I see nothing in most of today’s art house that compels me on that 20 min. walk in the dead of night during which – arms akimbo, eyes sullen from the melancholy of not having been endowed with a equitable share of God-given talent, hands displaced occasionally and only to further tousle hair disheveled already by a paroxysmal episode of disbelief, envy, idolatry, upon the closing credits, or to gesticulate to the heavens in vicarious gratitude for said genius – during which, I howl incessantly “how was that done, how was that done?!!!” smack in the middle of the road, awaking townsfolk, the elderly (poor bastards), one of whom now has a double-barreled gun pointed to my temple in close proximity with Olympian ferocity no less, a menace of blood thirst in his eyes not seen since ‘Nam, threatening murder, complete brain-splattering annihilation. To which I of course retort, violently, "no shit, dear Sir. That I should die just now having seen what I saw would be tantamount to a Samurai’s valiant last breath in battle!"… And he complies…
Have advances in cinematic technology and techniques and the subsequent relative ease of production made movies such as Submarine, Martha Marcy May Marlene, 50/50, 500 Days of Summer (all pictures which I once enjoyed but on second viewing added no artistic lacquer to my intellect) seem like puerile, complacent homages to erstwhile masters Truffaut, Allen, Malle? Juvenilia to be sucked on like sorbet only to be spat right out without so much as an aftertaste, or afterthought? Or has my myopia for artistic merit reached a critical level of disregard for all things “newly good”? Am I a cinematic xenophobe at sea ready to level down any wave bringing with it pods of stylish novelty, hip rebellion (I laugh), and as one put it, “coy narcissism”?
50/50 and 500 Days = art house films?
The thing with trying to make good movies is that we never know if people will think like so. Anything can happen.
Are you talking strictly on a technical level or on a storytelling level?
If we’re talking technical, the last movie that blew me away was The Tree of Life. I’m still wondering how Chivo and Malick achieved what they achieved.
In terms of storytelling, the last movie I saw, Polisse left me thinking “how did they do that? How did they pull that off?”
Cinema is only getting better. We’ve barely scratched the surface.
I think that there are still tons of great movies being made but either you aren’t watching the right ones or the style of movies you like has declined even while other styles have flourished. Looking by the people you list as masters – Truffaut, Allen, and Malle – the best filmmakers working today don’t really make work anything like those masters. The top contemporary filmmakers (although a very diverse list) are more influenced by people like Tarkovsky, Cassavetes, Bresson, Bergman, Herzog, …
This may be the snobbiest OP I’ve ever read on this site and considering the competition, that’s quite an accomplishment. If you’re willing to seek out quality art, it’s not hard to find or (God forbid) relax and watch a good flick.
I read the erstwhile ramblings of the nightstalker and compute the technical considerations of his otherwise abstract relations co-combined into extro-poetics of the sublime negating the divine and interpreting these as best I Platonically can, dost ergo vis-a-vis find a relative lack of actual meaning amongst the typographic digits.
Nevertheless! O, but the state of accessible democratic media by which any poor soul can achieve his desire for self-expression without the competition of the preciousness of limited and expensive equipment! Said commonality becoming all too commonplace, is the cosmic comedy.
“Submarine, Martha Marcy May Marlene, 50/50, 500 Days of Summer …”
You are watching the wrong movies.
So what are the right movies, francesco j. torres? I agree with the OP a lot of films seems to have the same standard, semi-arthouse, semi-good, never innovative or provocative or interesting in a way that makes you think about the film after it’s done. But there are good films being made. I’m excited about the new Reygadas, even though the critics didn’t like it. I’m sure it’s better than the Carax film.
“You are watching the wrong movies” seems to me akin to saying you are “reading the wrong books” or interested in the wrong works of art. Should one be scolded for liking Georgia O’Keeffe paintings more than those of Jacques-Louis David or Ingres, Fitzgerald’s books over the books of D.F. Wallace, Thomas Pynchon? I think not. I am not hankering after some vapid, pseudo-intellectual debate over what movies are good or bad. Mubiuser gets my message: there are too many (not all, too many) good movies out there that are visually impressive, expertly shot and are cute but yet lacking in cerebral evocation. I could just as easily replace Submarine with Certified Copy, Martha with Film Socialisme, etc. I mean movies such as The Seventh Seal, The Sacrifice, or Knife in the Water, or even a relatively recent 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days or Irreversible that makes one truly think and polishes their intellect, which to me is the whole point anyhow.
