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#361 Tony

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:20 PM

You still haven't given any examples of what qualities make Kubrick's films indisputably Art that Spielberg's best films don't possess. You offer either circular arguments (I like him because I like him) or platitutdes (he's challenges cinema). I don't see how Kubrick's incessant use of wide angles lenses (borrowed from Welles who at least used them expressively and not as decoration as Kubrick does) makes his films instant Art. If anything I'd say Kubrick is more of a showman than Spielberg. All of his post Lolita films were built on a massive technical stunt(s) or some sort. Look at the way EWS was marketed (Kubrick was always heavily involved in marketing of his films). Furthermore I would say Kubrick is more cited as a favorite filmmaker of people who won't know much about cinema. Ever read the Cahiers Du Cinema or Postif guys? They don't really care much for Kubrick. He's more a popular phenomenon than a critical one. Every film Kubrick made in between Paths of Glory and Barry Lyndon was a considerable commercial success.

#362 Magnus Malcolm

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:22 PM

Enigma is one I've been meaning to watch. And I'm not saying I disliked Aguirre, maybe if I go back into it, I'll like it better.

On a rather different note, I've thought quite a lot about different filmmakers' abilities or techniques, I don't know how to put it, perhaps tics would be a better way. Tell me what you think of this. Acclaimed filmmakers are lauded often for the same sort of reasons by which you just supported Herzog (this isn't a comment on Herzog in the least). Bergman is often lauded for his heavy filming, and the perhaps not quite realistic weight carried in each piece of dialogue, and Herzog is often heralded for the imperfect approach you just mentioned.

As someone who oft thinks of filming their own piece, I've mulled over different concepts that often involve certain what-would-be intentional imperfections. Yet how would a film critic, in a hypothetical scenario where they saw this imaginary film, differentiate between my intentional ____ vs. bad film making which results in _____. I've thought this over, because I've thought that if I managed to put something together that took certain risks, without a reputation, it'd be taken as mistakes/bad film making/what have you. And on an even further note, would it be bad film making? Just because I, for example, intentionally wanted to film a scene clumsily, does that excuse/make the clumsiness of any worth?

Getting more than a bit hypothetical and far off from what we were talking about :P , but I'd appreciate any thoughts.
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#363 Magnus Malcolm

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:28 PM

Tony, I don't think I'd ever declare any film indisputably art. No matter how good I consider something-or how sure I am of its worth-there will always be someone who disagrees. I can no more fairly declare Kubrick a genius than you can Spielberg.

I attempted to give an example of what I find in Kubrick's films that I don't in Spielberg's with the Full Metal Jacket assertion, but it seems I've failed miserably. When I watch a Kubrick film I-me personally-find things that interest me on a higher level, where in most all Spielberg, all I find is shallow entertainment.

Commercial success or no, Kubrick never made a Indiana Jones 4, or whatever else what I consider to be crap that lingers in Spielberg's filmography. It seems to me, my friend, that we just strongly disagree, and that continuing this debate will get us absolutely nowhere but where we started.
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#364 Tony

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:30 PM

Oh, Hawks. I'm afraid to say I haven't seen Rio Bravo, I typically tend to shy away from John Wayne (though I like The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance). I wasn't overly fond of El Dorado, but The Big Sleep is quite good. I've yet to see Sergeant York and some others...


Sgt York is one of Hawks worst films. Rio Bravo is a drop dead masterpiece.

#365 Magnus Malcolm

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:32 PM

I'll most certainly have to see it then.
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#366 Henrietta

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:33 PM

On a rather different note, I've thought quite a lot about different filmmakers' abilities or techniques...

I think you just need to prove yourself an artist with your own ideas about film, theme, and storytelling. Create a new film environment where everything feels part of the whole. Don't just make one picture and expect it to stand on its own. Also don't expect every one of your films to be instantly respected and admired. Some of that comes over time as critics begin to see the scope of your explorations. With Herzog, every single one of his films contributes to his overall thesis about humanity and the world. Even if his subjects are completely different, he tends to be exploring the same themes again and again. And he's creating tons of films, always working on another one or two or three films at any given time.

If you want to be Kubrick, where you only release 10 films in a lifetime or whatever, then obviously there's a bit more of a strain on trying to make each film as good as it can be. But I don't really dig that approach.

I say, don't worry about critics. Build a consistent film language and they might come around.

#367 Tony

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:33 PM

Tony, I don't think I'd ever declare any film indisputably art. No matter how good I consider something-or how sure I am of its worth-there will always be someone who disagrees. I can no more fairly declare Kubrick a genius than you can Spielberg.

I attempted to give an example of what I find in Kubrick's films that I don't in Spielberg's with the Full Metal Jacket assertion, but it seems I've failed miserably. When I watch a Kubrick film I-me personally-find things that interest me on a higher level, where in most all Spielberg, all I find is shallow entertainment.

