Wow, time warp. Ghost World is also on this list. Wonder if some of the selections sounded good at the time. He also mentions at the top that they are “suggestions” from readers.
There are a lot of heavily symbolic movies on that list. Weird.
Like what Nathan?
Let me rephrase myself. There might not be a lot of heavily symbolic titles, but there are some titles that surprised me, becasue they use symbolism readily.
Au Hasard BalthazarDay of WrathIn a Year with 13 MoonsAmarcordStalkerDogville
Some expressionistic titles, too
Buffalo ’66Waking Life (a movie about ideas within ideas…not very Ray Carney, at least as I understand him)La JetteSenso
Waking Life would be the biggest surprise followed by Buffalo ’66.
Man, people on here must really dislike reading, I guess:
“…I love many of the filmmakers you name. Yeah, Bela Tar. Yeah, Visconti. Yeah, Murnau. I love Jacques Rivette. I love Jean Renoir. I love DeSica. I love Jean Vigo. I love Harmony Korine. I love Chaplin. I love Keaton. I love Preston Stuges. I love Billy Wilder. I love Chantel Ackerman. I love Ingmar Bergman. I love Robert Bresson. I love Yasujiro Ozu. I love Federico Fellini. I love Roberto Rossellini. I love Carl Dreyer. And too many others. Etc. Etc.
I love the acting of Robert Duvall. I love Bette Davis. I love Joan Crawford. I love Crispin Glover. I love Nick Cage. I love Chris Walken. I love Gena Rowlands. I love Ben Gazzara. I love Philip Seymour Hoffmann. I love Humphrey Bogart. I love Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I love Gene Kelly. I love Sean Penn. I love Jerry Lewis. I love Ingrid Bergman. I love Marlene Deitrich. Etc. Etc. And too many others.
I love Rebel without a Cause. I love Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I love Casablanca. I love Now, Voyager. I love The Earrings of Madame D…. I love Dark Victory. I love Vincent, Francois, Paul, et les Autres. I love Place in the Sun. I love An American in Paris. I love Swingtime. I love Top Hat. I love Intermezzo. And too many others. Etc. Etc…"
(Bolds are for emphasis, obviously)
And Carney has always shown a love for American independent cinema. So, can someone please explain why it’s surprising to see films and filmmakers that Carney has expressly states he loves on a list of films he says are masterworks?
Maybe it’s that many like to place film personalities into a neat box so as to denigrate them without truly considering their opinion in the first place…
Into – The previous 13 pages are filled with discussion about Carney’s method, ideology, and stances on art. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing for him to like those films (I like those films, too), but I don’t think that it’s out of line to be a little surprised at a few of his choices; there are good reasons to be surprised both at the films I listed and at parts of the quote you provided (which was provided earlier in the thread).
I still don’t understand how it’s surprising that Ray Carney loves films from filmmakers he says he adores. I love Ozu. Is it surprising that I love A Story of Floating Weeds?
This entire thread is filled with people arguing over the way in which Ray Carney says things on his website with actually very little discussion over what he actually says (which is what I said on the first page… surprise! surprise! no one listened…).
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised then to find out that people don’t actually know what Carney is saying about film at all.
14 pages of discussion over a guy who is most noted for not being able to let go of a creepy crush he has on John Cassavetes. Inspiring. Just think, if you spend your life as a laser-mouthed, hyper opinionated contrarian who sits in front of a screen all day, you too may eventually be worthy of 14 pages on MUBI.
I guess I’ll stick to enjoying films without even considering what Ray Carney ever thought about anything. Things have worked out alright so far.
And just out of curiosity, for all of the education that Carney has received on all of these subjects, does anyone know whether or not he’s actually tried to make a film, or for that matter any creation that isn’t just a book of what he thinks sucks and what he thinks doesn’t suck? Call me a weirdo but I’ve always felt like participation in the creative process is an essential part of knowing about the creative process.
into peripheral vision:
Uh. it is all fleshed out in the 14 pages.
We all like what he likes and what he says about our mutual likes.
