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Author Topic: Oscars
scholar
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I loved the damily dynamics of joan of arcadia. I found it extremely interesting as well. Everyone had their conflicting interests, yet they were tied to each other. I felt like that was a family that worked well, even when they were having problems. But, I tuned in every week and watched.
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Scullibundo
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From reading his article I also don't get the impression OSC saw Munich.

However while I love OSC's storytelling (my favourite author even), I find I often disagree with his opinions about movies.

Munich was probably my favourite movie last year other than Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It really was the characters' situation that movie me and had me on edge throughout the entire movie.

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jd2cly60
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Here's another review but this one favors munich.

Poland also wrote a breakdown of Munich as a later extrapolation on his initial thoughts, however it's long, and a breakdown along 'three-act' lines, so if the term 'three-act' makes you instantly prejudiced against the writer, don't read it.

quote:
But shouldn't we all be breaking bread with Avner? Shouldn't we be challenging ourselves to smell the death for which we root? Even if we are true believers, which Avner was, should we be expected - as human beings - to be able to suppress our humanity when faced with killing other human beings, no matter what evil they may have done? Does doubting suggest weakness or does the lack of doubting guarantee it?
...
And the more I chew on it, the more flavor I can taste. There is no greater gift for a true movie lover.

Indeed, the most powerful thing about the film for me was the ending, and how food and family and sharing and community all come together in some extremely elegant lines and performances that brought me to tears. All the things that rebuild, that are fought for, that matter, in some ways, Avner is still apart from it, others won't or can't join him in creating a new life now that his fighting is done. I barely saw the skyline, but I think it's a lovely soft touch, much more so than scorsese's end of Gangs of New York.
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Orincoro
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Well, as difficult as it is to unconvince a chorister, I think OSC did it to me this time. For different reasons than those of taste. I was rather put off by most of the fare presented this year, and I'll be glad to see it all go.

Personally, I saw brokeback mountain, and it was a semi-poignant movie about two pretty awful people (not because their gay! Because they suck at being human), and I was not terribly impressed. But why does OSC have to tug the party line all the time? Especially when it comes to your taste in movies, a good movie is a good movie, and logically, OSC ought to have felt challenged and intrigued by a movie like "Brokeback Mountain." Hard to be challenged and intrigued by a metiocre movie unfortunately, and I think he ought to stop there. He makes an excellent point, that this movie and others depend TOO MUCH on the political landscape for marketing, and they depend on an audience coming in with some kind of expectation of a self-affirming experience. The problem I have is that he goes on to talk about all the movies that preached to HIS particular choir. How worthy are they of recognition, if (and this is not a certainty) but IF, OSC considers himself representative of the "average" American. In this scenario, the movies which affirmed his world image, "Cinderella Man" and "Narnia," are no more daring, since they are equally popular, and appeal to a base of viewers who agree with the fundamental messages. Basically, OSC wants to make "middle america" look like both the majority and the opressed underdog, valiantly withstanding those dastardly liberal elitist bastards, who by the way, don't mind killing Jews apparently. (???????????)

I remember when Farenheit 9/11 came out in downtown San Francisco, and people were just riled up about what they were GOING to see. No wonder they came out of the theatre rapturously deriding the 'war on terror.' I saw that movie too, but not then, and found it unconvincing and pedantic Though I agreed with the general goals, it turned out to be a movie I wouldn't have wanted to be made, it was over the top, and often ridiculous.

My point is I didn't look at these movies and start foaming at the mouth, like the people who needed so badly to belong to it's particular cause. I don't think OSC should be so hot to jump on the Narnia bandwagon either. Speaking of QUALITY rather than politics, which is what OSC ought to do, NONE of the movies nominated stood up, IMO. Even Narnia was heavy handed and dull at times. The performances were good, there were good qualities, but it was no better than the sluggish King Kong. Nor IMO does "Narnia" bill itself as a Christian movie. Hard to believe I know, but if your going to make a purely Christian movie, then you make a movie about Christ. If your going to make any kind of movie, where Christian stories are aluded to, or even directly allegorized (right word?), IMO that makes it a movie, in which you use Christian stories. Alot of movies do this, and aren't "Christian." I grew up reading Narnia, not knowing the allegorical meanings, and they're just good stories, (duh, because the bible wouldn't be millenia old if it wasn't readable!).

So at the end of all this. I find the academy awards to be as ridiculous, and onanitory (sp?) as OSC does, but I wouldn't gripe about how my pet beliefs weren't represented by the Academy. Duh, its the ACADEMY, its whole foundation is basically a fantastic excuse for an orgy of self congratulation and self promotion. What were you expecting exactly? Its ALL founded on turning out a product metiocre enough not to make waves, and psuedo intellectual enough to make stupid people feel smarter for a few hours.

