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stillakid
03-10-2005, 10:49 PM
I was shooting an interview with a well-known director today and before we got started, he tossed out his opinion that Star Wars is really just a big toy commercial now. I got to thinking about that and it certainly seems that way. Story has given way to gratuitous cameos from OT characters and flashy "stuff" that Hasbro can mold and package.

I mean, I suppose someone out there could argue against this, but isn't the mere presence and longevity of this very website proof of the suggestion? It's difficult to argue ROTS points without having seen it, but was adding something like Grevious into the storyline at this point entirely necessary? I can see the progression of Clonetroopers into Stormtroopers necessitating new designs and therefore new toys, but really, has good storytelling given way to excuses to get as much "stuff" onscreen as possible so that kids (and us) will buy it after it's made into a toy?

Slicker
03-11-2005, 01:08 AM
My brother and his friend have thought this forever. That's why they always called Maul, Darth Action Figure. He was put there for no reason other than to make a neat action figure. The same can be said for Jango and now Gen. G. They do nothing for the story and the movies could do entirely without them.

2-1B
03-11-2005, 02:28 AM
Who was the director ?

Beast
03-11-2005, 02:36 AM
Extra Extra!! This Just In!! Astonishing News Revealed!!..

Water is actually wet!! ;)

Seriously, the movies have always been a big toy commercial. But I don't think it's as bad as you think it is. After all, not every character has a mini-vehicle they use. And some of the ships and vehicles are too large to actually turn into toys. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

plasticfetish
03-11-2005, 03:13 AM
I was shooting an interview with a well-known director today and before we got started, he tossed out his opinion that Star Wars is really just a big toy commercial now.Now? He thinks this is a new thing? Did you just look at him and say, "DUH!" It's Star Wars, they're movies made for kids, and kids play with toys. What do you expect?

I mean... there's always Woody Allen movies if you want to get away from the toy thing I suppose. :neutral:

Edit: "Water is actually wet!!" Hah! (I just read that, very nice JJB.)

2-1B
03-11-2005, 03:47 AM
My first reaction was to think back to my earliest Star Wars toy memory, Christmas circa 1982, when I loaded up under the Xmas tree with a Vader case full of toys. (before ROTJ, even). I rarely watched the SW films but they were certainly successful as "commercials" since I played with the toys year round.

Before TPM came out, Hasbro spent 4 years pounding the hell out of the OT with the toy line relaunch so nothing new there, either.

So anyway, who was the director ?

stillakid
03-11-2005, 07:26 AM
Extra Extra!! This Just In!! Astonishing News Revealed!!..

Water is actually wet!! ;)

Seriously, the movies have always been a big toy commercial. But I don't think it's as bad as you think it is. After all, not every character has a mini-vehicle they use. And some of the ships and vehicles are too large to actually turn into toys. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks


I disagree with your flippant statement. ANH came out at a time when this kind of merchandising was unheard of. ANH and ESB certainly were about story. I think that maybe George and Kenner began to shift the paradigm in their minds by the time ROTJ was in production, but I don't think there's anyway you could argue that it was part of the plan from the get go.

But I think that the primary motivation behind his comment (the director) was aimed at the Prequels for being about selling toys instead of being about a good story first.

Beast
03-11-2005, 09:37 AM
I disagree with you're disagreeing with my statement. After all, Lucas ensured he grabbed the merchandising rights for ANH when he was making it. So he'd always planned to do something toyetic with it. Especially if you read about the attempts to merchandise it before the movie opened and became a major hit. All the movies have been had very toyetic designs. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Rocketboy
03-11-2005, 10:06 AM
Star Wars has been a toy commercial since Christmas 1977.

And so has almost every other special effects action movie since.

Droid
03-11-2005, 11:48 AM
I totally disagree that Star Wars has always been a toy commercial.

In fact, I was always impressed with the original trilogy that they never modified Darth Vader, C-3P0, R2-D2, Chewbacca, the Stormtroopers, or Yoda in any way that necessitated more than one action figure (I know Periscope R2 and Take Apart 3P0, but the droids never fundamentally changed).

Think about it, especially in the '70's/'80's, the primary market was kids, and selling more than one of the main characters could have meant big money. Why not have different colored armor for Vader, why not Endor disguise
C-3P0? By contrast, C-3P0 has had a few different action figures for the prequel era. :rolleyes:

Look at Han. He pretty much wore his A New Hope outfit in Jedi. They passed on a great merchandising opportunity.

I know they added Snowtroopers and Biker Scouts, but the main trooper of the Empire remained the Stormtrooper, without modificiation. In Episode I we had battle droids, Episode II Clonetroopers, now it looks like StormCloneTroopers. The prequels haven't missed many opportunities for marketing.

But I don't hold that against the prequels. I just don't think you can look at R1-G4, Rebel Fleet Trooper, and others and think action figures was the primary motiviation in A New Hope. The films obviously became more marketing savy as time passed.

2-1B
03-11-2005, 12:00 PM
*still waiting to find out who this director was*

LusiferSam
03-11-2005, 01:39 PM
I've wondered this myself many times since '99. Over all I'd say the prequels are more guilty of this than the OT. The whole thing is way too commercial for me taste. There was a time when movies were made just to be movies and entertain. Now it seems like everyone wants a movie that can be franchised, with toys, books, games, fast food ties ins, and all that other pop culture crap.

And like Droid, I'd also disagree about Star Wars also being a toy commercial. The toys (i.e. action figures) didn't come out until '78, almost a whole year after the release. And the fact the Lucas owned those rights from the start I'd say has more to do with Fox's lack of foresight than Lucas wanting to have toys made. In my opinion the toy has to come first for it to be a true commercial (how many times has Hasbro done just this?). But that's not to say it can't morph into one.

And one last gab, water isn't all that wet.

JediTricks
03-11-2005, 04:26 PM
Extra Extra!! This Just In!! Astonishing News Revealed!!..

Water is actually wet!! ;)

Seriously, the movies have always been a big toy commercial. But I don't think it's as bad as you think it is. After all, not every character has a mini-vehicle they use. And some of the ships and vehicles are too large to actually turn into toys. I know this is going to be a shocker, but I actually feel that Lucas doesn't intend these to be toyetic at all! Yes, that means JJB is - in this one case - more pessimistic than I. :D I think everybody sells Lucas short on this one, but I believe his designs are almost anti-toyetic on purpose, look at the Naboo Fighter and Jedi Starfighter, not much fun, no moving parts, R2 doesn't REALLY fit, it's all about style to him. Perhaps he has thrown in a few intentionally-toyetic characters or items, I dunno, but I really don't think this is in his mind at all. Even the stupid Ewoks were more about Lucas thinking 'this would be better this way, funnier, more ironic...' rather than 'kids and adults are both dumb so these would sell like hotcakes!'



After all, Lucas ensured he grabbed the merchandising rights for ANH when he was making it. So he'd always planned to do something toyetic with it. Lucas has always played that off as not wanting garbage made from his movies, as well as T-shirts and frisbees being plum merchandising at the time which studios had no idea what to do with. It ultimately gave him the freedom to be who he wants to be and make what he wants to make, and the fans did ask for this stuff in the late '90s as well.

I dunno, even TPM which I have no love for doesn't seem toyetic to me at all, the podracers made no sense as toys and were hard to capture right (I don't think any company, not even Galoob, captured their full essence really, the cockpits don't swing about and the engines aren't free from each other).

My goodness, I'm defending Lucas both in the OT and the prequels, and to JJB of all people, who would have thought???

JON9000
03-11-2005, 04:48 PM
I guess Lord of the Rings was made to sell toys too. :rolleyes:

The movies were made to make money. And if that D-bag director Stilla worked with thinks the crap he churns out is made for any other reason, he can walk about 100 miles west.

There may be no single individual in filmmaking today who has done more to advance the art. For another filmmaker to accuse him of being a hack is sort of like Mike Vanderjagt saying Peyton Manning needed to grow some guts.

As Mike is not even qualified to sniff Manning's jock, so to I submit that this director, unless his name is Scorsese, Spielberg, or Copolla, isn't fit to (insert something a film lackey would do here).

Sweetheart, go form something as revolutionary as ILM, then come back and shoot your mouth off. :p

El Chuxter
03-11-2005, 06:11 PM
I mean... there's always Woody Allen movies if you want to get away from the toy thing I suppose. :neutral:

I dunno. I'd like to get my hands on some Annie Hall action figures. And Alvy (I think that's the name of the character) in the butler robot disguise from Sleeper screams Movie Maniac! :beard:

But seriously folks, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waiter.

If SW is a big toy commercial, then I'm buying, and so are most of the other folks here.

Let's not forget that we're a generation that was effectively raised by toy commercials. We parked our butts in front of the TV for several hours a week, watching 30-minute ads like Transformers, GIJoe, Masters of the Universe, Voltron, and Thundercats. Even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, though it started life as an underground comic, was put on the small screen to move action figures.

Even today, we love these commercials. Are little kids clamoring for Thundercats DVDs? If they are, I've not heard any.

And what did we do when the commercials ended? We played with the toys, and begged Mommy and Daddy to buy us more. And here we are today, still buying little plastic men to display.

Did SW become a commercial? Or did the toy companies and consumers make it a commercial?

When you get down to it, what really was the point of cool-looking background characters like Dengar?

General_Grievous
03-11-2005, 07:58 PM
I guess Lord of the Rings was made to sell toys too. :rolleyes:

Umm...no.

The LOTR movies were made to create an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's work for the big screen. And it was an excellent adaptation at that. There were no intentions for it to be made to sell toys (in fact, that was probably the last thing on their minds). Toy Biz just came out of the blue with the license.

Rocketboy
03-11-2005, 09:02 PM
Star Wars has been a toy commercial since Christmas 1977.In light of recent comments, I'll restate and clarify what I originally meant...

Star Wars has been a toy commercial for Kenner/Hasbro since Christmas 1977.

I don't think Lucas ever intended on a toy market for Star Wars. I highly doubt he's trying to think of ways to incorporate little things into the movies so that Hasbro makes a figure out of it.
"Hey, it'd be cool if Threepio will had guns that came out of his forearms! Now how do I incorporate this into the movie?"
I think that the merchandising was a big bonus for him (and a way for him to continue doing the series).

stillakid
03-11-2005, 10:13 PM
I disagree with you're disagreeing with my statement. After all, Lucas ensured he grabbed the merchandising rights for ANH when he was making it. So he'd always planned to do something toyetic with it. Especially if you read about the attempts to merchandise it before the movie opened and became a major hit. All the movies have been had very toyetic designs. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks


I think you missed what I was saying. I apologize for not being clearer. I'll try again. What I was getting at was that while Lucas obviously had some merchandising in mind from the beginning, it wasn't primarily about the toys with ANH and ESB. That line of thinking began to change with ROTJ slightly but went into full force with the Prequels. So sure, he always might have had some toys in mind, but it would be presumptious to think that Lucas was that smart in '75 to think that the toys would be as popular as they became. He didn't jump into production thinking, "Gee, I'll make a half-arse movie but the toys will really sell which will enable me to get stinkin' rich." No, he went into production trying to get his story onscreen. The success of the merchandising was a total surprise to everyone. He was hoping that it would work out, but there was no way to know and he certainly couldn't have been so prescient as to know how much cash he'd make from the ancillary products. But it hasn't stopped him from capitalizing on it since then, which is where the inspiration for the thread came from. It seems to me and some others that the Prequels are WHOLLY about selling toys and other stuff as opposed to his original mission in the '70s and '80s where he was actually out to make movies that also happened to have some merchandising connected to it. See the difference?

plasticfetish
03-12-2005, 02:31 AM
It seems to me and some others that the Prequels are WHOLLY about selling toys and other stuff as opposed to his original mission in the '70s and '80s where he was actually out to make movies that also happened to have some merchandising connected to it. See the difference?Not a bad point, but I think the truth is that anyway you look at it, the entertainment industry is about making money -- even if it means doing so merely to sustain itself, and to give film makers a way to make their films.

To me, if there's one really inspiring thing about Lucas, it's that... yeah, he's managed to figure out ways to make these films pay for themselves, but he always seems to turn around and do something with the money. Sure, maybe the toy thing plays a part in the process, but when you've got as many fans -- from ages 8 to 38 -- collecting the toys, how can it not?

The demographic for who buys the toys is a lot different today than it was 25+ years ago, but I don't think generally speaking, that there's more merchandise out there today. I'd say that there was a big push for Ep. 1, a little push for Ep. 2, and now for Ep. 3 we're getting another big push. Nothing compared to the amount of junk put out after ANH, ESB or ROTJ though.

If anything, I'd say Lucas has been pretty consistant in his approach to creating a marketable product. So if the question is, "Does he create based on how marketable something might be?" Well... yeah, I'm sure he does. Most film makers -- or at least the ones that want to make more than one film -- have to keep this idea of how to turn a buck in mind.

2-1B
03-12-2005, 03:39 AM
Jon9K, I'll even take down one of those 3 sacred cows you mentioned in your post . . . since we aren't privy to the identity of this "well known director" :rolleyes: let's go ahead and assume it IS Scorsese. :)

If anything, Scorsese is guilty of making films as big Oscar commericals but whereas Marty fails in actually winning those awards lol lol lol , Mr. Luca$ is laughing all the way to the County Bank of Marin. lol

plasticfetish
03-12-2005, 05:40 AM
I don't remember there being a "Bank of Marin" Caesar. With Lucas as the independent kind of guy that he is, I imagine him keeping all of his money in a giant underground vault deep beneath the ranch.
I dunno. I'd like to get my hands on some Annie Hall action figures. And Alvy (I think that's the name of the character) in the butler robot disguise from Sleeper screams Movie Maniac! :beard:That's funny. After I wrote that, I thought about how cool a Butler-bot with "orb" figure would be. (He was "Alvy Singer" in Annie Hall, and "Miles Monroe" in Sleeper.) I'd buy a Christopher Walken from Annie Hall figure also. :crazed:

stillakid
03-12-2005, 08:49 AM
Jon9K, I'll even take down one of those 3 sacred cows you mentioned in your post . . . since we aren't privy to the identity of this "well known director" :rolleyes: let's go ahead and assume it IS Scorsese. :)

If anything, Scorsese is guilty of making films as big Oscar commericals but whereas Marty fails in actually winning those awards lol lol lol , Mr. Luca$ is laughing all the way to the County Bank of Marin. lol


Sorry, it's not. But you've got PM. :D

Mr. JabbaJohnL
03-12-2005, 12:06 PM
I don't know whether or not Lucas wanted these films to have things in them that would make good toys, and I suppose we never will. I think the main attraction of these films is the effects and cool things to look at, even with the great story. Let's be honest - would these films (or LOTR for that matter) be as much fun to watch if the story was there, but none of the added perks were? Sure, they'd still be good movies, but they wouldn't be as huge as they are.

