Author Topic: Directorial Self-Indulgence  (Read 4404 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Born Under Punches

  • The Road of Trials
  • **
  • Posts: 94
  • Respect: 0
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« on: May 08, 2003, 03:26:06 PM »
0
OK, I've heard this thrown around by armchair directors all of the time, about how certain films are considered self-indulgent crap or whatever.  What I would like to know is what is your definition of Directorial Self-Indulgence?  Filmic examples are welcome.

cowboykurtis

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 1671
  • Respect: +8
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2003, 03:38:40 PM »
0
irreversible
...your excuses are your own...

AlguienEstolamiPantalones

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 1715
  • Respect: 0
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2003, 03:56:57 PM »
0
"heavens gate" should be shown to all directers who make a great film, and are about to get to work on the follow up.

just because you have total control, does not mean you should go nuts.

use your power wisely

modage

  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 10761
  • Respect: +698
    • Floating Heads
oh god
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2003, 05:16:53 PM »
0
irreversible! yes, ohmigod.  if there was EVER an example of directors self-indulgence it is that movie.  so manipulative.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Born Under Punches

  • The Road of Trials
  • **
  • Posts: 94
  • Respect: 0
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2003, 05:57:47 PM »
0
OK, I'll check out Irreversible.  

Keep these coming guys!

godardian

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 3733
  • Respect: +6
    • Trappings
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2003, 12:35:44 PM »
0
I don't know that "manipulation" or what seems to be a juvenile desire to shock or offend really counts as "self-indulgence."

It all depends on the context. I mean, I guess my definition of self-indulgence would be similar to that of Todd Haynes:

"I never really feel comfortable doing what I think motivates a lot of film-makers, which is to say, 'Look how cool this is. Look how cool this character is; look how cool this girl is, this relationship is, this music, this moment. Don't you wish you, the viewer, could be like them.'"

Of course, Tarantino has mastered the art of doing something close to that without it feeling like he's depriving you of something- in fact, like you are in cahoots with him as to the enjoyment of what's cool on the screen- whereas Guy Ritchie would be a case in point re Haynes's view. I would call the Guy Ritchie brand of "look how cool" self-indulgent, because it really does seem like he's doing it only to show how cool he is, how much better he is than us and even his material, how "hip" he is.

I guess that makes my definition of self-indulgent direction an excess of personal style, or style done to the point of being overwrought, or badly done style, which actually detracts from the film experience as a whole.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

SoNowThen

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 4536
  • Respect: +9
    • 24/30 Cinema
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2003, 01:05:46 PM »
0
Funny thing about self-indulgence: I myself aspire to be known as a director who is "self-indulgent". Point in case, a few of my fav directors who are constantly labelled as such: PTA, Godard, Fellini, Scorsese, DePalma (though I think most of his movies suck, his directing is fun to watch). So as we all can see, self-indulgence to most critics  = lots of camera movement. Or so it seems. I know that's not the case, but people seem to think if someone dollies a lot, he's self-indulgent.

But Godardian, don't you think all early Godard films constantly say "look how cool this is" or "look how cool this girl (Anna Karina) is" ? I love that.
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.

godardian

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 3733
  • Respect: +6
    • Trappings
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2003, 01:20:30 PM »
0
Quote from: SoNowThen
Funny thing about self-indulgence: I myself aspire to be known as a director who is "self-indulgent". Point in case, a few of my fav directors who are constantly labelled as such: PTA, Godard, Fellini, Scorsese, DePalma (though I think most of his movies suck, his directing is fun to watch). So as we all can see, self-indulgence to most critics  = lots of camera movement. Or so it seems. I know that's not the case, but people seem to think if someone dollies a lot, he's self-indulgent.

But Godardian, don't you think all early Godard films constantly say "look how cool this is" or "look how cool this girl (Anna Karina) is" ? I love that.


Not in the way Haynes means, because there's an almost unparalleled autocritical dimension to everything Godard ever did. It's hardly like he's unskeptical of what he's showing us. The act of showing is given equal sway in most of Godard to what's being shown.

Those people who equate lots of camera movement with self-indulgence must not realize how much more difficult it is to set up shots with those movements... for most of the directors you mention (and as an aside, I think a lot of De Palma's movies are great, particularly Blow Out), all that movement is so graceful and appropriate, it feels more like audience-indulgence than self-indulgence.

