Maybe if I could use Jerry Johnson as a proxy arm I might sign on. He lives closer to you anyway I believe. Y’all can let me know how it turns out, and I’ll act properly humbled if I, via Jerry, lose.
I’ll practice on DuShane first. Some ‘lite’ sparring.
Just a warning, I’ll be sending Jerry a copy of Over the Top so he can study up before the match. I’ll try to make sure that he doesn’t bring along that old machete wielding gardener of his too since I wouldn’t want there to be any unwelcome influence on the outcome…
More’s the fun ;)
Where is Jerry, anyway? The site has gone ribald for the moment. He should be here.
Eh, not much of anyone is around here on the weekends, comparatively I mean. Plus I think he has “real life” things going on that are taking his attention. Weird as that sounds…
Yes. Better to watch The Men Who Would Be King and heft up my defenses, which is precisely what I’m doing.
Cheers, mate. Love your arm whilst you may.
I want that lucky cat arm wrestling t-shirt.
I’ve only seen the US version, but permit me to further derail the thread to give Funny Games the Sam Peckinpah Memorial “Have Your Violent Cake and Denouce the Audience for Eating it Too” award. Maybe it’s some Hanneke hatred for the bourgousie or something, but I thought the whole thing was a little too gleeful and cute about being what it was scolding me for liking.
I like films that are honest, if they happen to be depressing, so be it.
“Sam Peckinpah Memorial “Have Your Violent Cake and Denouce the Audience for Eating it Too” award”
I move that this should be an official award given out yearly by a non-biased jury, replete with ceremony, presentation, and news coverage.
Wait a minute, Queens2010 = nyc_2010 = charlesdegaulle = mastroianni = rossi = renault2011= thislife?
Anyone notice the existential arc: place – people – thing – concept ?
“Lenny” made me feel ashamed of the way this world treats people it refuses to understand. Depressing? Certainly—but also damn important. As the end credits rolled, I felt empty, but as I left the theatre, and for some days after, I felt most inspired. There is so much fakery and bullshit in this world, it can weigh down upon your soul, but why let those bastards win? “Lenny” is NOT a Frank Capra film, the good guys don’t win in the end, but it’s a marvellous piece of film—and certainly not poor. As long as we’re discussing Bob Fosse, “Cabaret” is a horribly frightening, terribly depressing film—but again, it’s important, and neither of the above films could ever be called “poor cinema”.
At first glance I thought the title of this thread was “Do people think hairdressing films make for poor cinema?”
Thankfully I was mistaken, seen as the subject of hairdressing obviously has greater potential for depth, truth and profound beauty than the subject of depression has.
“The feeling of exasperation and annoyance.”
That’s actually the response I think you’re supposed to have. The intention is a tweak of the audience, not to produce something that’s supposed to lead to an epiphany.
Depressing films = Bad Cinema? Absolutely not…
10 Great Movies that will NOT leave you with an extra kick in your step:
Leaving Las Vegas
The Red Desert
The Parallax View
The Diary of Anne Frank
Au hazard Balthazar
I Want to Live!
I have no problems with depressing films, but I do take issue with films made for the sake of depressing, i.e. tear-jerkers like “Beaches” and “Sweet November”. Rather than “depressing” being “a reaction on the part of the viewer” as Claus Harding said earlier in the thread, “depressing” becomes the product. (I’ve already ranted at length in prior threads about this so I’ll stop there.)
Incidentally, does anyone know how depressing films fare at the box office in relation to happy films? Just curious.
I found “Slumdog Millionaire” quite depressing (and overbaked) but it pulled jillions at the box office.