I believe that Lucas's goal after the story is to get a lot of cool things on the screen. He even did this in the OT - Chewbacca, the droids, the cantina, the Death Star. It just so happened that these cool-looking things in the movies make great toys, and thousands of people wanted to buy them.

After the movie's over, with the toys, people can go home and recreate their favorite scenes. Or, they can go watch the movies again. It's up to them, Lucas isn't making them buy the stuff.

The motive to make new toys and products is fueled by the consumers' wishes to get them into their homes to re-enact the scenes on their bookshelves. If nobody wanted the toys, nobody would make them.

So anyway, I think the fillms are just as full of fun toys to make as they are now. But I don't know if Lucas intended to make movies to sell toys, or to make movies for people to enjoy watching them.

vulcantouch
03-12-2005, 01:05 PM
-just? you say it as if that's a Bad thing. for a Long time now the toys've brought me Way more pleasure in my daily experience than the flix- and that's Not a knock of the flix :)

"instead of being about a good story. . . good storytelling"
-what precisely Is that anyway, and what makes it such a singular standard for evaluating a film? pauline (http://www.salon.com/bc/1999/02/09bc.html) kael (http://dir.salon.com/ent/movies/feature/2001/09/03/pauline_kael/index.html) (after whom lucas named Willow villain general kael :p ) sed "film theorists often say that film art is, 'by its nature', closest to painting and music, but all these years movie companies haven't been buying paintings and symphonies to adapt, they've been buying plays and novels" ("notes on heart & mind" from Deeper Into Movies, '73). some of my (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showpost.php?p=23747&postcount=1) fav-o-rite (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showpost.php?p=27802&postcount=38) flix (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showpost.php?p=273803&postcount=217) have barely-serviceable plots but so what, the point is they're sublime Cinematic experiences :cool:
and don't nobody gimme no middlebrow-in-highbrow-guise claptrap about joseph campbell-y profundities neither (he's just repackaged, dumbed-down carl jung, and a closet anti-semite besides) :p do people look for depth or wisdom from buck rogers serials? of course not, so why do they look for it in hyperstylin bubblegum like sw? i'll tell you why: a combination of superior packaging and Laziness, a distaste for the rigor Actual depth requires :p

"began to shift the paradigm in their minds by the time ROTJ was in production"
-of course; merchandising Financed the subsequent flix :greedy:

droid: "they never modified Darth Vader, C-3P0, R2-D2, Chewbacca, the Stormtroopers, or Yoda in any way that necessitated more than one action figure"
-maybe that's only cuz they Couldn't; as someone (sansweet?) put it, "droids don't wear clothes" (unless of course you count that walmart xmas crap :p). anyhoo assuming less costume changing is somehow noble- or, that the opposite is corrupt- doesn't apply to cinema. a fashion writer once remarked that the older women in her family weren't addicted to their soaps cuz of the overwrought plot turns, but to see what the cast was wearing. that kind of aesthetic enjoyment's just as valid as "good storytelling" :)

jt: "it's all about style"
ls: "movies were made just to be movies and entertain"
-but neither of these aims must by necessity contradict the toy commercial thesis :)

rock: "don't think Lucas ever intended"
gg: "no intentions for it to be made to sell toys"
jt: "really don't think this is in his mind at all"
-feh, does that matter? result, after all, matters more than intent.

jt: "the toy has to come first for it to be a true commercial"
droid: "obviously became more marketing savy as time passed"
still: "began to change with ROTJ slightly but went into full force with the Prequels"
-again, y'all are just splittin hairs- hardly an apt approach when analyzing the tsunami force of modern merchandising ;)

jt: "Even the stupid Ewoks"
-a dissenting, ca. '96 quote from SciFi Universe: "consider that though they were never even named in the movie, 'ewok' became a household word" :p

ls: "way too commercial for me taste"
-that last word's a great one to invoke here in that it touches on one of the Strengths of merchandising, i.e. the freedom to surgically exercise one's Taste re collecting. while you completists are screwed re this (by your own choice, of course), the rest of us are happily free to pass on the jarjar toothpaste & ewok figures, and concentrate on the fx7 figure and medfrigate mm :cool:

droid: "Why not have different colored armor for Vader, why not Endor disguise
C-3P0"
-why not indeed; for the most part SOTE, xpanded universe and Clone Wars stuff always distastefully struck me as such :p

ec: "Transformers, GIJoe, Masters of the Universe, Voltron, and Thundercats. Even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
-the main difference being, of course, that sw toys are cooler (see taste remarx above) :cool:

jjb: "some of the ships and vehicles are too large to actually turn into toys"
-nonsense, that's what the micromachine format's ideal for :cool:

j9k: "may be no single individual in filmmaking today who has done more to advance the art. . . go form something as revolutionary as ILM"
-hah, i can't decide what part of that statement's more laughable- your use in this context of the words "art" and "revolutionary", or your bet-hedging "may" :D

pf: "there's always Woody Allen movies if you want to get away from the toy thing"
-exactly- and occasionally, i do (see above linx) :cool:

still: "you've got PM"
-hey cae, you know how to fwd, right? ;)

pf: "I imagine him keeping all of his money in a giant underground vault"
-"ah don't b'lieve in banks, ah keep mah earnin's (and my fwd'd emails?) in a cawfee can buried out back"- bob duvall in SNL gameshow sketch Who's More Grizzled :crazed:
vt

scruffziller
03-12-2005, 03:45 PM
All I see it as that the director was looking at the glass as being half empty.
He chose to see it in a negative light only and he got it. But that is not all that is there. It's like the optical illusion drawing, is it a vase or is it 2 faces, is it a pyramid or a well, etc. Its both!!!!! You can recognize it as a toy commercial, but give it the proper respect it deserves on the other angle point of view too as a movie. If you don't, then of course all you're going to get a negative perspective, you will only see the "pyramid" when there is "well" waiting to be observed and acknowledged!!

JediTricks
03-13-2005, 08:23 PM
jt: "it's all about style"
ls: "movies were made just to be movies and entertain"
-but neither of these aims must by necessity contradict the toy commercial thesis :)First, what the hell drew you out of the woodwork of your little corners of these forums to enlighten us with your nigh-incoherent ramblings VT? ;) Second, pay attention to the context of the comments you're quoting in this, I am saying that the point of those designs is solely about style, if it's SOLELY about the style aspect then how can it ALSO be about the toyeticness aspect? It's the same with Sam's comment when he used the term "made just about".


rock: "don't think Lucas ever intended"
gg: "no intentions for it to be made to sell toys"
jt: "really don't think this is in his mind at all"
-feh, does that matter? result, after all, matters more than intent.Yes, intent is crucial to this discussion. We're not talking about an accidental commercial, it's not found art-style advertising, there's no such thing -- here, the difference between implying something and inferring something. The argument is whether or not these films are now MADE to be toy commercials (implication) or whether they just act that way on the part of the fans (inferrence).

When we talk about a commercial, we mean a commercial advertisement, and since an advertisement is defined as "A notice, such as a poster or a paid announcement in the print, broadcast, or electronic media, designed to attract public attention or patronage," thus the intended spurring of commerce has to be implied by the creator of the advertisement - whether it is blatant or cleverly disguised in such a way as to suggest to the audience that they are the ones inferring the commercial interest rather than the interest being implied upon them.


jt: "the toy has to come first for it to be a true commercial"
droid: "obviously became more marketing savy as time passed"
still: "began to change with ROTJ slightly but went into full force with the Prequels"
-again, y'all are just splittin hairs- hardly an apt approach when analyzing the tsunami force of modern merchandising ;) Hey, you attributed a quote to me that isn't mine! :p


jt: "Even the stupid Ewoks"
-a dissenting, ca. '96 quote from SciFi Universe: "consider that though they were never even named in the movie, 'ewok' became a household word" :p Again, we come to the chicken vs egg argument, did Lucas make the Ewoks expecting people to buy tons of merchandise with their name on it, or did the merchandise come from the film? It's at the heart of the discussion, your "commercials from the ether" theory not withstanding.



still: "you've got PM"
-hey cae, you know how to fwd, right? ;) Yeah, ditto for me. :D



He chose to see it in a negative light only and he got it. But that is not all that is there. It's like the optical illusion drawing, is it a vase or is it 2 faces, is it a pyramid or a well, etc. Its both!!!!! You can recognize it as a toy commercial, but give it the proper respect it deserves on the other angle point of view too as a movie. There is something unsavory about films made primarily to sell a product, it's not like TV where the stuff comes into your house for free over the airwaves (or through the for bulk channels you pay for via cable, but that's another argument), movies are something we actively seek out, we pay to see them in theaters or on home video, either case we have already bought something. So to make a movie that people already have to pay to see in order to trick them into buying more product rather than giving them an entertaing tale seems very wrong. Granted, you can add product placement and create characters specifically for commercial intentions, but when that takes over a majority of the film, I think that's where the betrayal lies. It can't be 50% entertainment and 50% sales, even TV is only 1/3rd advertising.

JON9000
03-13-2005, 09:38 PM
j9k: "may be no single individual in filmmaking today who has done more to advance the art. . . go form something as revolutionary as ILM"
-hah, i can't decide what part of that statement's more laughable- your use in this context of the words "art" and "revolutionary", or your bet-hedging "may" :D
The "may" stems from the fact that I am not a serious student of the history of film, but I feel pretty safe in my statement even without the qualification.

As for whether or not filmmaking constitutes art, I believe it does. If you find this opinion laughable, I can only assume you are a true artiste, engaging in a truer or more respected form, such as graffiti or drawing caricatures at the fair. ;)

plasticfetish
03-14-2005, 12:37 AM
or drawing caricatures at the fair. ;)Oh... real cool. Make fun of my chosen form of artistic expression. (Note to self: remember to NOT mail that drawing of JON9000 on a skateboard to him for his birthday.) ;)

The 'Xir
03-14-2005, 04:04 PM
Aww come on Stilla! Now Ceasars even got me intrigued! So out with it Hot Shot! who's the big wig, or are we about to insert foot'B' into piehole'A' ;) just kiddin' buddy!

So like... you actually...do stuff?... around Hollywood?!! That's a scary thought! :p :D
Hey guys, now wouldn't that be the cats pajamas if Stilla turned out to be like the dude from Entertainment tonight or something, and just hide his secert geekness behind some common online identity! :stupid: Keep dreamin' buddy! :crazed: :greedy: :p :D ;)

stillakid
03-14-2005, 05:39 PM
Aww come on Stilla! Now Ceasars even got me intrigued! So out with it Hot Shot! who's the big wig, or are we about to insert foot'B' into piehole'A' ;) just kiddin' buddy!

So like... you actually...do stuff?... around Hollywood?!! That's a scary thought! :p :D
Hey guys, now wouldn't that be the cats pajamas if Stilla turned out to be like the dude from Entertainment tonight or something, and just hide his secert geekness behind some common online identity! :stupid: Keep dreamin' buddy! :crazed: :greedy: :p :D ;)


:D Lot's o' sorry's to hand out here. Sorry I can't reveal the secret identity of the director. But no, it isn't Marty. One down, a score to go.

And, sorry, but I'm not a big hotshot myself. Maybe someday, but not yet. sigh. :(

And do cat's wear pajamas?

Rocketboy
03-14-2005, 10:02 PM
I was shooting an interview with a well-known director today and before we got started, he tossed out his opinion that Star Wars is really just a big toy commercial now. I got to thinking about that and it certainly seems that way. Story has given way to gratuitous cameos from OT characters and flashy "stuff" that Hasbro can mold and package.After re-reading the first paragraph, it sounds like something Kevin Smith might say. He's a big fan of Star Wars (obviously), but has still given the saga a few minor shots here and there.

stillakid
03-14-2005, 10:54 PM
After re-reading the first paragraph, it sounds like something Kevin Smith might say. He's a big fan of Star Wars (obviously), but has still given the saga a few minor shots here and there.

Good guess...but sadly, no.

The 'Xir
03-14-2005, 11:28 PM
I sense we've inflated Stilla's cerebrum just a tad here and he is just having a little fun with all of us. 'Cause I mean if your doing an interview with the guy, than how could any of it be a "secret"! What are you never gonna release it to the public? So with that said, have you edited it yet, is it finalized, is there a web site? TV station? A Magazine? Anyway of us seeing this Intervieew? and actually now that I think about it...what the heck is the interview for again?! Not that I'm really all that interested, but Stilla this sounds like a big thing for you! SO share man come on be proud of your work brother! that is unless you interview semi-famous people all the time or someting, and then maybe it's just another Job! But you can't just throw bait like that out there and not expect a biet or two! Give it up bee-otch! What's the deal? :classic:

stillakid
03-14-2005, 11:38 PM
I sense we've inflated Stilla's cerebrum just a tad here and he is just having a little fun with all of us. 'Cause I mean if your doing an interview with the guy, than how could any of it be a "secret"! What are you never gonna release it to the public? So with that said, have you edited it yet, is it finalized, is there a web site? TV station? A Magazine? Anyway of us seeing this Intervieew? and actually now that I think about it...what the heck is the interview for again?! Not that I'm really all that interested, but Stilla this sounds like a big thing for you! SO share man come on be proud of your work brother! that is unless you interview semi-famous people all the time or someting, and then maybe it's just another Job! But you can't just throw bait like that out there and not expect a biet or two! Give it up bee-otch! What's the deal? :classic:


Because the comment wasn't made while tape was rolling...it wasn't part of the interview therefore it will never be "public."

Besides, does it really matter who said it? Not really because I'm sure that several dozen people in the business have thought the same thing as well. I have occasion to meet a lot of different people throughout the industry and nary a one has anything good to say about the Prequels thus far. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the usual response when the Prequels come up is a :rolleyes: followed with a "George" with a shaking head in disbelief or a chuckle. I don't just throw around "broad stroke" judgements upon uber-fanboys without just cause. I just haven't really met anyone in the general public who defends the Prequels the way people do here and at other Star Wars fan sites...the exact places where die-hard enthusiasts flock to. Most general public and industry people that I know just shrug him off and wonder why he's lost his way. But that's it. Not a lot of extraneous thought goes into it, at least not like how we deconstruct it all here. A shrug, a chuckle and we're off to talk about something else.

