On "The Road" With Bergman

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On "The Road" With Bergman

"The Road" reminds Bob of some movies you should see.

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I think Mr Pratchett has probably watched The Seventh Seal as well.

I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU...BUT I COULD MURDER A CURRY

Unfortunately, my list of films to see (which includes notable exceptions like The Big Lebowski, The Usual Suspects, The King and I)(Yeah, I know....) along with my list of books (Over 200); is keeping me very busy.

Perhaps if I stopped posting as much?

Nah. Just need to cut down on sleep a little more.

Hmmm, well as much as *I* like to be defended even indirectly, I tend to think that some of your critics are correct. Video games are part of a (sub) culture I like to refer to as "fandom" or "nerd dom" where in general most people who are really 'into' them enought to call a site like this are also into comics, movies, TV shows, anime, cartoons, and pretty much anything else considered geek. The attractions mostly being science fiction, fantasy, and horror in whatever form.

While fandom *CAN* include some highbrow and thought provoking works, there is no denying that all in all it's intentionally very 'base' and lowbrow. Generally speaking this is the audience that is going to eat up the latest "Saw" movie or sci-fi action blockbuster, before showing any appreciation of what is considered "serious" filmmaking *UNLESS* it has fantasy elements. Your choices were relatively good since "The Seventh Seal" *does* indeed include the kinds of elements that can appeal to a hardcore fanboy being a work of dark fantasy, and yes it has had such a profound mark that it's influanced (and been parodied/referanced by) works within the fandom genere as diverse as the "Bill & Ted" duology or the Canadian sci-fi/comedy series "Lexx" (and an analogy to that movie indeed plays a key role in the resolution of the final season).

The thing is though that while many people in fandom are doubtlessly familiar with a few works like the one you mention, at the same time your typical geek is going to have no interest in "serious" filmmaking and arthouse films without those kinds of elements like "The Balloon" (nonstop footage of a balloon floating randomly over scenery meant to elicit viewer reaction) or whatever french film is getting rave reviews for rambling on about emotion and the human experience nowadays.

Heck, I'll even go so far as to say that a good amount of fandom is vehemently anti-arthouse. I think that the fact that guys like Ben "Yahtzee" Crowshaw go off against 'pretencious arty Bullsh@t' once in a while is part of what makes him popular as a reviewer, since a lot of self proclaimed "more serious reviewers" would be ranting and raving about that kind of stuff, and talk about wonderful it is to see games getting more artistic for the sake of being artistic.

I guess what I'm saying is that nerds can be arty, but mostly only when it comes to works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. You'll probably meet many fanboys who have seen and understood works like "Eraserhead", "Hellevator" (or "The Bottled Fools" if you prefer), "Naked Lunch", and others attracted by some of the surrealistic FX is nothing else. Some might even consider those among their favorite movies, BUT chances are if seriously asked what their favorite movie of all time is it will probably be something like "Star Wars", and the above films are probably sharing the favorites list right alongside fare like "Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster", "House Of 1000 Corpses", "Night Of The Demons", or "Demon Wind". :)

I think that one will attract more fanboys to say a showing of Argento's "Demons Trilogy" than say a marathon of all three of the Bergman movies you mentioned. :)

so thats where billy and mandy is from

Therumancer:
BUT chances are if seriously asked what their favorite movie of all time is it will probably be something like "Star Wars", and the above films are probably sharing the favorites list right alongside fare like "Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster", "House Of 1000 Corpses", "Night Of The Demons", or "Demon Wind". :)

image

So sorry about that, we thought we'd locked up the cage for the night.

"Serious" filmmaking is like "serious" literature and "serious" acting. Chockful of people who use fancy words, images and allegories to tell exactly the same stories as 4Chan, Hippies, Yuppies, or Beagle Scouts. Exactly the same as everyone else.

Watching Eraserhead doesn't give you a degree in artsy films. Watching Jennifer's Body or The Hottie or the Nottie and working out what exactly makes them suck so much is far better.

Seriously, therumancer, not cool at all. Even if you happen to enjoy Glitter, that doesn't mean you can't appreciate good movies when you see them. I'd have to be in the right frame of mind to watch The Seventh Seal, and sometimes, yes, I will break out MMPR instead.

If that makes me less of a serious audience, then quite frankly I know which direction my popcorn's gonna get thrown.

Monty Python is all I need.

Just kidding!

Though I could watch those films from now to the end of time and still laugh.

In any case, do more of this. I'm often very interested in why I liked a particular movie and you made an excellent example in your review of 2012. Roland Emmerich knows good background design, which I didn't realize until you pointed it out. I then went back and watched Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow and saw what you meant.

