A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

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Upthorn
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby Upthorn » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:47 pm

I'm just gonna leave this here...
How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks.

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Friday
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby Friday » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:45 pm

The MCU is art. All movies are art.

I was never arguing the definition of art, and neither was Scorsese. As the end of the video states, we're arguing quality. And if you maintain that the MCU, or Transformers, or Twilight, or Harry Potter, or shitty direct to video title confusion movies are the same quality as whatever the fuck, then you're wrong.

I mean, you're subjectively wrong. Because even if you're merely arguing quality and not trying to gatekeep because "art" is a status symbol/definition, you're never going to get a hard and fast definition of "good", the same way you're never going to get a hard and fast definition of "art."

The problem is we're nerds and nerds (and people in general, actually, but especially nerds) want things nailed down. Math appeals to us because we can point at a prime number and say "that's prime, this other number isn't" and it's objectively true.

But while I can say Casablanca is better than Harry Potter, what objective standards do I have to back that up?

Sure, we can talk about commercialism and there's some merit there. An actual, literal advertisement can be art. I mean, okay, let's look at a good and even artistic commercial!



So this is funny, it's pretty, and it's got clever ideas and was done with mostly "practical effects" which gives it "art points" to certain people. What is it, though? What is the purpose of that 30 seconds of video?

Is the purpose to make you laugh? Is it to impress you with the effort and time that went into creating the effects that you saw? Is it to sell Old Spice?

It's probably the last one, right? So it's an ad, then.

So, what's the purpose of Spider-Man Homecoming? Is it to make you laugh? Is it to impress you with the etc? Is it to teach you as a person that never giving up is cool? Is it to sell Spider-Man backpacks and lunchboxes and cups and candy and and and and and

So, it's probably that last one, right? So it's an ad, then.

But both things are -also- about making you laugh and whatever. They're not devoid of merit. Transformers G1 isn't devoid of merit just because it was 22 minutes of an ad cut up by 8 minutes of ads for other things.

So we have the discussion of what is art, and the discussion of what is quality, and both are tricky and hard (impossible, really) to nail down 100%, but we can still have discussions about them because it's not entirely impossible.

For example, I haven't really disagreed with anything anyone has posted in this thread so far after my previous post. Even though some of it was at odds with other parts of it. I'm willing to accept a lot of arguments because it's a really, really grey area subject.

But, I mean. I still think the MCU isn't as good as Casablanca or To Kill A Mockingbird, and if your argument is "yes it is," then we can have a meaningful discussion about that.

I can even tell you what makes art good to me, though it's not objective, and it's the reason why some things are "better" to me than others. But I'll wait a bit to talk about that.
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zaratustra
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby zaratustra » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:27 pm

Alright, let's put it this way:

Scorcese was absolutely correct that MCU movies are theme park rides. This is an extremely useful metaphor, one that perfectly nails why, for example, they will never get an Oscar for anything but "special effects". These movies define success and defeat by entirely different rules. You're not watching them for a character arc. You want the most spectacular fist to the face that modern technology can deliver on a two hundred foot wide screen.

Seriously, tell me what the plot is of, say, Age of Ultron. You can't. It's impossible, it evades your mind the moment you stop watching it. Doctor Strange created exactly one meme, and it's because the main character repeated the same sentence twenty times, burning it into your head by sheer ontological force.

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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby Mongrel » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:29 pm

I think that calling MCU stuff ads is fair, but it's not as clean a case as say old spice. Because while there's ABSOLUTELY an intention to use the MCU to sell Marvel tchotchkes, there is also an intention to sell the story itself, to sell movie tickets. Which is fine - almost all movies want to sell movie tickets! painters sell paintings, writers sell books and so on.

On top of that, the main thing the movies advertise are comic books, which are another form of the same story the movie's telling (and are commercialized in their own way, but that's deep enough for now without getting into North American modern mythologies studies).