2-1B
03-15-2005, 02:37 AM
I feel like George Costanza on Seinfeld, I just can't keep a secret ! :crazed:

VT and JT, if you wanna know that badly, don't put it on me to betray stillakid's confidence. ;)
Either ask him yourself, or just do what I did and make 3 posts hounding him about the identity of the source. :D

The reason I kept badgering him about it was because I thought he was qualifying the statement by saying it was a well known director, and personally I was curious because
a) I'm nosy
b) if he's that well known I'd like to take a look at his resume and see how much of a soapbox the director is entitled to. ;)

Anyway it is now my understanding that stillakid was not putting forth the comment that way, so I backed off from my original hardline stance. :)

vulcantouch
03-15-2005, 11:54 PM
-oh i routinely browse over a dozen ssg forum categories, but am rarely intrigued enuf by a thred title to even view it, much less add a reply :D

"pay attention to the context"
-being Aware of context and being a Slave to it are, as you will see, two different things :evil:

"intent is crucial to this discussion. . . The argument is whether or not these films are now MADE to be toy commercials. . . It's at the heart of the discussion"
-and My argument is that That's a dumb argument to concern oneself with, because intent is so insignificant here compared to result. thus, i prefer to shift the heart of this discussion to a more fruitful & clarifying ground, i.e. how bad a thing Is sw as toy commercial? :)

"did Lucas make the Ewoks expecting people to buy tons of merchandise"
-again, in light of the overwhelming result, who cares? re speculations re his intents, i'd much rather know when & how seriously he planned to make nine films or six, that luke & leia were siblings, prequels augmenting ot history to the point of revising canon etc. while he Says he planned it all out from the start & never changed his mind re a lot of this stuff, i'm sure i ain't the only one who's suspected he decided lotsa these things en route, After the 1st flik was a success. (on a related note, since the ot never mentions naboo despite its demonstrated political importance & proximity to tatooine, personally i thought in ep3 it should be destroyed by the seps when they secretly test a ds superlaser proto; it'd also nicely facilitate both characteristic track-covering on the part of the palpster And the extermination of jarjar -just arrange for him to be on underwater holiday when the trigger's pulled- i guarantee it'd provoke the screening's loudest audience cheer :evil: )

"something unsavory about films made primarily to sell a product"
-i agree in that when commercials ("films made primarily to sell a product" ) come on tv i routinely mute, ff or otherwise evade them. i take diana vreeland's "elegance is refusal" maxim to mean that as finite, time-limited beings we can't take in everything, so if one pursues an "elegant" experience one must develop one's taste & instincts re what of, in this case, the vast media ocean one will partake.
even so, i recognize the paradox that some commercials are more aesthetically rewarding than artier films (i.e. films not so blatantly made to sell anything). personally i adapt to this paradox by taking in stride what ads do slip past my screening process, hoping that maybe they comprise, if not the Best aesthetics advertising has to offer, at least a Representative sample, thereby keeping myself in touch with the culture (in which advertising pays such a large role and thus shouldn't be completely snubbed, even if it could be). also, when i reduce the flow of this ocean into my life to a trickle it becomes much less annoying, novel even :)

"it's not like TV where the stuff comes into your house for free. . . movies are something we actively seek out. . .we have already bought something"
-a moot distinction in that the dichotomy between art & commercialism dissolves when one considers that many films are Themselves the product they're attempting to sell. so a better question is: is a film calculated or Designed (via plot, themes, production values, casting etc) to generate ticket sales somehow less unsavory than a film designed to sell toys? in the end i don't see why; after all a sell's a sell, regardless the subtlety, sophistication or what's being pushed. thus i again consider intent moot, esp. in the context of the overwhelming result (i.e. toy & ticket sales) :)

"seems very wrong"
-i don't apply such value judgments as "right" and "wrong" to this sphere where art & commercialism are so incestuous they can't be separated anyway; instead i apply judgments like "tasteful" or "distasteful", "fruitful" or "barren", "ham-handed" or "deft" etc :)

"It can't be 50% entertainment and 50% sales, even TV is only 1/3rd"
-actually, what "can't be" is any such attempt to quantifiably compare such inneffable and incomparable values. all we can do is go with our gut on a case-by-case basis :)

"if it's SOLELY about the style aspect then how can it ALSO be about the toyeticness aspect?"
-not sure i follow, plz clarify :) anyhoo for me sw Is all about style, i.e. the way it looks, sounds, moves, pulsates. it's the Form i find rewarding, as opposed to the Content. as you might expect, the notion of gleaning depth or meaning via the latter is as funny to me as a buncha sheep getting a religious experience courtesy mad max (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showpost.php?p=366707&postcount=273) :D

"you attributed a quote to me that isn't mine!"
-quite so, ls was the real culprit! and thus you deserve congrats for scoring your one and only irrefutable point against me- savor it ;)

j9k: "filmmaking constitutes art, I believe it does"
-no one here, myself included, has made an issue of that. my focus is instead on your assertion that lucas' sw-type work is, in the context of film history, "revolutionary" or, for that matter, "art" with a capital A.
it isn't. lucas wasn't just trying to appear modest when he said on charlie rose a few months back that he and ilm will likely comprise a mere footnote in the development of the history of film. he was speaking from his familiarity with film history and its true portentious developments. just as there's a world of difference between the importance of picasso and norman rockwell in the history of art, so there is between, say, eisenstein's editing breakthrus and lucas shooting features all-digital. one enlarged the very Vocabulary of film, while the other offered only a technical update of what had previously been expressed via that language. one was revolutionary, "art" even. the other is not.

"If you find this opinion laughable, I can only assume"
-on the contrary, you can do more than just assume- that is, if you care to trouble yourself. you can peruse the wide variety of flix i seek out & comment on in the linx above and, from a more informed pov, decide for yourself :)

cae: "I just can't keep a secret"
-speak fa yiself :p

"can't reveal the secret identity"
-no problem- if you share it with me, i won't reveal it either :D who knows, maybe i've posted a clever insight re one or more of his flix (linx above), i's dyin 2 know :D

"don't put it on me"
-heh, that's what She said last nite :crazed:

still: "does it really matter who said it"
-does it really Matter if it Matters? we's just curious is all :) just tell me this: have i humped any of his flix (see above linx) and, if so, did i like or regard any of them interesting? (i've humped 600+ flix there, so just type his name into imdb.com if unsure of his oeuvre :) )

"Not a lot of extraneous thought goes into it"
-as the same can be said of my flik-humpin, telling me should be as easy as confiding in a like-minded pal ;)
vt

stillakid
03-16-2005, 12:31 AM
-and My argument is that That's a dumb argument to concern oneself with, because intent is so insignificant here compared to result.
....

"did Lucas make the Ewoks expecting people to buy tons of merchandise"
-again, in light of the overwhelming result, who cares?

Not to turn this into a political thread, but that's the same attitude that keeps a lying government official in office. In other words, the ends justify the means when the initial intent is disingenuous but the end result is (arguably) "good"? Is that what you're suggesting? :confused:

I think it's the same situation as, say, the Monkees compared to the Rolling Stones. In one instance, it's about commercialism and selling records. In the other, it's about music first which also just happens to sell records. The issue of intent IS what this discussion is about. So whether a generation or two gets its jollies off spending cash on little plastic bits is beside the point. Our gratification with the ancillary products isn't what's in question. Just because we like them doesn't excuse Lucas from the "crime" of turning his franchise into nothing but a gratuitous commerical for the toys. No?


I got to thinking in more tangible terms about all of this. Here's what I came up with. The original Star Wars gave us around 23 action figures. Empire Strikes Back gave us about 32, but many of those were rehashed characters. In truth, ESB gave us less new characters than any other Star Wars film made. When ROTJ arrived, the figure list (and general toy offerings) exploded with around 46 action figures, most of them unique characters to the new movie.

And if ROTJ seemed like an anomaly, TPM gave us well over 60 (I stopped counting around there) figures to choose from with many variations and repeated characters. Counting gets tricky after that as Hasbro mixed the new film characters with the old, but AOTC was on par with TPM easily. And where most of this stuff used to be in a virtual lock-down prior to a movie release, the new strategy is to USE Preview Figures and Vehicles to help generate interest in the movie. Which one is the cart, and which is the horse? I think it's pretty obvious what the new paradigm is and the numbers show pretty obviously when it happened.

JediTricks
03-17-2005, 06:54 PM
being Aware of context and being a Slave to it are, as you will see, two different things :evil:well, we OBVIOUSLY don't need to worry about that with you what with your out-of-context discussion on the roll of the human nature in relation to shopping desires.


-and My argument is that That's a dumb argument to concern oneself with, because intent is so insignificant here compared to result. thus, i prefer to shift the heart of this discussion to a more fruitful & clarifying ground, i.e. how bad a thing Is sw as toy commercial? :) How is that in any way interesting? Oh, "people saw a movie and want toys from it", gee whiz that sounds so very dull. Look at Aliens, it has a few toys made from both from Galoob and Kenner, yet that movie wasn't designed to be a toy commercial so the bottom line is very cut & dried: people liked the movie and asked for toys, eventually they got them, wowee.


-again, in light of the overwhelming result, who cares? re speculations re his intents, i'd much rather know when & how seriously he planned to make nine films or six, that luke & leia were siblings, prequels augmenting ot history to the point of revising canon etc. while he Says he planned it all out from the start & never changed his mind re a lot of this stuff, i'm sure i ain't the only one who's suspected he decided lotsa these things en route, After the 1st flik was a success. That's fabulous, lots of interesting points to discuss, not a single one of them has JACK to do with this thread however.


-i agree in that when commercials ("films made primarily to sell a product" ) come on tv i routinely mute, ff or otherwise evade them. That's not what I'm talking about, I'm talking about MOVIES, full-length cinema.


a moot distinction in that the dichotomy between art & commercialism dissolves when one considers that many films are Themselves the product they're attempting to sell. My but you're being pompous on this one VT. My point was that if these movies are already trying to sell themselves AND have done so, they shouldn't then be also selling another product as well, trying to double-dip the audience's wallets without then noticing.


so a better question is: is a film calculated or Designed (via plot, themes, production values, casting etc) to generate ticket sales somehow less unsavory than a film designed to sell toys? in the end i don't see why; after all a sell's a sell, regardless the subtlety, sophistication or what's being pushed. thus i again consider intent moot, esp. in the context of the overwhelming result (i.e. toy & ticket sales) No, it's not a better question, it's the same question just phrased from a different perspective. And the answer is Yes, it is unsavory to sell someone a product that itself is trying to sell that customer a second product, it's even illegal in some uses.


-i don't apply such value judgments as "right" and "wrong" to this sphere where art & commercialism are so incestuous they can't be separated anyway; instead i apply judgments like "tasteful" or "distasteful", "fruitful" or "barren", "ham-handed" or "deft" etc :) All just fruity ways of saying "right" or "wrong". ;) Seriously though, you cannot tell me that "tasteful" has a positive connotation where "distasteful" does not, so it seems like just a means to obfuscate the message with illusory, nonchalant, ornately-flamboyant terms in an attempt to appear detached and pseudo-nonjudgmental (as was this last part of the sentence :p).


-actually, what "can't be" is any such attempt to quantifiably compare such inneffable and incomparable values. all we can do is go with our gut on a case-by-case basis :) We're talking about marketing, and that is wholly dependent on what the market will bear, so I am trying to quantify it through my opinion of what the current market will bear (keep in mind, this is a market that is willing to bear more and more of this sort of assault for one reason or another, which I find entirely... "distasteful").


not sure i follow, plz clarify 1 cannot equal 2, the arguments were that they were made to be 1 thing and didn't make room for something else. If a car can be made to have only 2 doors, then that car cannot also have 3 more doors. The modifier is the key, both arguments were saying that something was done ONLY in 1 way which left no room for another way.


anyhoo for me sw Is all about style, i.e. the way it looks, sounds, moves, pulsates. it's the Form i find rewarding, as opposed to the Content. as you might expect, the notion of gleaning depth or meaning via the latter is as funny to me as a buncha sheep getting a religious experience courtesy mad max :D Then why are you posting here at all? Surely there are great ads out there which have rewarding levels of style, but again we come back to "context": we aren't talking about the artistic merits of the films or analyzing them from a pure marketing standpoint, we are talking about the films on their general merits and how that contrasts the possibility that they were crafted as marketing tools.


-quite so, ls was the real culprit! and thus you deserve congrats for scoring your one and only irrefutable point against me- savor it ;) Then I'm sure the only irrefutable point I score against you in this specific thread is when I referred to you as a pompous windbag. :p heh heh heh, that's what you get for encouraging me to speak my mind. ;)



I think it's the same situation as, say, the Monkees compared to the Rolling Stones. In one instance, it's about commercialism and selling records. In the other, it's about music first which also just happens to sell records. The issue of intent IS what this discussion is about. So whether a generation or two gets its jollies off spending cash on little plastic bits is beside the point. Our gratification with the ancillary products isn't what's in question. Just because we like them doesn't excuse Lucas from the "crime" of turning his franchise into nothing but a gratuitous commerical for the toys. No? Damn boy, you go! Good comparison.


I got to thinking in more tangible terms about all of this. Here's what I came up with. The original Star Wars gave us around 23 action figures. Empire Strikes Back gave us about 32, but many of those were rehashed characters. In truth, ESB gave us less new characters than any other Star Wars film made. When ROTJ arrived, the figure list (and general toy offerings) exploded with around 46 action figures, most of them unique characters to the new movie.

And if ROTJ seemed like an anomaly, TPM gave us well over 60 (I stopped counting around there) figures to choose from with many variations and repeated characters. Counting gets tricky after that as Hasbro mixed the new film characters with the old, but AOTC was on par with TPM easily. And where most of this stuff used to be in a virtual lock-down prior to a movie release, the new strategy is to USE PreviewFigures and Vehicles to help generate interest in the movie. Which one is the cart, and which is the horse? I think it's pretty obvious what the new paradigm is and the numbers show pretty obviously when it happened. Dang, that's a good point. I think the "intent" issue is really key here because if Kenner (then Hasbro) mined the gold that was already there, then the movies didn't get made as toy commercials; but if Lucasfilm put the gold there on purpose for someone to pan, then it's really more of a farce played on moviegoers.

Ji'dai
03-17-2005, 11:30 PM
I guess my short answer would be no, the films aren't designed just to sell toys.

True, the prequels are filled with exotic locales, strange aliens, and flashy vehicles, but I think that resulted simply because Lucas can do those things. He now has the technological toys to add so much eye candy that repeated viewings are almost a necessity to completely gorge oneself on it. I don't believe it's intentionally done to sell more merchandise though.

