Films vs. Movies

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by DUSHONI, Jun 10, 2002.

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  1. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    A "fillum" is a Bollywood (Indian) flick!

    :D

    Alright... if there's one thing I cannot stand it's cultural elitism. I've seen it in college... alternative music vs. mainstream music, punk vs. rap, etc. etc. etc.

    Enough already!

    As if religion isn't enough of a mechanism by which people divide and stratify... we now need to debate the validity of "movies" or "films". They're all motion pictures, people... and whether you consider one valuable or not is entirely a subjective opinion.

    Case in point: I think Star Wars is a piece of crap dramatically... but it's kitsch, it's fun, it's action, it's cheesy but I'll still watch it a million times and consider also its impact upon our culture... though whether it was popular or antipopular was not an issue in my mind when I went to see it in the theater for the first time... I was four years old, for god's sake. And I still watch it now, 24 years later.

    Anyway, I think it's stupid to get into this minutiae because it detracts us from being entertained... which is what motion pictures do. They entertain... but they can also inform, educate, question, provoke, etc.

    One of my favorite films is Bowfinger... a satirical look at the lowbrow side of hollywood. There's a scene in the end where these hack actors are watching their film on the big screen, and with awe... astounded to see that they've "finally made it"... despite the fact that their film was a critical disaster but a popular success only because of the dubious appearance of Hollywood's biggest action star Kit Ramsey (played by Eddie Murphy). I think the film is hilarious.

    Then again, I thought Hudson Hawk was one of the funniest films ever... too bad it was marketed as action.

    I love movies... all kinds. I just don't go to a Schwarzenegger film when I want to see oscar performances, nor do I see a Kubrick film when I want to see slapstick comedy.

    If what you want is a Volkswagen... don't go to the Rolls Royce dealer and then complain that they're out of VWs.

    Would a rose by any other name not smell as sweet?
  2. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Amen! I have to say I agree with most of what you've said.

    I too am a big fan of all types of films. I'm the only guy I know who thinks Steel Magnolias is a great film. ;) I think it's wrong to tie yourself down to a particular type of film and watch only that type. There is much to be gained from eclectic viewing.

    That said, I feel that Star Wars succeeds on many more levels than simply kitsch. I feel it's a hilarious comedy, a pulse pounding action film, and a mythic battle of the titans. Drama? It's there. The faraway score still gives me chills when Guiness gives Luke his first big talk about the Force. :D

    I consider all great films from any genre to be classic 'films' to use the debated term. Dumb and Dumber is a film to me. Die Hard is a film to me. Predator is a film to me. Are these films looked down on by some people who are wrapped up in cultural elitism? Yes and that's a shame.

    Great films can come from any genre.
  3. Patches Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2002
    star 3
    I just don't go to a Schwarzenegger film when I want to see oscar performances, nor do I see a Kubrick film when I want to see slapstick comedy.

    Does anybody?

    If what you want is a Volkswagen... don't go to the Rolls Royce dealer and then complain that they're out of VWs.

    Who's been doing that?

    Great films can come from any genre.

    I agree with that sentiment. I like a variety of movies. :)

    They entertain

    If that is their one purpose, then they would fall under the 'movie' definition.

    but they can also inform, educate, question, provoke, etc.

    This would make them fall under the 'film' definition. According to the connotation that I defined earlier, 'movies' entertain and 'films' educate and challenge the viewer to think.

    if there's one thing I cannot stand it's cultural elitism.

    How am I being an elitist? I don't think that one genre is automatically better than another, as you seem to think I do.
  4. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Actually, Dr. Strangelove was fairly slapstick wasn't it? If Slim Pickens riding a nuke 40,000 ft isn't slapstick then what is? :p
  5. B'omarr Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2000
    star 6
    My personal definition is this: a film makes you think. It's either a reflection of society or time, or it forces you to think about it's plot rather than explaining every detail.

    A movie, is something that's purely entertainment, there's no implied social message at all.

    So, using my definitions, Dr. Stranglove would be a film. Momento would be a film. American Beauty would be a film.

    Star Wars would be a movie. Die Hard, Predator, Dude Where's My Car (yes, I like it), and even Blade Runner, I consider movies.
  6. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    I am amazed that you people are trying to define two things that mean the same!

    There is no difference between "film" and "movie". One is just more European, the other more American.
  7. bright sith Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 1999
    star 5
    "If it studies the complete lack of understanding in the modern world, then it's a film. If it studies the complete lack of underpants Sharon Stone is wearing, then it's a movie."

    That was one of the stills our campus cinema always showed before the movies started. It always made me laugh, but I've hated this distinction for quite a while now. It inevitably leads to an elitism. But that's not the only reason; I personally think "movie" is a great word. While "film" refers to the physical and chemical contents of the medium (which often no longer applies anyways!), movie is a word that comes from our culture and interpretation of the medium. Imagine the first time audiences saw moving images--movies! I think it ultimately has more meaning than film, cinema, or motion pictures, and we should cherish the language that comes from our experiences.
  8. Jades Fire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1998
    star 4
    Well, I reject the notion that "films" are somehow better that "movies". I think it's elitist. Film = Movie = Picture. Some movies are good, other films are bad. Mostly, it all depends on your own point of view. Some people think "Citizen Kane" is the epitome of great film, while other people think it's boring.


    However, if I were to use the high-faluttin differentiation between the two, and keep it SW related, (I know I will get hate-mail for this), but the original trilogy is more "film"-like than the prequel "movies."
  9. Son of the Suns Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 6
    I wholeheartedly agree with what bright sith said. I've always found this debate unnecessary. There is no real point in trying to distinguish between films and movies when they're the same thing. It is elitism, pure and simple, IMHO.
  10. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    exactly what I've been saying! The only difference is, IMO, a cultural language difference in the sense that most British cinema goers call movies "films" where as I'd imagine most Americans go see a "movie".
  11. DarthPhelps Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2002
    star 5
    I personally define 'film' as a thin skin, or membranous coating.


    Sorry. Couldn't resist. 'Tis a silly debate.
  12. Patches Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2002
    star 3
    Like it or not, it is something that exists in America. I have noticed that I'll use "movie" and "film" interchangeably when referring to something that I liked, but I'll only call it a "movie" if I didn't like it. Honestly, I've never heard anyone use the phrase "bad film".

    Anyway, I started thinking about why this connotation exists, and here's what I found:

    literature

    n 1: creative writing of recognized artistic value 2: the humanistic study of a body of literature; "he took a course in French literature" 3: published writings in a particular style on a particular subject; "the technical literature"; "one aspect of Waterloo has not yet been treated in the literature" 4: the profession or art of a writer; "her place in literature is secure"
    Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University


    Why is this important? It seems to me that we have merely begun to use the word "film" as the movie equivalent of the word "literature".

    Also, I'd like to hear how you guys define the word "elitism", because it seem to differ quite a bit from what I thought it was:

    elitism

    n : the attitude that society should be governed by an elite group of individuals
    Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University


    I'm just curious, as I've never heard anyone use the word "elitism" outside of these boards. :)
  13. big_bad_bantha Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2002
    star 1
    I also agree with SOTS & bright sith. Movies & Films are the same thing. End of story.
  14. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    You also agree with me then. I was the first to say it! ;)
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