Author Topic: cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)  (Read 8629 times)

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w/o horse

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« on: October 22, 2005, 03:39:24 PM »
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Maybe my nose is too close to the mirror.  I think that cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred.  All these ironic and satiric characters, these egoistic recreations of 70s film, I'm growing tired of them.  I get that your personal story can be told through folk music and hip shoes.  Bring on the exciting westerns, do a period piece, an action movie, a gangster movie, a sci-fi movie, a horror movie, something.

I walk out of The Squid, what do I get?  Nothing.  It was a pretty boring story with bland characters.  Remember when movies made you think?  This one drew on numerous parallels.  It disguises itself as an open ended movie, but there's a pretty tight lid on top of what would happen after the movie ends.  The characters are resolved, the issues debated.  Between here and there there's little else.  Some jokes to look at, you know.  I always hear the compliment to Scorsese that his characters are the same at the end as they were at the beginning, well, Baumbach  has one upped him here, the characters are their same boring selves in every scene.  I agree that this makes the film different from Wes Andersons', but I disagree that this is an improvement or advantage.  A proper comparison might be:  Mike Leigh meets Woody Allen and they both fall asleep mid-conversation.

Like I said, it's not the film's fault in as much that it would have to be a completely different film for me to like it.  For what it was going for, hell yeah, right on the head.  I just don't think it was worth going for, which is an entirely subjective opinion.

mod : Broken Flowers :: me : The Squid.
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ono

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2005, 04:13:20 PM »
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Quote from: Losing the Horse:
Maybe my nose is too close to the mirror.  I think that cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred.  All these ironic and satiric characters, these egoistic recreations of 70s film, I'm growing tired of them.  I get that your personal story can be told through folk music and hip shoes.  Bring on the exciting westerns, do a period piece, an action movie, a gangster movie, a sci-fi movie, a horror movie, something.

Ah, but how is doing a genre picture shaking cinema?

(Feel free to split this one at any time.  Cinema does need to be shaken, but this is hardly a place to make a stir.)

I have my ideas.  I wanna hear yours first.

w/o horse

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2005, 04:44:51 PM »
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Quote from: onomabracadabra

Ah, but how is doing a genre picture shaking cinema?

(Feel free to split this one at any time.  Cinema does need to be shaken, but this is hardly a place to make a stir.)

I have my ideas.  I wanna hear yours first.


The conversation evolved naturally from the topical movie, and I don't feel I've gone too far off topic.  Well except I'm about to.

I think that when talented, smart, creative people are put into projects that they do not want to be doing, or would not do without prompt, the results are incredibly interesting.  If not always good.  I think a lot of contemporary filmmakers settle for the ideas in their head.  Rather than attempting to progress the art of filmmaking, rather than attempting perhaps to reflect on what has come before them, the importance of their work, their role as artists, their potential influence on an audience, they simply go forward with images of their childhood, their favorite songs, their friends' favorite jokes.  I do not want to blame the success of prior auteurs on this movement, although I hope someone else does, but I do wish to say that the gap between a movie completely controlled by the studio and a movie mostly controlled by the artist (the filmmaker, right), has become completely fucking out of hand.

What was important about genre was that it was limiting.  It was something filmmakers had to work their way out of.  It was an immediate creative challenge, which could only be solved creativelly.  I'm not saying I want all genre films, but as genre films are a very endearing part of cinema, I'm saying that I would like some of these talented individuals to take the bull by the horn.  I would like to see them go for something beyond daily routine.  Snippets of real life.  It's a philosophy of New Wave cinema which has been stretched out of proportion.

For a second I'd like to refer to Romanek discussing music videos, how music videos have no limitations, and how he forces those upon himself when he makes a video.
Raven haired Linda and her school mate Linnea are studying after school, when their desires take over and they kiss and strip off their clothes. They take turns fingering and licking one another's trimmed pussies on the desks, then fuck each other to intense orgasms with colorful vibrators.

killafilm

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2005, 05:15:06 PM »
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Quote from: Losing the Horse:
All these ironic and satiric characters, these egoistic recreations of 70s film, I'm growing tired of them.


You were expecting something else from the trailer and the man who co-wrote Life Aquatic?

ono

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2005, 05:59:33 PM »
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Quote from: Losing the Horse:
The conversation evolved naturally from the topical movie, and I don't feel I've gone too far off topic.  Well except I'm about to.