What I am stumblingly trying to say is that understanding why something is good is much more interesting (to me) than just getting a straight recommendation.

On the other hand, TVTropes has made my writing better, so what the hell do I know?

The_root_of_all_evil:

Therumancer:
BUT chances are if seriously asked what their favorite movie of all time is it will probably be something like "Star Wars", and the above films are probably sharing the favorites list right alongside fare like "Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster", "House Of 1000 Corpses", "Night Of The Demons", or "Demon Wind". :)

image

So sorry about that, we thought we'd locked up the cage for the night.

"Serious" filmmaking is like "serious" literature and "serious" acting. Chockful of people who use fancy words, images and allegories to tell exactly the same stories as 4Chan, Hippies, Yuppies, or Beagle Scouts. Exactly the same as everyone else.

Watching Eraserhead doesn't give you a degree in artsy films. Watching Jennifer's Body or The Hottie or the Nottie and working out what exactly makes them suck so much is far better.

Seriously, therumancer, not cool at all. Even if you happen to enjoy Glitter, that doesn't mean you can't appreciate good movies when you see them. I'd have to be in the right frame of mind to watch The Seventh Seal, and sometimes, yes, I will break out MMPR instead.

If that makes me less of a serious audience, then quite frankly I know which direction my popcorn's gonna get thrown.

Perhaps I conveyed it wrong, but I suspect you mis-read what I wrote.

I'm speaking about the fandom community in general, not anyone specific. I'm sure there ARE a few people out there that are film snobs. My point was that the film snob mentality (what we're talking about specifically) generally does not overlap into fandom. Indeed game nerds and "artsy" types exist in fairly differant cosms. Sure some game nerds might have a fairly deep interest in and appreciation for film, just as some artsy types might get pretty serious about an RPG or Guitar Hero once in a while, however that's relatively unusual.

In general on a fandom site, if I walk in and talk about how the last horror movie rocked, or start a discussion about which giant Godzilla-type monster was toughest, chances are I'll find tons of people interested in discussing that. I want to sit down and discuss the feelings we all experienced while watching a movie about a floating baloon that went on for two hours and well... I'm not likely to find many kindred spirits. Some surrealistic movies that involved supernatural-type elements (or debatably so) even if slow paced represent an exception to this general rule. Naked Lunch for example exists on so many wierd levels that it can almost be considered a science fiction movie at times.

Or for example in the fandom community I probably wouldn't have much trouble finding people who are Lexx fans (not a huge fan of Lexx myself, but I've seen it). I don't think many people would however get the ongoing chess game between Prince and Kai and the way it fits into the finale (a deal only being kept at what is arguably the worst possible moment) being a bit of a homage to "The Seventh Seal". Of course in this case it's a game against The Devil, rather than with Death.

Well, it looks like I know what I'm going to be doing next week.

excellent, Just picked up three new additions to my 'classic movies to watch' list.
anyone know if these are available on netflix?

I must also say I appreciate what was done in the 2012 review by breaking down a shot into its most basic structure. I took a Film Arts class where I learned to appreciate the art of film-making more, but it's a lot easier to see such careful composition done in black and white than in color.

Seventh Seal had me intrigued with the opening that we watched in class, so I plan to keep it up.

I very much think you should keep with the "high brow" stuff. I was surprised you reviewed Jennifer's Body and even a few other films. I'd rather you tackle the stuff trying to be artistic, or take something like New Moon where you can break it down so bad there's nothing left from the defense but a series of stuttering "buts".

The thing with the seventh seal is that I alway suspect that the jokes don't carry through in transelations.

All foreigners I speak to about it doesn't seem to recognice it as a farce at all.

Well I'd probably fall into some category of uneducated movie fan,though since discovering Moviebob's reviews I've started a list of movie to keep an eye out for.I cant believe I never heard of Boondock Saints before.
I guess it comes down to,if you trust the reviewers taste your more likley to want to check out the references in each review.
I find Moviebobs reviews engaging and enjoyable and now rate them as highly as Yatzee's reviews of games.
So anyway keep up the good work Moviebob.If sharing your enthusiasm for movie's on a gaming website is cause for some other reviewers eyebrows to raise they can go fuck themselves.

I agree that explaining why something is bad/good is going to be a far more fruitful exercise than just saying "this is bad." With why's or why not's, at least one can take the arguments attached to the reasons and try to counter them with another argument. Without reason, there is no argument and it all dissolves into a piece of crap "argument" that's really more of a he/she said he/she said. I don't care who you are, your opinion will never be as important as an individual's opinion is to that individual. I hope that last sentence made sense.

