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There seems there is a constant misunderstanding that superhero or blockbuster films should be excluded from such lofty accolades. But as far as I can tell it's just the Avengers that is being eye rolled at. And I think it's a fair eyeroll in that out of the glut of these type of films that are now out there, it is one of the least remarkable of many (some that are probably even technically worse I would consider better on the level of being Art, or at least a bad approximation of it, than this absolute milquetoast nothing burger of a movie).


Now if competence is an art form all on its own, give The Avengers the biggest trophy you can find. It succeeds at its task of being entertaining, for people who find stuff like this entertaining. But I think it's clear that this particular question of heritage is asking for a movie to be more than that. Maybe that is being narrow-minded, but being exclusionary is the point of making lists like this. There should be some intangible level of artistic greatness involved, not just 'did it's job as well as this genre requires'


Like, is there a single scene or idea from The Avengers where we can recognize 'ah, this is what makes this a singular cinematic experience'. If not, we are just arguing about what movies we think are good, which basically opens the door for virtually anything to qualify. It's why uniqueness and a singularity of the directors vision is so important to these discussions. Otherwise, what exactly are we championing? Nothing terribly interesting, it would seem.


So, if we don't have to concern ourselves with our metrics being anything but pure enjoyment of a film, and patting the film on the back for not getting in the way of that enjoyment, let me suggest Prom Night for preservation. Because I think my love of it makes it belong there. It functions perfectly as the boiler plate that so many other cheapo slashers would build upon. So I demand it goes in too and who could possibly object to that?



Could Ingmar Bergman have directed the Avengers? *Drops mic and stares off into the distance, slowly nodding at my own brilliance*



Could Ingmar Bergman have directed the Avengers? *Drops mic and stares off into the distance, slowly nodding at my own brilliance*
The Avengers definitely needed more existential Swedish brooding. Maybe Liv Ullmann as Captain America.

I say, why not?



Also, if we’re considering blockbuster Indian cinema, I will submit this for the canon.



Has everything a movie could ever want. Action. Romance. Song. Dance. A prison warden with a Hitler moustache.



There seems there is a constant misunderstanding that superhero or blockbuster films should be excluded from such lofty accolades. But as far as I can tell it's just the Avengers that is being eye rolled at. And I think it's a fair eyeroll in that out of the glut of these type of films that are now out there, it is one of the least remarkable of many (some that are probably even technically worse I would consider better on the level of being Art, or at least a bad approximation of it, than this absolute milquetoast nothing burger of a movie).


Now if competence is an art form all on its own, give The Avengers the biggest trophy you can find. It succeeds at its task of being entertaining, for people who find stuff like this entertaining. But I think it's clear that this particular question of heritage is asking for a movie to be more than that. Maybe that is being narrow-minded, but being exclusionary is the point of making lists like this. There should be some intangible level of artistic greatness involved, not just 'did it's job as well as this genre requires'


Like, is there a single scene or idea from The Avengers where we can recognize 'ah, this is what makes this a singular cinematic experience'. If not, we are just arguing about what movies we think are good, which basically opens the door for virtually anything to qualify. It's why uniqueness and a singularity of the directors vision is so important to these discussions. Otherwise, what exactly are we championing? Nothing terribly interesting, it would seem.


So, if we don't have to concern ourselves with our metrics being anything but pure enjoyment of a film, and patting the film on the back for not getting in the way of that enjoyment, let me suggest Prom Night for preservation. Because I think my love of it makes it belong there. It functions perfectly as the boiler plate that so many other cheapo slashers would build upon. So I demand it goes in too and who could possibly object to that?
I resent the notion that Prom Night isn’ta more entertaining movie than The Avengers.



The Avengers definitely needed more existential Swedish brooding. Maybe Liv Ullmann as Captain America.

I say, why not?
Or did Persona need Liv Ullmann to say "That's my secret, Cap. I'm always Bibi." Then transform into Bibi Anderson and punch a giant alien eel to death.

I say, why not?



Victim of The Night
You forgot to mention you make a special exception for Snoopy!



I haven't even prepared any list yet. It can be 50, whatever. Just not 500 or 1000.
There were some interesting propositions in the thread already, though. Avengers just isn't one.

Following this logic, half of the list should contain bad films to show that cinema is mediocre on average.
Except that I don't believe that Smokey and the Bandit is a bad film. I believe it is an excellent example, one of the best really, of the type of film that it is.



Or did Persona need Liv Ullmann to say "That's my secret, Cap. I'm always Bibi." Then transform into Bibi Anderson and punch a giant alien eel to death.

I say, why not?
And it would be captured with a weird dissolve where Andersson and the eel are one.

I say, why not?



Victim of The Night
None of them would be in my top 20. Not even the top 100, I guess.
No, I wouldn't think they would be, but if we were really going to leave a time capsule for aliens to see what the human race created, would you really leave all of those films out?
I think you'd be on an island if you said yes.



Except that I don't believe that Smokey and the Bandit is a bad film. I believe it is an excellent example, one of the best really, of the type of film that it is.
I would make room in the canon for ‘70s Sally Field. Squeeze in Stay Hungry too. Man, she was such a babe



And it would be captured with a weird dissolve where Andersson and the eel are one.

I say, why not?
There's only one way to find out.

*Grabs a shovel and a plane ticket to Sweden*



@crumbsroom said it better than I ever could. I think his last post is mandatory if you want to continue the discussion in this thread. Joking is fine, too, though.