Some of the special effects shots of the OT were done with hand-made models on wires with miniature explosive charges in front of a blue screen. Is that even done today? The reason why there weren't as many F/X shots in the OT as there are today was likely because it was a much more labor-intensive process back then. Today I'm sure such shots can now be done completely in CGI; and I think the temptation to (over)use that technology is just too great to resist. So we end up with a wretched excess of computer generated smoke and mirrors.

The glut of merchandising is so great that speculating on a possible connection is warranted though. Still, I think Lucas was/is trying to create films that would appeal to younger viewers. That demographic group also happens to consume toys, games, books, and trading cards so making those products that tie into the films was another way to reach those viewers. Certainly Lucas was in it to make some money and I can't fault him for that. Toy companies are in it to make money too, otherwise they wouldn't pay those ungodly licensing and royalty fees. Galoob offered Lucasfilm a 20% stake in their company as part of their 1997 licensing agreement. They gambled on Star Wars and lost - when the agreement went public Galoob stock deflated. The next year Galoob was assimilated by Hasbro. And now Hasbro is gambling their bottom line on Star Wars seven years later. While it's true the toy lines have expanded with each new film, I think many toy company designers are fans themselves and relish the chance to make the toys they would like to see. Look at all the cool prototypes and concepts that never made it to production. I'm sure that if the designers had their way we'd have even more crap to buy. Heck we might've gotten Ephant Mon or Hermi Odle in the 1985 Power of the Force line (we got Amanaman, so why not?) But I think the toys do have some educational value. Children might relive the movie with their toys and then eventually use their imaginations to create new adventures. At least that's what I did.

This is an old controvsey though. I remember hearing this complaint in the 1980s when Weekday afternoon and Saturday morning television was dominated by cartoon-toy tie-ins. I do think that criticism was valid in those instances. For example, when Hasbro re-introduced G.I. Joe in the early 80s they specifically developed a three-pronged approach to reach their target audience. Now there was a toy company not only lauching a toy line but also orchestrating the production of a cartoon and comic book series tie-in. This blanket-approach in covering the media channels consumed by their target demographic was highly successful. Now I liked the cartoon but loved the comic; fortunately Marvel had real talent helming the title so the series was actually pretty good for just being another toy commercial.

I think the director was right in pointing out the excessive flash and eye candy. He's definitely onto something there. But I think his criticism was misplaced. Instead of critiquing the film-toy connection I think the real problem is trying to mask poor story-telling through the overuse of computer-generated special effects. Even with all the technological advances that have been made, a great film still requires that most basic component - a good story.

stillakid
03-18-2005, 12:12 AM
I think the director was right in pointing out the excessive flash and eye candy. He's definitely onto something there. But I think his criticism was misplaced. Instead of critiquing the film-toy connection I think the real problem is trying to mask poor story-telling through the overuse of computer-generated special effects. Even with all the technological advances that have been made, a great film still requires that most basic component - a good story.

Oh, not to worry, that gets talked about 'round these parts too. :D

vulcantouch
03-21-2005, 11:52 PM
. . .maybe i can make it easier for you if i simply ask you if the director in question is any of the following current, well-known male directors that've worked out of LA (you did say it's a He, and that is where you're working, right?), cuz if he isn't he prolly ain't impressed me enuf to give a rat's behind bout his opinion anyway ;): pt, brad or wes anderson, mike figgis, terry zwigoff, todds solondz or haynes, hal hartley, harmony korine, roman coppola, tom dicillo, gregs mottola, pritikin or araki, darren aronofsky, larry clark, neil labute, noah baumbach, danny boyle, don roos, dick schenkman, alex cox, james toback, james mangold, nick cassavettes, cronenberg, errol morris, spike jonze, amenabar, miguel arteta, linklater, gusvansant, coen bruddahs, polish bruddahs, soderbergh, chris guest, doug liman, david o. russell, daves mamet, fincher or lynch, sam mendes, baz lurhmann, demme, rid scott, cameron crowe, spike lee, clint eastwood, tarantulatino, rob rodriguez, altman, curtis hanson, michael mann, ollie stone, john waters, jarmusch, stephen frears, frank oz, joe johnston, syd pollack, parker & stone, barry levinson, tim burton, mike nichols, sonnenfeld, ed burns, marc forster, m night shamalamadingdong, gilliam, phil kaufman, bryan singer, chris nolan, de palma, bob downey sr., ang lee, paul schrader, either kasdan - all of whose work i've discussed in the hump so come on over- & feel free to invite your director too :)

"the same attitude that keeps a lying government official in office"
-settign aside (but only for a moment) the inapplicability of the analogy you're drawing between art & politics, that's still an oversimplification on two levels, to wit: lotsa things keep liars in office, lotsa things boot them out. also, All politicians lie, just as surely as all effective People lie. lying is an indispensible aspect of human exchange and the use of language itself. what matters is, are they smaller lies serving a larger good, or not?

"ends justify the means. . . Is that what you're suggesting?"
-nope, wasn't suggesting one way or the other- but since you asked, my opinion is that Sometimes ends justify means. not always, and not never; context determines when.

"Monkees compared to the Rolling Stones"
jt: "you go! Good comparison"
-pff, even this seemingly "good" comparison is too murky to be of use when examined carefully, from 2 directions:
first, if monkees or any other commercially-calculated venture happened to turn out some decent, catchy, enduring pop singles in the course of their venal mission, what matters more when evaluating the work? on the other hand, if a band with more Serious intent succeeds in producing little more than a waste of everyone's time then what good was their intent?
second, does anyone actually imagine the stones set out to conquer the rock world with pure hearts? that in their case it was only talent seeking to manifest itself, and they weren't also motivated by visions of fame, sex & $$ they'd seen wrap around elvis and the like? i'd say their long record of post-obscurity debauchery indicate very much otherwise :evil: but again, if their work endures as a significant contribution to rock and music how much does that matter when evaluating it?
sometimes, because of talent, inspiration &/or circumstance an artist succeeds despite intending to fail or coast. wong kar-wai's Fallen Angles (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showpost.php?p=23747&postcount=1) is a great example in that while he made it merely as a relaxing lark between taxing epics, its stylin vibrance gives it a woozy charm surpassing said serious epics :cool: usually it's the opposite though, i.e. an artist's merely tedious when he intends to be profound and eloquent. or, while his art may be sublime, as a person he's a ****. the lesson's always the same: never confuse the artist with the art- or, as regards this discussion, his intention with his result.

stilla: "it's about music first which also just happens to sell"
-just Happens to? it May have been that simple but, somehow i doubt it ;)
"i believe in coincidences; coincidences happen every day. but i don't Trust coincidences"- garak, ds9 ep "cardassians"

"doesn't excuse Lucas from the 'crime' of turning his franchise into nothing but a gratuitous commerical for the toys. No?"
-NO, as this presumes that lucas' motives were ever pure in the first place. the difference between then & now is only of degree (and i'd say that comes from loss of clarity re his own nature & results; megasuccess & surrounding yerself w/yesmen'll do that). but again, i don't care insofar as i continue to find Some aspect of sw rewarding enough to continue devoting time, attention or funds to it ;) more, i'd go so far as to say that's true for everyone here :)

"many variations and repeated characters"
-while i have some distaste for both of those, in general i not only applaud hasbro's plumbing the depths of sw character esoterica, i envy it in that i only wish they'd keep doing the same with mm ships like they used to :cool: even though personally i've only cared to collect 3-4 dozen of the 500+ figs produced so far, i'm happy to've had the opportunity to acquire such "scenery" figures as boshek, duros, r1g4, r2q5, r3t7, r4i9, jn66, cc pilot etc :)
what seems to disturb you is the transferral of the bulk of Star Wars' aesthetic experience from the cinema realm to the merch realm. not me. cuz the truth is, as a daily, aesthetic experience, sw pays off much better as a toy than it does a film :cool:

jd: "speculating on a possible connection is warranted"
-i agree, in that i particularly enjoyed stilla's numerical analysis of figs per flik- even if i find the inferences he draws from such analyses unconvincing :)

"the toys do have some educational value. . .eventually use their imaginations to create new adventures"
-hah, i'd guess the main way a kid's "imagination" is engaged is rapture over the designs and contemplating the manufacturing cleverness. as a kid and as adult i never really Played with my sw toys, i mostly just Looked at them. and i think that's valid. but as it's largely passive, i think it'd be as much a stretch to characterize such contemplation as "educational" as characterizing ketchup as a "vegetable" :rolleyes:

"a good story"
stilla: "that gets talked about 'round these parts"
-oh Really? is that why you Still ain't answered my initial quextion above re "good storytelling"? :p

jt: "we OBVIOUSLY don't need to worry about that with you"
-yeah, there's Lotsa things you needn't worry about when I hold court- not that you don't go ahead & worry Anyway ya nervous nellie ;)

"How is that in any way interesting?"
-why, in all the ways that've provoked my above Scintillating remarx, of course :classic:

"gee whiz that sounds so very dull"
-well Yeah, i guess it Does when You get a hold of it :p

"lots of interesting points to discuss"
-if you think so, then why hesitate to do so? can't a thred branch out a little here & there? :)

"not a single one of them has JACK to do with this thread. . . your out-of-context discussion"
-since when is an fruitful, illustrative tangent a crime? the difference between My tangents and yall's is that mine aren't passing themselves off as being any more pertinent than they actually are :p

"I'm talking about MOVIES, full-length cinema. . . trying to double-dip the audience's wallets without then noticing"
-all specious distinctions to make in this context, for reasons i've already made clear- but perhaps it's worth my adding this: have you ever patronized a theater's snackbar? if so, while doing so did you Notice that their true Intent in screening films is the opportunity to sell you overpriced junkfood? or that a filmmaker is in turn motivated by said cinebiz infrastructure (since it makes his work possible) to come up with, as henry jaglom put it, "big movies that sell popcorn"?
but whether you Noticed any of this or not, are filmmakers, theater owners or any other link in the chain of cine-purveyance supposed to be responsible for what a given audience member may or may not Notice? if so, isn't that kind of lowest-common-denominator programming art advocates usually Decry?

"Yes, it is unsavory"
-to which i respond with a wilde quote from his Picture Of Dorian Gray, which applies to film just as well as it does books: "there is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. books are well-written or badly written. That is all" :p
put another way, art is an X axis to morality's Y axis. movements of the two operate in perpendicular dimensions that have nothing to do with one another, despite the fancy hyperbolic function-equations art moralists try to plot between them. it is for this reason that stilla's analogy between art & politics does not apply.
put yet another way: if it's unsavory for a film to pimp anything other than its own intrinsic qualities, then what by contrast would it Not be unsavory for it to pimp? great cinematography? a provocative theme? good acting? "good storytelling"? if so, what makes the selling, buying or aesthetic contemplation of any of those things somehow more noble than the deftly-sculpted bridge on my isd mm?

"you cannot tell me that 'tasteful' has a positive connotation where 'distasteful' does not"
-i'm not trying to. i'm telling you that aesthetics and morality are properly evaluated in separate realms, and if anything here "obfuscates the issue" it is an imprecise choice of words which imply correlations between the two. beauty is not goodness, and ugly is not evil. beauty is merely beauty and ugly is merely ugly.

"nonchalant, ornately-flamboyant terms in an attempt to appear detached"
-golly, if you'd characterize Those particular words as "ornately flamboyant", do you also consider mcdonald's "high-falutin"? :p but i agree the other two adjectives apply and, more, are desireable traits when considering an aesthetic experience. to see that, all one need do is observe the diffs between your overheated sputtering and my Detached Nonchalance" as i repeatedly kick your rhetorical Butt with stylin, icy good humor :D

"a market that is willing to bear more and more of this sort of assault for one reason or another, which I find entirely... 'distasteful'"
-in which case history is not on your side; as sontag (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showpost.php?p=380606&postcount=14) remaked in her '63 essay "notes on 'camp'" (re the sensibility with which we regard something as "campy" ),
"Camp asserts that good taste is not simply good taste, that there exists, indeed, a good taste of bad taste. . . the discovery of a good taste of bad taste can be very liberating. the man who insists on high and serious pleasures is depriving himself of pleasure; he continually restricts what he can enjoy; in the constant exercise of his good taste he will eventually price himself out of the market, so to speak. here Camp taste supervenes upon good taste as a daring and witty hedonism. it makes the man of good taste cheerful, where before he ran the risk of being chronically frustrated. it is good for the digestion" :)
so think borg john waters, and Adapt to the overwhelming Trashiness and Sham of our culture ya grouch :)

"if Kenner (then Hasbro) mined the gold that was already there"
-except the gold Wasn't there, not yet anyway; yall're failing to take into account the continuing-trend, post-industrial differences in the economic terrain between then & now, as illustrated by postrel (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060933852/qid=1111263239/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-8218419-3536050?v=glance&s=books);
"'i am not buying you another top', says a mother in Target to her preteen daughter. 'you must already have about thirty'. thirty tops! what riches that wardrobe would have represented to a kid in the 1970s- let alone the 1950s or the 1920s. the average american woman owns owns seven pairs of jeans, clothes she probably can't even wear to work. . . in the late twenties and early thirties, a typical office clerk in san francisco owned just three suits, eight shirts, and one extra pair of pants, while his wife had nine dresses. that was it- all their outer garments, for work and play, summer and winter, leisure and formality. these were not impoverished, unemployed, or rural people; they were the white-collar urban middle class" (chapter 2, "the rise of look and feel" )
i submit the same trending sheds light not only on fig offerings over the last 20 years but on your collections as a whole, in that i frequently hear from many of you that a main problem is where to Keep it all. it also illuminates the expressions of 'glut anxiety' (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/printthread.php?t=27074) that periodically crop up here as a forum topic.
my personal answer to glut has long been, rather than point a misguided pious finger at the "corruption" of "our sacred sw cinema experience", to regard completism as a pandora's box and be comparatively selective re what i go after. you never hear Me complaining about not enough display or storage space do you? :)

"the arguments were that they were made to be 1 thing and didn't make room for something else"
-"sigh, then i'll make it so simple that even a Vulcan could understand" (quark to sakonna, ds9's "maquis 2" ) :p as i said, For Me it's all about style. and that doesn't preclude, For Me, what you're calling "toyeticness" because, For Me, the toys are just another avenue of expression for said style :)

"why are you posting here at all?"
-cuz as i alluded, in the title of this thread i saw potential for a fruitful discussion of issues i Adore clarifying. and i'm happy to say, that potential was no mirage :D

"we aren't talking about. . . we are talking about"
-and you're contending it's invalid to do both here?