Anyhow, to re-catch the curve from which I briefly struck out tangentially, I believe that the above "reason vs. opinion" argument is exactly why numbers do not and will not ever be a valid form of movie review. Or anything review. We all know that numbers will essentially boil down to a binary sooner or later with 0 being "didn't like it" and 1 being "liked it." Math may be a language, but it just can't communicate complex ideas like why a movie/game/etc. was good.

Yes, there are exceptions, but now is not the time to parse through all of them.

Keep writing interesting articles, and I will keep reading them.

As a young and unexperienced yet dedicated movie-goer (My vote history on IMDB just hit 1600 titles and I've seen at least another 400 more), I've heard the name Bergman tossed around several times throughout my life. I'm glad that someone finally told me straight up to go see his movies and I will for sure follow that advice. Besides, I'm getting tired of my current movie fad of watching movies made over a century ago anyway (God bless YouTube). There's a very noticeable lack of movies on my vote history made before 1970 so I really need to get schooled on the cinema greats of the 40's, 50's, and 60's so once again I thank you for pointing me in what I assume is the right direction.

stonethered:
anyone know if these are available on netflix?

Short answer: Yes, and "Seal" and "Persona" are well-known enough that you might actually find a copy or two in better rental outlet's "Foriegn" section (especially places that still kept their old VHS stock onhand.

If/when I do any of these "stuff you should see" bits, one of my cardinal rules is to try and keep it to stuff people can access without too much effort or expense. "Netflix" is a godsend in this regard.

You're telling me that a daytime show on Cartoon Network has influences from Bergman?
DAMN!
Thanks, Bob. I might just look for these movies now.

That's it! Now we need a Movie Bucketlist!

An excellent article that complements the video as well.

I had watched "The Seventh Seal" a while back, and it was awesome, and I have "Hour of the Wolf" on my (increasing) Netflix queue. From the sound of it, "Persona" is right up my alley (what with the film-reel splicing and having it effect the storyline in surreal ways, which reminds me a bit of elements from the book House of Leaves), so it's off to add that to my list.

RTR:
You're telling me that a daytime show on Cartoon Network has influences from Bergman?
DAMN!
Thanks, Bob. I might just look for these movies now.

You've never seen "The Collect Call of Cthulu" on The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy or "The Beat-Alls" on The Powerpuff Girls? Cartoon makers are almost as much film geeks as we are. Which reminds me -

Therumancer:
I want to sit down and discuss the feelings we all experienced while watching a movie about a floating baloon that went on for two hours and well... I'm not likely to find many kindred spirits.

I still think you're being unfair by labelling people that way; and I fail to see how liking one movie over another makes you a better person just because you "get" it. That, to me, stinks of snobbery and is sort of like asking James Patterson or Terry Pratchett when they're going to write any "real" books.

Saw The Seventh Seal a few years ago thanks to the urgings of my film-buff buddy. Persona sounds like it'd be good too; I'll try to check it out soon.

The_root_of_all_evil:

RTR:
You're telling me that a daytime show on Cartoon Network has influences from Bergman?
DAMN!
Thanks, Bob. I might just look for these movies now.

You've never seen "The Collect Call of Cthulu" on The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy or "The Beat-Alls" on The Powerpuff Girls? Cartoon makers are almost as much film geeks as we are. Which reminds me -

Therumancer:
I want to sit down and discuss the feelings we all experienced while watching a movie about a floating baloon that went on for two hours and well... I'm not likely to find many kindred spirits.

I still think you're being unfair by labelling people that way; and I fail to see how liking one movie over another makes you a better person just because you "get" it. That, to me, stinks of snobbery and is sort of like asking James Patterson or Terry Pratchett when they're going to write any "real" books.

I think your missing the point. I'm actually saying the fandom community is the exact opposite of pretentious film snobs. You aren't going to find many people like that here.

A very simplistic synopsis of Moviebob's comments is that while talking to other movie reviewers, he felt that they belittled him for doing reviews on a video game site where people were not pretentious film snobs likely to appreciate "real cinema". He felt the need to sort of defend his audience as being more advanced that they thought. My basic comment was that actually I don't think we are. The number of fanboys your going to find with that level of cinematic interest is going to be minimal.

I was saying that the movies Moviebob picked to try and "defend us" were things like "The Seventh Seal". My point is more or less that it's one thing when you look at what are arguably classics of horror, science fiction, or fantasy. That's a rather specialized genere that fandom is interested in.

