This has stemmed from the Is ignorance bliss thread I started yesterday. The more I think about it the more I sense there’s a potentially interesting discussion to be had about what is or isn’t required in order to gain something positive from a film, or whether experiencing enjoyment – whatever that means to each individual, is a legitimate end in and of itself. I get the feeling the latter would be the popular view with most people, but most mubians would disagree. Would I be right in this assessment? And if so I’d like to hear why you feel the way you do.
Incidentally, before everyone says that film can be much more than ‘just entertainment’ I understand, and happen to agree with, this sentiment, but that’s not really what I mean when I say ‘enjoy’ (which is why I used the rather more awkward phrase ‘gain something positive from a film’). I think this may be headed into the realms of philosophy (a lot of my thinking does these days), but that’s cool. It’s pretty late here though, and I don’t think I’m adequately expressing exactly what I’m thinking, but hopefully you get the gist :)
Of course enjoying it is what matters.
The reason only matters if you have any interest in explaining why you enjoy it to anyone else. In this case " I just enjoyed it" simply won’t do.
I’m kinda surprised by Mike’s response, but, off the top of my head, I think I agree with him…actually, I think the answer depends a little on the context or situation. For example, if you wanted to determine if film was really good or not, then I think the reason does really matter. Some reasons are more appropriate and compelling than others—in that situation. And, as Mike mentioned, if you were having a discussion, then the type of reasons would matter. But outside of that context, I have trouble thinking of why the reasons for getting something positive out of a film would matter much.
Well, this could be the shortest-lived thread ever with such concise replies! I can’t think of a reason either, but I think this explains why so many of the films that the average mubian dismisses do so well. It also makes me wonder though what an average viewer would say is the reason they enjoy a film if pushed. I mean there will be a reason – there’s a reason for everything, but they just don’t know what it is. That’s fascinating! How do you decide what to sit down and watch if you don’t know why you like or don’t like stuff?
I can’t think of a reason either, but I think this explains why so many of the films that the average mubian dismisses do so well.
You lost me. Just because the reason for liking isn’t important, how does that explain the popularity of films we often dismiss here?
I mean there will be a reason – there’s a reason for everything, but they just don’t know what it is.
I don’t know. You don’t think people know why they like films? They like a comedy because it’s funny; an action film because it’s exciting, etc. My sense is that they could be a little more detailed, too. Or are you suggesting that the reasons they articulate are not the real reasons?
Sorry, I think I missed out a bit of my thought process there. I think the reason films that mubians dismiss do well with the average filmgoer is that most of the films that these people will come across are ones that don’t require much thought (blockbusters, superhero films etc) or work on the part of the viewer.
You don’t think people know why they like films? They like a comedy because it’s funny; an action film because it’s exciting, etc.
Well, yes. This kind of goes without saying, but it’s not really explaining the deeper ‘why’. There will be lots of comedies these people don’t find funny, and action films that don’t excite them. If they don’t know, or can’t articulate why they enjoy the films they do enjoy, then what criteria do they use when selecting a film to watch?
You’re preaching to the choir here, but there can be ancillary questions:
why do people need to enjoy?
why is enjoyment a positive?
There are people who don’t watch cinema – don’t think emotions are important – fade emotional content, or so they think. There are people who won’t laugh or dance.
I’m watching OUT 1 on youtube – scene after scene of actors tuning up their emotional expressiveness – an anathema to many, it is an expression of weakness or stoopidideee. Society seems to value EQ (emotional quotient) or Emotional intelligence (EI) – the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups (wiki) – basically, the ability to defer ones feelings or impulses and thus to be out-of-the-moment.
My answer to the OP: being in-the-moment in terms of feelings is the highest priority and the reason is to get the most out of human existence.