I think that when talented, smart, creative people are put into projects that they do not want to be doing, or would not do without prompt, the results are incredibly interesting.

I disagree.  I think when artists are thrust into things they don't want to be doing, they are usually distracted and just want to get the job done.  They would rather save their energy or thumb their noses at the assignment with their tongues firmly in cheek, and then and only then does something new come about -- out of disdain and contempt.

Quote from: Losing the Horse:
If not always good.  I think a lot of contemporary filmmakers settle for the ideas in their head.

Since when has this been a bad thing?

Let's look at that.

"Settle for the ideas in their head(s)."

What's wrong with that?  I'd love if I could simply settle for the ideas in my head.  Perfect.  Then you have something.

Furthering the art of filmmaking is an idealistic, altruistic statement, and only comes about once a filmmaker has truly embraced the ideas in his head and incorporated his perceptions of what filmmaking can and should be to him.  It is these different perceptions, only, that continue to grow filmmaking as an art.  To adhere to what has already been established as convention is what deadens any hope of progress.

Quote from: Losing the Horse:
Rather than attempting to progress the art of filmmaking, rather than attempting perhaps to reflect on what has come before them, the importance of their work, their role as artists, their potential influence on an audience, they simply go forward with images of their childhood, their favorite songs, their friends' favorite jokes.

Agreed.

Therein lies the dichotomy.  The general public can only appreciate what has already been established as art.  They only like films which have built on other films.  Other expectations.  Once something new comes along, there are very few who appreciate and embrace it.  Star Wars was built on Kurosawa's foundation.  That's the prime example of innovation, and even it had to come from somewhere.  Kurosawa based a lot of his work on Shakespeare.  Shakespeare, some would say, is an invention of the Roman Catholic church.  The wool being pulled over the eyes of the public, which is all cinema is anyway.  It goes round and round in this circle, this cycle.  It's all been done, just a matter of how that makes the impact memorable.  Which goes back to style, a perception of what is innovative, what is new, being the most important thing.
Quote from: Losing the Horse:
I do not want to blame the success of prior auteurs on this movement, although I hope someone else does, but I do wish to say that the gap between a movie completely controlled by the studio and a movie mostly controlled by the artist (the filmmaker, right), has become completely fucking out of hand.

It's gotten so there IS no independent cinema anymore.  Even the most independent companies are conglomerates, and they need to turn a profit to succeed.  This stifles creativity.  Another cycle comes in.  Another renaissance is due, sure, but where will it come from?  2004 could've been better.  As could 2003.  I haven't seen too many films this year myself, so I can't comment on 2005.  But my favorite time of year is approaching, and if I'm not blown away at least once or twice during the Good season, I'll definitely start to question what the next step is, who the next innovators will be.

In this, I'm constantly reminded of Greenaway, whose philosophy is sound, but his execution is sorely lacking.  Tulse Luper, of which I've only seen half, was a startling film in its use of editing, only because it was so unconventional.  But that unconventionality only can go so far before it wears on tiresome.  Greenaway seemed to have stumbled on something new in cinema, and talked about how it could be used, but had no idea how to use this new tool he's discovered.  What frustrates about Greenaway is how he talks about how cinema is dead and the new artform should be the DVD-ROM, because of its non-linearity.  This gets into fourth-and-fifth dimensional thinking here (the fifth being the dimension of the mind, of perception, of choice -- and I'm really off on a tangent here, so I'll leave it at that).

The problem with Greenaway's idea, though, is that he forgets that cinema is only a little over 100 years old and graphic art has thousands of years.  Cinema is a baby, there is so much undiscovered about it, and we seem to be in a state of stifled growth because those who choose to innovate aren't able to reach the public with their innovations.  People want 80-minute sitcoms.  They want to be entertained, want their minds to be turned off.  What film was "meant to be used for" isn't even the question.  Some people have the perception that entertainment is the be-all-end-all.  I'm looking for something more.  Lynch is admirable in his belief that film expresses emotion.  I don't really like Godard too much, but his idea that film should express an idea is a sound one.  My knee jerks, though, when he insists that you must feel about a girl, and you can't feel about a film.  He must not have ever sat in the dark, felt, touched a girl whilst watching a film he shared a love of.  There is feeling there.  There is communication that is stronger than what words can express.  That's the kind of emotion Lynch touches, which is why his visual essays are so admirable even though they are often a bit sloppy.