To be a film snob of the type that would be making these criticisms, you have to look at the general pool of what are considered to be "real" movies. A "real audience" to a serious film reviewer would be the kind of person to appreciate a movie with nothing but artistic appeal, and able to understand messages conveyed with nothing but cinemetography. The kind of people that would sit down and watch a movie about a floating baloon (the title eludes me, but I am NOT talking about Up, but rather a movie literally about a floating baloon I was reading about a while back because it got attention from the arthouse theater). In general I do not think you would find many people in this paticular community who are going to appreciate "serious" arthouse movies for the sake of them being arthouse movies. Such movies only garnering recognition in fandom when they cater to specific generes.

I am also trying to say that I don't feel that fandom not being movie snobs is a bad thing. Actually I find arthouse Cinema to be mostly lulzworthy, along with most other forms of "real" or "high" art. This comes from someone who has actually learned a bit about it and tried to cultivate an appreciation for it at one point, but eventually came to conclusions like anything including the word "interpetive" is basically B@llshit (this having nothing to do with movies specifically).

Understand, I'm more or less the anti-artsnob. On some levels I actually think less of Moviebob that he would care what artsnobs (well filmsnobs) think of his audience.

Therumancer:
In general I do not think you would find many people in this paticular community who are going to appreciate "serious" arthouse movies for the sake of them being arthouse movies. Such movies only garnering recognition in fandom when they cater to specific generes.

See, friend, this is where you and I would differ. You seeme to be assuming that "fandom" won't expand it's horizons because it either doesn't want to or is inherently incapable of such. I'm not going to say you're wrong, I'm just inclined to think that maybe it's a matter of no one bothering to introduce one to the other.

This sort of thing cuts both ways: There was a time, for example, when Woody Allen movies would open like "normal" mainstream comedies. Eventually, it became "recieved knowledge for a lot of people that Woody was "too arty" (incidentally, it was in his Bergman-imitation phase) so they stopped paying attention - assuming "I won't get those things." In turn, the people SELLING Woody's movies decided to agree: "THOSE people won't get these," and they turned to releasing them more and more on the arthouse circuit. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But then, recently, he makes "Match Point" and "Vicki/Christina/Barcelona" and the folks marketing them have a novel idea: Sell it to "THOSE people." Sell the murder-mystery angle ("Point") sell the sex, sunshine and ScarJo making out with Penelope Cruz ("Barcelona") sell Scarlett Johansson's sex appeal (both of them) and see what happens. Result: Two of his biggest recent hits.

On some levels I actually think less of Moviebob that he would care what artsnobs (well filmsnobs) think of his audience.

Understand: It's not so much that I "care" what people think so much as the idea behind their thinking interested me as to whether or not it had any merit - obviously, after all, there isn't much immediately-visible intersection between the arthouse and arcade. But if no one from one is even TRYING to reach out to the other, how can it be known?

Most of the things people come to like in their lives aren't things they happen upon, they usually get INTRODUCED somehow: Oprah puts "War & Peace" on her book club list, and suddenly "Sex & The City's" fanbase is reading TOLSTOY... some of them must have subsequently picked up "Anna Kaerina" afterwards, perhaps? The late Johnny Cash - at that point regarded as a "wait.. he's still ALIVE!?" icon - covers a Nine Inch Nails song and gets some alt-rock radio play that strikes a chord with a younger audience that hadn't really heard of him, leading to his first high-charting album in DECADES... think maybe that helped push "Walk the Line" into the boxoffice, or that he'd be in a "Guitar Hero" game without it?

Who's to say that the guy who's favorite hobby is fragging people on XBLA is automatically incapable of enjoying, say, a Kurosawa movie? Or a Fellini, even? Has anyone asked him? Mentioned one of the movies he might like? Perhaps took note of that copy of KOTOR on his gameshelf and asked him if he knew that the first "Star Wars" was initially inspired by a Kurosawa samurai flick called "Hidden Fortress?" How do THEY know what he'll think of it? How does he - "Green Eggs & Ham," remember?

Look, I'm a realist - I don't expect that because I put up this column suddenly "Ingmar Bergman Fan" and "Gamer" become synonymous... but maybe one or two or even a handful of the folks who read it check them out, and maybe a few of them enjoy it or have some kind of strong, thoughtful reaction to it. That, I'd consider a "win" and a reason to keep doing it.

^terrified by the elaborate debate-or-something going on above^

These are going on my list.

Honest-to-God you are my favourite movie reviewer.