"the films on their general merits and how that contrasts the possibility that they were crafted as marketing tools"
-and it's my position that in the case of things like sw this distinction is moot and, more, a delusion fronted by fanboys who can't bear to imagine that the object of their obsession isn't this century's shakespeare or bach, but is instead simply a diversion of extraordinary, stylin dazzle and minimal depth- a diversion, in short, ideal for our time :)

"that's what you get for encouraging me"
-more, plz :evil:
vt

stillakid
03-22-2005, 12:25 AM
"a good story"
stilla: "that gets talked about 'round these parts"
-oh Really? is that why you Still ain't answered my initial quextion above re "good storytelling"? :p
vt

I haven't answered your alleged initial question because I probably never read it. I find your posts infinitely difficult to read as they are scribed in some sort of "hey look at me" style that tends to repel rather than invite. For those rare few moments when I do dive into the mire, I find your content to be a bit on the self-proclaimed psuedo pretentious side wherein you put on a front that yout posts are deeply wound with meaning, but are really just a flurry of jumbled Alphabits.

If you do have some actual content that you think is worthy enough of my time, try repackaging it into a form that resembles traditional "good writing." Maybe then, I'll consider answering your query about "good storytelling," although ironically, if you get that far, you'll have already come to an understanding about what I was getting at all on your own.

sk

vulcantouch
03-22-2005, 11:16 PM
"I probably never read it"
-PROBABLY? you can't even bring yourself to come clean re whether you did or not? :rolleyes:

"I find your posts infinitely difficult to read"
-oh my stars & garters, heaven Forbid anyone ask you to grapple with anything you might find Difficult :rolleyes:

"'hey look at me' style that tends to repel rather than invite"
-i always say those without strong stomachs should steer clear of the VomiTorium :p you don't see me whining about your pedantic, self-important "hey Don't look at me cuz i'll put you to sleep" style, do you? of course not, cuz instead of making Excuses, i busy myself surgically neutralizing the odors of your unconscious burpings :p
of course, scared as you are by my posts, you could always employ this forum's optional "ignore" function- that is, if it's still there; oh no what'll you do if it isn't?!? :eek:

"I find your content to be a bit on the self-proclaimed psuedo pretentious side wherein you put on a front that yout posts are deeply wound with meaning"
-hah, pot callin the kettle black, kiddo; at least i Own and Own Up To my egotism. all one need do is compare my jocularity with your sanctimony to see who you Really describin :p

"If you do have some actual content that you think is worthy enough of my time"
-what you really mean is if You think it's worthy of your time, don't you? and of course you'd Never just Conveniently decide it Wasn't, would you? :rolleyes:

"try repackaging it"
-a request which reveals the exact reason why substantial thought, as well as truly rewarding art (your ostensible complaint in this thred's title) will continue to elude you; you're waiting for it to be "repackaged" and spoon-fed to you. alas, i'm afraid i've misplaced the widdle spoon with bunnies embossed on the handle so, uh, might not wanna hold yer breath for that Pablum From VT :p

"Maybe then, I'll consider answering"
-the best you can promise is Maybe? do you ever Not leave yourself a weasel's backdoor? :rolleyes:

"a form that resembles traditional 'good writing'"
-in light of what's already transpired here, am i supposed to trust you'll recognize "good writing", traditional or otherwise, when you see it? cough cough, "pearls before swine", cough cough cough :p

"you'll have already come to an understanding about what I was getting at"
-gosh, that's an awful fancy way of saying "you nailed me vt, and i don't even have the valor to admit it" :p
vt

JediTricks
03-23-2005, 04:39 AM
if monkees or any other commercially-calculated venture happened to turn out some decent, catchy, enduring pop singles in the course of their venal mission, what matters more when evaluating the work?It matters, it reflects poorly on the other bands, real artists who work hard to actually be creative, and reflects poorly on the public who is willing to gobble up a product no matter how unsavory its creation was, both of which I believe lessen the impact of the medium.


on the other hand, if a band with more Serious intent succeeds in producing little more than a waste of everyone's time then what good was their intent? They have at least tried to be creative, to be genuine and honest rather than pre-fabricated for mass-consumption. Perhaps they fail, but at least they fail on their own merits rather than succeed by the carefully-crafted designs of others. Of course, looking at the current music scene, the current television scene, and the current movie scene, it seems as if the corporate "pre-fab" mentality has completely taken over and the public continues to allow this level of manipulation despite an obvious sign of dwindling quality and lowering of standards... at increased prices, no less.


does anyone actually imagine the stones set out to conquer the rock world with pure hearts? that in their case it was only talent seeking to manifest itself, and they weren't also motivated by visions of fame, sex & $ they'd seen wrap around elvis and the like? i'd say their long record of post-obscurity debauchery indicate very much otherwise :evil: but again, if their work endures as a significant contribution to rock and music how much does that matter when evaluating it? The Stones were creative, they were self-formed on the cusp of a little-appreciated music style - the Blues - which they were able to transform into something new. There seems to be nothing creative about Britney Spears except perhaps from a marketing perspective and even then it's just an extension of a decades-old technique.


sometimes, because of talent, inspiration &/or circumstance an artist succeeds despite intending to fail or coast. ... the lesson's always the same: never confuse the artist with the art- or, as regards this discussion, his intention with his result. Getting back to the Monkees, does anybody here really think they were anywhere near as popular or influential as the bands of the day which they were trying to emulate? Granted, they had some catchy tunes and even prefabbed they had some interesting creativity (though their real creativity buried their successes, ironically or not), but they have become mainly a joke, a side-note, they didn't have the impact because they were a marketing ploy and a parody.

How about Roddenberry trying to cash in on Star Trek by making Shatner pimp out the IDIC symbol that Gene had invented and was already planning to sell, or trying to get the studio to add the awful lyrics he wrote to the ST:TOS theme song when he found out that lyric writers get royalties from syndication airings? Nimoy at least gave the IDIC some sense of reason, he worked hard to do so because he was basically forced to, but you still don't see a lot of quality IDIC merchandise floating around.

The intent can cloud the product. Wayne's World made money while its sequel, The Ladies Man and Night at the Roxbury didn't.


-hah, i'd guess the main way a kid's "imagination" is engaged is rapture over the designs and contemplating the manufacturing cleverness. as a kid and as adult i never really Played with my sw toys, i mostly just Looked at them. and i think that's valid. but as it's largely passive, i think it'd be as much a stretch to characterize such contemplation as "educational" as characterizing ketchup as a "vegetable" :rolleyes: That's because you are and likely always were all about style (over substance? you tell me). As for me, at first I reenacted the stuff on-scene with my toys, but quickly branched out into total play scenarios. Heck, even yesterday I was really bored and trying not to think about a heavy family situation, so I got inspired to get out the General Grievous preview fig, Droid Tri Fighter, Ani's Starfighter, and Ep 2 Obi-Wan JSF Pilot and played out battles on and over the carpet - before I knew it, I had blown 2 hours making lightsaber noises, R2 whistles, starship battles, and pulling Grievous' forearms off (it would have been his head, but the neck is starting to break from being cheap rubbery material). Sure at 29 it's not too common for me anymore, but it's always been there.


-yeah, there's Lotsa things you needn't worry about when I hold court- not that you don't go ahead & worry Anyway ya nervous nellie ;) I thought about going to get my boots and start shaking, but it's such a hassle to get them out of the closet and find tall socks.


-why, in all the ways that've provoked my above Scintillating remarx, of course :classic: It seems to me as if you're mostly defending your initial comments more than actually focusing on the topic you claimed, so I'm still waiting to find the amazing reasons why "how bad is a SW movie as toy commercial" is interesting. ;)


-well Yeah, i guess it Does when You get a hold of it :p Ooh, I sting! ;) Trust me, anything I garnered in this department I learned at the feet of the master, yourself. :D


-if you think so, then why hesitate to do so? can't a thred branch out a little here & there? :) There's a tool to do just that, it's a graphical button labled "New Thread" at the top of every forums section. I know you're used to getting lost in freeform conversation but it's hard enough keeping track of a 1-topic conversation that is busy, much less an octopus of discussion threads in 1 location. I know this is going to be surprising to you, but not all of us are here to service YOUR convenience, shocking I know.


-since when is an fruitful, illustrative tangent a crime? the difference between My tangents and yall's is that mine aren't passing themselves off as being any more pertinent than they actually are :p Did I miss it, was there ANY pertinence in those specific comments of yours to what this thread's topic originally was? Or are you claiming that our subtle forays into sub-tangent here and there are somehow just as guilty as your attempts to fully derail the topic altogether? Conversational anarchist! :D


-all specious distinctions to make in this context, for reasons i've already made clear- Only to you are they clear reasons and specious distinctions. Even when I played into your game above with the music industry comparison, I still don't think it was that apt a comparison.


but perhaps it's worth my adding this: have you ever patronized a theater's snackbar? if so, while doing so did you Notice that their true Intent in screening films is the opportunity to sell you overpriced junkfood? or that a filmmaker is in turn motivated by said cinebiz infrastructure (since it makes his work possible) to come up with, as henry jaglom put it, "big movies that sell popcorn"? Gee, wow, no I've never heard of a popcorn film, I'm just a lowly mouthbreather with no discerning taste.


but whether you Noticed any of this or not, are filmmakers, theater owners or any other link in the chain of cine-purveyance supposed to be responsible for what a given audience member may or may not Notice? if so, isn't that kind of lowest-common-denominator programming art advocates usually Decry? It's funny, nearly everybody I've ever met can tell the difference between a standard movie and a "popcorn movie". Popcorn movies are generally made in such an obvious manner that you can't help but notice that this is their very nature, yet many of us go either in spite of that or because of that - hell, I enjoyed ID4 for what it was, but the filmmakers were at least honest enough to let perspective audiences know what this movie was well in advance of plunking down coin. Should filmmakers and/or studios be required to do this with every sort of film, like those stupid "Rated PG-13 for mild nudity, satanic messages, swearing, and crude humor" comments at the bottom of the recent MPAA-ratings? No, but when a major link in the chain baits-n-switches the audience, they are wronging those people and deserve bad press, bad reviews, bad public image, and whatever general social flogging they get. Hell, as they jack up prices on these things more and more, that level of bait-n-switch tactics may eventually get them sued or put out of business like any other bait-n-switch business from tires to roofing to art forgeries (comparsions only on the social/governmental side of the equation), they are making people pay for something they didn't want, that type of behavior has already gotten theater chains in 1 state in legal trouble enough to get a law passed about them. If LACMA advertises that they have a series of original Van Goghs on display, I pay to get in and it's actually "Kevin Smith's interpretations of Van Gogh through the medium of his 'Clerks: The Animated Series'" I have had my money stolen and it's wrong. Sure, it's an extreme example, and it doesn't touch upon the double-dip thing, but it's late and I'm tired so I got lost in one aspect of the discussion.


put yet another way: if it's unsavory for a film to pimp anything other than its own intrinsic qualities, then what by contrast would it Not be unsavory for it to pimp? great cinematography? a provocative theme? good acting? "good storytelling"? if so, what makes the selling, buying or aesthetic contemplation of any of those things somehow more noble than the deftly-sculpted bridge on my isd mm? I've foregone discussing the pomposity of versions 1 and 2 of this argument, but I'll reflect on this one. All those "not unsavory?" examples are aspects of cinema, it is perfectly logical to assume that a film could be made to pimp any or all of those aspects as it is within the scope of the medium - by contrast, "merchandising outside products" is by its very nature NOT within the scope of the medium and therefore unsavory and ignoble to include within a movie. Granted, it has become a "way of life" for some films, but there is a sliding scale. Look at the recent "GI Joe:Spy Troops - the movie" CG-animated picture, are you telling me you don't see how that is MORE unsavory than a film where the intention was primarily to tell a good story? The bridge of your ISD was deftly-sculpted as an intention to be a high-quality, mass-produced representation of this item in toy form, it's not pretending to be high art or made of gold and it's not trying to con you without you even noticing it into buying another product.



-i'm not trying to. i'm telling you that aesthetics and morality are properly evaluated in separate realms, and if anything here "obfuscates the issue" it is an imprecise choice of words which imply correlations between the two. beauty is not goodness, and ugly is not evil. beauty is merely beauty and ugly is merely ugly. Yet telling an audience that they're paying to see a film which in reality is actually primarily a con-job to get them to buy more trinkets is somehow NOT dishonest and unsavory? I think you're mincing words, it's dishonest, unsavory, distasteful, bad, wrong, a negative action. There's no need to blow smoke on this one, we're talking about intentions and the actions they create, those are on a fairly clear plane of existance, except apparently to you where it is all meaningless so long as your sense of style is tickled. I notice you have no problem labeling scalpers and their craft as a moral negative, you rail against them, yet when done under the guise of art it's somehow ok? If a scalper came to you tomorrow and said that his ebaying of the toys he found for profit were merely a piece of performance art, you would find his actions less deplorable? I think not. ...well, perhaps you would, with you anything's possible. You seem to see the artistic merit in ANY marketing fully detached from the intent of the marketing itself to the point where the goal and means of the marketing are totally acceptable no matter the situation so long as the style is fascinating to you.


so think borg john waters, and Adapt to the overwhelming Trashiness and Sham of our culture ya grouch :) Camp ebbs and flows, what seems hilariously kitschy today becomes tomorrow's boring pap - John Waters is a fine example of this, especially as he cruises his career right into mediocrity trying to mainstream his brand of camp. Hell, at least Waters' campiness has shown to point out the very nature of honest AND dishonest marketing as it affects society. I recognize camp, I was raised on it, I even appreciate camp - none of which means I have to simply accept all which is distasteful as camp as the distasteful overruns our society. Not everything which is in bad taste is campy, the discerning taste doesn't have to be a snob. And the octopus has grown another limb, but at least this one is actually about marketing.


