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Boring = bad?
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The Third M?n
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PostPosted: 03.10.2004 10:54 pm    Post subject: Boring = bad? Reply with quote

I've been wondering this for days. Does a film that's boring [note: not just "slow-moving"] therefore mean that it's bad? But what if the director's intentions are to bore the audience [regardless of what the purpose of it all is]?

I feel like discussing, you see, because most of the time, when people dismiss 2001 as a bad film it's because they found it "boring". It doesn't matter whether they're right or not, but if they believed the film was bad because it was tedious, then...
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 03.10.2004 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, yes, I think the worst movies are boring movies, next to those that insult my intelligence. But what's "boring" is all subjective, of course. Bad Boys II bored me, even though it was loud and fast. 2001 kept me enthralled, even though it was very slow moving. The word "boring" is rightly pejorative, but it doesn't mean the same thing as "slow".
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The Third M?n
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PostPosted: 03.10.2004 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Well, yes, I think the worst movies are boring movies, next to those that insult my intelligence. But what's "boring" is all subjective, of course. Bad Boys II bored me, even though it was loud and fast. 2001 kept me enthralled, even though it was very slow moving. The word "boring" is rightly pejorative, but it doesn't mean the same thing as "slow".


That's the thing. I hated LXG because it was tedious; and that, for an action film, is a sacrilege. That said, there were other elements which were way below par and thus prevented me from liking it, but it bored me. I didn't like it. Therefore, can we definitely say that boring equals bad?

Perhaps.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 03.10.2004 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We must also remember that the quality of a movie is not completely objective. One man's garbage is another man's treasure. But I'd say that you would have much less to support the argument that 2001 was a bad movie, whether you liked it or found it boring, than you would to support the argument that LXG was bad.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 03.11.2004 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Well, yes, I think the worst movies are boring movies, next to those that insult my intelligence. But what's "boring" is all subjective, of course. Bad Boys II bored me, even though it was loud and fast. 2001 kept me enthralled, even though it was very slow moving. The word "boring" is rightly pejorative, but it doesn't mean the same thing as "slow".


Precisely. And "slow" is not always boring.

Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 03.11.2004 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrei Tarkovsky once said something like, "We all know there is no place for entertainment in the movies." That's sort of a ludicrous thing to say, but his own movies are perfect examples of slow-moving films that are enthralling in their beauty, ideas, and pacing.

I don't really have anything to add to this discussion; I just thought Comrade Tarkovsky was a good example.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 03.11.2004 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Well, yes, I think the worst movies are boring movies


But are they bad because they are boring, or boring because they are bad?

Some of the worst movies I've ever seen are far from dull; they are fascinating in their flaws. I think of Freddy Got Fingered, which is truly awful but never boring.

I think a good guideline, though, is to consider why we are bored. As a rule of thumb, I like to assume that if I'm bored, it's probably because I'm missing something. My best friend absolutely loathes Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood for Love on the grounds that he was bored to tears; I'm convinced that's because he made zero effort to notice what Wong was up to. (I've been utterly entranced by that movie more than once. It flies by, for me.) This is the same principle I mention when I teach The Scarlet Letter, since going in I know most kids will find it dull while reading independently. They simply aren't strong enough readers--at least not yet--to enjoy it.

Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 03.11.2004 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
the night watchman wrote:
Well, yes, I think the worst movies are boring movies


But are they bad because they are boring, or boring because they are bad?



Both. See below.

beltmann wrote:
I think a good guideline, though, is to consider why we are bored. As a rule of thumb, I like to assume that if I'm bored, it's probably because I'm missing something.


Three words. The Astro-Zombies. A bad, boring movie that's bad because it's boring, and boring because it's bad. There's nothing to miss here, except, if you're fortunate, the movie itself.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 03.11.2004 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed! When I talk about The Scarlet Letter, a few students always ask, "But isn't it possible to completely get a book and still think it's boring?" I'm forced to admit that yes, of course, that's possible... and I have no doubt something like The Astro-Zombies qualifies! The trick, though, is making sure we actually have totally understood the work. Better to have doubts than to merely assume, I think. I'd rather rise to the level of the artist than force the artist down to my level. While that may not really apply to Astro-Zombies, it probably does for something like In the Mood for Love.

And I also agree that bad and boring are mutually influencing--like symbiosis.

Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 03.11.2004 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You just brought up an interesting issue: Disliking a work is not necessarily the same as deeming the work bad. I didn't like The Scarlet Letter in high school either -- in fact, I was bored by it -- but that doesn't mean I thought it was a bad novel. In fact, I found the in-class discussion and my own personal research on it (okay, Cliff's Notes) fascinating. In other words, I thought the story was interesting; I just didn't like how Hawthorne told it.

There are certainly movies I dislike, and find boring, but don't think are bad, like Tarkovsky's Solaris; and there are movies that I know are bad, yet still enjoy, like Maximum Overdrive.

I think we can agree that no good movie is inherently boring, like The Astro-Zombies is inherently boring, but we as individual can be bored by a "good" movie -- or, as least, a competently made movie successful in its endeavors.
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The Third M?n
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PostPosted: 03.11.2004 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
I think a good guideline, though, is to consider why we are bored. As a rule of thumb, I like to assume that if I'm bored, it's probably because I'm missing something.


I have to say, I don't think this is always the case. I was missing something -- I still am -- during my first viewing of Mulholland Dr., yet I loved it and was not bored by it. Although it does depend on the context.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 03.11.2004 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
You just brought up an interesting issue: Disliking a work is not necessarily the same as deeming the work bad. I didn't like The Scarlet Letter in high school either -- in fact, I was bored by it -- but that doesn't mean I thought it was a bad novel. In fact, I found the in-class discussion and my own personal research on it (okay, Cliff's Notes) fascinating. In other words, I thought the story was interesting; I just didn't like how Hawthorne told it.



And of course what we bring to the table is extremely important. I too disliked Hawthorne in high school--which I freely admit to my students--but these days I find him fascinating. Re-reading The Scarlet Letter last year, for the first time in ages, was like tearing off the blindfolds--suddenly I could see. I was utterly moved by the story, and also by Hawthorne's style and methods.

Eric
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Erickson
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PostPosted: 03.15.2004 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When I talk about The Scarlet Letter, a few students always ask, "But isn't it possible to completely get a book and still think it's boring?" I'm forced to admit that yes, of course, that's possible...


When did you admit that?

Personally, a story is only boring to me if I can't relate to it in anyway. Boring, imho, does not mean bad. It simply means that I can't relate it. I could in no way relate to Young Frankenstein, but I still found it entertaining and enjoyed the story. Of course, if something is boring, there is a higher chance of it also being bad.
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GimmickAccount
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PostPosted: 03.15.2004 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erickson wrote:
Quote:
When I talk about The Scarlet Letter, a few students always ask, "But isn't it possible to completely get a book and still think it's boring?" I'm forced to admit that yes, of course, that's possible...


When did you admit that?

Personally, a story is only boring to me if I can't relate to it in anyway. Boring, imho, does not mean bad. It simply means that I can't relate it. I could in no way relate to Young Frankenstein, but I still found it entertaining and enjoyed the story. Of course, if something is boring, there is a higher chance of it also being bad.


Know what's NOT boring? Axe + Lighter flamethrowers.
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I suppose. Teenagers clearly suck.
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Erickson
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PostPosted: 03.15.2004 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seriously doubt you have ever done anything involving an axe and lighter flamethrowers.

If you have, though, more power to ya.
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