Much of what he says otherwise is the issue – it’s all there – enjoy!
I guess I’ll stick to enjoying films without even considering what Ray Carney ever thought about anything
Inspiring. Just think, if you spend your life as a laser-mouthed, hyper opinionated contrarian who sits in front of a screen all day, you too may eventually be worthy of 14 pages on MUBI.
I guess I’ll stick to enjoying films without even considering what Ray Carney ever thought about anything.
Let’s not actually consider what he says, let’s just listen to what everyone else says about him, take their word as gospel without even considering the truth of their statements, dismiss Ray Carney for being something he isn’t, and laugh at anyone that asks us to actually think about the film we just saw. Film isn’t about thought, it’s about buying into pack theory and making fun of those that don’t.
Some of you guys have an incredible ability to amaze me with your ignorance.
Into peripheral vision:
Uh. it is all fleshed out in the 14 pages.
We all like what he likes and what he says about our mutual likes.
Much of what he says otherwise is the issue – it’s all there – enjoy!
Yes, exactly what I said. You’re arguing over the perceived tone of voice when he says something you dislike. No one here is really arguing about the content.
Let’s just listen to what everyone else says about him, take their word as gospel without even considering the truth of their statements,
Yeah, and let’s not read the thread noting that most of what we disagree with came from the man himself.
The guy is his own worst enemy.
And like Nathan said, it was about method too.
Nathan: There’s a quote somewhere from Tarkovsky where he talks about how people think he uses symbolism. Many think the dog in Stalker must mean something “deeper”, like it’s a symbol of capitalism or male dominance or whatever. Tarkovsky rejects this, and so does Carney. Sometimes, a dog is just a dog.
You also mentioned surprise about Day of Wrath, so here’s Carney himself: http://people.bu.edu/rcarney/dreyer/wrath.shtml
Oh, and Gummo is great.
If one goes down that path, rejecting all excess meaning from the story and visuals of Stalker, then what is one left with? A nifty fantasy film? Sort of a Lord of the Rings in Russian? It’s one thing to reject an explicit correspondence in symbolic meaning, that is to say that the dog or the room mean X definitively, and another thing entirely to reject the idea that the dog or the room have any meaning beyond what is strictly defined by the narrative. Carney refers to symbolism in other films and dismisses it, but how is one supposed to tell whether something is symbolic or not without some dubious quote from the director? The room and the dog in Stalker are deployed in the same way that things Carney does read as symbolic are deployed in their films, even more saturated with meaning in some cases, so other than taking Carney’s reading as being right simply because he says so, what is the difference?
In one of his interviews Carney mentions the Xanadu estate as being symbolic of Kane being alone/lonely, and the sled as symbolic of the loss of childhood innocence. Both these readings are not only far too limited, they aren’t even symbolic in that the narrative explicitly makes clear that Kane is thinking of a sled he owned as a child and that he isolated himself in his mansion. That isn’t a symbolic reading that Carney is proposing but a dull surface reading of the visual and narrative text. Both readings can be enriched and contradicted or expanded upon if one looks more closely at the film as a whole and the other aspects of the narrative and visuals that feed into the “meaning” of the objects he’s referring to. At the same time, one can look at films he does like, Rules of the Game or it’s a Wonderful Life for example and find reoccuring visual motifs and symbols that are deployed in ways that both enrich the meaning of the films and are consistent with an understanding that these objects are symbols of something more than their strict narrative function. I’m not sure why Carney feels the need to deny symbolic function within film storytelling, if he meant it isimply n the sense I mentioned at the top of my comment I wouldn’t have much of a problem with it since direct substitution readings of symbols is a dull thing indeed and not worth all that much since there is no need to create a substitute for something that could be shown directly, but I don’t get that feeling with Carney. He too often celebrates an entirely surface reading of films and mocks anything that doesn’t fit that dynamic, and that to me is just wacky if that indeed is how he approaches undrestanding films.
Yeah, and let’s not read the thread noting that most of what we disagree with came from the man himself.