-except the gold Wasn't there, not yet anyway; yall're failing to take into account the continuing-trend, post-industrial differences in the economic terrain between then & now, as illustrated by postrel; I have nary a clue what you mean. The "gold" in my metaphor represented the breadth of toy-fodder that came out of Star Wars, not the money which they raked in from it. Go back with that knowledge and reread my comment. I'm not commenting that they made more money or made more product accessable to consumers, I'm saying they found more product to mine in Star Wars than any previous toy company had ever found in a film or TV show. In the '60s, James Bond sold spy briefcase toys from "From Russia with Love" and tons of Corgi die-cast Aston Martins from "Goldfinger" - there wasn't anything else to mine from those films which was of interest to buyers at that time, it's not as if they were put into the films to appeal to kids, they weren't even kid-friendly films. Sure, these toy companies didn't make action figures because the concept had yet to be introduced, but even if they had there was nowhere near the interesting material to mine in them even though they're both awesome flicks.


i submit the same trending sheds light not only on fig offerings over the last 20 years but on your collections as a whole, in that i frequently hear from many of you that a main problem is where to Keep it all. it also illuminates the expressions of 'glut anxiety' that periodically crop up here as a forum topic.
my personal answer to glut has long been, rather than point a misguided pious finger at the "corruption" of "our sacred sw cinema experience", to regard completism as a pandora's box and be comparatively selective re what i go after. you never hear Me complaining about not enough display or storage space do you? :) I'm no completist anymore, I passed on over 1/3rd of the Saga line, but I did so chiefly because the products were based on things I didn't like and nearly all of the excluded came from the prequels. Yet I still say Kenner had every right to mine Star Wars' character gold the way they did and suffer any losses from unpopular characters, and NONE of those characters were created with toyetic intent.


as i said, For Me it's all about style. and that doesn't preclude, For Me, what you're calling "toyeticness" because, For Me, the toys are just another avenue of expression for said style :) But in the end, you're not arguing with points I was making FOR YOU, you are arguing that claim with points I was making FOR ME.


-and you're contending it's invalid to do both here?It is when you are flat out rejecting the entire claim as pointless. If the distinction is moot, then you have nothing to add to the discussion at hand, only to your tangent. Yet do you start your own thread about that? No, that would be too un-VT for you. Heaven for fend you get an idea about something and actually try to branch out in the Gen Disc on the idea's own merits, no, then you couldn't be a thread-leech, a forums lamprey :p.


but is instead simply a diversion of extraordinary, stylin dazzle and minimal depth- a diversion, in short, ideal for our time :) Be that as it may, setting aside the woefully shortsighted and stereotyped attitude it is claiming, the question here is still whether it is created to sell a bunch of toys rather than be that diversion. (Keep in mind the key phrase there, there can be shades of gray within that "RATHER THAN" but it still is the topic here.)

Don't expect me to put in another 2 hours on this thread though, it was just late-night posting which got my better judgement to collapse on this.


BTW, I'll totally back you VT on 1 thing, you're not psuedo-pretentious, there's nothing "psuedo" there. :evil:

stillakid
03-23-2005, 08:32 AM
"I probably never read it"
-PROBABLY? you can't even bring yourself to come clean re whether you did or not? :rolleyes:

"I find your posts infinitely difficult to read"
-oh my stars & garters, heaven Forbid anyone ask you to grapple with anything you might find Difficult :rolleyes:

"'hey look at me' style that tends to repel rather than invite"
-i always say those without strong stomachs should steer clear of the VomiTorium :p you don't see me whining about your pedantic, self-important "hey Don't look at me cuz i'll put you to sleep" style, do you? of course not, cuz instead of making Excuses, i busy myself surgically neutralizing the odors of your unconscious burpings :p
of course, scared as you are by my posts, you could always employ this forum's optional "ignore" function- that is, if it's still there; oh no what'll you do if it isn't?!? :eek:

"I find your content to be a bit on the self-proclaimed psuedo pretentious side wherein you put on a front that yout posts are deeply wound with meaning"
-hah, pot callin the kettle black, kiddo; at least i Own and Own Up To my egotism. all one need do is compare my jocularity with your sanctimony to see who you Really describin :p

"If you do have some actual content that you think is worthy enough of my time"
-what you really mean is if You think it's worthy of Your time, don't you? and of course you'd Never just Conveniently decide it Wasn't, would you? :rolleyes:

"try repackaging it"
-which reveals exact reason why substantial thought, as well as truly rewarding art (your ostensible complaint in this thred's title) will continue to elude you; you're waiting for it to be "repackaged" and spoon-fed to you. alas, i'm afraid i've misplaced the widdle spoon with bunnies embossed on the handle so, uh, might not wanna hold yer breath for that Pablum From VT :p

"Maybe then, I'll consider answering"
-the best you can promise is Maybe? do you ever Not leave yourself a weasel's backdoor? :rolleyes:

"a form that resembles traditional 'good writing'"
-in light of what's already transpired here, am i supposed to trust you'll recognize "good writing", traditional or otherwise, when you see it? cough cough, "pearls before swine", cough cough cough :p

"you'll have already come to an understanding about what I was getting at"
-gosh, that's an awful fancy way of saying "you nailed me vt, and i don't even have the valor to admit it" :p
vt

LOL. You're attempts to mock my response to you are thin at best. I'm not even sure that most of your statements are much more than scoffing at my use of the word "maybe." Pretty juvenile.

However, I really expected little else. Being that you've either ignored or missed the point, all I was saying is that if you have something important to say, presentation matters. I personally feel no obligation to wade through the posts of a jr. ee cummings who feels the need to scoff at the commonly accepted rules of spelling and grammar. We could speculate as to why you choose to write in that style, but the end result is that it takes a considerable amount of work to first read what you've written and then try to comprehend any meaning that might be hidden in there.

Some things in life are worthy of taking the extra step or two to figure out, but finding that needle in a haystack (if it exists) on a forum like this doesn't rate as a priority. If you've got something important to say or ask, put down the self-imposed "cool look at me" style and write it in a manner that invites readers. :)

2-1B
03-23-2005, 10:18 AM
But JT, what about Britney's new fragrance ? That's creative. :D

JediTricks
03-25-2005, 03:23 PM
"Britney: Feet - the smell of hillbilly success"

Whether it's a perfume or an internet provider, it's always funny to see a prefabbed product create their own product - self-reproduction in the circle of marketing life... cue the singing lions.

El Chuxter
03-25-2005, 03:30 PM
She's not a hillbilly. There are no mountains where she's from. Except of the silicone variety.

JON9000
03-26-2005, 04:32 PM
-j9k: "filmmaking constitutes art, I believe it does"
-no one here, myself included, has made an issue of that. my focus is instead on your assertion that lucas' sw-type work is, in the context of film history, "revolutionary" or, for that matter, "art" with a capital A.
it isn't. lucas wasn't just trying to appear modest when he said on charlie rose a few months back that he and ilm will likely comprise a mere footnote in the development of the history of film. he was speaking from his familiarity with film history and its true portentious developments. just as there's a world of difference between the importance of picasso and norman rockwell in the history of art, so there is between, say, eisenstein's editing breakthrus and lucas shooting features all-digital. one enlarged the very Vocabulary of film, while the other offered only a technical update of what had previously been expressed via that language. one was revolutionary, "art" even. the other is not.

"If you find this opinion laughable, I can only assume"
-on the contrary, you can do more than just assume- that is, if you care to trouble yourself. you can peruse the wide variety of flix i seek out & comment on in the linx above and, from a more informed pov, decide for yourself :)
vt

Vulcan Touch, I have misjudged you. I have read your insights into this remarkable collection of films and cannot help but to be amazed. Your prose has brought me out the depths of ignorance and has brought me to the altar of enlightenment.

In order to make sure that these nuggets of film wisdom were not lost upon others, I resurrect a few of them now. Ladies and Gents, I give you- Vulcan Touch's movie reviews:

chicago (lucy liu)- lottafun, flashy update of the hellafun, mencken-wry musical earns my respect in managing to keep any of the four leads (gere, czj, ziggywiggy or latifah) from annoying me like they usually do always love x-tine baranski and jc reilly tho

I am stunned.

gangs of new york (leo-d, c-dizzy, quigon, jc reilly)- atmospheric, mostly-engaging portrait of 19th-c nyc squalor & turfwars; not-bad howie shore theme, and ddlewis's mustache-munching mugging plays like a caricature of director scorsese's oftime lead deniro (see esp. Taxi Driver & Cape Fear)

Ebert has nothing on you.

house of sand and fog (jconnelly, kingsley)- deliciously tragedy-drenched, real-estate-centered conflict twixt noble iranian expatriates and an emotionally vulnerable cali-gal; w/james horner's fab score evoking (copying?) 1&1/2 themes from his Beautiful Mind (post 213 above) and lotsa exquisitely-acted scenes incl. those w/elegant mideast cinevet shohreh aghdashloo

ginger and fred ('86, m-mastroianni)- fellini's boisterous, gentle, decades-later reunion of showbiz dance partners for a gaudy, nostalgic italian tv special

Awww, heck, Cicero has nothing on you.

the pianist (abrody)- polanski's engaging adaptation of a warsaw ghetto survivor's biography

Truly, your insights are dizzying.

the passion of the christ (handsome maia morgenstern as mama )- neither as profound nor controversial as its reputation, mad max's typically-catholic fetishization of j-dog's final hours is best regarded as a competent, densely-textured melodrama of the sort i've deemed perfect late-saturday nite fare (aside from its blazing mideast daylight aspect, that is); that it would instead yield a "religious experience" for viewers is laughable indeed while trekvet john debney's score is a-ok, whoever cornered the whipping-sound-effect market here made the Real killing

This one is actually funny.

elf (jcaan)- jon favreau's hellafunny saga of hilarious will ferrell's displaced-at-birth manboy caught twixt nyc & northpole culture; great supports from newhart, asner, kyle "tenacious d" gass etc

how the grinch stole christmas (jcarrey, jtambor)- ron howard's fun-enuf live-action seusscarol w/child actress charming despite That Hairdo and cameo by brother clint "balok" howard

Now these are truly works of art, from creators at the peaks of their creative powers.

much ado about nothing (keanu, emmathomps, denzel, boss nass, kbranagh dir.)- another fun bardadapt- esp. w/mkeaton's twitchy constable- even if beckinsale's not quite as ripe & yummy here as she gets several years later

Ripe & Yummy?

When I used the word revolutionary, I meant in terms of the gentleman's overall contribution to the field, primarily with regards to starting ILM. If you disagree, whatever. I really don't care enough to argue further. :zzz: :zzz: :zzz:

vulcantouch
04-28-2005, 11:34 AM
-. . .takes one to know one? :p

"Geez VT, that's an epic post"
-that's what She. . .oh yer makin this too easy :crazed:

"feeling yer oats?"
-when oats need a-feelin', Someone's gotta do it :crazed:

"I had blown 2 hours making lightsaber noises, R2 whistles,"
-LTMI my friend ;)

"the woefully shortsighted and stereotyped attitude it is claiming"
-care to elaborate? :)

"anything I garnered in this department I learned at the feet of the master, yourself"
-the master is responsible only for what is taught, not what is learned :p

"I'm still waiting to find the amazing reasons why 'how bad is a SW movie as toy commercial' is interesting"
-on a note similar to my previous remark: when the student is ready, the lesson will reveal itself :)

"Did I miss it?"
-is that a trick question? :p

"I have nary a clue what you mean"
-what a shock :p

"you're mostly defending your initial comments"
-singing their praises is not the same thing as defending them. after all, why would i defend that which defends itself just fine? :)

"Sure, it's an extreme example,"
-and, more to the point, an inapplicable one :p

"lessen the impact of the medium"
-a Medium's impact? what matters is what an individual work achieves. how is that affected by some theorized aggregate impact of a given medium?

"it reflects poorly on the other bands, real artists who work hard to actually be creative, and reflects poorly on the public"
-as with intentions, these "reflections" have nothing to do with evaluating what has been acheived in a given work.

"They have at least tried. . .at least they fail on their own merits"
-and that consoling "at least" doesn't ring hollow when you're deciding how to spend your time or $$? how many cds, for example, that only "mean well" and don't actually do it for you do you purchase and continue playing regularly?

"we're talking about intentions and the actions they create. . . The intent can cloud the product"
-occasionally intent has maximal effect on result, but more often it has little or none. both from personal experience and from artists' descriptions of their experiences of the creative process, most often successful art results from a process in which the artist seems to serve as a mere conduit for work that originates from outside himself. which isn't to minimize his role or efforts, which can often be quite arduous; only to clarify the effect of his intent on the result. often his "intent" is best directed at Keeping His Intent Out Of The Way so as to not let it muck up the work :p

"those are on a fairly clear plane of existance"
-oh really? is that why good intentions always lead to good results, NOT? :rolleyes:

"Britney Spears"
-a curious example for your argument to offer, to wit: should we infer that if bs's motives were more noble her music'd be appreciably better? if so, i doubt it; actual talent remains essentially separate from what an artist wants or intends. her actual talent, for example, is a talent for sales. i don't think it would convert itself into a talent for artistic merit just cuz she decided (intended) to pursue "artistic integrity" :p

"(da monkees) have become mainly a joke, a side-note, they didn't have the impact. . . anybody here really think they were anywhere near as popular or influential as the bands of the day which they were trying to emulate?"
-they were certainly more so than bands trying to emulate Them. commercially intended tho they were, and joke tho they may be remembered as to this day, we Do remember them, and not entirely unfondly. contrast this with the hundreds of one- and no-hit wonders in their day who, regardless of intent, had zero impact and are not remembered at all.

"Even when I played into your game above with the music industry comparison, I still don't think it was that apt a comparison"
-if you don't find the music industry comparison (which wasn't mine anyway) apt, why not provide a more apt one for us to chew over? :)

"except apparently to you where it is all meaningless so long as your sense of style is tickled. . . you're mincing words. . . no need to blow smoke"
-while i freely admit being informed by a degree of stylistic nihilism, that doesn't mean it follows that i find "it all meaningless". for example i find definitions meaningful enough to "mince words", as you put it, when i see them bleeding into one another as a result of imprecise application :p

"you are and likely always were all about style (over substance? you tell me)"
-ok, since you axed: i think some style is complex, adult, sublime and fundamentally revealing and, therefore, substantial in itself, comprising substance in itself. on the other hand some style is facile, cliche and/or fundamentally misleading, and therefore the opposite of substance (hence the accurate charge often leveled at reagan "all style, no substance" ) :) thus the commonly-assumed style/substance dichotomy is Sometimes true, not always.
and no, i wasn't always "all about style"; it was an epiphanic conversion that came only after wrestling with the invalidity of its opposite :)

"so long as the style is fascinating to you"
-quite so, in that experience and the passage of time has shown that "fascinating to me" is all but synonymous with "fascinating, Period" :) thus, your "so long as" is not the small thing you may wish to imply it is :)

"what seems hilariously kitschy today becomes tomorrow's boring pap"
-actually it's usually the reverse, as another sontag xcerpt illustrates:
"When its theme is important, and contemporary, the failure of a work of art may make us indignant. Time can change that. Time liberates the work of art from moral relevance, delivering it over to the Camp sensibility. . . another effect: Time contracts the sphere of banality. (Banality is, strictly speaking, always a category of the contemporary.) What was banal can, with the passage of time, become fantastic. . . Thus, things are campy, not when they become old, but when we become less involved in them, and can enjoy, instead of be frustrated by, the failure of the attempt. . . the process of aging or deterioration provides the necessary detachment- or arouses a necessary sympathy" :)

"as (waters) cruises his career right into mediocrity"
-you refer to his work; i refer to his sensibility. the latter remains sharp as ever, i.e. his spectator-commentary, such as on talkshow guestings. the man can remain rewarding long after his work has lost its touch- yet another instructive example of the distinction between artist and artwork, between intent and result :)

"there was nowhere near the interesting material to mine in them"
-are you implying that's somehow a Virtue of the bond films? if anything it's a Failing of those flix, not some proof of their cinematic purity.

