Introducing non-cinephiles to film

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With the greatest films you don't even have to think to get their brilliance. They're so excellent they knock you off your feet even if you watch them without subtitles. Of course, thinking about them brings you even more enjoyment but we should strive to not overintellectualize movies per the story about the critics and the cleaning lady at the screening of Tarkvosky's Mirror.

But yes, Fellini was a hugely successful filmmaker - both artistically and commercially. These two things could coexist back in the 50s and 60s. You say something happened about 20 years ago but I think it was a gradual process that started in the 80s with the advent of blockbusters. Equivalents of blockbusters had been in the making since the conception of cinema but I daresay it was the 80s when the whole infantilization and de-artification of cinema happened.

Spielberg is partly to blame, with his idea of the cinema of the center, occupying that weird area between the slightly artistic and wholly commercial. Spielberg capitalized art and made the audiences think that what he's doing is the peak of what art can be and anything beyond that is artsy and deserves to be degraded. Spielberg was the first of the pseudo-artists whose films stopped being sincere. Ford or Hawks would never call themselves artists but their films were honest. Nolan and Villeneuve and, dunno, superhero movies - They're all Spielberg's children. There's no art there anymore. I'd rather watch a HK film from the gutter than a Spielberg or Nolan.

When I talk of thinking, I'm not being specific to breaking a film down into thematic chunks, or analyzing the films technical proficiency. Im also talking about simply having the patience to sit and be receptive to the elemental force of a film. To not shut oneself off simply because the movie seems to be asking a little more of you. Or something different. Anything is good that isn't simply surrendering oneself to one specific way of experiencing a piece of art and then putting up a wall if those criteria aren't being immediately satisfied.


Basically to stop being zombie consumers.



For two hours, I get to be Batman.

The Adam West Batman or one of the other ones? Because it sounds like all of the subsequent ones are too drab, dull, dark, overblown, and not entertaining for you (because they periodically try to think about non-entertainment stuff - how artistically successful they are doing it, is another story).



A system of cells interlinked
Basically to stop being zombie consumers.
Does that really describe a sector of MoFos larger than a few people? I certainly wouldn't put Skiz in that camp, that's for sure. I would put myself in that camp before him, and I watch plenty of stuff outside the mainstream, some of which even have subtitles. A few of the films are directed by Tarkovsky.

I want to make it clear I am most certainly not a cinephile; this is something I am fairly sure Minio will agree with 100%.
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“It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.” ― Thomas Sowell



Sorry if I'm rude but I'm right
When I talk of thinking, I'm not being specific to breaking a film down into thematic chunks, or analyzing the films technical proficiency. Im also talking about simply having the patience to sit and be receptive to the elemental force of a film.
Gotcha, agree 100%.
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Look, I'm not judging you - after all, I'm posting here myself, but maybe, just maybe, if you spent less time here and more time watching films, maybe, and I stress, maybe your taste would be of some value. Just a thought, ya know.



I also want to point out, that I don't even think it's important to be a quote-unquote cinephile. For some people , movies are just never going to speak to them on a deeper level. They will always be simply a tool for escapism or a way to pass time as unbothered as possible. Unfortunate, yes, as I think they are probably one of the easiest ways to gain understanding of the human condition and the spirit of individualism, but totally fine. At least as long as people are finding other ways to flex these empathy muscles, all isn't lost.


But what gets galling to me is the hostility and derision doled out by so many who resist films being more than a product. And then, have those same people continually chirp about how their opinion is just as good and valid as anyone else's. This claim to be an expert in something they are outright denying the worth of, or having any deeper knowledge of.


As I mentioned above, just like some people will never grasp the value of film, I'm similar in that I can't seem to grasp the value of theater. Not that I can't enjoy the occasional play, or that I don't grasp the basic notions of storytelling they may be employing, but I probably don't view these experiences as anything more than a 'night out'. Which is why my opinion on theater is clearly not as good as those who devote their time and mental faculties engaging with it. I don't have any knowledge of the competing philosophies of theater, or it's history, or any great sample size of having seen any plays much beyond fairly succesful ones. In short, even though I can enjoy a play, and I know what I like, I can immediately recognize how limp and pointless any of my arguments would be against it. Especially if I chose to start proclaiming it as not that important, or even worse, if I begun complaining or even demanding that plays cater to my specifically ignorant tastes. It wouldn't take me long to realize how outclassed I'd be in such a conversation. If I wanted to learn more, I might listen and ask questions. And if I simply didn't care, I would just take a bow from that specific conversation.