Your disagreements tend to stem from misreadings and intentional misreadings at that. You labelled him as a fascist which is quite a disgusting comment to make when you consider that most of his mailbag is dedicated to telling young film-makers not to imitate. When did it become fascist to tell aspiring artists to create something unique?
It’s very hard to find criticisms of Carney that aren’t either falsehoods that can be disproved by his own comments on his own site or pathetic personal attacks made by people who are enemies of rational discourse. By all means, if you disagree with his opinions, there’s nothing wrong with that, but at least know what his opinions are before voicing your criticisms. This thread is littered with false interpretations and then people wonder why the few of us who understand what Carney’s saying feel a bit annoyed.
It’s not our job to tell you what he thinks; if you want to have an opinion on a matter, make the effort to read his
writing. Otherwise, stay quiet.
Of course, you could just resort to comments such as this:
Yet another example of the lowering standard of discourse on this site.
Ray Carney has directed a film and written a novel.
I don’t agree with your last sentence. There’s an art to critical writing. As you must know, not every artist is a good critic; in fact, many artists are terrible critics. It takes unique powers of perception and the ability to convert that into coherent writing to be a top critic, and the fact that there’s very few good critics proves that it’s not an easy skill to master.
PS: The masterworks list on his site wasn’t compiled by him, so you shouldn’t assume that every title on there is considered a masterpiece in his eyes. He made a point to tell people not to make that assumption.
Carney doesn’t reject metaphor. If you read his article on Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire, or his book on Capra, you’ll see that he will refer to metaphors to aid his critical writing on the films. What Carney does fight against is the obsession with finding symbols that aren’t always there. For example, in Faces, Richard frequents the Losers club, and there was people who assumed that the name of the club was a symbol, which turned out to be BS of course.
Tarkovsky himself states that he uses metaphor, not symbols. To try and find symbols in Tarkovsky’s work is to stick your fingers up to the director who’s telling you that they’re not there.
When it comes to Welles, I don’t know whether he spoke about symbols in his work or not, but you’d think that if he thought people were missing the point, he would have told them at some stage during his life.
At the same time, one can look at films he does like, Rules of the Game or it’s a Wonderful Life for example and find reoccuring visual motifs and symbols that are deployed in ways that both enrich the meaning of the films and are consistent with an understanding that these objects are symbols of something more than their strict narrative function.
You will certainly find metaphors and Carney writes about them. You should check out his review of Wings of Desire.
I’m not sure why Carney feels the need to deny symbolic function within film storytelling
He doesn’t deny it; he criticises directors who don’t move beyond that symbolic function though.
… if he meant it simply in the sense I mentioned at the top of my comment I wouldn’t have much of a problem with it since direct substitution readings of symbols is a dull thing indeed and not worth all that much since there is no need to create a substitute for something that could be shown directly
He finds the decoding of symbols to be a shallow way of understanding a work of art and I think you agree with that.
… but I don’t get that feeling with Carney. He too often celebrates an entirely surface reading of films and mocks anything that doesn’t fit that dynamic, and that to me is just wacky if that indeed is how he approaches undrestanding films.
He doesn’t mock Tarkovsky. He doesn’t mock Bresson. He doesn’t mock Kiarostami. Or Bergman. And so on.
The only time he celebrates a surface reading is in films where the director wants you to look at the surfaces and stay with the surfaces rather than looking for hidden depths. He doesn’t look what for isn’t there; if you read quotes from Cassavetes and from Mike Leigh, you realise that Carney is on the right track when he writes about their films.
I’m glad to hear he deals with metaphor in his books, which I don’t have, his online writing and interviews I’ve read struck me as fighting rather too hard against the idea. Part of the problem surely has to do with the word symbol itself and how it is applied in criticism, and you are right in saying that I tend to either disagree, dislike, or find too limiting most uses of substitution symbols where one thing simply stands in for another, so if that is all Carney was railing against I have no problem with that in a general sense although in specific sense I still disagree with his comments on Kane, but that is indeed one of the main sticking points with Carney, his comments are often broad and rather caustically dismissive so anyone reading them can, perhaps, come to an understanding of his thinking that his books or, from what I’ve gathered, his classes may refine into something more acceptable and less systemic seeming as his website and interviews tend to suggest.