"they're both awesome flicks"
-bond in general and those flix in particular are overrated; what endures most is john barry's musical contributions imo. this can easily be seen in that while the latter works just fine without the former, the reverse would certainly not be true :cool:

"Wayne's World made money while its sequel, The Ladies Man and Night at the Roxbury didn't"
-ain't seen LM but Roxbury was harmless enough (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showpost.php?p=60300&postcount=132), and more entertaining than Wayne 1 or 2 iirc.

"you don't see how that is MORE unsavory than a film where the intention was primarily to tell a good story?"
-no, cuz for one thing a definition of "good story" has yet to be even hinted at by you or anyone else here- and it's not like i haven't asked. second, any "unsavoriness" i'd ascribe to the likes of Spy Tropes or whatever would be more properly attributed to the dubiousness of its aesthetic acheivements or lack thereof.
it doesn't matter that it's a commercial. what matters is that it's a Junky, Unrewarding commercial pimping a junky, unrewarding product. there's plenty of "unsavoriness" on hand to deal with without having to muck up the issue with intent :p

"nearly everybody I've ever met can tell the difference between a standard movie and a 'popcorn movie'"
-ignoring for the moment the implicit false dichotomy that films are Either popcorn flix or not (as if borderline cases didn't abound), are you contending SW was ever Not a popcorn film? if so then what was it, a religious manifesto? :rolleyes:

"filmmakers were at least honest enough to let perspective audiences know"
-any such responsibility rests with what is at this point the highly-experienced audience to see a con coming from a mile away, especially when it's so obvious. filmmakers by contrast have no such obligation of "honesty" towards an audience, partly because all art is by necessity an editing of reality and, therefore, a kind of dishonesty (i.e. "a lie that can help reveal the truth"). the main distinction- perhaps the only relevant distinction- is how nimble or on-target a lie the artwork is.

"deserve bad press, bad reviews, bad public image, and whatever general social flogging they get"
-if "deserve" has anything to do with it, do they also "deserve" whatever resultant $$$ said public showers upon them?
concerning ourselves here with what anyone "deserves" should come second to a concern with thinking clearly about the issue. without the latter, the former's invariably misdirected.

"they are making people pay for something they didn't want"
-"making"? the closest that word comes to applying here is, say, screening, a car commercial b4 a feature. such cases have rightly led to the legal trouble to which i assume you refer- and you won't see me shed a tear for the culprits re that :)

"'merchandising outside products' is by its very nature NOT within the scope of the medium"
-sez you; meanwhile pomo art theory, seeing as how one of its subjects is the unprecedented intermixings of high and low art, different media and, yes, art and commerce unique to our age, is still grappling with that one. where you prematurely rule that there's a sharp line twixt film & merch, more seasoned explorers of such virgin theoretical territory proceed with more rigorous mindfulness of its inherent amibiguities. guess which approach i'm more inclined to trust? ;)

"How about Roddenberry trying to cash in"
-no need to preach to this choir; unlike those who deify him as some Great Bird, i never attributed any such purity to that horndog ;p

"don't see a lot of quality IDIC merchandise floating around"
-me neither, but i ain't been lookin- which brings up another point: the responsibility to shun or patronize crappy or attractive licensing rests with the audience-consumer :)

"'gold' in my metaphor represented the breadth of toy-fodder that came out of Star Wars, not the money which they raked in from it"
-the two are inseparable, as they were both subject to and products of the prevailing economic terrain of their times.

"they found more product to mine in Star Wars than any previous toy company had ever found in a film or TV show"
-but y'all aren't whining about pre-and post-sw merchandising consciousness, y'all're whining about the overthrow of some original, "pure" sw experience by a current, "overcommercialized" sw experience. and i'm saying that since the difference is only of degree, that's a silly whine with which to concern oneself :p

"it's not pretending to be high art. . ."
-and sw is??

". . . or made of gold and it's not trying to con you without you even noticing it into buying another product."
-it doesn't matter if it was Trying to, cuz the fact is it Succeeded, i.e. the deftness of the mm line in general "conned" me into collecting one of every ship, even the designs i find dullsville (read: berman shuttle, jabbarge etc :p ). do i resent this? do i have a right to? hell No, cuz the responsibility lies with Me in falling for it. and if i had subsequent regrets, that again would be My problem. but i don't. sounds like a Golden achievement in expectational alchemy to me :D

"chiefly because the products were based on things I didn't like"
-and Not cuz they were products per se, eh?

"at 29 it's not too common for me anymore"
-but has your enthusiasm for collecting waned commensurately? if not, i submit much of the pleasure is about said passive contemplation, rather than the active playing some characterize as "educational" :)

"you have no problem labeling scalpers and their craft as a moral negative"
-actually i label them an Ethical negative within the context of collector ethics (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=17869) (because, in the context of the collector community, scalpers contribute nothing in the course of their taking). the distinction is important as morals ~ laws of god while ethics ~ laws of man. i don't concern myself with morals, only with the defining and clarification of ethics.

"If a scalper came to you tomorrow and said that his ebaying of the toys he found for profit were merely a piece of performance art"
-an interesting if; but since it's Only an if it has its limits. i'd have to know more contextual particulars before being able to judge. it's possible the resulting controversy and attention his actions would attract would help spread a more sophisticated understanding of the issue, which may justify them. on the other hand they could also result in as much or more muddying of the issue, in which case posterity would deem him a mere attention-hungry pot-stirrer. either way, Result would again determine the merit of his action, not intent. determining which result was greater, however, would likely remain an elusive task- unlike actual scalping in which the impact to the collector community is one-sided enough and, therefore, clear enough to define and upon which to opine and delineate applicable ethics.

"when done under the guise of art it's somehow ok?"
-Guise Matters Not, only result. leaving aside the dubiousness of your analogy between scalping and certain avenues of merchandising, if an aesthetic acheivement is yielded yes, that does contribute and so Can make it worthwhile. but that's a big if.

"you're used to getting lost in freeform conversation but it's hard enough keeping track of a 1-topic conversation that is busy, much less an octopus of discussion"
-You brought up scalping here, not me- and you don't hear me whining about That, do you? :p
one man's "lost octopi" is another's lively exchange. if you're advocating an l-c-d approach to linearizing debate here so strictly that even a chimp could follow it i don't agree, as i don't think the chimps should be encouraged :p
one criterion i use for starting a new thred is, can a person vaguely recalling a given forum exchange find it via perusing extant thred titles? if so it serves no purpose to segregate one's "digression" to a different thred, artificially divorced from the context which spawned it :)

"do you start your own thread about that? No. . . a thread-leech, a forums lamprey"
-actually i think "thread leech" would be more applicable to someone who Did start a new thread whose focus was only slightly different from an already-extant thred, as it implies & credits him with wholesale originality he doesn't deserve. (it also contributes to the distasteful, pointless discussion splintering (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=20433) which is already too high here.) to me, the more straightforward a connection to the origin discussion my "tangent" can sport, the better :)

"are you claiming that our subtle forays into sub-tangent here and there are somehow just as guilty"
-"guilty"? why would i concern myself with the ascription of such Guilt? just cuz You gettin all bent outta shape over my forays, that don't mean yall's cause Me any consternation :)

"as your attempts to fully derail the topic altogether?"
-derailment is not the same thing as a skillful, fruitful and badly-needed course adjustment :D

"you have nothing to add to the discussion at hand, only to your tangent"
-the tangent is Itself the addition, even if onlookers are too fixated on the original focus to appreciate that :p

"in the end, you're not arguing with points I was making FOR YOU, you are arguing that claim with points I was making FOR ME. . . It is when you are flat out rejecting the entire claim as pointless"
-huh?? and you say my Tangents are confusing :p

"not all of us are here to service YOUR convenience"
-that doesn't mean you Shouldn't be :cheeky:

"Don't expect me to put in another 2 hours on this"
-worry not, the only expectation i ever brought here was that of making myself clear :) who's next?

stillakowid: "I really expected little else"
-a revealing statement in that it's apparently news to you that none of this ever was (or should be) about satisfying or disappointing Your Expectations :rolleyes:

"Pretty juvenile"
-actually, "juvenile" would be tossing an initial rhetorical rock and then running home to mama as you have, rather than staying and either dealing with the response it engenders or admitting defeat :p

"I personally feel no obligation"
-see above "juvenile" remark about finishing what You started :p

"I'm not even sure that most of your statements are"
-how Could you be, seeing as how by your own admission you Can't Be Bothered To Read them :p

"a jr. ee cummings who feels the need"
-hah- by your own admission you haven't Read enough of what i've said to speculate meaningfully on any "needs" you may claim i feel :p

"you've either ignored or missed the point"
-you keep saying that (without getting specific) but again, seeing as how you've admitted You Don't Even Read my posts, i don't see how you could know :p

"it takes a considerable amount of work"
-work? This? with such a wilting lack of stamina, one wonders that you manage to get from one day to the next :rolleyes:

"Some things in life are worthy of taking the extra step or two to figure out"
-seeing as your actions here've consistently demonstrated the opposite attitude, are we supposed to take your word that you actually subscribe to this notion? :rolleyes:

"commonly accepted rules"
-the key word here, as applies to you, is "common"; common effort, common perception, common comprehension, common common common. which is why, alas, the extraordinary will Always elude you in your cognitive and creative life. i almost pity you :p
a knowledge of rules does not necessitate slavery to them. one should master rules before one takes liberties with them. the most charitable view would suppose that's why you don't :p

"self-imposed 'cool look at me' style"
-sigh, i suppose that, out of resentment, dull, uncharismatic guys have always been put off by more dashing figures such that they attribute qualities like "off-putting" and "attention hungry" to them, and "unimportance" to what they say, without bothering to listen to it. the word for that is Prejudice; and while it's understandable, that don't make it honorable. ah well, such is my cross to bear :cool:

"We could speculate as to why you choose to write in that style"
-you Could? isn't that in fact what you're Doing, right now? and i know why: focusing on my style is such a convenient way to avoid dealing with my content that you Should be thanking me for providing it. instead you stack even more whining on top of your already-high-piled whining. how are we supposed to respect such ungracious evasion?

"if you have something important to say, presentation matters"
-and to those such as yourself who care about form at the Expense of content, it would seem it's All that matters :p

"finding that needle in a haystack (if it exists) on a forum like this doesn't rate as a priority"
-way to cast your tail-tucking in the best possible light :p

jnk: "I have misjudged you"
-how can you claim to've Misjudged me when your surface skimmings do not Begin to qualify as judging in the first place?

"I have read your insights"
-shall we add Liar to your resume? it's clear that, since your response deals only with "insights" from one humpost you've only Read one humpost, out of the 85 i've added to date :p

"I resurrect a few of them now"
-the key word being "few"; your methodology reminds me of lazy, hacky rock critics who excerpt a song's lyric to illustrate its banality. as if a lyric should be expected to impart much of anything outside the context of the song :rolleyes:

"Ladies and Gents, I give you- Vulcan Touch's movie reviews"
-hardly; geez, you couldn't even be bothered to reproduce the used-as-punctuation emoticons you sloppy, careless **** :p

"brought me out the depths of ignorance and has brought me to the altar of enlightenment"
-much as when one pursues happiness directly rather than allowing it to arise as a side-effect of living a decent life, your expectations of "enlightenment" are sure to be disappointed. nevertheless i welcome your unskilled shots as they provide me occasion to elaborate my metier, both for newcomers and longtime followers :)
the Hump's method is cumulative experience first, particular experience second. this seems the most appropriate approach in attempting to meaningfully tackle what one must acknowledge is only a fraction of the ocean of feature films released every year- not to mention the vast range of cine-work over the last century. so initially the hump proceeds as a terse, punchy diary of cine-pleasures, emphasizing maximal coverage of the wide range of cine-ground out there. (if one were to instead stick mainly to one kind of film, one's reactions are invariably handicapped by provincialism.) procedding from a strictly-proscribed base of adjectives best serves to place the wide variety of film i encounter in a comparative context. that way i have a basis for specifying whether a given godard is more or less rewarding than, say, a given will ferrell vehicle. "lottafun" is clearly higher on the spectrum than "kindafun", for example, yet such terms still minimize the overly-abstracted evaluative summary of, say, "one to five stars" or "thumbs-up or -down". from there- tho it don't happen as often as some might like- more extensive exchanges about any mentioned film can proceed :)
this cumulative approach also allows consideration of flix within the context of aesthetic groupings which might not be apparent when just dealing with them as individual entities. this in turn allows an emergent-property "what to watch when (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showpost.php?p=182230&postcount=189)" consciousness to arise and be honed which, i've found, adds immeasurably to the appreciation of cinema. you see, just as there's an art to Making cinema, there's also an art to Savoring it :cool:
of course, for one to actually glean Any of these cumulative effects from the hump, one must Bother oneself to read more than just One of its posts. otherwise, one is as embarrassingly unqualified to opine on it as he is on film history. nevertheless i again thank you for this occasion to clarify my method, and shall hyperlink future such inquiries to this here xchange- hope you won't mind :p

"When I used the word revolutionary, I meant in terms of the gentleman's overall contribution to the field, primarily with regards to starting ILM. If you disagree"
-if? didn't i just Say i did? :rolleyes: the difference is, i'm saying so from a demonstrably broad base of experience with and consideration of a wide range of film, i.e. the Hump to which you were referred. meanwhile we're still waiting to hear the basis- or Any basis for that matter- from which Your assertion springs :p

"Ebert has nothing on you. . . Awww, heck, Cicero has nothing on you."
-do you even know who cicero Was? and no, he WASN'T the tall bald one sittin next to ebert :p

"Ripe & Yummy?"
-yeah, ripe and yummy- as in everything a girl who'd ever be interested in you would never be :cheeky:

"This one is actually funny"
-is that what that girl told her friends when you asked her out? :crazed:

stilla: "finding that needle in a haystack (if it exists) on a forum like this doesn't rate as a priority"
jt: "it's late and I'm tired so I got lost. . . I've foregone discussing the pomposity of versions 1 and 2 of this argument"
jnk: "I really don't care enough to argue further. :zzz: :zzz: :zzz:"
-that's right my wee drowsy sausages, go back to your cozy slumber, big bad vt was just a nightmare, one whose disturbance you may just be able to forget if you try hard enough :p
vt

CaptainSolo1138
04-28-2005, 11:40 AM
That made my eyes bleed.

vulcantouch
04-28-2005, 11:44 AM
-yeah seeing as how a whole Six Minutes went by between my posting and your reading & responding to it, i'm not surprised!
you, uh, Did read it, right? :rolleyes:
wait a minute! i think jnk and stilla are also about to post insta-replies- boy, what prodigious speed-readers we have here :rolleyes:

JON9000
04-28-2005, 12:18 PM
Whether you would qualify the creation of ILM and the rise of the over-the-top blockbuster or not as revolutionary or merely influential is a matter of semantics. If you think it is simply mudane, cheers, we disagree, and I have no real desire to argue the point further since you have demonstrated no real desire to argue the point either, rather you seem more interested in convincing everyone you know more about movies than they do. And you very well may based on the post count in that thread- so you can stop trying to convince us and overcompensating by trying to belittle everyone else's POVs.

