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Freddy vs. Jason
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 09.09.2003 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Third M?n wrote:
It bewilders me to know that people still like predictable and unoriginal movies with a killer on the loose chasing a bunch of hormone-erupting sex-addicted teenagers with tight tops.


I'm no fan of slasher flicks, but surely the enduring appeal of this stuff lies outside of narrative--their "predictable" plots aren't really relevant to what the genre taps into, culturally or psychologically. I prefer to think about them in abstract terms, I guess.

Eric
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matt header
Studio Exec


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Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 09.10.2003 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the same reason we like to see gunfights in western movies, car chases in action movies, fight scenes in kung-fu movies, kisses in romance movies, dance sequences in Astaire/Rogers movies, and the underdog team winning against all odds in a hokey sports movie: escapism, entertainment, pure and simple pleasure. Of course it's wonderful when such a movie goes above and beyond and is actually complex and worthy of analysis, but slasher movies - even recent ones like "Halloween H20" have their certain basic charms.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 09.10.2003 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Formula and familiarity certainly have there pleasures. I enjoy the asthetics of the horror movie, for whatever reasons, and can tolerate bottom of the barrel stuff if it offers what I'm looking for. I think even "fans," if I dare call them that, of mainstream and art-house cinema favor movies in those catagories for the same sort of reasons. You can be as open-minded as you like, but sometimes you'd really prefer to bask in a particular style or storyline or theme.
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"If you're talking about censorship, and what things should be shown and what things shouldn't be shown, I've said that as an artist you have no social responsibility whatsoever."

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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 09.10.2003 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
I think even "fans," if I dare call them that, of mainstream and art-house cinema favor movies in those catagories for the same sort of reasons. You can be as open-minded as you like, but sometimes you'd really prefer to bask in a particular style or storyline or theme.


I think I agree with that. Most of us here seem to have an inclusionary, wide-ranging interest in cinema at large, but of course we all have our preferences, as informed by our biases, education, age, experiences, values, tastes, etc. What's most interesting to me, of course, is examining why those preferences exist, because that can tell us a lot about ourselves and our relationship to art.

Still, I think that we can forcefully pry our minds considerably open, willfully exposing ourselves to films and genres that lie outside of our preferences. (For me, I have to work up enthusiasm for slasher stuff, actioners, obnoxious teen comedies, and costume dramas about class warfare). Hopefully, that task ultimately enlarges our "preferences," so that we are able to "bask" in a wider range of fare (assuming a certain degree of quality). At least, that's been a personal goal of mine.

Matt, I agree that the slasher genre provides "basic charms" akin to kung fu and kisses, but I also feel there's more going on under the image than just that, more that we respond to on an intuitive or subconscious level. I'm not enough of a genre aficionado to be able to offer many specific insights, but I'd love to read a purely academic investigation that connects the genre to social forces and social frustrations--I think the material is ripe for that kind of unpacking.

Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 09.10.2003 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting points, sir. For some reason I've always loved - loved - Western movies, from John Ford to Sergio Leone to Clint Eastwood. The formula just works for me - I don't know if the tough-guy image gets out some of my repressed anger or what.
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beltmann
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 09.10.2003 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
For some reason I've always loved - loved - Western movies, from John Ford to Sergio Leone to Clint Eastwood. The formula just works for me.


You and me both, but I fear we're in the minority. Westerns, and their inherent mythic qualities, have become passe, to the point that new ones are routinely mocked for being old-fashioned--as if old fashions are invalid merely for being old. Still, as with the slasher genre, I think there's more going on under the image in Westerns than simply good-versus-evil parables. The genre lends itself to elemental formulas, but also uniquely American meditations on landscape, architecture, human destiny (some movies unfortunately confuse this with Manifest Destiny), modernity, existentialism (aren't most great Westerns existential?), vulnerability, the sins of the past, hatred, violence, corruption.

Surely you've checked out Anthony Mann, perhaps the most painterly of all the great Western directors?

Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 09.10.2003 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tragically, I've seen only one Anthony Mann film - "The Naked Spur," which ranks among my favorite Westerns. As much as I love this genre, I'm hideously unknowledgeable about it.
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beltmann
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 09.10.2003 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Naked Spur is in my Top Three, alongside The Man From Laramie and Man of the West. All three are directed by Anthony Mann, and yes, I really do think one man is responsible for the three greatest Westerns. Screw John Ford and his macho lies. (I'm joking, but there's some truth to it, too.)

I'd also highly recommend the following Mann Westerns: Wnchester '73, Bend of the River, The Far Country, and The Tin Star. I also really like his non-Westerns El Cid (for similar reasons) and The Glenn Miller Story (for very different reasons).

Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 09.11.2003 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, great - another director I have to actively seek out once I see anything by Godard, Kieslowski, Truffaut, Ozu, Mizoguchi, Tarkovsky, Eisenstein, Herzog, and so on and so on. Just kidding - I'll look out for all of those movies you listed.

I agree about Ford, although you were mostly joking - some of his movies that I've seen are nonsense. But I love, love, love "The Searchers," and I think "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" is an excitingly complex movie.
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beltmann
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 09.11.2003 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We definitely seem to share a sensibility with this genre. I'd rank The Searchers as one of the great Westerns, and certainly as Ford's finest achievement. (And Wayne's, for that matter. Love the scene where he says, "And don't ask me about it no more...") Liberty Valance is second on my Ford list, and after that the pickings get slim. I like about 10 others, but actively dislike another 10 or so. It bottoms out with Donovan's Reef, a witless knockabout comedy about one brainless macho brawl after another. Wayne and Lee Marvin pretty much prance around, preening and embarrassing themselves.

Eric
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