One thing I remain curious about is why Carney has such a dedicated group of followers when other critics, important and serious critics, generally don’t aside from Kael perhaps. I mean, yes, on one level it is obvious someone would say its because they simply find what he says more true than other critics, but that doesn’t fully satisfy the issue since interpretation of the arts is hardly a science or “provable” so something more specific is what I have in mind. There are other critics who like many of the same films as Carney, that champion directors like Leigh and Cassavettes, even if not to the same degree, but some of them also like different genre films or Hitchcock, Welles, or some of Hollywood that Carney dismisses, so is it in what he doesn’t like that he gains such devotion? There are other critics who disdain Hitchcock, Welles, Hollywood and most of the same types of films Carney does but they don’t necessarily agree on his championing of people like Cassavettes and Leigh so is it the positive aspects of Carney’s criticism? I Find it hard to believe that people simply agree with Carney so completely because everything he likes they like and everything he dislikes they dislike, and I hope it isn’t that they want to agree with Carney so much that they simply adopt his tastes as their own, so their must be some fairly specific things that make him the go to guy for the people who are so commited to his work, and that something must be a thing other serious critics don’t have since they don’t get the same sort of devoted following to their writings.
You make a good point. His interviews are home to his most polemic comments, and I can understand people being angered by some of his ostensible blanket statements when it comes to certain film-makers. The purpose of his interviews seems to be provoke discussion, and to make a few comments that will arouse controversy, to shake people up if anything.
One thing I remain curious about is why Carney has such a dedicated group of followers when other critics, important and serious critics, generally don’t aside from Kael perhaps. I mean, yes, on one level it is obvious someone would say its because they simply find what he says more true than other critics, but that doesn’t fully satisfy the issue since interpretation of the arts is hardly a science or “provable” so something more specific is what I have in mind.
Two things attracted me to his writing. Firstly, I was struck by the clarity of his writing and the enthusiasm that cascades through it. You could tell that he was passionate about art and was also not the pretentious theory obsessed critic more interested in impressing their intellectual friends than offering insights. Secondly, I instantly agreed with a lot of what he was saying, and when I found out that there was an entire philosophy behind his thought, many new possibilites were opened up to me.
If there wasn’t more to his writing and thought than film criticism, I doubt people would gain so much from him, but the pragmatic philosophy is an attitude to life and if that attitude appeals to you, his writings will interest you a lot more.
There are other critics who like many of the same films as Carney, that champion directors like Leigh and Cassavettes, even if not to the same degree, but some of them also like different genre films or Hitchcock, Welles, or some of Hollywood that Carney dismisses, so is it in what he doesn’t like that he gains such devotion?
Not for me, but there must be fans of him who enjoy his denunciations of certain ‘masters’ and the Hollywood scene more than his positive writing about the works of art he loves. It’s not about who he likes, but why he likes them that interests me. His film writing flies in the face of almost all previous writing about the art, so his uniqueness alone will attract quite a lot of people.
There are other critics who disdain Hitchcock, Welles, Hollywood and most of the same types of films Carney does but they don’t necessarily agree on his championing of people like Cassavettes and Leigh so is it the positive aspects of Carney’s criticism?
I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, Mike, Fraser and Adam, it’s definitely the positive aspects.
I Find it hard to believe that people simply agree with Carney so completely because everything he likes they like and everything he dislikes they dislike, and I hope it isn’t that they want to agree with Carney so much that they simply adopt his tastes as their own, so their must be some fairly specific things that make him the go to guy for the people who are so commited to his work, and that something must be a thing other serious critics don’t have since they don’t get the same sort of devoted following to their writings.
It’s the philosophy for me. I don’t think it’s possible to like everything someone else likes unless you literally refuse to use your own critical faculties and simply apply someone elses malleable faculties to every work of art you encounter. Obviously, that’s a bad road to go down, and such an attitude would be denounced by Carney if he was told about it.