But I can't help but keep noticing that for those who fundamentally distrust the potential of art to be something more, there is this consistent trend that they will claim know as much as anyone else. Why? Because they watched them before, maybe even enjoyed a few. Like these are credentials of any kind.


Now what other profession or skill or talent in the world continually gets degraded like this? People don't assume they know as much about accounting as accountants because they know how to spend money, or know as much about surgery as a surgeon because they can apply a bandaid to a scratch. But apparently in this world, full of so many completely creatively bereft people, everyone supposedly knows as much as the artists. Everyone is equal.


And I am just here to state the obvious: no, they aren't.



It's all relative. Compared to the population at large I've seen an insane number of movies and think about them 20x as seriously. Compared to people here I'm below the median in terms of breadth of viewing (though perhaps not thought put into the art form, if I can flatter myself).



It's all relative. Compared to the population at large I've seen an insane number of movies and think about them 20x as seriously. Compared to people here I'm below the median in terms of breadth of viewing (though perhaps not thought put into the art form, if I can flatter myself).

The difference is you engage with these conversations, even if you fundamentally disagree with the points bring raised. You dont just disregard what has been said and make declarations that you don't attempt to back up with thought.


It's an important distinction.



I also want to point out, that I don't even think it's important to be a quote-unquote cinephile. For some people , movies are just never going to speak to them on a deeper level. They will always be simply a tool for escapism or a way to pass time as I bothered as possible. Unfortunate, yes, as I think they are probably one of the easiest ways to gain understanding of the human condition and the spirit of individualism, but totally fine. At least as long as people are finding other ways to flex these empathy muscles, all isn't lost.
I almost posted this exact sentiment the other day.

It's fine to not take movies that seriously. We all have art forms we don't take seriously or think about much. I assume almost no one here has a deep understanding of sculpture. Time is finite and interests vary, and we all have to decide what we want to delve into and appreciate on a deeper level, and what we'll engage with more superficially.

Buuuut, as you go on to say, you'd expect some humility about the things people have decided not to pay attention to. And you'd hope that attention is going somewhere. I wouldn't think much less of someone who saw movies as mere entertainment, but I'd think a lot less of someone who had no deeper interest in anything, who saw all art and all expressions of other experiences as amusements at most.

One complication is that the form and industry of film seem built to confuse on this point, since many films have no real ambition to be anything more than passing entertainment. And many are presented as potentially enjoyable for anyone. Given the way you guard expression and accessibility as intrinsically good, I imagine you'd be the first to say that art is for everyone, that gatekeeping it is bad, that people should not tremble to approach any difficult work because they feel unqualified, et cetera. And even though it's theoretically possible for the layman to engage thoughtfully anyway, in practice we both know what the trade off ends up being. Either an art form contains some odious barriers to entry or it invites the riff-raff in and has to spend time swatting down thoughtless opinions.

It's a strange art form, arguably the one with the most variance in goals and the widest possible range of emotional outcomes. I'm sure some version of this spectrum of appreciation exists everywhere, but I'm guessing it's far narrower in the world of literature or painting.



It's a strange art form, arguably the one with the most variance in goals and the widest possible range of emotional outcomes. I'm sure some version of this spectrum of appreciation exists everywhere, but I'm guessing it's far narrower in the world of literature or painting.
I think Preston Sturges had the definitive word on the importance that movies can have on people's lives when he made Sullivan's Travels.

Folks don't need to be cinephiles for movies to really make a big difference in their lives.




Does that really describe a sector of MoFos larger than a few people? I certainly wouldn't put Skiz in that camp, that's for sure. I would put myself in that camp before him, and I watch plenty of stuff outside the mainstream, some of which even have subtitles. A few of the films are directed by Tarkovsky.

I want to make it clear I am most certainly not a cinephile; this is something I am fairly sure Minio will agree with 100%.

In this thread alone we've had


1) A claim that not only are 'art films' boring, but that people who like them consider this boringness a quality that makes something capital A Art


2) The obligatory complaint that movies without stories are by default not entertaining


3) A claim the movies aren't things that are actually really needed


4) That a night out at the movies is not really about the movie, it's about getting out of the house and having dinner and seeing the city.