So you get all these layers of commercialization, some more crass than others, but some which are just as harmless as you'd see in any non-advert movie.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that as usual, people are looking for black and white, because that's easy, and as always stuff turns out to actually be on a spectrum, which gives everyone Sorites Paradox fits until their brains catch fire (and cause wildfires (because Hollywood and Silicon Valley are in California)).
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby Mongrel » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:33 pm

zaratustra wrote:Alright, let's put it this way:

Scorcese was absolutely correct that MCU movies are theme park rides. This is an extremely useful metaphor, one that perfectly nails why, for example, they will never get an Oscar for anything but "special effects". These movies define success and defeat by entirely different rules. You're not watching them for a character arc. You want the most spectacular fist to the face that modern technology can deliver on a two hundred foot wide screen.

Seriously, tell me what the plot is of, say, Age of Ultron. You can't. It's impossible, it evades your mind the moment you stop watching it. Doctor Strange created exactly one meme, and it's because the main character repeated the same sentence twenty times, burning it into your head by sheer ontological force.

I think there's a handful of MCU movies which do tell good, enjoyable, standalone stories, to a high standard of storytelling.

But I'll concede that's a minority, possibly a small one (trying to quantify exact numbers is where ferocious arguing comes in).
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Friday
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby Friday » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:25 pm

The point I was raising by bringing up the Old Spice ad was that even in ads, there's quality. The Old Spice ad is funny, it's clever, it's nice to look at (especially if you get to enjoy the male eye candy like me) and it's not obnoxious. For an ad, I mean.

I wasn't trying to say the MCU and the Old Spice ad are the same level of ad, because they're not. The MCU tries to tell stories, etc.

My point is that even ads can have quality to them. There are bad ads and good ads. And if ads can have quality, than certainly things that are not ads can, and pretending that everything is on the same level of quality is insane. The problem comes when people try to define what is and isn't art, which Thad pointed out can be seriously damaging to certain mediums. Comics and Video Games have suffered under that yoke of "not art" for a long time, and still haven't completely cast it off, though we're a lot closer than say, even 20 years ago.

So everything is art. Cool. I don't really care about that argument. If you want to say that both the Mona Lisa and a single brushstroke on a blank canvas (or even just an actual blank canvas) belong in the same classification, "art", that's totally fine.

But when you say a blank canvas or a canvas with one brush stroke on it are the same quality as the Mona Lisa or Starry Night or American Gothic or The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, we're gonna have to have a conversation.

Like, you're entitled (of course) to think a single brushstroke or a blank canvas or the MCU or Harry Potter or Twilight is the pinnacle of art and quality. But they're not. I mean, I don't have some criteria that says they're not and you're wrong and I'm right. So I can't give you one. And by definition that seems to mean I lose this argument. Which, because it's entirely subjective, it seems logical that I do and should lose that argument.

But the thing is, that logical path leads to "quality is entirely subjective" which I reject. And also believe is objectively incorrect. I think saying "quality is somewhat subjective" is, of course, correct (even objectively correct) but that word, "entirely", which people want to be true so that they can logically proclaim that actually Bleach is objectively the best thing ever made by man, uh.

No. Bleach sucks. It's mostly filler. I know this because I have the ability to discern quality. And I love Bleach, and I love the MCU, and I love the Old Spice ad, but they are not as good as fucking Casablanca.
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby Mongrel » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:02 pm

So what you're saying is that Casablanca is good, but fucking it is even better? >:D
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby Grath » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:41 am

zaratustra wrote:Seriously, tell me what the plot is of, say, Age of Ultron. You can't. It's impossible, it evades your mind the moment you stop watching it. Doctor Strange created exactly one meme, and it's because the main character repeated the same sentence twenty times, burning it into your head by sheer ontological force.

Off the top of my head without looking it up:
  • Tony Stark is meddling with the Mind Stone and accidentally creates malevolent AI that decides it wants to rule the world.
  • Bunch of big punchy spectacle of why Ultron poses a threat to the heroes.
  • Ultron tries to blow up Offbrand Comblock Country for... reasons. Trying to cause tons of damage.
  • Big spectacle fight, kill off a side character for emotional impact, introduce new extra-powerful hero that can handily deal with this threat.

