“one is then intentionally excluding parts of the self.”
Right. All of this seems to be a matter of a slight disagreement over the definition of “self” which is probably not resolvable once one is already committed to a sentimentalist aesthetic as a final vocabulary. The proof of the relative unimportance of this difference probably lies, Greg, in the relatively agreement in our “like”-ness of many, many films.
I think a film has to stand on its own. Otherwise, it requires the viewers to have seen other films to appreciate it, which isn’t something I think they’re entitled to do. This reminds me of the review of ‘Film Socialisme’ on ‘Ebert Presents…’. Vishnevetsky effectively conceded it was a meaningless collage of sounds and images but added ‘context is everything’ and argued it was good if you kept in mind Godard’s filmography and used it to try and imagine what he was trying to say. In the words of Roger Ebert, the film made its audience ‘do all the heavy lifting’.
I think Film Socialisme is a tricky example—if Vishnevetsky’s description if accurate (I haven’t see the film). Does knowledge of Godard’s other films now make the film good? Or is the film interesting in relation to the other films? The former suggests that the knowledge of previous films changes the viewer’s understanding of the film and therefore changes their judgment of the film. The latter means that more parts of the film become interesting, but the viewer still may not think the film is very good. I don’t know if that makes any sense.
@Greg, Matt, Robert, Joks (and anyone else reading the tangential discussion about greatness)
I feel like each of us is talking almost an entirely different language—or at least coming at the issue from entirely different perspectives and angles—and can’t seem to see outside of these perspectives. Let me ask a question to you: do you feel that the other participants understand your position/point of view? I can tell you think I don’t think people (at least Greg and Purusa) understand my position at all. Now, the point is not to blame them—I could certainly be a lot clearer and precise in my writing—but just that I think we’re talking past each other and not really communicating well.
I have no idea how to remedy that situation at this point. I’m not sure where to begin. (Maybe I’ll try to find way to jump back into this later.)
I’m going with both. I don’t think “or” is ever an option to begin with.