5) An appeal to the sentiment that movies are primarily a business investment just waiting for a proper return (ie, they aren't fufilling their primary function if they don't appeal to the largest sector of the public)


6) A complete unwillingness to state which films are actually good (ie entertaining) or engage in the deeper conversation Minio had opened this thread to have


Yes, any of these can be walked backed or clarified(which it should be noted has not happened), but taken all at once, yeah, this is zombie city 101. Consumer brain at its most soulless. And I know the spiel well. These are all basic ways people try and deflate any talk of motion picture being art, and reinforce the notion that they are meant as a little more than a distraction. A product that should flatter us. And the problem with this is, when enough people agree with these sentiments (which they currently do, which is one of many reasons movies are flailing and will eventually be relegated to 'dead art' status along with poetry if this continues) you end up cutting all of the heat out of their greater worth (stimulating conversation, making one understand oneself or others better, generating empathy, engaging us politically, challenging our expectations).


Now as I've already stated, no one needs to take movies seriously. But when entering a conversation basically about how to take movies more seriously, only to clutter it up with shrugs towards the art itself, and appeals that maybe everything should sway towards milquetoast tropes most likely to give you the biggest bang for your buck, it shouldn't come as a surprise when there is pushback.


As for your claim about yourself, I don't know enough about your viewing habits to comment. But I know about your posting habits, and as far as I can tell, even if you agree with a lot of the above things, you don't engage in the kind of skepticism and deflation that's been going on here.



A system of cells interlinked
In this thread alone we've had...

Great post, which deserves a reply with some consideration and thought put into it. I am off to visit a relative in the hospital at the moment, so I am reserving this space for now, and will return when able.



The Adam West Batman or one of the other ones? Because it sounds like all of the subsequent ones are too drab, dull, dark, overblown, and not entertaining for you (because they periodically try to think about non-entertainment stuff - how artistically successful they are doing it, is another story).
Yikes.....more to think about, like WHICH Batman? Too heavy for me.



I do seem to have ignited a fire here. That's OK. For the record, my long experience with movies (not JUST "film") has been everything from those warhorses like Fellini, Bergman, Hitchcock, etc to franchises like Harry Potter or LOTR or, God Forbid, Barbie, but that experience also shows that a lot has changed since then. Recent movie-makers have absorbed the techniques of those past heroes. They've learned that bag of tricks. The problem is, where do you go forward. Nobody I know (including me) wants to go back to those moody Swedes in Bergman, creeping around in houses with squeaky floors. Movies have not stood still and certainly will not go back. We're also not going to go back to driving Model A Fords.



Sorry if I'm rude but I'm right
I do seem to have ignited a fire here. That's OK.
I think you're just trolling. But fine, I'll continue to play along.

For the record, my long experience with movies (not JUST "film")
But it's the other way around. It's not just "movies" like you suggest. It's film. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

has been everything from those warhorses like Fellini, Bergman, Hitchcock, etc to franchises like Harry Potter or LOTR or, God Forbid, Barbie
With film school 101 and the biggest commercial hits, there's not much variety of film in that statement, which, I'm sure, meant to show you're well-versed in cinema. But, sure, you can use the "everything in between" thing.

but that experience also shows that a lot has changed since then
If you cherry-pick like that, you can arrive at even wilder conclusions. Commercial and art cinema existed side by side (often intersecting) since The Assassination of the Duke of Guise. Some things have changed but there was no point at which everybody decided "That's enough of that, *spits*, art cinema. Let's only make entertainment from now on. After all, it is, *winks*, The Entertainment Industry."

Recent movie-makers have absorbed the techniques of those past heroes.
Those who did, did. The issue is too few did.

They've learned that bag of tricks.
See, the problem is you see the art of the great filmmakers of the past as a mere bag of tricks you can learn and then absorb into your work.

The problem is, where do you go forward.
So, let me make this clear. Are you postulating that, while struggling to answer that question, modern filmmakers should start going backward? Is your argument "Oh well, there's nowhere new to go artistically, so let's just make cookie-cutter artless cash grabs"?