No, I wouldn't think they would be, but if we were really going to leave a time capsule for aliens to see what the human race created, would you really leave all of those films out?
Yes, I would ABSOLUTELY not include these films, then. That was my point from the very beginning. You have the opportunity to show the aliens the ultimate of human cinematic art. And what do you choose? Avengers?
__________________
I'm not nice. I'm mean. Deal with it.



@crumbsroom said it better than I ever could. I think his last post is mandatory if you want to continue the discussion in this thread. Joking is fine, too, though.
You think me currently on a flight to Sweden to excavate the corpse of Ingmar Bergman in a plot to reanimate his corpse, get him a meeting with Kevin Feige, award him the same budget, cast and script for the Avengers, to see if he could make such a blockbuster romp is some kind of JOKE?!?

And here I thought we shared an appreciation for true works of art.

*Immediately exits aircraft halfway over the Atlantic*



You think me currently on a flight to Sweden to excavate the corpse of Ingmar Bergman in a plot to reanimate his corpse, get him a meeting with Kevin Feige, award him the same budget, cast and script for the Avengers, to see if he could make such a blockbuster romp is some kind of JOKE?!?

And here I thought we shared an appreciation for true works of art.

*Immediately exits aircraft halfway over the Atlantic*
As long as I get a story idea credit, I approve.



Registered User
You'll be the Finger to my Kane.

Finger Kane?






Victim of The Night
@crumbsroom said it better than I ever could. I think his last post is mandatory if you want to continue the discussion in this thread. Joking is fine, too, though.

Yes, I would ABSOLUTELY not include these films, then. That was my point from the very beginning. You have the opportunity to show the aliens the ultimate of human cinematic art. And what do you choose? Avengers?
Or, we have the chance to show them who we are. In which case, in a long version of the list, yeah, I would.



I haven't even prepared any list yet. It can be 50, whatever. Just not 500 or 1000.

Didn't Ebert go with a 1000 movies? Or was the title of his book a lie?



And it would be captured with a weird dissolve where Andersson and the eel are one.

I say, why not?

Don't forget Max von Sydow in his iconic Iron Man armor, playing chess with that giant eel.



I don't think that you in particular are prone to the hype. I think we all are to some extent, including me.
Fair.

Avengers is a film for an average Joe and so it fulfills the basic needs of an average Joe. Something like Vitalina Varela is not a film for your average Joe. It doesn't mean that your average Joe cannot love it. But chances are, Joe, won't get it. And Vitalina Varela hasn't had even an ounce of the marketing Avengers had.
I agree with all this. Any potential disagreement is about equating inaccessibility or obscurity with quality (and, of course, the inverse).

I made this thread thinking about films that are "true art", something you'd add to the cinematic heritage. I'm pretty sure there are many people who LOVE Avengers but wouldn't classify them as these two things.
Correct, I wouldn't, either. But I think the dismissiveness on this front belies a genuine misunderstanding about the boundaries of art.


How does that make the film better, though? Isn't it the same as liking the film more because others liked it more? I mean, it's something you can discuss, but how does that make Avengers better? Or are you, again, just saying it to contemplate something around it?
I'm saying we will never be able to draw a clean line around art and the reaction to it, and indeed some would say there literally is no such thing as art that nobody reacts to (if only the creator), and we can set that exception aside in the case of anything presented for public reaction the way films are.

It was a running joke in our podcasts on this site that we could never tell whether the film we were discussing was good, because we were finding so many things to discuss about it, or whether we were just good at finding things to discuss. And then, we'd wonder whether there was actually a difference between the two.

I will definitely not have been the first person to suggest that art is valuable because of its ability to provoke feelings in us, and that it can do this with or without an assist on our end. And in fact, that ties directly into the "breadth instead of depth" argument: it can be genuinely challenging to make lots of people care about the same thing despite vastly different tastes and life experiences. You must admit there is something beautiful about a young boy and an old man cheering for the same thing.

Yep, unfortunately. Because it makes it harder to answer my initial question. Ideally, we should experience movies as if we were outside the door and looking at what's happening inside, with a total coldness and analytical mind. But it's impossible. And I think it's good it's impossible. I've been bringing my history and biases a lot. Too much, maybe. Ideally, film should not do that. Or maybe it should? Depends on what's your definition of film. It's like Pedro Costa's closed doors or the average film watcher's open door. I'm really torn between these two approaches, as I deeply appreciate both. I think it's maybe best to leave the door slightly open, but not too much.
I think this is all good and basically correct, yeah. In another discussion here or there you'll find me beating the drum for at least trying to step outside of ourselves when evaluating a film. I think that's an important part of evaluating art. Just not the only part.

How'd you even know these people are watching a piece of art? You can't see it yourself. Maybe they're all freakin' monsters and just looking at a child in chains. Or are you saying the people watching something are art themselves? I'm kinda confused.
"How do I know they're not ghouls looking at something awful?" Maybe you see enough people walk by that you realize most of them must be relatively normal. Maybe you instinctively assume they're looking at something beautiful because you assume most people love beauty. Maybe after an hour of this you realize you think that about people, and you have that in common with them. And maybe you're moved by this realization.

Or maybe you think the monster thing and the friend you're with doesn't, and you have a realization there, too, about your assumptions about humanity.

Doesn't really matter which. In both cases (or whatever third or fourth example reactions we might dream up next) the two-way mirror is actually a one-way mirror, held up to you, and creates the capacity for insight and understanding, which is probably close to the best sufficiently broad definition of art I can give.

By those means, I'm indeed judging it along the wrong (or different) metrics. But no, breadth is not as important as depth.
I don't know about "as important," but at this point I'd settle for "important at all." Or hell, how about just "not a negative"?