Not that you have all that much competition.

Wow, I've actually seen all of your Bergman recommendations. I'm almost through with all of my must see Bergman movies, but I've still yet to find Cries and Whispers anywhere convenient. Fannie and Alexander and Wild Strawberries rocked my world.

Anyway, you should definitely check out Micheal Haneke's (of Cache fame) apocalyptic no-plot Time of the Wolf. I haven't seen The Road (and probably won't for a long time), but this French film from 2003 (not to be confused with Hour of the Wolf), does EXACTLY what you say The Road can't. There's an unnamed world-ending crisis and there's a single-parent family in the middle of it. The whole thing takes place at while waiting at a train station and says so much about human nature in conditions of filth and despair. It's really great compelling stuff, even if nothing particularly exciting occurs. There are no good guys or bad guys, just tragedy and hopelessness.

Gonna have to add that Kurosawa film (Hidden Fortress) to my list if it was the inspiration for Star Wars! XD

FROGGEman2:
^terrified by the elaborate debate-or-something going on above^

Aw, don't be. We just have three people who have differing views of a subject that are trying to put it across in terms of situations they have come across.

In fact, that's what we're trying to avoid. Arthouse doesn't need to be frightening in the same way that enjoying Half Life doesn't require a full knowledge of PC workings and a couple of thousand pounds on a brand new ninja machine.

We're just debating using loquaciousness rather than meme-talk. Bergman can still be "Epic Win" as well as "A startling juxtaposition of the struggle to retain one's humanity." :)

MovieBob:

Therumancer:
In general I do not think you would find many people in this paticular community who are going to appreciate "serious" arthouse movies for the sake of them being arthouse movies. Such movies only garnering recognition in fandom when they cater to specific generes.

See, friend, this is where you and I would differ. You seeme to be assuming that "fandom" won't expand it's horizons because it either doesn't want to or is inherently incapable of such. I'm not going to say you're wrong, I'm just inclined to think that maybe it's a matter of no one bothering to introduce one to the other.

This sort of thing cuts both ways: There was a time, for example, when Woody Allen movies would open like "normal" mainstream comedies. Eventually, it became "recieved knowledge for a lot of people that Woody was "too arty" (incidentally, it was in his Bergman-imitation phase) so they stopped paying attention - assuming "I won't get those things." In turn, the people SELLING Woody's movies decided to agree: "THOSE people won't get these," and they turned to releasing them more and more on the arthouse circuit. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But then, recently, he makes "Match Point" and "Vicki/Christina/Barcelona" and the folks marketing them have a novel idea: Sell it to "THOSE people." Sell the murder-mystery angle ("Point") sell the sex, sunshine and ScarJo making out with Penelope Cruz ("Barcelona") sell Scarlett Johansson's sex appeal (both of them) and see what happens. Result: Two of his biggest recent hits.

On some levels I actually think less of Moviebob that he would care what artsnobs (well filmsnobs) think of his audience.

Understand: It's not so much that I "care" what people think so much as the idea behind their thinking interested me as to whether or not it had any merit - obviously, after all, there isn't much immediately-visible intersection between the arthouse and arcade. But if no one from one is even TRYING to reach out to the other, how can it be known?

Most of the things people come to like in their lives aren't things they happen upon, they usually get INTRODUCED somehow: Oprah puts "War & Peace" on her book club list, and suddenly "Sex & The City's" fanbase is reading TOLSTOY... some of them must have subsequently picked up "Anna Kaerina" afterwards, perhaps? The late Johnny Cash - at that point regarded as a "wait.. he's still ALIVE!?" icon - covers a Nine Inch Nails song and gets some alt-rock radio play that strikes a chord with a younger audience that hadn't really heard of him, leading to his first high-charting album in DECADES... think maybe that helped push "Walk the Line" into the boxoffice, or that he'd be in a "Guitar Hero" game without it?

Who's to say that the guy who's favorite hobby is fragging people on XBLA is automatically incapable of enjoying, say, a Kurosawa movie? Or a Fellini, even? Has anyone asked him? Mentioned one of the movies he might like? Perhaps took note of that copy of KOTOR on his gameshelf and asked him if he knew that the first "Star Wars" was initially inspired by a Kurosawa samurai flick called "Hidden Fortress?" How do THEY know what he'll think of it? How does he - "Green Eggs & Ham," remember?

Look, I'm a realist - I don't expect that because I put up this column suddenly "Ingmar Bergman Fan" and "Gamer" become synonymous... but maybe one or two or even a handful of the folks who read it check them out, and maybe a few of them enjoy it or have some kind of strong, thoughtful reaction to it. That, I'd consider a "win" and a reason to keep doing it.