Nobody I know (including me) wants to go back to those moody Swedes in Bergman, creeping around in houses with squeaky floors.
Then... you don't know any cinephiles? And hardly any filmmakers? Eggers and Schrader both love and are influenced by Bergman. Countless cinephiles regularly go back to Bergman to learn and experience something new. You're now trying to dismiss the films of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time as one-time watches nobody wants to go back to WHILE seemingly championing merely entertaining films.

Movies have not stood still and certainly will not go back. We're also not going to go back to driving Model A Fords.
It couldn't be more clear than that. You see film as that one-sided, uniform progressive scale, where each subsequent film is more modern than the one before. You see films as utilities, like a car, that have mostly just one purpose. You seem to be dismissing the value of older films, thinking they have nothing to offer to the present and future generations because you sure ignore the diversity, creativity, and innovation that exist in cinema across different genres, styles, cultures, and eras, downplaying all that to a bag of tricks newer filmmakers have allegedly already learned.

Worse still, you fail to appreciate the artistic vision, expression, and influence that each film can have, regardless of when it was made. "Why the hell would anybody need 19th and 20th-century literature? Modern writers already learned that bag of tricks! Nobody I know (including me) wants to get back to Gorky or Mishima!"

Or, in Crumbs' words, you are missing the point of what makes cinema an art form, not a product. This is a very troubling notion.



1) Movies aren't cars. Nice product placement though


2) Just because modern filmmakers may have absorbed some techniques from early masters, doesn't cancel out those older works. There are few movies that have been cribbed from more than L'Atalante, but nearly a hundred years later, there still is no movie like it. A movie isn't a collection of techniques, it's a document of the individuals who made the film, and the society it was made in. You know, some of those important things that have yet to even be acknowledged in this thread.


3) Appeals to the fact that 'no one' wants to see a Bergman film anymore, would mean something if it wasnt already clear most people don't care about film in general. It doesn't mean we should strike his name off the worthwhile list though. It just means people should be ashamed at how incurious they are about anything that has come before them (at least if they consider themselves a fan of films, and not just a bunch of popcorn munchers)


4) You can tell a lot by how someone watches a movie by how they respond to people who are actually talking about movies. Some people engage with and then address what has been put in front of them. Others... don't.



I think you're just trolling. But fine, I'll continue to play along.

But it's the other way around. It's not just "movies" like you suggest. It's film. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Worse still, you fail to appreciate the artistic vision, expression, and influence that each film can have, regardless of when it was made. "Why the hell would anybody need 19th and 20th-century literature? Modern writers already learned that bag of tricks! Nobody I know (including me) wants to get back to Gorky or Mishima!"

Or, in Crumbs' words, you are missing the point of what makes cinema an art form, not a product. This is a very troubling notion.
I'm no troll, just a person who likes "Movies" and has an on-and-off, but long relationship to "Film". While none of them that I've seen any time recently have been on actual celluloid, about every other screen presentation I see might count as a Film (accepting that jargon for a moment). It helps to have several theaters near me that specialize in movies that have offshore, obscure or indie origins. My trips to the mall cineplex are about every 8 months, generally for a superhero presentation. It's fun to see all of that energy in a theater, a welcome relief from sober, critical viewers.

Given that my spectrum of movies I like is very broad, what would be the criteria for a Film? When does a movie become a film assuming that neither are on celluloid? Is it a problem if it's popular like one of the ones at the cineplex at the mall?

What if it's an old print of John Waters and Pink Flamingos, which satisfies the need for film and unknown actors? That was compared in its era to Bunuel's Andalusian Dog and he must count since he's foreign.

It's my personal propensity to see a lot of distinctions not based on material fact to be either dubious or at least worth challenging, so I guess, aside from projection technology, what would be the difference between movies and film? Who gets to say that?




Film = cinema, bro. xD
So, when does "cinema" become a movie or vice versa? Like a lot things in life, it's a matter of opinion or personal preference. There's no way to prove that a Three Stooges short is not cinema.

In my other art world, things that show up in galleries, I've seen 5 figure prices attached to stuff that I wouldn't have in my leaky garden shed to keep the rain off the lawn mower, but some people are willing to Ooooh and Aaaah at the accomplishment. I seem to recall that Van Gogh hardly sold anything in his life and, close to the movies, that many movies have risen and fallen during their life times.

Here's a starter for a list - https://movieweb.com/movies-consider...onger-hold-up/



Sorry if I'm rude but I'm right
Your posts get more and more ludicrous by the minute.