What I look for is a balance.  Philosophy seems to be rejected in film, because there is such a fine line to walk before a film gets preachy, and that's what is so hard to avoid for someone who wishes to get intellectual in his filmmaking.  This is why Kubrick was so brilliant.  He was able to push philosophy through his characters without any pretention.  It was true sleight of hand.  It's no WONDER it took him 12 years from Full Metal Jacket to make Eyes Wide Shut.  It's no WONDER he worked on that film for upwards of 30 years all told.
Quote from: Losing the Horse:
What was important about genre was that it was limiting.  It was something filmmakers had to work their way out of.  It was an immediate creative challenge, which could only be solved creativelly.  I'm not saying I want all genre films, but as genre films are a very endearing part of cinema, I'm saying that I would like some of these talented individuals to take the bull by the horn.  I would like to see them go for something beyond daily routine.  Snippets of real life.  It's a philosophy of New Wave cinema which has been stretched out of proportion.

Cinema is about capturing a moment.  This is why people take pictures.  I had written a whole essay about this to go with Million Dollar Baby, but spring was such chaos for me that I never did finish it.  Snippets of life, yes, that is the way to go.  New Wave had those ideas, and that was one thing Godard could be thanked for.  But genre is too constricting, and for someone to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, for me, would me for them to meld and mix and match genres in such a way as to create something new that people can really latch onto even if they haven't lived it themselves.

Again, cinema is about perception.  A filmmaker is presenting to you a perception of reality, saying for you to take it as what it's worth.  This is what I see, and I'm presenting it to you.  How well you respond to it says a lot about how valid you perceive that perception.  The more successful films, you'll note, always sell the audience on the idea that the perception of reality presented is feasible.
Quote from: Losing the Horse:
For a second I'd like to refer to Romanek discussing music videos, how music videos have no limitations, and how he forces those upon himself when he makes a video.

If music videos have no limitations (which is a false statement, let's be honest, because no medium has no limitations), then he should rejoice instead of putting more limitations on himself to play some silly game.  The best results come from creative solutions to preexisting problems, and not problems put in place for mere obfuscation.  I'm now reminded of the Von Trier documentary (that I have not yet seen) where five short films were to be made with certain criteria in place [Five Obstacles/Obstructions?]).  This is an exercise which seems interesting at first, but also appears to be masturbation on both their parts.  A waste of time.  When those problem solving skills could be used to innovate instead of, well, masturbate.

w/o horse

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2005, 02:31:54 AM »
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Hot off the tail of Where the Truth lies, a film which truly gripped me, I cannot help but find your argument redundant, if not modest.  Philosophy and emotion, what are these but cloudings of pure emotion.  A philosopher only hopes to explain what is already in our heads, no, which is emotion, no, which can be explained.  Which we believe if we believe in cinema.

There is no minute point in your paragraphs which I hold particular disdain for, but rather I see your point, and am still ambivalent about the specific course you would like to see film go towards.  Mixing genres I am not talking about, I am saying that the role of the filmmaker should be to mix fantasy with reality, to make art truth, to make our daily lives seem impossible, rather than immediate, rather than frogs on a table to be disected.

And while my passion for Where the Truth Lies might fade with liquor's intentions, while it might dwindle in hindsight and perspective, I wish to say that the film, however connected to the history of cinema it might be; was whole, it was the most serious I have seen film taken in a long, long, long time.  Certainly in the theater.  And, of course with a suspicious smile, I would of course add that it was genre.  That I was able to immediately connect with the characters, with their story, with their plights, with their tugs and their pulls.  As Vonnegut said, "Let others bring chaos to order, I will bring order to chaos."

You talk to me about perception, which I agree with, but I only ask for truth.  And while I may be scorned, I will say that Where the Truth Lies was a much more honest film to me than The Squid could ever have been, if only because it required the filmmaker to be the observer.  And here we may seep into sociology and you may say that you believe in structural functionalism and I may say I believe in symbolic interaction.  Then of course we might both being arguing the nature of cinema, and then we would both be winning.

You want to talk Star Wars with me?  I would much rather talk Peckinpah.  I would much rather talk Suzuki.  I would much rather talk Altman.  Talk Carpenter.  Cronenberg.  Waters.  Von Trier.  Jarmusch.  Almodovar.  Polanski.  Schrader.  Haynes.  Ford.  Whale.  Lubitsch.  Hell, PTA.  QT.  Wes Anderson.  Spike Jonze.  Kubrick.  Hitchcock.