If I spent my time worrying about how those darn Conservative elitists were running Washington, I might fail to be distracted from the the glow of my television set, telling me everything will be alright if I can just buy one more type of acne cream, its really going to work this time.... seriously.

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Fast Eddie F.
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I find it funny that OSC discusses the "lies" in a film like Munich, yet names Cinderella Man as a movie people should see for the family values shown.

Cinderella Man needed a "bad guy" to put Braddock Bear. This personna portrayed in the film was a up against. To do this they created one in Max total lie. Max Bear and Braddock were freinds, and boxing historians like Burt Sugar have said that Bear was a good guy. Max Bear's son was never consulted or even asked by Ron Howard to get an understanding of who this man really was. If OSC is going to call one film out for supposed lies, he needs to do a little resaerch about the films he praises. Jeremy Schaap of espn did a piece on Bear which boxing historians agree that Cinderella Man blurred the lines of this character and Jews in boxing in the 1920's. OSC points out that Jews were unfairly portrayed in Munich, well look at Cinderella Man who portrays Bear as an evil character. Max Bear once said that he was glad that Braddock won the title because he had a big family to support. You did not see that in Cinderella Man. Before you praise a film Mr. Card you should do some research about the lies that it also portrays.

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Fast Eddie F.
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Oops, my post got messed up!

Cinderell Man neede a bad guy to put Braddock up against. They created one in Max Bear. The personna shown was a total lie.

that is what the first part should have said, sorry !

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tmservo
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Probably the best film I saw last year was "Capote".

Other films I'd put up there would be films like "Junebug" "Wallace and Gromit" "March of the Penguins"

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Orincoro
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Fast Eddie-

OSC wasn't particularly pickey about accuracy, and I think we can excuse the massaging and bending of the truth that always goes on in these movies. Besides, how can we be sure that the critics of the movie aren't bending the truth back and overcompensating just to show how smart they are? Accuracy in historical films is a touchy subject, and I have tended to notice that we give virtually no credit to a filmaker who gets it right 95% of the time, and fudges 5%. The 5%, (often more though) gets mentioned, and the movie is portrayed as one big lie. This is stupid because a movie is ITSELF, and not an exact recreation of the events; seems obvious to me, but the American public now thinks media is just like the truth, and any impurity isn't artistic, its a lie. Funny because most of what people actually talk about as "truth" is predigested garbage, and films, "art" are as accurate as possible much of the time, especially today.

No, my point was about OSC's pandering to the few movies that represent his own viewpoints. Does he think he can have his cake and eat it too? Be the opressed conservative little guy, who by the way, must be representative of the heartland because Narnia made so much money? So your the little guy when you lose, and your the triumphant majority when you win? That's interesting.

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Scott R
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The conservative viewpoint IS the minority in Hollywood.

The conservative viewpoint IS the majority (going by recent political elections) in America at large.

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Tresopax
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Opinion polls that actually ask Americans about their political viewpoint consistently show that the conservative viewpoint IS a minority, with about a third favoring it. Recent political elections only illustrate which recent political candidates are most favored, not what viewpoints are taken by Americans - and while the 2004 Presidential election saw more conservative votes, the 2000, 1996, and 1992 elections all gave more votes to the more liberal candidate.

And frankly, if we are talking about what truly is the majority viewpoint of moviegoers, I suspect the answer will be that they want movies that have clear good and bad guys with lots of explosions and exciting chase scenes - at least judging by which movies are most successful. I'm not sure liberal or conservative enters into the equation for most.

More importantly though, the notion that we should reject art that doesn't reflect the majority viewpoint contradicts the purpose of art. Art, including film, is supposed to offer different viewpoints, to challenge the viewpoint of the viewer, or to express the author's viewpoint. The movies awarded at this years Oscars mostly succeed in doing this, and that is likely why they won the awards they did.

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Scott R
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quote:
Opinion polls
This is where your argument starts to go wrong. [Smile]

You know why. But if you want I'll rehash the fallibility of opinion polls.

Or, to cut me off, you can link to the documented methodology and language of your referenced poll.

I think that your point about elections could be valid-- but I also think that political elections are a good way to judge the political attitude of the country at large. That's why, after the 2004 elections, a number of wonderfully intelligent Americans here considered moving to Canada. It wasn't just that Bush won; it was that he won by enough, and won on certain issues enough, they felt that American society had spurned them.

quote:
if we are talking about what truly is the majority viewpoint of moviegoers
I do like explosions; vehicular chase scenes are tiresome though.

I don't think most movie-goers think about the clear good-guy-bad-guy thing; that's something that you can't know about until you get in the theater, and by that time you've already spent the dough.

quote:
the notion that we should reject art that doesn't reflect the majority viewpoint contradicts of the purpose of art.