There’s certain members on here whose opinion I have as much respect for as I do for Carney’s. I don’t think he’s the be all and end all of art criticism, and I’m always looking for new ideas and new insights from different writers because there’s always more to learn.
Yeah, I can understand what you are saying about why you are drawn to his work and how you understand it or adapt it to your own needs, and I’m cool with that, as I imagine most of the other people who’ve been posting here would be. I came into seriously thinking about films by reading Robin Wood and John Simon who would almost certainly hate each other, but who also represent the kinds of critics I was referring to above, but one for each side of Carney’s attitudes towards movies.
Simon could be incredibly harsh on genre films and directors like Hitchcock and Welles for what he took to be the undeserved acclaim they had within the film world, so he matched some of Carney’s more negative assessments, but doesn’t match Carney on what he does find value in, in that Simon hated Cassavettes films, or the ones I’ve read him critiquing anyway, and didn’t think much of people like Capra and almost certainly would hate a film like Gummo or some of the others Carney likes. Instead, Simon preferred “high art” directors like Bergman or Pintile and many of those who would more traditionally be thought of as dealing with high artistic themes and ideas. Simon was quite good at writing about these types of films as he was very educated and “in tune” with the kinds of ideas being brought out in these films. he could also really deliver a telling negative assessment against certain films that tried to deal with these kinds of themes but weren’t up to the task. So I liked reading him for the narrowness of his point of view and very specific demands he made upon films. I rarely agreed with him mind you, but reading him taught me how to better process my own experiences with films and for that having someone who is very specific in his likes and dislikes and how he comes to his conclusions is a valuable thing.
On the other hand, Robin Wood is someone who likes many of the same kinds of films Carney does, but also likes, and wrote about, Hitchcock and Hawks amongst other and who has a much broader range of films he appreciates, but has some more specific moral or political ideas that he holds as important above other aspects in film. I loved reading him for his enthuasiasm for films often disregarded by most for their underlying themes and ideas hidden beneath their genre trappings. I read Wood for an alternative way to look at movies, one where the ideas of high art weren’t the most important things in play, but I couldn’t always agree with him on how he came to his conclusions and on some of the films he valued, like Hawks, I never took to much at all.
I’m not sure how I would have reacted to Carney if I had come to him at that age, and now I don’t read that many film critics at all unless I come across an interesting looking used book from one, instead I’ve taken more pleasure in reading literature critics and others who are writing about subjects I know less about but whose ideas can be brought back into thinking about film. I guess it’s all what works for you and helps a person find their own understanding of film and what is important in the art form to them, and for that I Carney can be as good as anyone I imagine given how singular many of his ideas are and how little he is like most of the normal dullard reviewers out there. He definitely does provoke some strong reactions though, and that is why he’s an interesting person to discuss, as would be someone like Wood perhaps. One shouldn’t take the heightened emotions surrounding Carney too much to heart, some of it seems to be intentional by Carney to get people to react and maybe think about what they “know” and other parts of the reaction is not unlike the reaction people have who defend Carney when his ideas are being attacked, that is if Carney says something against a film or director or style others hold as important their ire is certainly going to be up when it is “attacked” and will respond accordingly. I don’t think most of us who have been posting here really have a problem with Carney per se so much as using him and his ideas as a method to get at or discuss different ways of looking at films used by people here on Mubi and what those differing ways of viewing imply to our understanding of the artform.
@ Dushane & Welshy
From the OP:Anyway, to anyone who hates the guy, post away your reasons for distaste, with perhaps some evidence for your viewpoint…
Here is my first post on the 14 page thread:
Fraser-OrrI was hoping to hear about his type of criticism: how does it work if it is not formalist?
What does he say about Cassavetes’s Opening Night? how does he approach it?
Is he taking like a neuroscientist because that is part of his approach to film criticism?
Here is Tom kern the 3rd post on the 14 page thread:Be nice Welshy. there is no reason to be so excitable.
