It's been some time since my last short film diary. I assure you Jenny Ringo and the Monkey's Paw is still happening. Tonight I'm meeting the composer to check out the music which should move things along a bit. I was going to write a full update on here, then decided I would try to be clever and do something different. The something different took a lot longer than it should have done but I will post it soon.
You know that MovieBar thing I keep going on about? It's still happening next week, Monday 7th February at the Cornerstone pub in Brighton. 8pm. Free entry. Just saying...
My wife has started a blog! Thinking about it she probably wants to remain anonymous, so ignore that first sentence and just check out this awesome new blog! And then follow it and link to it and stuff so she keeps it up!
As she mentions, we have been on an Oscars mission recently. The plan is to see as many of the nominated films as possible so we can shout at the TV with some conviction when people we don't like win stuff. I've really enjoyed the films so far - The King's Speech was enjoyably perfect, 127 Hours was surprisingly fun, Black Swan was amazing and could be my favourite film ever (despite the fact that Andrea did indeed have to tell half the audience to shut up when the film started), Exit Through the Gift Shop was brilliant and funny...those last two actually have something in common.
Black Swan seems to have divided audiences and that's kind of exciting and I think makes it way more interesting than something everyone universally agrees is fantastic. Certainly makes for some interesting discussions anyway. I respect everyones' right to an opinion and I have no problem with people telling me they hated something I liked. I have a bit of a problem with someone trying to convince me I'm wrong for liking or disliking something - I'm happy to exchange opinions but I'm not going to change mine because someone else says so. But what I have a real problem with is people telling me I don't know my own mind; that I've been conned or brainwashed into thinking something is better or worse than it is.
There is a large faction of the internet (and some people in real life) that seem to see Darren Aronofsky's success with Black Swan as being exactly the same as Thierry Guetta's success in Exit Through the Gift Shop. These people seem to believe that Aronofsky has conned us all into thinking he is a genius and that the reality is far from the truth. I'm not even exaggerating - I've seen people actually put it in these terms. Yes, I'm sure the marketing department for the film do want us to believe it's the greatest film ever made, but so does the marketing department on any film. This isn't a conspiracy, this is the film industry. No one is making anyone like or dislike a film. Only apparently they are, and those rebellious individuals who have uncovered this conspiracy are more than happy to tell us all about it in one unified and now quite repetitive voice.
Who cares? Who really cares whether I like a film or not? Why is it so important?
To me, it's really not important. I'm not saying I don't care what people think because I really do. I just don't really believe in the concept of good art and bad art. Cue my overly pretentious rant about art -
Art exists to make you as an individual feel something. That's all. You don't have to like it, you don't have to dislike it, it's got nothing to do with the intentions of those who made it, it will either make you feel something or it won't. And if you don't feel anything, if it's dealing with subjects outside your experience, or does so in a way that means nothing to you, or maybe you're just not even in the right frame of mind to engage with it that day, that doesn't make the art bad. And if you hated it, if you didn't get anything from it at all and despised the experience, that's fine but that's your reaction. You as an individual. You don't have to convince everyone else to feel the same way, that their positive reaction was wrong, that there is some malicious design here; some kind of conspiracy to make us all like something rubbish.
As far as I'm concerned, even when there is a lack of artistic intention there is still value in the art itself. It may be an abstract value beyond that which the artist intended, if he/she intended anything at all, but if someone, anyone, is made to feel something or even understand something as a result of that work then it's done its job.
This is how I watch films. I don't expect anyone to agree. But it is for the above reason that you won't convince me I'm wrong about a film I liked, conspiracy or no conspiracy.
Phantom Islands - Gather around, my dearies, for tales of phantom islands and shivers of delight. Phantom islands are islands that were drawn on maps long ago, but seem to...
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