Although reading over I don't quite feel that I've made my point, at least should it be furthered until the next post.

Also, in complete agreement about independent cinema.
Raven haired Linda and her school mate Linnea are studying after school, when their desires take over and they kiss and strip off their clothes. They take turns fingering and licking one another's trimmed pussies on the desks, then fuck each other to intense orgasms with colorful vibrators.

polkablues

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2005, 03:19:45 AM »
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Quote from: Losing the Horse:
Hot off the tail of Where the Truth lies, a film which truly gripped me, I cannot help but find your argument redundant, if not modest.  Philosophy and emotion, what are these but cloudings of pure emotion.  A philosopher only hopes to explain what is already in our heads, no, which is emotion, no, which can be explained.  Which we believe if we believe in cinema.


Please explain what any or all of the sentences in this paragraph mean.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

The Perineum Falcon

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2005, 03:27:54 AM »
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Don't you see?
It is pure, unadulterated Truth!
And therefore, no, ergo, no, thus it is Cinema!

Or it's liquor's best intentions.

Not sure which, really.

Kind of a toss-up for me. Personally.
We often went to the cinema, the screen would light up and we would tremble, but also, increasingly often, Madeleine and I were disappointed. The images had dated, they jittered, and Marilyn Monroe had gotten terribly old. We were sad, this wasn't the film we had dreamed of, this wasn't the total film that we all carried around inside us, this film that we would have wanted to make, or, more secretly, no doubt, that we would have wanted to live.

w/o horse

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2005, 03:39:13 AM »
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I might have been trying to say that the avenues of academia have no course in film greater than truth.  Or that I think cinema should be the purest expression of man, and that man can only be that pure as the observer.  Which is easiest to do when?  In genre.  

It is hard to tell though, I admit.

Look, I didn't know I was greedy until I was shown to be greedy, right.  But maybe you guys were told you were, or were easily convinced.  I didn't know I was a cheat until I cheated, right.  No, that's not going to do.  Look.  You guys are quick, okay, on the up and up.  Me.  I've never learned a damn thing in my life from what's happened to me.  Completely second hand, honestly.  I have total lack of control over my feelings.  Numb.  Completely numb.

I'll summarize the paragraph:  All I can know is what I see when I see it.
Raven haired Linda and her school mate Linnea are studying after school, when their desires take over and they kiss and strip off their clothes. They take turns fingering and licking one another's trimmed pussies on the desks, then fuck each other to intense orgasms with colorful vibrators.

Pubrick

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2005, 04:44:28 AM »
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i'm gonna split this thread now cos i can see it leading to a very entertaining nervous breakdown.
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hedwig

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2005, 04:55:41 AM »
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Quote from: Pubrick
i'm gonna split this thread now cos i can see it leading to a very entertaining nervous breakdown.


Yes, it seems like someone's losing their horse. (Horse, which is sanity, no, which is pure emotion, no, which can be explained. Which we believe if we believe in cinema.)

SoNowThen

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2005, 08:26:34 AM »
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Interesting thread. Lots of food for thought, lots to disagree with... things get sticky when we start saying what cinema "is"...

Anyway, check out a man who writes much much better on the subject than I ever could. Even though we all may disagree with the majority of what he says, there's not many out there who do this with more passion.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you Mr Ray Carney.

Read read read and enjoy: http://people.bu.edu/rcarney/acad/forms.shtml
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

JG

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2005, 01:03:48 PM »
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I like what Losing the Horse is saying.  Look at what Richard Linklater was able to do with a genre movie in School of Rock.  It can make for interesting juxtaposition when independent auteurs are forced to work within a genre.  I wouldn't want too many of these movies, but it can be an interesting contrast to the postmodern-nothing-ever-happens type of movies that are becoming all too common.  

Quote
but I do wish to say that the gap between a movie completely controlled by the studio and a movie mostly controlled by the artist (the filmmaker, right), has become completely fucking out of hand.


Essentially, we need to find a medium, and  a new group of directors that will shake things up.  
 
More from me later.

Gamblour.

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2005, 04:40:04 PM »
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Quote from: JimmyGator


Essentially, we need to find a medium, and  a new group of directors that will shake things up.


Won't it be us? The people trying to reject what's happening?
WWPTAD?

JG

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cinema needs to be shaken, not stirred (squid vs truth)
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2005, 05:17:56 PM »
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Do you mean filmmakers at xixax are the future of cinema, or our generation in general?

I like this thread.

 

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