“Perhaps I’m the only one who feels this way, and others think part of art’s purpose is to tell us the truth, and that this is one of those truths, what’s communicated in films like the aforementioned two. Sure, films like Nights of Cabiria, The 400 Blows, and The Soft Skin can be depressing at times, but they don’t leave the viewer with a sense of hopelessness. The goal is to make the viewer ponder and think, ‘what if…’”
I agree with the idea that art should tell us the truth. Life is depressing if you look at it carefully and not every ending is sugar-coated with hugs, kisses, and a sentimental John Williams score. Life is filled with love, death, betrayal, fear, hatred, etc. I love the filmmakers who emphasize these facts in their films (and perhaps it’s what makes them popular or unpopular in the eyes of some viewers).
However, I disagree with your thoughts on THE 400 BLOWS and THE SOFT SKIN, as I think both had their ways of leaving the audience with a sense of hopelessness, as well as leaving the viewer thinking. How could you not wonder about the fate of young Antoine Doinel at the end of THE 400 BLOWS, for example?
“In addition to that, the film also tends to allow the viewer to associate the “message” as one being “needed” by horror fans, which,as a group, tend to be caricatured as lower class or less educated.”
Yes, even here.
What does that mean?
Robert, is that addressed to me or Post-Kyo?
Kyo: What does ‘here’ mean?
I believe it means that on Mubi, a site dedicated to all sorts of film appreciation, there is still the tendency to view those who have an interest in horror films, or, by inference other types of “disreputable” genres, as being less educated or serious than those who appreciate Haneke or other “real” artists. Which raises a number of issues, some of which I was trying to address.
Haneke is not Argento – it is not subtle, but the difference between sensibility and sensitivity.
Does sensibility and sensitivity have something to do with a measure of intelligence?
I’d need you to elaborate on that a bit before I reply lest I go too far off target. There are a few different avenues one could explore by that sort of suggestion and I think there will likely be a matter of one’s initial vantage point in determining the answer to the question. One can have sensitivity in different areas after all.
Well, it is going into a definition of intelligence – but we are talking about art and specifically the perception of the experience of a film.
So we are weighing feelings and the ability to articulate of those feelings – a battle between language and the senses.
If the feelings are ‘gross’, as they are with the horror genre, how difficult is it to grasp the feelings and articulate the feelings?
It depends on the thoroughness of the apprehension, and, of course, the specific film being referenced. There is a good deal of thoughtful writing on horror films that go beyond the immediate “grossness” and look at where the anxiety of the films comes from or other larger cultural themes amongst other things. There is also the implicit suggestion that those who prefer something like a Haneke film are by fact of there preference somehow keyed in to a greater sensitivity or sensibility without any requirement of proof, which to me is deeply problematic.
I hesitate to say that dog wont hunt. Of course lots of thoughtful writing surrounds horror films – it is easy to do. Subtly is difficult to describe. As when people say art is ineffable – is Cronenberg’s work ever to be ineffable?
I think you need to articulate a contrast here as there isn’t much subtlety to be found in most writing on film, and there is also the suggestion that subtlety, an accumulation of small detail or delicacy leads to a feeling of the ineffable which I don’t think can be simply stated without exploration. How does one know if a work is ineffable? If one can’t clarify that, then one can’t answer a question about Cronenberg or whoever else. I would suggest that there are horror films that present a gestalt experience that is more long lasting and intense than the simple delineating of the surface aspects of the film could account for, so they can reach some of the definition of “ineffable” unless one wants to limit ineffability to only being applicable to certain “refined” types of emotions or ways of thinking that exclude horror films before the fact.
horror films that present a gestalt experience
Ah, give me that film, long lasting effects not required.
To make an idea accessible, spike people’s emotions – that is the essence of horror.
Reading the Bigelow thread started by Matt – that was her ‘creative arc’ or epiphany.
The subtle sensory experience requires power to articulate, that is what I am saying.
Should we compare a Cronenberg to Eric Rohmer’s Perceval?
I also think that it is worth keeping in mind that the conversation arose over the response to some films by Haneke, so it is as much about the way films are appreciated as it is about the films themselves.
As for horror films, I value a number of films that are considered a part of that genre very highly, some of the films directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Jacques Tourneur, for example.