Another area where the phrase pops up a lot is in discussion of Bergman's work, with all his (to his critics) endless moaning about god and emptiness and the search for meaning in a meaningless universe and so on, all of which are obviously quite personal subjects for Bergman, and many have attacked him for "indulging" them publicly to an audience that should be over those things. This is not the way I feel, mind you- I love Bergman- but more than once have I had the spectre of Diane Keaton in Manhattan recalled to me in the course of a conversation when Bergman came up.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

SoNowThen

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 4536
  • Respect: +9
    • 24/30 Cinema
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2003, 01:30:43 PM »
0
I agree, those moments are totally graceful and appropriate.

But DePalma is a good focus for a Self-Indulgent discussion. I just watched Blow Out for the first time. Like I said, I love watching his visuals, but it just struck me as frustrating that almost all his stories play like horrible B-movie overplotted made-for-tv stuff. And I like the guy. I think Untouchables and Sacrface are particularily good, but Blow Out's last chase just destroyed the movie for me. The first act was amazing, then it just went cheap twist after cheap twist. The very end went back to super-cool again, but too little too late for me. But since you like it, I thought you could explain through your eyes what you thought about it. Because, like I said, DePalma is just too good a director to be ignored, I just wish he'd get a writer. That's why I wanna see Obsession. Schrader is about the best writer you could hope for.
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.

MacGuffin

  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 22985
  • Respect: +638
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2003, 01:34:12 PM »
0
Quote from: SoNowThen
That's why I wanna see Obsession. Schrader is about the best writer you could hope for.


If you've seen "Vertigo", you've seen "Obsession". Even they admit to ripping off the storyline.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


Skeleton FilmWorks

SoNowThen

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 4536
  • Respect: +9
    • 24/30 Cinema
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2003, 01:36:19 PM »
0
Nope. Haven't seen.

But every single thing DePalma does is a Hitch rip-off (which I'm totally cool with). I just wish he'd rip off the whole movie, rather than always inventing his own overblown 3rd act. I really could have loved Snake Eyes... then came the truck crash and the rain. Fuck.
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.

godardian

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 3733
  • Respect: +6
    • Trappings
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2003, 01:39:49 PM »
0
He ain't a bad director, either. I think when people talk about "self-indulgence," they are probably holding Dreyer/Bresson/Schrader up as ideals of restraint. But in those guys' films, restraint is a style, and a beautiful one- they find stories that match the style.

I love Affliction and Autofocus, but I have a lot of studying up to do on Schrader. I'm dying to see his Patty Hearst movie, 'cos I'm fascinated by that story anyways. And I haven't seen Mishima or American Gigolo, either. I've seen/heard American Gigolo dismissed by so many people I respect, it's hard for me to imagine it's not the cheesy misogyny-fest it's cracked up to be. Still, I like everything of his I've seen...

I've not seen Obsession, by the way. I think de Palma works in a similar way to Godard; he goes through b-movie tropes like it's a trunk from wardrobe department, trying them on and disarding them, often within a single film. Of course, Uncle Jean had more noble aims than de Palma does, but still... it's fun to watch a director whose MO is nothing more or less than (expertly) tweaking the nose of film history.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

SoNowThen

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 4536
  • Respect: +9
    • 24/30 Cinema
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2003, 01:45:48 PM »
0
I love the way you said that, because I'm finishing up my new feature script right now, and that's EXACTLY what I'm doing. Tweaking the nose of film history, with Godard as my jumping point (particularily his pre-occupation with Hollywood crime noir).

Yeah, Schrader is amazing. You have cool taste in film, 'cause people usually look at me crook-eyed when I say how much I like Autofocus. I think Affliction is his best, and Blue Collar is great (get the dvd, PS commentary!!). I wanna see Light Of Day w/ Michael J Fox (absolutely a fav of mine). Unfortunately, I just saw Touch... I don't know why Paul did that movie. It just didn't work. Oh well, he's still amazing.

But Godardian, please.... I wanna hear your thoughts on Blow Out, particularily the final act. I've never actually read anything that gets past the halfway point in discussing that film.
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.

godardian

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 3733
  • Respect: +6
    • Trappings
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2003, 02:10:08 PM »
0
I will have to re-watch the film to get that detailed... which doesn't sound like a bad proposition.  Give me the weekend to do it and get back to it here.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

SoNowThen

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 4536
  • Respect: +9
    • 24/30 Cinema
Directorial Self-Indulgence
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2003, 02:18:42 PM »
0
Sweet. Or just PM me.

Try to work in Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale too, cuz I loved both of those until the end as well.
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.

 

DMCA & Copyright | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy