Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Luukeskywalker, Feb 29, 2012.
It has only been strongly opined that it is intellectually bankrupt, not proven.
No, it's been proven, at least in the case of TPM. I would assume the AOTC and ROTS material is cut from the same cloth.
I've reviewed the entire thread. No proof has been offered. Copy past of "proof"? if it's so imortant to insist on?
I'll offer one example: his argument against the love story is based entirely on misogynistic stereotypes. Is that the best he has? I could make a better argument against the love story--along the lines of the dialogue being cringe-worthy in places, and along the lines that it would have been better if we had seen Anakin and Padme exchanging letters over 10 years--and I actually like the love story.
I'll wait for Stoklasa to prove that every single man and woman behaves in exactly the same manner as the stereotypes he asserts to prove his argument, and until then, I'll call his argument against the love story bankrupt. And guess what--he won't be able to do it, because there is no group of humans in which every single member behaves in exactly the same way. Not women, not 19-year-old men, not Senators.
So, statements that the prequels are objectively bad = OK.
Statements that RLM's arguments are objectively bad = not OK.
Points in which RLM is objectively wrong:
1. In TPM, he says it is stupid for the Trade Federation to gas the room instead of putting poison in the drinks they offer the Jedi. This is wrong because the Trade Federation sent the drinks into the Jedi before they contacted Sidious (who was the one to order them to kill the Jedi -- they were too afraid to act on their own). Given that, it would have been utterly idiotic to try to kill the Jedi by offering them poisoned drinks, considering they had just offered them refreshments. If anything, their insistence would have seemed suspicious.
2. As the Queen's ship is escaping Naboo, RLM says that it was pointless for R2 to fix the ship since it never gets hit again after the shields are brought back up. This is blatantly false, as you can see beams striking the ship from the windows in subsequent segements of the film.
3. For AOTC, RLM says:
"So this movie operates under the logic that asassinations only take place at night because Padme is packing her things right next to a bunch of open windows in broad ******** daylight. And there is even robots floating outside the window and Anakin doesn't even seem to notice this. And the last assassination attempt was by a robot at the window. ******* Helen Keller could assasinate her at this point"
This is, again, factually wrong. We know why the droid is there -- it was replacing Padmé's window. We see this is the previous scene. The protagonists ordered the droid there themselves. Anakin "doesn't notice" it because it's supposed to be there to fix the window.
If you are referring to me, I said (to paraphrase) that the individual elements of film can be objectively analyzed and that RLM often did this when not engaged in hyperbole.
What exactly would constitute an "individual element" to be "objectively" analyzed, though?
Do you mean characters? Music? Narrative structure?
Because all of these are pretty subjective, I would say. If you could offer up some specific examples, that would be helpful.
(insert list of items that go into making up the craft of filmaking here) Tone, acting, and dialog to name three. Here is a good forum for really digging your fingers into the argument of if objectivity even exists in filmaking. (I obviously come down on the "yes, it is possible that objectivity exists" side. http://mubi.com/topics/objective-analysis-of-films-why-bother?page=1
LOL, you're posting the opinion of one man on a message board, a man telling what he wants to see in a film, as an example of how and why we can objectively analyze a film? What about the rest of us and what we want to see in a film?
How could the viewpoint that "tone, acting, and dialogue" are good, be an objective one? One person's good dialogue might be another person's bad dialogue. I personally think Romeo and Juliet is crap, and my opinion on that isn't "wrong" simply because it's considered a classic.
There is simply no way to boil the analysis of any work of art down to a math problem. Or to put it in the simplest terms: a student could turn in the same analytical essay to two different teachers and easily receive two different grades. I found that receiving a good grade in humanities courses involved game-playing: what does the teacher really want to hear? A student would not, however, receive two different grades for turning in a set of solved algebraic equations, unless the teacher took off points for something that had nothing to do with the problems themselves, such as not displaying each step of the problem. Regardless, either the student found the correct answer to the problem, or he or she didn't.
That's not very...err...specific.
You bring up dialogue as an example, but I don't really see how this is objective in the slightest. Even if a sentence is not properly constructed, this is almost always done for stylistic reasons. To give an example of subjectivity, I'll reference one of the most hated pieces of dialogue in Star Wars:
Anakin's "I don't like sand." line
I personally very much like it, because it demonstrates the natural awkwardness of the character and it is also reflects an important point about the characters and their pasts. Whereas Padmé recounts her childhood with happiness and describes fond memories, here we see Anakin picking up on a piece of his past (the sands of Tatooine) and describing it, not with joy, but with dislike. It's a nice, subtle way to give the audience information through shorthand. That Anakin segues this into an awkward compliment is very true to the character -- he's a very young man with no romantic experience who has an enormous crush on the woman he's with. I don't expect him to be a smooth Casanova. In fact, it would be rather jarring in my opinion.
Likewise, tone seems pretty subjective to me -- the tone of ROTJ, for example is often contentious. Some people like it while others don't.
But really, when I asked for "specific examples" I was hoping you would bring up some examples of things which are "objectively good" and then explain why they are so.
One of the reasons that I think it's exceptionally difficult to make any sort of objective statement about art is because art is interpretable and our perception of art is subject to our background and experiences.
To give an example, I think the "hamburger" sequence in 2006's The Pink Panther (22% on rotten tomatoes) is legitimately funny. But I have friends who find it unbearably annoying. The reason I think it's funny is because my mother is French, and when my siblings and I were very young, we used to get a kick out of hearing her try (and fail) to say "hot dog." So the scene is funny to us because it has such close ties to a humorous event from our childhood. For most people, though, this isn't going to be true.
TS Eliot, who was an amazing writer in his own right, once described Shakespeare's Hamlet as "most certainly an artistic failure." I can't help but feel that stating that there are objective parameters to art is misguided, because otherwise there would be consensus. But there are always dissenters, and these dissenters (such as Eliot) can often present persuasive arguments.
In the thread you linked me to, for example, a poster by the name of Mike Spence states the following: Films, novels, music, paintings, graphic novels, whatever, my criteria remains the same. Art must create an experience that approximates the perceptual rhythms of life.
What I am saying is that he is free to utilize this criteria to judge artistic merit. But I don't think an individual is wrong should they make use of a different set of parameters.
I did not say there was a time limit on "criticism." In fact, I said that criticism is okay and that you can criticize if that's the way you feel. I'm probably not going to like SM3 any more than I do now in the year 2020. If the topic comes up, I probably won't have good things to say abot it. But disliking it sure won't be a major part of my life.
I'm criticizing the extremism. The need to persist in bitter anger like this, and to such a degree. You can feel whatever you want to feel. But don't you think your feelings should serve you well, personally?
Look at what you're defending here. People continually hating, blowing things out of proportion, or convincing themselves that a filmmaker is their sworn enemy who has committed great injustices against them. We saw it right here in this thread over these last few days, with someone saying that they needed the vocal one-sided hating because it gave them a "voice" and made them feel "safe" (from what, exactly?). Then going on to complain some more while snipping other people's posts (in effect reducing other people into platforms to launch into more complaints) to be heard even more. There is a mentality of persecution in some fans which isn't really justified or reasonable.
And it's even worse when fans knowingly take sides with someone that they know is wrong or biased (also recently admitted right here on this thread), because that person reinforces their gut emotions and makes them feel better about themselves. That's compromising your own logic and individuality, just for warm feelings that you should be able to get from elsewhere and at no sacrifice.
It's being ruled by your emotions, at the expense of other things. That's not a good.
In order to measure a film on a purely subjective level, you have to reject the notion that the artist, (in this case GL,) was trying to make a good movie. If you reject the notion that GL was trying to make a good movie, then it probably follows that it is not possible for it to be measured because that would mean that even GL was not looking at it in those terms. I wonder if there is website somewhere where it can be shown that GL himself seems to think of things like writing and filmaking in objective terms... http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/g/george_lucas.html
I said before that I don't want to spend too much time these days getting into these kinds of arguments. I checked in for the first time in a while and have already posted more than I had expected to. What motivated me to post this time around was not any specific argument, but some of the problematic attitudes in the forum. Stuff which brings down the level of discourse. I don't think I'll do too much in the next round of rebuttals when it comes, but it's stuff like this that drew me into posting again these last few days.
Kilroy, you realize how dismissive you're being of everyone here? You previously reduced them into tools for making more snippy remarks about the prequels. Now you're saying that every one of the numerous people who have posted over the many pages of this thread is wrong. Without actually bothering to point out what was wrong...
At the same time, you insist that a person's opinion (read: the opinion of you and people like you) is "objective."
It's like you're not even trying to engage with people, but rather that you're just here to sound off about your own views.
I'm defending their prerogative to feel what they want to & express it how they see fit, just like I would say it's your prerogative to post what you just did, which is just as loaded with opinion and is just as judgmental. Nothing you are saying is objective or factual, it's just as opinionated as the kind of thing you're criticizing. Which is just fine, as far as I'm concerned, because I recognize it for what it is: your point of view. I'm just submitting to the discussion that our individual point of views shouldn't be assumed to be true and others shouldn't be judged according to one viewpoint's set of standards.
Who gives anyone the right to define standards for everyone else? Lucas's movies did great in audience polling and box office. Even the critical consensus is north of 50% for each of them. To millions of people out there, those are good movies. To them. If you disagree, then fine. But please, stop acting like you can talk down to everyone else and set your own criteria for right and wrong.
They can think and choose what they want. Some people choose to be continually unhappy. Fine. They should just consider sometime what that's doing for them.
You're doing the same thing, Jim. They're bashing a movie according to their standards, you're bashing their behavior according to yours.
Experts on film have set the criteria. I'm just reminding you that those criteria exist.
See, I think that artists generally create things that they themselves like and enjoy and that contain messages they hope to get across to people. I think that artists such as GL, Rowling, Tolkien, etc. certainly want others to like their work and consider it good, but I think many of them recognize that it's impossible to please everyone, that there are always going to be dissenters, and thus, you have to be willing to accept that just because you like a piece of art and think it's good, not everyone else will (and the reverse is true as well).
I don't think Lucas' quotes indicate that he in any way believes in art being objective. I do think that he works within his own system or framework, but I hardly think that means that he believes that everyone else is wrong if they do not do so. He doesn't think he writes the best dialogue, for example, and while I would certainly agree that he isn't particularly gifted in this regard, I do think his dialogue has a stylized quality that is enjoyable and fitting to his films. It isn't the highlight, but it doesn't detract from the experience either.
Now you're falling back on "experts." Look up appeal to authority fallacy sometime.
You're saying that self-appointed "experts" get to dictate things, not everyone else for themselves. Over something as frivolous as movies, which are supposed to entertain people. Many people aren't entertained by movies that are highly regarded by the "experts" either.
Why do you continually display a need to validate your own opinion through other people like this?
Of course Lucas was trying to make a good movie. But in order for a work to be considered "objectively good," there has to be a quantitative, measurable factor for what constitutes "objectively good." The closest quantitative, measurable factor we have for a film is ticket sales, and by that measurement, the prequels have done well. I wouldn't even use that to call the films "objectively good," however, because doing so would imply that people did not have the right not to enjoy them. If I were to say that 2+2 equalled anything other than 4, for example, people would have the right to tell me that I'm an idiot, since 2+2, objectively and by any measure using base 10, equals 4.
If you'd care to give me any such quantitative measure for saying that the prequels are "objectively bad" and anyone who doesn't enjoy them is just as "wrong" as someone who says that 2+2=3, I'm all ears. Otherwise I'd say JimRaynor is correct, you seem to be here to assert your own opinion as the objective truth and dismiss anyone who disagrees.
But then, who is right? Who sets this criteria?
Or, in other words...
Are you a better writer than Shakespeare? Do you know better than the modern literary academia? Then who are you to criticize Hamlet?
Then again, are you a better writer than TS Eliot? Then who are you to tell him he is wrong for considering Hamlet to be an artistic failure?
Don't you see the trap inherent to this kind of "objective" thinking?
We're going in circles, so let's just agree on something: Some people choose to continually be angry over a movie, years or decades after the fact.
Whether that's a good thing for them though is something to think about.
Are you objectively suggesting that TS Eliot, and Shakespeare are the best writers in existence, or are you suggesting that it is impossible to measure the difference of the quality in any two people's works because it is all subjective. I have a hard time believing that if I submitted to you any of the news stories I've written in my life, you would declare that no one should judge whether they are better or worse than one of Shakespeare's sonnets because it is all subjective and there is no real way to tell... all depends on taste.