Now, I read a few of your reviews b/c I thought they might be interesting, and when I gently criticized them, your response was not that those reviews were actually insightful, rather, that I should read more of your posts. It seems to me you have conceded the point. Don't refer people toward your reviews to prove your knowledge of film if minor, truthful criticisms made in jest are going to send you into a tizzy and cause you to get personal in response. :)

BTW, I am something of a Cicero fan, so yeah, I do know about him. ;)

stillakid
04-28-2005, 12:31 PM
"I really expected little else"


-a revealing statement in that it's apparently news to you that none of this ever was (or should be) about satisfying or disappointing Your Expectations :rolleyes:
Apparently not. :)


"Pretty juvenile"


-actually, "juvenile" would be tossing an initial rhetorical rock and then running home to mama as you have, rather than staying and either dealing with the response it engenders or admitting defeat :p
Who ran away? When were these posted originally? I believe I responded initially in a rather timely manner. What’s it been for you, 3, 4 weeks or so? Instead of being so defensive, why not take some good advice and “admit defeat”?


"I personally feel no obligation"


-see above "juvenile" remark about finishing what You started :p
:confused: How does my sense of obligation toward reading anyone’s random posts on SSG rate as “juvenile”? You speak as though you have deep thoughts, but it is rather superficial nonsense.


"I'm not even sure that most of your statements are"

-how Could you be, seeing as how by your own admission you Can't Be Bothered To Read them :p
Again, you fail to actually read and comprehend. Obviously I’ve read some of what you wrote otherwise this ridiculous tennis match wouldn’t be happening. Why not take the time to actually read and comprehend what others tell you instead of immediately jumping on the defensive?



"a jr. ee cummings who feels the need"

-hah- by your own admission you haven't Read enough of what i've said to speculate meaningfully on any "needs" you may think i feel :p
Wrong. I admitted no such thing. One can surmise by your writing style that you either A) have absolutely no working knowledge of proper writing structure/form or B) fancy yourself an innovator of language such as the ee cummings example I mentioned. The content within your posts is immaterial to that issue.


"you've either ignored or missed the point"

-you keep saying that (without getting specific) but again, seeing as how you've admitted You Don't Even Read my posts, i don't see how you could know :p
And again, you state the erroneous. Obviously I read some of your posts otherwise we wouldn’t be having this silly discussion. :rolleyes:


"it takes a considerable amount of work"


-work? This? with such a wilting lack of stamina, one wonders that you manage to get from one day to the next :rolleyes:
Yeah, work. Your posts are exhausting. I would rather spend my time in a productive manner. I don’t even know how to respond to that nonsensical “wilting lack of stamina” comment. I’m too busy laughing my arse off right now. :D It’s such an obvious attempt to cast some kind of blame off of you and onto others that it hardly rates a response. :rolleyes:


"Some things in life are worthy of taking the extra step or two to figure out"

-seeing as your actions here've consistently demonstrated the opposite attitude, are we supposed to take your word that you actually subscribe to this notion? :rolleyes:
:confused: Um, yeah. The point of my statement, which you obviously chose to ignore, is that YOUR posts are not worthy of taking the time for. If you choose to alter your writing style into something far more appealing to the eye, then I’ll consider moving your diatribes up on my priority list.


"commonly accepted rules"

-the key word here, as applies to you, is "common"; common effort, common perception, common comprehension, common common common. which is why, alas, the extraordinary will Always elude you in your cognitive and creative life. i almost pity you :p
a knowledge of rules does not necessitate slavery to them. one should master rules before one takes liberties with them. the most charitable view would suppose that's why you don't :p
So you’re actually stating that everybody who follows rules hasn’t mastered them? :rolleyes: You do have a high opinion of yourself, don’t you? That truly is an incredible point of view, that the only people in the world who have “mastered the rules” are easily recognized because they are the ones freely breaking them. Amazing. The ability of human beings to rationalize away their deficiencies grows stronger every day. I mean, WOW! That is a doozy. I’ll have to remember that one on my list of dumbest philosophies I’ve ever heard.

But back to the details. “Commonly accepted rules” means that there are acceptable and long recognized standards regarding how to impart a message in the most efficient and effective manner. Your choice to linger on the word “common” and the connotation that it is nothing but “bland” ignores the actual meaning which I was conveying. Because you chose to do this, one can only assume that you either truly didn’t comprehend the intention or you intentionally ignored the it in order to find a way to insult me.

Now, this isn’t to say that your own point is necessarily wrong. Innovation derives from creative and “uncommon” ways of doing things. But just because something is “uncommon” or breaks from traditional methods does not automatically equate to being “good.” You may think that your writing style is “good” just because you feel the urge to “break the rules” and be “uncommon,” but my own opinion is that your chosen method of writing detracts from your content which results in your message being lost to a portion of your audience. Breaking the rules every now and then isn’t such a bad thing to do, but the reason the rules are there in the first place is because time has established that we do it that way because, quite simply, it works. Not all innovations work and often times the “inventors” need to go back and refine what they are doing. That’s all I’m suggesting you do with your writing style. If all you’re trying to do is to break the rules (in order to show that you’ve “mastered” the form :rolleyes: ) then great…I suppose you’ve achieved it. But if you also wish to impart some useful information, you might consider revising your original plan.


"self-imposed 'cool look at me' style"

-sigh, i suppose that, out of resentment, dull, uncharismatic guys have always been put off by more dashing figures such that they attribute qualities like "off-putting" and "attention hungry" to them, and "unimportance" to what they say, without bothering to listen to it. the word for that is Prejudice; and while it's understandable, that don't make it honorable. ah well, such is my cross to bear :cool:
Martyrs are borne from nobility and also from ignorance. Which one are you?


"We could speculate as to why you choose to write in that style"

-you Could? isn't that in fact what you're Doing, right now? and i know why, too: focusing on my style is such a convenient way to avoid dealing with my content that you Should be thanking me for providing it. instead you just stack more whining on top of your already-high-piled whining. how are we supposed to respect such ungracious evasion?
No, I wasn’t speculating on why you choose to write in that style, so you can’t “know why” therefore your erroneous conclusion is nothing but a baseless attempt to avoid the actual point I was making. Your content is buried so deep within your scattered nearly illegible writing style that it detracts rather than invites readership. Had you bothered to actually listen to and comprehend what I was saying in the first place you would have realized this. Instead, you felt the need to defend yourself no matter what.



"if you have something important to say, presentation matters"

-and to those such as yourself who care about form at the Expense of content, it would seem it's All that matters :p
Not at all. Form does not necessarily rate above content, however if the form is faulty, then the content may be lost. I’m not suggesting that this is fair, but rather this is how the world works. I managed to pluck the Britney Spears reference out of your meandering post above and realized that this is an excellent example where we see how form (quite literally) invites an audience regardless of actual content. Imagine “Oops I Did It Again” being released by a pug-nosed soft-ball playing fatty instead of the beautifully groomed and sexy Spears. Packaging matters and quality packaging can deliver content far more efficiently than can bad. This holds for quality content as well as poor content. So while Vulcantouch may indeed possibly have quality content, his delivery method is faulty, therefore the message (good or bad) is in danger of being lost. So it’s Vultcantouch’s choice as whether he wishes people to read his content and not the fault of the audience. VT can lay the blame upon the audience all we wants by claiming that they are lazy, et al, but in the end, it doesn’t matter what the reasons are…the result is the same: people don’t choose to read VT’s words and the ball is back in VT’s court.


"finding that needle in a haystack (if it exists) on a forum like this doesn't rate as a priority"

-way to cast your tail-tucking in the best possible light :p
Rationalize away the situation all you need to to make yourself feel better, but I’m not “tail tucking” as you call it. I’m just telling it like it is. If you have something important to say, say it in a manner that invites readers in instead of driving them away via a confusing format.




stilla: "finding that needle in a haystack (if it exists) on a forum like this doesn't rate as a priority"
jt: "it's late and I'm tired so I got lost. . . I've foregone discussing the pomposity of versions 1 and 2 of this argument"
jnk: "I really don't care enough to argue further. :zzz: :zzz: :zzz:"
-that's right my wee drowsy sausages, go back to your cozy slumber, big bad vt was just a nightmare, one whose disturbance you may just be able to forget if you try hard enough :p
vt
Really, you haven’t impacted anyone enough to cause nocturnal dreams of any type. It doesn’t take any effort at all, so don’t worry yourself about that.

stillakid
04-28-2005, 12:34 PM
-yeah seeing as how a whole Six Minutes went by between my posting and your reading & responding to it, i'm not surprised!
you, uh, Did read it, right? :rolleyes:
wait a minute! i think jnk and stilla are also about to post insta-replies- boy, what prodigious speed-readers we have here :rolleyes:

Your writing isn't that deep to require hours of introspection. :rolleyes:

The "eyes bleed" comment goes directly to what I just posted about your writing style. It is so detracting that the content becomes secondary to just trying to plow through the alphabet jumble with your name on it. Write in a clear and concise manner and maybe people will take more than 6 minutes to respond to your content.

JON9000
04-28-2005, 10:07 PM
But back to the details. “Commonly accepted rules” means that there are acceptable and long recognized standards regarding how to impart a message in the most efficient and effective manner. Your choice to linger on the word “common” and the connotation that it is nothing but “bland” ignores the actual meaning which I was conveying.

I thought you guys might enjoy this:

A Plan for the Improvement of English
Spelling

by Mark Twain

For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would
be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and
likewise "x" would no longer be part of the
alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be
retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be
dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling,
so that "which" and "one" would take the same
konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y"
replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j"
anomali wonse and for all.

Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue
iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless
double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so
modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and
unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud
fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez
"c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the
maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and
"th" rispektivli.

Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform,
wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe
Ingliy-spiking werld.

This is why we stick to the system... lol

2-1B
04-29-2005, 12:22 AM
"Gentlemen," if I may quote a once-great military leader, "this bickering is pointless."

lol lol lol lol lol

JON9000
04-29-2005, 07:30 AM
To quote a rogue-ish spice runner: "boy, you said it Chewie!" :D

stillakid
04-29-2005, 07:40 AM
"Gentlemen," if I may quote a once-great military leader, "this bickering is pointless."

lol lol lol lol lol

Ah, but in the end, I don't think it is. See, because whether VT meant to or not, I believe that he is helping to illustrate the overall point of this thread question.

While Star Wars (the originals) may seem rather mundane and "common" today, back then in the 70s, they were anything but. Lucas has managed to take old and "common" myths and archetypes and repackage them in a new and innovative way. He "broke the rules" and in this case it worked. But did he break all of the rules? No. Repackaging is just part of the equation because after all is said and done, ANH and the OT as a whole plays out in the traditional and "common" 3 act structure with "common" dialogue and "common" actors and "common" relationships. Despite this overwhelming blandness, as VT would characterize it, audiences the world 'round reacted positively almost without exception. They reacted to the "common" story underlying the new wrapping paper and then bought merchandise because of it.

Segue to today where we have some spiffed up packaging with the Star Wars name on it. Impressive to be sure. But what's in the box this time? Does the underlying story still resonate in the same way? Apparently not, judging by the overwhelming derision that the Prequels have earned, die-hard fanboys notwithstanding. There's something missing of course, but the real question is, was that on purpose? This isn't to suggest that anybody (GL) set out to deliberately make a bad movie, but it instead raises the question of whether or not he spent more time thinking about the ancillary merchandise he might sell and crafting a story of sorts around that concern. Again, this might be considered a new and innovative...dare I say "uncommon"...method of storytelling, but as can be clearly seen, this kind of out of the box thinking doesn't always work out. Even Lucas has altered his own paradigm slightly from TPM to AOTC to ROTS, enlisting the help of actual screenwriters from time to time.

JON9000
04-29-2005, 08:09 AM
I think the era differential does have a great effect on how we appreciate a movie. I watched the Maltese Falcon, and although there about 50 classic lines (you'll take it and like it!) I found the plot to be labyrinthine and boring in places.

When I describe George Lucas as a revolutionary director, I do so under the belief that he came up with a unique system of compensation that minimized studio creative control, he built the premier effects house from the ground up, and he put out a film that showed how expanded the possibilities were for putting what you want on screen. At this point, it seems anything is possible!

Also, I have to admit that people like Peter Jackson, Alan Ladd, and producers on various projects that sought to piggy back on ANH's success making constant statements on how Star Wars "changed everything" carry great weight with me.

I think visually, GL still puts out some pretty amazing looking stuff (although I thnk the all time champ in that department is Apocalypse Now). I can't wait for ROTS, it looks like it is really going to hit the fan!

BTW, I read the "Wired" interview and it looks like GL wants to ditch the blockbuster and make small films. He said he has made so much money he doesn't mind taking some pretty big risks post Star Wars, and he has earned the right to fail. Interestingly, he wants to do science fiction, but more on the scale of the only film he individually named as interesting to him, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.