s really about people who are rich, who have power, who will do the good, who will kill the bad. Philosophically, I just don’t like them.
I lost a lot of love for the artform of movies when I realized that they’re innately biased towards spectacular violence and that part of how a script is judged is how convincingly it stacks it’s deck and corners it’s characters into that violence (while also doing it in a way that feels organic and that constructs the protagonist in a moral light/with a set of biases that the audience can still basically feel good about).
you really have to have had a very very small and biased exposure to the cinema to think that experience applies to all things “movies”, though? like, go immerse yourself in pier paolo pasolini for a week, or check out a hou hsiao-hsien retrospective if you can, or, hell, look at the entire collected studio output of shochiku! or watch more claire denis films than just forcing yourself to sit through trouble every day because someone (probably someone like me) said it was great and it’s the easiest film of hers for people to feel compelled to track down first. jane campion exists! andrei tarkovsky’s entire cinematic legacy is profoundly insulted by your generalization! everything oliver assayas has done after he did carlos. modern godard. for a violent movie which disproves every statement you’ve just made about movies and violence, vera chytilova’s daisies and pasolini’s salo exist on opposite sensational ends of that disproof. james brooks is a successful and well-regarded american filmmaker whose entire filmography exists to disprove this statement, almost perversely, deliberately. and i haven’t even mentioned masaki kobayashi until just now! and the great thing is, this is a sizable enough list and yet i know there’s gonna be names i’m not putting here that other folks are gonna ding me for not listing and accuse me of showing my personal biases for not listing! and i welcome it! because by god, i fucking love movies.
no, you’re talking about hollyweird movies, big-money-funded studio efforts like pacific rim and so on, here. the movies are a box of wonders. narrow-mindedly fixating on one small subgenre of the whole medium - even to score cheap heat from the cheap seats - and forgetting you’re doing so - is a petty, disgraceful violence to the art.
don’t do that.(via aintgotnoladytronblues)
OK, I’m duly chastised as far as what was a pretty lazy generalization.
That said, I’m not just talking about physical violence. I feel like I’m a little bit of a liar if, for instance, I don’t acknowledge that there’s some kind of sadomasochistic loop underlying why I like the way Noah Baumbach’s character’s suffer and hurt each other or why I can’t look away from Llewelyn Davis getting the shit kicked out of him on multiple fronts or why I’m pulled to the desperate center of Charlize Thereon’s character in “Young Adult”. The classical “fear and pity” answer is accurate, but doesn’t tell the whole story. I mean, these are things that I love, but I am showing up to (on some level) be sickened by people I identify with, and who’s emotional throughlines I can trace myself in parallell to. Sometimes they change me (I don’t know if I’d have stopped drinking without “Young Adult” and that’s probably a life-saving choice, for instance.) but I do think there’s a question of “What do I want this movie to reduce the world to (temporarily) and what is this reduced version of the world feeding/edifying?” Everyone has gotten very good at saying/convincing themselves that things are “only movies”, but I don’t think I’m being honest if I treat it all as a zero-gets-internalized proposition.
Obviously, this isn’t a movie-exclusive problem, and blockbusters are the worst offenders (also, probably treated as an unfair metonymy for the whole medium in my initial reblog), but I also think that there’s a pop-artform assumption that movies don’t uniformly necessitate at this point, but do still account for without realizing it. Like, a lot of my thinking on this front has been informed by this idea of Story Gravity and how it both pressures things and might extrapolate to other corners of the arts. Just on an industry level, I’ve seen it personally in different notes on both my own work and in examining/working on other people’s stuff. A lot of it is the byproduct of what are essentially business concerns, which obviously don’t define everything, but there’s also a level on which I think that there are questions of what the medium is best equipped for and how that effects what it ends up speaking to.
This Harper’s thing from almost 10 years back gave me a lot to think about re: whether you can make an antiwar movie or if there are paradigmatic things about all conflicts and, by extension, how the formulae of movies boil it, that are going to always underserve someone’s reality (often, one discovers in the process, by design).
Some of this also touches on stuff about masculine socialization and the “hero of inaction” concept that “Infinite Jest” was kicking around (which are both posts unto themselves) as well. I mean, this could all just be an intellectual cul-de-sac that’s at once too high-level and rooted too close to the very definitions of what makes art compelling to have an answer, but I do feel like there’s a certain “Yay Movies!” boosterism that covers for the sinister aspects of this stuff and, as someone who got his BFA in a well-regarded screenwriting program, I’m really grateful that I’ve had an intellectual journey that’s kicked some of it out of me, even if I’m not necessarily sure I’m ever going to regain a lot of the broad affection I used to have for the medium as a whole.
imagine if china, while they’re up on the moon, decides to knock down the US flag or whatever just to say ‘screw you’ and its like, what are we gonna do? spend a couple million just to fly some craft up to the moon and re-erect the flag? the whole scenario would be petty and that’s hilarious
i have lived in america my entire life and i am 100% sure we would do exactly that
I have nothing to wear