The problem you have addressing specific charges in the thread is Carney’s own words.It’s OK to listen to a lot of pop music. It’s OK to read manga. It’s OK to be able to quote The Simpsons or Desperate Housewives (well, maybe that’s not really OK!!!
He isn’t really saying it is okay – he is being condescending. Is that the role of criticism? to tell people their taste isn’t as good as the critics?
That is why you like Carney – he isn’t teaching you to have an open mind – he is giving you a defendable position – art as weapon in your quest for a self-identity.
When did it become fascist to tell aspiring artists to create something unique?
Is that the role of a professor to tell aspiring artists what to create?
Isn’t that what the fascists did?
The masterworks list on his site wasn’t compiled by him, so you shouldn’t assume that every title on there is considered a masterpiece in his eyes.
So maybe he should change the title?
Ray Carney has directed a film
Where is it? I would pay anything to see that !!!
Here is my first post on the 14 page thread…
Actually your first post was this:oh man, I should have been there at the birth of this thread, but I was busy watching Cassavetes’s Opening Night 1976.
And it came in the middle of an already bubbling conversation in which the first post on this thread was an absolute, total, and horrible misreading of Carney’s writing:Why does it have to be all or nothing? Why can’t someone appreciate Bresson and Hitchcock? Is it impossible to like both Late Spring and Tropic Thunder? I don’t mind Carney’s championing of certain artists over others; what I do mind is the attitude that those who disagree are ignorant and foolish. That type of attitude basically closes down the possibility of an actual dialogue.
That was the first response on this thread. And it has absolutely nothing to do with what Carney actually writes, but a perception based on ignorance of his writings.
So, your entire post about the timing of these original posts seems disingenuous. Tom Kern’s post in which he stated Be nice Welshy… was the fifth post, not the third. And Welshy’s post was in response to the horrible misreading of Carney in the previous post. And here’s Welshy’s original response:
That isn’t the reason that Carney disagrees with Bordwell.Ray Carney has never said that you’re an idiot if you don’t share his opinions on art.How is White Light, White Heat up there with Bach? You have to provide reasons for such an opinion or it’s worthless.What the hell are you talking about?How is it lazy if he provides detailed reasons for his ‘dismissal’? Once again, the soundbite generalisations of Carney are popping up.Can a few posters get involved who know what they’re talking about? Whether you like Carney or not, spending two minutes on his wikipedia page doesn’t make you qualified to present a detailed critique of the man’s opinions.
I mean it’s pretty fucking absurd to me that after fourteen pages we’re still saying the same exact thing. And you think there’s something to be gleaned in the previous thirteen pages? There isn’t. The first response on this thread set the tone for the next thirteen pages, and we’ve all been saying the same thing, which is why I stopped posting (until now) on the first page.
He isn’t really saying it is okay – he is being condescending. Is that the role of criticism? to tell people their taste isn’t as good as the critics?That is why you like Carney – he isn’t teaching you to have an open mind – he is giving you a defendable position – art as weapon in your quest for a self-identity.
You purposefully misquote him, purposefully misread the intent of that quote and then tell me why I have a personal liking of his writing? Can you tell me how you read my fucking mind (or Welshy’s) and found out such information? OH! You didn’t. You’re just making assumptions that once again prove your horrible ignorance on this matter.
What you did in that section is an absurdity literally beyond words.
He’s not doing that. Again, a purposeful misreading of Welshy’s post. He’s asking an artist to actually think about their art; what it really means to them. It’s not fascism to ask someone to truly consider what they are doing as an artist, and you can’t just say it is because you want it to be. All of this is incredibly disingenuous. So I sense an early exit for me again.
haha how apropos I’m watching Cassavetes while a Carney thread is started.
Carney’s fascist approach isn’t subtle or nuanced but the block letters are so large you just can’t see it.
@RobertSo maybe he should change the title?
At the top of the Selected Masterworks page, the title is Selected Masterworks of Film Art
Viewing Recommendations Submitted by Site Readers.
Right, because if it sucks, that proves he knows nothing. Please tell me you’re not saying that.