I think we might be getting our wires crossed here (which is doubtlessly my fault).

I took your statements as being more along the lines of the fandom/video gaming culture overlapping with "serious" movie appreciation as a subculture. Not simply that there are movies that can be appreciated by film snobs which fanboys are also going to like.

You mention Kurosawa for example, while well thought of by many serious film critics, the guy is basically the master of overblown Samurai Bullsh@t. You have swordfights, and people getting their heads chopped off. Anyone who plays a Ninja/Samurai/Dynasty Warriors/Fighting type game is going be able to appreciate this to some extent. While more dramatic than say your typical summmer guns-a-blazing blockbuster, his movies still feature decent amounts of action and pretty much fall into the catagory your critic friends were saying appeals to this audience anyway despite these movies also having garnered serious appreciation.

Stuff like Samurai dramas, surreal horror films, and the line represent an exception by being part of the generes that fanboys already follow to begin with. Also I've known people who consider themselves real film buffs who will argue that the same aspects that will get a fanboy to watch and appreciate a Kurosawa movie, or something like "Naked Lunch" are effectively part of the marks against the movie that they respect it in spite of.

In general a real example of "serious" film making, would be about an unremarkable guy and his unremarkable, unattractive, and unlikable "friends" who spend a summer working in a garden growing tomatos where nothing much happens, but the protaganist comes to some minor revelation about himself.... or something where say some British guy pompously contemplates his naval for 150 minutes of screen time before somehow coming to the revelation that we are all but specs in the mote of god's eye and totally irrelevent. That's the kind of stuff you sort of have to appreciate on whatever merits it posseses to be considered a serious film buff by my experience. You just aren't going to find many of them in the gaming community.

When it comes to Woody Allen movies, well let's just say my opinions are extremely mixed. I think that one of the big reasons why he underwent a "too arty" period was more or less to save himself because despite what people say now I think he wasn't doing as well or gaining quite the mainstream appeal many would claim. What's more Woody Allen seems to sort of see himself as the "voice of the everyman" and while embraced by arty types, I think he gets that by trying NOT to be arty.

Speaking for myself my opinion of Woody Allen is that I watched "Life According to Garp" and as a Fanboy with social problems I came away feeling more than a bit offended... and really I feel I understood that movie perfectly (and few have disputed it). Few directors have ever gotten me to wish I could punch them in the head about 50 times before.

When it comes to like Oprah, well I chalk that up to a cult of personality. Her getting her fanbase to read Tolstoy is like when Madonna was getting people to read "memoirs of a Geisha". The books mostly becoming a fashion accessory, with the fanbase reading just enough cliff notes to fake being able to have read it while articulating how they agree with their celebrity icon. I say this because I've made an attempt to read Russian Literature and i have a fairly good tolernace for "pointless and boring" when I want to do something. Russian Literature was NOT intended to be read for pleasure, I can tell you that, and I have not been able to get through any of the books I tried. Though I can pretty much summarize all of the books together for you: "Life sucks, deal with it". Somewhere out there might have been a member of the so called "Sex and The City" crowd who read some of those books and enjoyed them. I'll be honest in saying that they are probably actually deeply masochistic and probably would have gotten more enjoyment by being hunt from the celling in a gimp suit and beaten like a Pinata.

Ahh well this is too long and what I was trying to say has probably been lost by tangents.

I guess if your trying to say that fanboys CAN appreciate films that have also met with arthouse appeal, I agree when they are within the right genere.

If you mean appreciating artistic films in general... well noone can speak for including ALL of any group, but in general I very much doubt you will ever find many fanboys who are going to appreciate movies that exist purely as a vehicle of contempation. You know stuff where some dude makes a movie where nothing happens to catch the essence of nothing happens and then artsy types will talk about how it perfectly captured the intended essence of boredom and tedium... the director must be a genius.

AvsJoe:
Besides, I'm getting tired of my current movie fad of watching movies made over a century ago anyway (God bless YouTube).

Are there many movies made before 1909 on youtube?

Reccomendations?

Mullahgrrl:
Are there many movies made before 1909 on youtube?

Reccomendations?

Here's a couple to get you started. You can link to many more.

The Mystic Swing (1900) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4Ejh8o-WKw
Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZV-t3KzTpw
Santa Claus (1898) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc3ei1tseeM

You might also want to check out the original Frankenstein (1910) movie and 1910's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

I highly, highly recommend that you make this your recurring article topic; recommened veiwing of references made in the most recent review, with interviews and the like taking a backseat.

