Posts Tagged ‘mindhunters’

Symposium: …and CUT.

First off, I am offended at your two’s vocabulary. If you were an experienced film writer such as myself, you’d know never to use the word “movie.”

I don’t mean to caricature John’s argument, but I’m sure it’s what he’ll claim afterward. It seems to me that John is arguing that a film’s quality is entirely dependent on the response it evokes not in its collective audience, but in the individual member of that audience. Hence, “Calling a movie ‘great’…is ALWAYS a subjective judgment. If you enjoy a movie, then you think it’s a good movie.”

John’s myopic take on film quality, in which each individual acts as the arbiter of overall quality, essentially makes any and all comments about film both conceivable and credible.

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Symposium: Entertainingly Bad?

Tim asked, “What is the relationship between a film’s quality and the feeling it evokes in its audience?” He called this “a broad, intimidating, and largely unanswerable question.”

Well, here is the answer: There is no difference between a film’s quality and the feeling it evokes in its audience.

Full disclosure: the concept of the “enjoyably bad” movie is one Tim has tried to convince me of many times before, to no avail. Continue reading

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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