Commercial success or no, Kubrick never made a Indiana Jones 4, or whatever else what I consider to be crap that lingers in Spielberg's filmography. It seems to me, my friend, that we just strongly disagree, and that continuing this debate will get us absolutely nowhere but where we started.




The Indy films are more Lucas than Spielberg who is a hired gun on those films.

You seem to disdain him just because he's popular. E.T. is one of the great evocations of childhood psychology in any Artform. I'd easily put it up there with the classic Disney features like Bambi and Pinnochio.

It was also a huge commercial risk. As was The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun and Always. Howard Hawks and John Ford made their share of mediocre films as well. That doesn't mean they weren't great Artists. Do you like Robert Zemeckis? I think he's just as great an Artist as Kubrick as well.

#368 Agrimorfee

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:36 PM

You still haven't given any examples of what qualities make Kubrick's films indisputably Art that Spielberg's best films don't possess. ...


I'm game, although you know I'm so much less versed in my ability in expressing a debate on cinema.

These are just some moments I find particularly arty...the Christmas tree motif in Eyes Wide Shut. The bike rides in the hotel hallways, and Jack peering down into the labyrinth in The Shining. The last 10 minutes of 2001. The final shot of The Killing. The candlelit scenes of Barry Lyndon.

Is that me just being impressed, or is that really Art? :unsure:

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#369 Henrietta

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:37 PM

Robert Zemeckis doesn't have the quality output to stand with Spielberg or Kubrick. His best films are indeed great, but his consistency is lacking.

#370 Magnus Malcolm

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:38 PM

I don't disdain Spielberg, I just don't hold him as a great filmmaker. Just a good one. And for the good of the entire SOMB and mankind in general, let's stay away from Zemeckis. The man's made some alright films, but he also directed these recent animated/live-action-but-still-animated films. See, I love Beowulf- the epic Beowulf, the poem. So in all fairness, you can't expect to do much but hate that recent film. Especially when I read him in an interview talking about how his big goal was 'not to be like that boring book.' I was practically fuming. For all that's sacred, can we more or less leave it at that? :P
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#371 Magnus Malcolm

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:41 PM

You still haven't given any examples of what qualities make Kubrick's films indisputably Art that Spielberg's best films don't possess. ...


I'm game, although you know I'm so much less versed in my ability in expressing a debate on cinema.

These are just some moments I find particularly arty...the Christmas tree motif in Eyes Wide Shut. The bike rides in the hotel hallways, and Jack peering down into the labyrinth in The Shining. The last 10 minutes of 2001. The final shot of The Killing. The candlelit scenes of Barry Lyndon.

Is that me just being impressed, or is that really Art? :unsure:


Who's to say? Thus my opinion that there can't really be definitive art.
"Attention camp compound. Urine specimens will be required from all pers... Uh... pe... Uh, disregard last transmission." -Announcer, M.A.S.H.

#372 Agrimorfee

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:41 PM

I don't disdain Spielberg, I just don't hold him as a great filmmaker. Just a good one.

And for the good of the entire SOMB and mankind in general, let's stay away from Zemeckis. The man's made some alright films, but he also directed these recent animated/live-action-but-still-animated films. See, I love Beowulf- the epic Beowulf, the poem. So in all fairness, you can't expect to do much but hate that recent film. Especially when I read him in an interview talking about how his big goal was 'not to be like that boring book.' I was practically fuming. For all that's sacred, can we more or less leave it at that? :P


Death Becomes Her is probably his best feature after Back To The Future. That's all I will say.

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#373 Tony

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:42 PM

You still haven't given any examples of what qualities make Kubrick's films indisputably Art that Spielberg's best films don't possess. ...


I'm game, although you know I'm so much less versed in my ability in expressing a debate on cinema.

These are just some moments I find particularly arty...the Christmas tree motif in Eyes Wide Shut. The bike rides in the hotel hallways, and Jack peering down into the labyrinth in The Shining. The last 10 minutes of 2001. The final shot of The Killing. The candlelit scenes of Barry Lyndon.

Is that me just being impressed, or is that really Art? :unsure:



Arty isn't Art. Recurring motifs are easy to achieve. The metaphor in Close Encounters of First Encounter with Aliens and Fist Encounter with Cinema is just as impressive and relates to the film's themes as opposed to the natural lighting in Barry Lyndon and the bike rides in The Shining which are merely impressive technical stunts. I never said Kubrick didn't know a lot about lenses.

I don't disdain Spielberg, I just don't hold him as a great filmmaker. Just a good one.