After a quick Wikipedia dive:
Malevolent AI did the usual "humanity is the biggest threat to the world, gotta kill all humans."

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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby Büge » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:11 pm

zaratustra wrote:Seriously, tell me what the plot is of, say, Age of Ultron.


Joss Whedon undoes the character development of previous films to make room for comedic pratfalls, hamfisted political allegories, and his "unique" brand of "dialogue".
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby Mongrel » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:40 pm

Grath wrote:Malevolent AI did the usual "humanity is the biggest threat to the world, gotta kill all humans."

Man, I wonder why this plot thread keeps coming up in everything...
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zaratustra
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby zaratustra » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:49 pm

I'll dig myself further with this.

the reason DC Films is faltering, is that because they're recoiling from this amusement ride mentality. They still kind of want to make Batman matter. They're struggling to see how to make Superman "relevant" or "relatable", when all you really need is a way to put a camera on his shoulder while he flies in from low orbit to punch a guy.

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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby Blossom » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:11 am

Been seeing a lot of responses to that "We don't know how to make Superman relatable" bit, and how obviously bullshit it is.

The honest investigative reporter, an immigrant, who spends most of his efforts fighting to take down a corrupt CEO? A bit [b]too[b/] relatable for modern audiences, just not in a way they want to produce.
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mharr
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby mharr » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:03 am

He was also explicitly and consciously created by Jewish Americans as a wish fulfillment golem in reaction to the rise of fascism.

So maybe just do that again?

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Büge
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby Büge » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:42 am

Blossom wrote:Been seeing a lot of responses to that "We don't know how to make Superman relatable" bit, and how obviously bullshit it is.


My favourites are the people piggybacking off of it to crow about the mythical "Snyder Cut".
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby atog » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:14 pm

Büge wrote:
Blossom wrote:Been seeing a lot of responses to that "We don't know how to make Superman relatable" bit, and how obviously bullshit it is.


My favourites are the people piggybacking off of it to crow about the mythical "Snyder Cut".

If by "cut" they mean a small but statistically significant amount of white powder, mixed in with an arbitrarily larger amount of white powder. *<:^)
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby pacobird » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:40 pm

Friday wrote:Like, you're entitled (of course) to think a single brushstroke or a blank canvas or the MCU or Harry Potter or Twilight is the pinnacle of art and quality. But they're not. I mean, I don't have some criteria that says they're not and you're wrong and I'm right. So I can't give you one. And by definition that seems to mean I lose this argument. Which, because it's entirely subjective, it seems logical that I do and should lose that argument.


Friday I am 100% on board with your take with the small twist that I'm even open to the claim that the blank canvas is on the same level or superior, but you have to actually make the affirmative case that it is and getting people to do so - to talk about it - is about as close to the point of art as I think I've ever come across.

When Jersey Shore was popular I read a really well-done argument that it was one of the best-written (or plotted, or shot; however you want to say it) shows on TV at the time, because the Reality format gave us all the hallmarks of fictional character drama without any of the karmic resolution we have come to subconsciously expect. Sammy and Jwoww get in a fight about Ronnie! Who won? What was the point? How did Ronnie get away with making out with both of them with zero accountability? It's brilliant narrative ambiguity: rather than create confusion by hiding relevant facts from the audience, Jersey Shore tells you everything but still leaves you confused because the cast are black boxes!

That's what I want to see people say about low art.
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby Mongrel » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:16 pm

Yeah, I think that's where the Duchamps angle comes in, in that sometimes the artistic merit is not intrinsic to the object or action (i.e. non-object arts - dance, music, performance art, etc.), but to the treatment which follows, in drawing people to view things through a totally different window than they normally would see through.
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Re: A take so hot I think I got singed reading it.

Postby Büge » Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:33 am

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