“You are watching the wrong movies” seems to me akin to saying you are “reading the wrong books” or interested in the wrong works of art. Should one be scolded for liking Georgia O’Keeffe paintings more than those of Jacques-Louis David or Ingres, Fitzgerald’s books over the books of D.F. Wallace, Thomas Pynchon
To be fair, you’re drawing conclusions based on the films you’ve seen (and you’ve mentioned a specific type of movies), so when people suggest you’re watching the wrong movies, I didn’t interpret this as “scolding.” Isn’t it possible that your conclusion is based on bad sample?
Mubiuser gets my message: there are too many (not all, too many) good movies out there that are visually impressive, expertly shot and are cute but yet lacking in cerebral evocation.
Are you implying that the past produced a larger quantity of the type of films you’re calling for? A part of me feels like the situation has always been with us. The past just seems better because we’re more conscious of the cream of the crop, while we are unaware of the bad films.
The other possibility is that you’ve seen so many films that you’re not harder to please. (I think that’s happened with me, to some extent.)
“You are watching the wrong movies”
Or maybe movies just aren’t for you, Jaeger.
Certified Copy didn’t make you think after you left the theater? Or The White Ribbon?
Man, I guess you are waaaaay ahead of the rest of us.
Keep polishing your intellect, Santino. One day it will shine with a hard, gem-like flame. ;)
The White Ribbon. Now there’s a masterpiece.
Don’t worry OP, I’m working on single-handedly saving cinema as we know it.
Give me some time!
“Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of that heavenly glory.” – Bruce Lee; Enter the Dragon
Hey, nice thesaurus!
Easier to produce technologically does not mean easier to write.
Why are some of you so nasty?
This board does not respond well to broad sweeping statements of judgment disguised as questions.
You could have asked this exact same question, in the manner Jazzaloha asks questions, and ignited a generally respectful ten page discussion about it.
You argue a point about art films, then cite examples which are not representative of art films. You ask people’s opinion in a way that labels disagreement as moronic and sheepish.
I have nothing against big words, I use many of them myself. But they are not always more precise and descriptive than smaller words.
People in general are in line with what your saying but for
a) your cited sample which doesn’t necessarily cite movies people are overly fond of, so few see the point in getting worked up about
b) your overflowery and needlessly opaque language (sorry, I couldn’t resist it myself)
c) repetition of a general conversation that has been on this forum for a while, meaning a variety of people are speaking shorthand for long-term discussions they’re tired of having again.
So ultimately yes — contemporary independent movies have spawned an actual ‘indie’ genrefication which like any other genre (action; sci fi; drama) that has several examples of so utterly cliched and derivative works as to become tiresome and even irksome. Since production costs are cheaper now, more people can make even more derivative works.
And what a lot of the ‘nasties’ here are basically saying behind their snark is,
You don’t have to watch them and there are plenty of examples of good movies to see instead. You may just be watching ‘the wrong movies’ or movies that ’aren’t for you’ or overstating the significance of a specific sample of movies that most on this board don’t find to be either a) representative of the whole of contemporary cinema nor b) worthy of pointing out for any real specific point.
So what if I enjoy using “big words”? Leave me alone :) But seriously, I’ve been on this site for about 3 years and it seems that the old fascist a-holes who were nasty to virtually anyone with an OP back then are still very much around. But it’s the internet, of course.
Well if you’d like to actually discuss elements of style I could explain why your usage is more comical than it is meaningful (it doesn’t really have anything to do with ‘big words’) but the fact is that you’re right, people tend to come down heavily on posts such as these because they feel the topic is repetitive and are already jumping ahead on the snark train against arguments they’ve already had, regardless of whether the OP genuinely wants to discuss the topic or is familiar with the common arguments on the site or not.
I thought the overflowery OP was being sarcastic… right?
Also, I think you can make pretty much any OP you want here without being attacked as long as you don’t make sweeping generalizations.
When one asks a question, it encourages discussion.
When one makes statement disguised as a question, it just invites people to agree with that statement without adding anything of their own.
Of course I was being sarcastic. It’s almost like some of you have formed this very cynical camaraderie that cannot be permeated to the extent that a jokey OP is perceived as a potential threat from a troll (which I might be) seeking a rave review. Someone here certainly needs a hug.