Actually, I have seen all that. I'm not embarrased to admit that I love cartoons. I could go on about how The Powerpuff Girls is girly as all hell but was also a parody of all things superheroes and several branches of pop culture.

I've got this crazy idea that instead of looking down on someone for not getting some obscure movie reference or technical criticism, maybe it's better to use it as an opportunity to introduce them to it.

That's a really nice approach :D Why can't more people on the Internet do that?

I'm familiar with Bergman, but only because I'm Swedish. I haven't actually seen any of his movies. My "I should probably watch that sometime" list just keeps growing longer :-/

Therumancer:

MovieBob:

Therumancer:
In general I do not think you would find many people in this paticular community who are going to appreciate "serious" arthouse movies for the sake of them being arthouse movies. Such movies only garnering recognition in fandom when they cater to specific generes.

See, friend, this is where you and I would differ. You seeme to be assuming that "fandom" won't expand it's horizons because it either doesn't want to or is inherently incapable of such. I'm not going to say you're wrong, I'm just inclined to think that maybe it's a matter of no one bothering to introduce one to the other.

This sort of thing cuts both ways: There was a time, for example, when Woody Allen movies would open like "normal" mainstream comedies. Eventually, it became "recieved knowledge for a lot of people that Woody was "too arty" (incidentally, it was in his Bergman-imitation phase) so they stopped paying attention - assuming "I won't get those things." In turn, the people SELLING Woody's movies decided to agree: "THOSE people won't get these," and they turned to releasing them more and more on the arthouse circuit. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But then, recently, he makes "Match Point" and "Vicki/Christina/Barcelona" and the folks marketing them have a novel idea: Sell it to "THOSE people." Sell the murder-mystery angle ("Point") sell the sex, sunshine and ScarJo making out with Penelope Cruz ("Barcelona") sell Scarlett Johansson's sex appeal (both of them) and see what happens. Result: Two of his biggest recent hits.

On some levels I actually think less of Moviebob that he would care what artsnobs (well filmsnobs) think of his audience.

Understand: It's not so much that I "care" what people think so much as the idea behind their thinking interested me as to whether or not it had any merit - obviously, after all, there isn't much immediately-visible intersection between the arthouse and arcade. But if no one from one is even TRYING to reach out to the other, how can it be known?

Most of the things people come to like in their lives aren't things they happen upon, they usually get INTRODUCED somehow: Oprah puts "War & Peace" on her book club list, and suddenly "Sex & The City's" fanbase is reading TOLSTOY... some of them must have subsequently picked up "Anna Kaerina" afterwards, perhaps? The late Johnny Cash - at that point regarded as a "wait.. he's still ALIVE!?" icon - covers a Nine Inch Nails song and gets some alt-rock radio play that strikes a chord with a younger audience that hadn't really heard of him, leading to his first high-charting album in DECADES... think maybe that helped push "Walk the Line" into the boxoffice, or that he'd be in a "Guitar Hero" game without it?

Who's to say that the guy who's favorite hobby is fragging people on XBLA is automatically incapable of enjoying, say, a Kurosawa movie? Or a Fellini, even? Has anyone asked him? Mentioned one of the movies he might like? Perhaps took note of that copy of KOTOR on his gameshelf and asked him if he knew that the first "Star Wars" was initially inspired by a Kurosawa samurai flick called "Hidden Fortress?" How do THEY know what he'll think of it? How does he - "Green Eggs & Ham," remember?

Look, I'm a realist - I don't expect that because I put up this column suddenly "Ingmar Bergman Fan" and "Gamer" become synonymous... but maybe one or two or even a handful of the folks who read it check them out, and maybe a few of them enjoy it or have some kind of strong, thoughtful reaction to it. That, I'd consider a "win" and a reason to keep doing it.

I think we might be getting our wires crossed here (which is doubtlessly my fault).

I took your statements as being more along the lines of the fandom/video gaming culture overlapping with "serious" movie appreciation as a subculture. Not simply that there are movies that can be appreciated by film snobs which fanboys are also going to like.

You mention Kurosawa for example, while well thought of by many serious film critics, the guy is basically the master of overblown Samurai Bullsh@t. You have swordfights, and people getting their heads chopped off. Anyone who plays a Ninja/Samurai/Dynasty Warriors/Fighting type game is going be able to appreciate this to some extent. While more dramatic than say your typical summmer guns-a-blazing blockbuster, his movies still feature decent amounts of action and pretty much fall into the catagory your critic friends were saying appeals to this audience anyway despite these movies also having garnered serious appreciation.