And for the good of the entire SOMB and mankind in general, let's stay away from Zemeckis. The man's made some alright films, but he also directed these recent animated/live-action-but-still-animated films. See, I love Beowulf- the epic Beowulf, the poem. So in all fairness, you can't expect to do much but hate that recent film. Especially when I read him in an interview talking about how his big goal was 'not to be like that boring book.' I was practically fuming. For all that's sacred, can we more or less leave it at that? :P



Films shouldn't be like books. It's a different medium. His achievement in Beowulf was pretty impressive on a cinematic scale.

EDIT: Didn't you also say you thought 'Star Wars' had 'boundless creativity'? That film symbolizes non-Art as much as any ever made.

#374 Agrimorfee

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:46 PM

...The first encounter with cinema...


I never would have thought of it in that way. :huh:

"Is everyone on here just an act sometimes?"--Hummingbird

Read all of my stupid song parodies here. Latest song improved/ruined: "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Alice Cooper.

 

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#375 Magnus Malcolm

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:47 PM

Arty isn't Art. Recurring motifs are easy to achieve. The metaphor in Close Encounters of First Encounter with Aliens and Fist Encounter with Cinema is just as impressive and relates to the film's themes as opposed to the natural lighting in Barry Lyndon and the bike rides in The Shining which are merely impressive technical stunts. I never said Kubrick didn't know a lot about lenses.


Who's to say? Thus my opinion that there can't really be definitive art.


Quoting myself now, what's next?

Anyway Tony, I didn't see Beowulf as an achievement in film at all, but I suppose it's cool visually, so I'm glad you liked it. I don't think I can ever look it it fairly, Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mother?
Spoiler
Really can't contain my contempt for this one, not gonna lie. Also though, saw it with two friends who could care less about the original epic, and they both hated it anyhoo.
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#376 Henrietta

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:47 PM

Films shouldn't be like books. It's a different medium.

I agree with the sentiment, but it's been used far too often to defend the changing of any great book into a For Dummies film version. Take the Lord of the Rings trilogy. How many changes were really because "film is a different medium" and how many were because the audience is dumb and we want to make an action picture (when the books were certainly not action books)?

#377 Tony

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:48 PM

...The first encounter with cinema...


I never would have thought of it in that way. :huh:



The way they look at the Mothership is the way a child (or an adult with a childlike sense of wonder) looks at a film. There are various references throughout the film to the what were typical Sense of Wonder experiences for baby boomers like Spielberg (the classic Disney Features, The Ten Commandements, toys in general). And the religious alleogry is too obvious to get into.

#378 Tony

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:50 PM

Arty isn't Art. Recurring motifs are easy to achieve. The metaphor in Close Encounters of First Encounter with Aliens and Fist Encounter with Cinema is just as impressive and relates to the film's themes as opposed to the natural lighting in Barry Lyndon and the bike rides in The Shining which are merely impressive technical stunts. I never said Kubrick didn't know a lot about lenses.


Who's to say? Thus my opinion that there can't really be definitive art.


Quoting myself now, what's next?

Anyway Tony, I didn't see Beowulf as an achievement in film at all, but I suppose it's cool visually, so I'm glad you liked it. I don't think I can ever look it it fairly, Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mother?
Spoiler
Really can't contain my contempt for this one, not gonna lie. Also though, saw it with two friends who could care less about the original epic, and they both hated it anyhoo.



Fidelity to the source isn't the primary objective. If you want slavish literary adaptations go to 'Masterpiece Theater'.

#379 Magnus Malcolm

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:51 PM

...The first encounter with cinema...


I never would have thought of it in that way. :huh:



The way they look at the Mothership is the way a child (or an adult with a childlike sense of wonder) looks at a film. There are various references throughout the film of to the what were typical Sense of Wonder experiences for baby boomers like Spielberg (the classic Disney Features, The Ten Commandements, toys in general). And the religious alleogry is too obvious to get into.


Of course, one doesn't have to look at it this way, and there's no way to confirm beyond a doubt that that's what Spielberg intended. Of course, I'm basically helping ya here, because art is supposed to allow for different interpretations. But of course, this leads back into 'there is no definitive art' point of view.
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#380 Tony

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:52 PM

...The first encounter with cinema...


I never would have thought of it in that way. :huh:



The way they look at the Mothership is the way a child (or an adult with a childlike sense of wonder) looks at a film. There are various references throughout the film of to the what were typical Sense of Wonder experiences for baby boomers like Spielberg (the classic Disney Features, The Ten Commandements, toys in general). And the religious alleogry is too obvious to get into.


Of course, one doesn't have to look at it this way, and there's no way to confirm beyond a doubt that that's what Spielberg intended. Of course, I'm basically helping ya here, because art is supposed to allow for different interpretations. But of course, this leads back into 'there is no definitive art' point of view.


His intentions don't matter. What's onscreen matters. Do you think Shakespeare intended the thousands of interpretations people have foisted on him?