@Greg Xf one goes down that path, rejecting all excess meaning from the story and visuals of Stalker, then what is one left with? A nifty fantasy film? Sort of a Lord of the Rings in Russian?
I think most of the inconsistencies and questions people have about Carney’s “method” or philosophy could be cleared up by simply thinking about what links the so-called symbolic works he likes with the “awkward-moments” works he likes, and what separates them from the stuff he doesn’t like. Really take a second look at Stalker or Amarcord and think outside the symbolist box. What else do these films have to offer, and is that “else” less or more worthwhile than the apparently symbolic surface?
Which is precisely what Ray Carney wants you to do. He does insist, however, that you think about what you think about a film, and not just go with your childish gut response, which is what most people do.
Also, in an interview on what he calls "puzzle films, Carney responds to a question about why people like those sorts of lame films partially by listing a few examples the interviewer left out:
In addition to the ones you’ve named, I’d add Memento, Suture, Waking Life, The Truman Show, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
So he’s not a big fan of Waking Life, although he has praised Linklater for other works.
@Into Peripheral VisionIt’s not fascism to ask someone to truly consider what they are doing as an artist, and you can’t just say it is because you want it to be. All of this is incredibly disingenuous.
Yes, the intentional misreading suggests that certain posters are simply upset that he dislikes some of their favorites, much the same way anyone on this forum who dismisses certain popular works is eventually called a fascist.
and if it is great? what do I do then Mike?
Selected Masterworks of Film Art Viewing Recommendations Submitted by Site Readers.
Are you saying that because they are Submitted by Site Readers they are not masterworks or are less than masterworks?
They could be works he uses in discussion, but why reference masterworks?
Did Carney say puzzle films are lame?
Giving advice = fascism.
Hopefully somebody can add that to the dictionary definiton of the word at some point.
Here’s the first five comment’s in his The Path of the Artist.
Someone please tell me what fault they find with these.
Never forget that to be an artist is, above everything else, to be a truth-teller, one of the few left in a culture seized in a death-grip by media-induced fictions and journalistic clichés. You speak secrets no one else dares to whisper. You exist to share your most private feelings and personal observations with others. They are where truth lies. Don’t be afraid of being too personal, too private. Your most secret fears, your private doubts and uncertainties are everyone’s.
It’s hard to see the truth because emotional clichés are everywhere, waiting to trap us. Most movie emotions are as unreal as the ones in pop songs. But fake emotions are not confined to the movies. They fill up the radio, television, magazines, and newspapers: All the things we pretend to care about but really don’t. All the things our culture tells us matter but really don’t. Make a movie about what you really feel, not what you think you are supposed to feel.
Leave the plastic feelings to the after-school specials. Leave the recycling to Hollywood. Our films have so many imitation emotions that if a real one ever intruded, it would shock us or make us laugh. Mike Leigh tells the story of the time a table collapsed on stage and, as the actors scurried to keep the dishes from tumbling, the sudden honesty of their performance revealed the falsity of the entire preceding play.
Cinematic clichés are everywhere. Any hack can create loneliness with a long shot and a little music. Danger with a hand-held, point-of-view shot. Fear with key-lighting. Surprise with an editorial jump. Leave the tricks to magicians. They are not life. If you are about to use a snappy, jazzy, exciting way to get something on film, it means you’re not really in touch with what is going on in a scene. You’re falling back on a routine, a formula, a shortcut for understanding.
My teachers told me that filmmaking was about telling gripping stories. It took me years to realize that that’s not an ambitious enough goal. You can do much more than that. You can give viewers new eyes and ears. You can change their states of awareness so that they see, hear, care, and feel differently. Your work exists to express things too delicate, too fluttering, too multivalent to be said in any other way. You’re doing something much more radical than telling a story. You’re rewiring people’s nervous systems. You’re doing brain surgery. Art gives us more than new facts and ideas; it gives us new powers of perception.
And, before you respond, please take note of words like “more” and “most,” that will save a lot of time with explaining basic english word usage.