Stuff like Samurai dramas, surreal horror films, and the line represent an exception by being part of the generes that fanboys already follow to begin with. Also I've known people who consider themselves real film buffs who will argue that the same aspects that will get a fanboy to watch and appreciate a Kurosawa movie, or something like "Naked Lunch" are effectively part of the marks against the movie that they respect it in spite of.

In general a real example of "serious" film making, would be about an unremarkable guy and his unremarkable, unattractive, and unlikable "friends" who spend a summer working in a garden growing tomatos where nothing much happens, but the protaganist comes to some minor revelation about himself.... or something where say some British guy pompously contemplates his naval for 150 minutes of screen time before somehow coming to the revelation that we are all but specs in the mote of god's eye and totally irrelevent. That's the kind of stuff you sort of have to appreciate on whatever merits it posseses to be considered a serious film buff by my experience. You just aren't going to find many of them in the gaming community.

When it comes to Woody Allen movies, well let's just say my opinions are extremely mixed. I think that one of the big reasons why he underwent a "too arty" period was more or less to save himself because despite what people say now I think he wasn't doing as well or gaining quite the mainstream appeal many would claim. What's more Woody Allen seems to sort of see himself as the "voice of the everyman" and while embraced by arty types, I think he gets that by trying NOT to be arty.

Speaking for myself my opinion of Woody Allen is that I watched "Life According to Garp" and as a Fanboy with social problems I came away feeling more than a bit offended... and really I feel I understood that movie perfectly (and few have disputed it). Few directors have ever gotten me to wish I could punch them in the head about 50 times before.

When it comes to like Oprah, well I chalk that up to a cult of personality. Her getting her fanbase to read Tolstoy is like when Madonna was getting people to read "memoirs of a Geisha". The books mostly becoming a fashion accessory, with the fanbase reading just enough cliff notes to fake being able to have read it while articulating how they agree with their celebrity icon. I say this because I've made an attempt to read Russian Literature and i have a fairly good tolernace for "pointless and boring" when I want to do something. Russian Literature was NOT intended to be read for pleasure, I can tell you that, and I have not been able to get through any of the books I tried. Though I can pretty much summarize all of the books together for you: "Life sucks, deal with it". Somewhere out there might have been a member of the so called "Sex and The City" crowd who read some of those books and enjoyed them. I'll be honest in saying that they are probably actually deeply masochistic and probably would have gotten more enjoyment by being hunt from the celling in a gimp suit and beaten like a Pinata.

Ahh well this is too long and what I was trying to say has probably been lost by tangents.

I guess if your trying to say that fanboys CAN appreciate films that have also met with arthouse appeal, I agree when they are within the right genere.

If you mean appreciating artistic films in general... well noone can speak for including ALL of any group, but in general I very much doubt you will ever find many fanboys who are going to appreciate movies that exist purely as a vehicle of contempation. You know stuff where some dude makes a movie where nothing happens to catch the essence of nothing happens and then artsy types will talk about how it perfectly captured the intended essence of boredom and tedium... the director must be a genius.

The only thing that comes to mind after reading this is "Straw Man Argument." Has there ever been an actual art snob that is like what you've described? Maybe, but they don't rear their heads very often, and usually get laughed at by other snobs for being pretentious. And as for arthouse movies only appealing to fanboys when in the right genre: Joel and Ethan Coen. Geeks are more likely than not to love these guys, and they've never, ever made a movie that was sci-fi, horror, or fantasy (with the arguable exception of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"), and certainly nothing involving samurai or ninja. Meanwhile, art/film snobs are almost required to love their films because they touch on themes of violence and greed, often in absurd ways. And certainly Darren Aronofsky has followers that are complete fanboys (I've met plenty of them), and his two biggest movies, "Requiem for a Dream" and "The Wrestler", are arthouse dramas (though arthouse=/=boring, literalist navel-gazing, that's the straw-man part). Maybe you just haven't met the right kind of people who would enjoy these sorts of things? Hell, based on your comments and your willingness to caricature anything "arty," I'd say you wouldn't want to.

I'm just going to sidestep this overly long argument, and simply say that I like this direction you're going with your column MovieBob. While I do know about Ingmar Bergman and "The Seventh Seal"(mainly due to the references you've named among others), I can guarantee you that there are many more that you can tell me about that I've never even heard about before. I look forward to watching these movies and learning about many others from reading future articles.

I saw this film and the only thing i can say about it is tht it is bad

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