By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

“Whatever it is that people are reacting to in these superhero films, it’s not what they say they’re reacting to. They clearly don’t care about consistent characterization, original storytelling, or anything else they say they do, because if they did they’d be a lot more picky. What they really like is what we all like: confidence. Movies boil down to someone – or a group of someones – telling us a story. And telling a story well takes confidence. If a storyteller has a great story packed with interesting characters and exciting developments but they stumble over the order of things and mumble during the important bits, the experience is going to suck. Likewise, if the story is poor but they tell it well it’ll be a good time even if afterwards we realize it didn’t make any sense.”

“Whatever it is that people are reacting to in these superhero films, it’s not what they say they’re reacting to. They clearly don’t care about consistent characterization, original storytelling, or anything else they say they do, because if they did they’d be a lot more picky. What they really like is what we all like: confidence. Movies boil down to someone – or a group of someones – telling us a story. And telling a story well takes confidence. If a storyteller has a great story packed with interesting characters and exciting developments but they stumble over the order of things and mumble during the important bits, the experience is going to suck. Likewise, if the story is poor but they tell it well it’ll be a good time even if afterwards we realize it didn’t make any sense.”

4 Responses to ““Whatever it is that people are reacting to in these superhero films, it’s not what they say they’re reacting to. They clearly don’t care about consistent characterization, original storytelling, or anything else they say they do, because if they did they’d be a lot more picky. What they really like is what we all like: confidence. Movies boil down to someone – or a group of someones – telling us a story. And telling a story well takes confidence. If a storyteller has a great story packed with interesting characters and exciting developments but they stumble over the order of things and mumble during the important bits, the experience is going to suck. Likewise, if the story is poor but they tell it well it’ll be a good time even if afterwards we realize it didn’t make any sense.””

  1. Roy Batty says:

    Look, it must truly suck to either A) watch masses of people prefer these movies over that precious Albanian film about the gay blind goatherd or B) not be able to get back to a place where you can still enjoy these “popcorn” flicks because you can’t ratchet down your brain to ignore all the silly stuff (or both).

    But holy crap is the knee-jerk hipster hate for these films getting beyond old. We get it, they’re dumb and you don’t like them. Fine. But did it ever occur to you that without them, the studios would be doing so much worse and some of the films you adore so much more would still be a script no one can afford to make?

  2. Ray Pride says:

    An Albanian film about a gay blind goatherd would probably be amazing.

  3. Amazing GBG says:

    I think we may have a straw man here. Let’s consider the premise: the superhero film audience (they’re a consistently monolithic entity, apparently) wants in these films the opposite of what they say they do. But really, how many are actually “saying” what they want at all? We seem to be implying someone representing this group holds a weekly press conference touting its every lofty ideal. Yes, everyone’s tweeting, liking and posting all over the place, but I am not confident they a) to a person uphold “consistent characterization and original storytelling” or b) represent the full entirety of that film’s audience.

  4. Warren says:

    Of course it’s a straw man. He doesn’t like these movies and is twisting himself into knots to try to explain why the stupid masses do like them–this is tiresome whining and poorly argued.

Quote Unquotesee all »

“When books become a thing, they can no longer be fine.

“Literary people get mad at Knausgård the same way they get mad at Jonathan Franzen, a writer who, if I’m being honest, might be fine. I’m rarely honest about Jonathan Franzen. He’s an extremely annoying manI have only read bits and pieces of his novels, and while I’ve stopped reading many novels even though they were pretty good or great, I have always stopped reading Jonathan Franzen’s novels because I thought they were aggressively boring and dumb and smug. But why do I think this? I didn’t read him when he was a new interesting writer who wrote a couple of weird books and then hit it big with ‘The Corrections,’ a moment in which I might have picked him up with curiosity and read with an open mind; I only noticed him once, after David Foster Wallace had died, he became the heir apparent for the Great American Novelist position, once he had had that thing with Oprah and started giving interviews in which he said all manner of dumb shit; I only noticed him well after I had been told he was An Important Writer.

“So I can’t and shouldn’t pretend that I am unmoved by the lazily-satisfied gentle arrogance he projects or when he is given license to project it by the has-the-whole-world-gone-crazy development of him being constantly crowned and re-crowned as Is He The Great American Writer. What I really object to is this, and if there’s anything to his writing beyond it, I can’t see it and can’t be bothered. Others read him and tell me he’s actually a good writer—people whose critical instincts I have learned to respect—so I feel sure that he’s probably a perfectly fine, that his books are fine, and that probably even his stupid goddamned bird essays are probably also fine.

“But it’s too late. He has become a thing; he can’t be fine.”
~ Aaron Bady

“You know how in postproduction you are supposed to color-correct the picture so everything is smooth and even? Jean-Luc wants the opposite. He wants the rupture. Color and then black and white, or different intensities of color. Or how in this film, sometimes you see the ratio of the frame change after the image begins. That happens when he records from his TV onto his old DVCAM analog machine, which is so old we can’t even find parts when it needs to be repaired. The TV takes time to recognize and adjust to the format on the DVD or the Blu-ray. Whether it’s 1:33 or 1:85. And one of the TVs he uses is slower than the other. He wants to keep all that. I could correct it, but he doesn’t want me to. See, here’s an image from War and Peace. He did the overlays of color—red, white, and blue—using an old analog video effects machine. That’s why you have the blur. When I tried to redo it in digital, I couldn’t. The edges were too sharp. And why the image jitters—I don’t know how he did that. Playing with the cable maybe. Handmade. He wants to see that. It’s a gift from his old machine.”
~ Fabrice Aragno