Archive for June 12th, 2009

Symposium: The Function of Film

Josh’s complaint that Up merely made him feel good instead of forever altering his weltanschauung prompted me to consider a deeper question: What is the relationship between a film’s quality and the feeling it evokes in its audience?

This is a broad, intimidating, and largely unanswerable question—at least not within the space of this blog. I can only try to speak from my own, admittedly idiosyncratic experience with film.

The imposing opening question boils down to me like so: Can one be unentertained by a great film, and can one be entertained by a bad one?

The first half of the question is prima facie simple to me: No. Any film that fails the basic criterion of entertaining its audience falls short of the designation “great.” And yet I know of several films called “great” that I personally have not, or would not, enjoy. The first that comes to mind is Saving Private Ryan, which ranks 56th on IMDB’s “Top 250” and receives a score of 90, or “Universal Acclaim,” on Metacritic. These two scores represent a reasonable enough cross-section of viewers and critics to call this film great.

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Replaced?

 

Kristin Cavallari

Kristin Cavallari

Lauren Conrad

Lauren Conrad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How exactly is this going to work? For those of you who haven’t heard, Lauren Conrad is leaving The Hills, a show in which she is basically the main character. In her place, MTV has gotten Conrad’s former Laguna Beach rival Kristin Cavallari to replace her. Continue reading