'Purpose of art.' The topic is so encompassing as to be incapable of being defined or debated.

Can majority viewpoints be artistically and intelligently communicated and supported? Or can art only include counter-cultural themes?

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
'Purpose of art.' The topic is so encompassing as to be incapable of being defined or debated.
That's a cop out.
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Stephan
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Wow, my first thread to go over a page here.
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Scott R
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quote:
Purpose of art.' The topic is so encompassing as to be incapable of being defined or debated.
--------
That's a cop out.

Yeah, you're right.

But why didn't you answer the question I posed?

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
Can majority viewpoints be artistically and intelligently communicated and supported? Or can art only include counter-cultural themes?
Anytime you talk about supporting or tearing down, it's really easy to slip from art to propoganda. A good story should communicate the complexities of human life, letting the viewer make his/her own decision whether a given character is good or bad, becoming or unbecoming. It's life teaching life. I think that Hart's Hope does this well. Crash, in my view, is an instance of the wisdom of life teaching life.

quote:
Can majority viewpoints be artistically and intelligently communicated and supported?
There needs to be some sort of friction, so that the virtue of the majority view point shows itself. The West Wing does this, at least in the first few seasons, it was rare that the victory was won by trying to game the system. Anytime the Bartlet administration tried, it would bite them in the butt a few episodes later.

As an aside, I never could watch Law and Order because it always struck me as propoganda, as in, the detectives on that show never harrass the wrong guy. I got a friend who was being investigated by the cops and they went to his 80 year old mother and threatened her trying to get her to testify against him. It turns out that he wasn't guilty, and it was someone else, but how is he going to communicate that to his mother? I mention this because Law and Order is a show that does not, in my esteem, aim to show the moral complexities of police work.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
The conservative viewpoint IS the minority in Hollywood.

The conservative viewpoint IS the majority (going by recent political elections) in America at large.

Not only is this a grossly misused and terminally innacurate generalization, based on the wrong facts, it also has no bearing on QUALITY content of films. As I said, we want quality in films, I think we could care less about the politics. We only pretend to care, when the movie is made into a representation of some kind of moral point, or a societal "issue," but one that has been amply adressed outside of film already, ideas in film are almost NEVER new.


Conservatism is a majority according to recent elections? This statement, though not apos pos to this argument at all, ignores some things I need to point out, very obvious problems.

1, elections don't count the views of non-voters, who still have opinions, even if they are unwilling or unable to express them by voting. Non-voters still have beliefs, and still express them in other aspects of their lives.

2, national elections are not by popular vote anyway.

3, this statement depends on a universal truth not in evidence: that "Conservatism" is analogous to the policies and views of the current administration. For many people, including my own father, many republicans and many democrats, and myself, being conservative and being liberal are shaded distinctions which are not bound up in the bipartisan system. No-one is so red and blue as to believe that, even you I imagine.

4, "The Conservative Viewpoint" doesn't exist. The first statment is as meaningless as the second. "Hollywood" though it has a highly productive and influential film industry, does not have a majority viewpoint of any kind IMO. It is very easy for OSC and for you to say that it does, and its an easy statment to swallow. But for me, it depends far too much on the idea you obviously have, that Americans must be so stupid and directionless, that we all, or even most of us have given over our will and direction in life to walking some sort of party line from on high. Certainly some do this, but I believe that THEY are in the minority, and that that brand of collective solopsism is the only worldview who's adherents enjoy any kind of solidarity.

Your saying these two things is not only a gross misrepresentation of the truth, its also irrelevent in the real world, even in the movies.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
Purpose of art.' The topic is so encompassing as to be incapable of being defined or debated.
--------
That's a cop out.

Yeah, you're right.

But why didn't you answer the question I posed?

Quit copping-out. Your question can be answered by your own cop-out statment, its too general to answer, its not a good question, it was asked only to show how smart and insightful the questioner is, and I am not surprised it was ignored.
----------------------------------------------
"As an aside, I never could watch Law and Order because it always struck me as propoganda, as in, the detectives on that show never harrass the wrong guy. I got a friend who was being investigated by the cops and they went to his 80 year old mother and threatened her trying to get her to testify against him. It turns out that he wasn't guilty, and it was someone else, but how is he going to communicate that to his mother? I mention this because Law and Order is a show that does not, in my esteem, aim to show the moral complexities of police work."
---------------------------------------
Well sometimes they did harass the wrong guy, but its always revealed in a way that gratifies the cops in the end, as they take away their powerful moral lesson about judging and being thus judged. My parents are devoted to those shows and it makes me want to vomit often times.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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Orincoro,

Everyone cheers for the police when they intimidate a guilty person or a family member of a guilty person into confessing on TV, but in real life, too many times, the person isn't guilty and the end result is a bitter non-criminal and an anxious family member. It's harrassment.

The show foists off a depiction of the criminal justice system where only the guilty are accosted, and that is not true. Just once, I'd like to see them browbeat a perp, and then say, "You know, he may not be guilty. We owe him an apology, and you know what, I think we should be more careful next time," and then show them eating humble pie, or even better, being brought up for charges themselves.

[ March 10, 2006, 07:50 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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Scott R
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quote:
Not only is this a grossly misused and terminally innacurate generalization, based on the wrong facts, it also has no bearing on QUALITY content of films.

I wasn't arguing quality at all, but content. I'm sorry I didn't make that clear.

Obviously, I don't find my statement to be a gross generalization, or terminally inaccurate. I do not see many of my values even approached on popular media-- film, television, etc, or if they are, it is in mockery.

quote:

1, elections don't count the views of non-voters, who still have opinions, even if they are unwilling or unable to express them by voting. Non-voters still have beliefs, and still express them in other aspects of their lives.

Certainly. Agree with you here.

quote:
2, national elections are not by popular vote anyway.
True enough.

quote:
3, this statement depends on a universal truth not in evidence: that "Conservatism" is analogous to the policies and views of the current administration. For many people, including my own father, many republicans and many democrats, and myself, being conservative and being liberal are shaded distinctions which are not bound up in the bipartisan system. No-one is so red and blue as to believe that, even you I imagine.

Also true.

quote:

4, "The Conservative Viewpoint" doesn't exist. The first statment is as meaningless as the second. "Hollywood" though it has a highly productive and influential film industry, does not have a majority viewpoint of any kind IMO.

My experience says differently.

quote:

it depends far too much on the idea you obviously have, that Americans must be so stupid and directionless, that we all, or even most of us have given over our will and direction in life to walking some sort of party line from on high.

Hmm. I don't think I said this. And OSC's critiscism of the Oscars stems from the idea that most people didn't find value in the Oscars because they didn't present films that addressed issues that people cared about, in ways that connected with them.

Maybe I'm not understanding what you mean-- can you clarify how you came to believe that I said that people are sheep?

quote:
that brand of collective solopsism is the only worldview who's adherents enjoy any kind of solidarity.
Wow. Here's $30 (virtual) for that sentence. I mean, REALLY. Wow.

quote:
Your saying these two things is not only a gross misrepresentation of the truth, its also irrelevent in the real world, even in the movies.
The second, maybe. I do see your point there.

The first? We're just going to have to disagree.

quote:
Quit copping-out. Your question can be answered by your own cop-out statment, its too general to answer, its not a good question, it was asked only to show how smart and insightful the questioner is, and I am not surprised it was ignored.
Ah.
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Synesthesia
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My sort of values get mocked.
Hollywood and television are useless when it comes to serious debate on any topic.
All they care about is entertainment, what is popular and promoting stupid stereotypes.
Nothing else really.
That's why it BORES me half the time.

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Orincoro
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Scott,

I should say that despite our disagreement, I appreciate your attitude- I am even going to ignore your subtle mockery, and your ironic "ah," which -yes- refers back to my own 30 dollar sentence about solopsism, (which is true by the way). I am spending my 30 virtual bucks on virtual movie tickets to a virtually watchable movie.


To clarify in regards to your question, I agree that Hollywood produces some of the vilest crap on Earth for our consumption, and convinces people it's really just the most important and groundbreaking thing ever (yah right). However I pointed out before that OSC goes on to suggest that he scores some kind of victory because alot of people went to see Narnia.

This is an interesting contradiction, because he just got done saying that hollywood only produces its own brand of intellectualist muck, and its only representative of Hollywood. Seems that when Hollywood produces a movie he agrees with, or which he feels helps him score some moralistic point for the home team because the movie is -courageously- Christian (a laugh on its own merits, that Christians are being persecuted in the US, and in Hollywood. Sorry, not more than any other group, and probably MUCH less).

IMO, OSC seems to like to be the guy who stands up for being non-controversial. There is a problem in this last sentence, there is nothing for him to stand for if he represents the "majority" view.

Thus I said he can't have his cake and eat it too, he can't say "HEY! I am the little guy being opressed for not being the intellectual elite! ACK!" Then turn around and say, "I am in the majority, just so you know."

Well, in fairness he can and does do this all the time, and its an effective tactic for disarming those who want a real debate that isn't based on paranoid ideations of who's out there to get him. THis is an exageration, but a recent thread on music in which he did this to me, kind of got me upset with him, and I haven't recovered yet.

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