Author Topic: Wonder Woman  (Read 421 times)

Offline kimmy

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Re: Wonder Woman
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2017, 11:17:37 pm »
It's a new phenomenon that may have started with that series.  Mel probably had nothing to do with it.

I doubt it started with Lethal Weapon.  I'm sure there are interracial buddy-flicks that predate Lethal Weapon.  I'm sure there's lots of other movies with social messages-- I mentioned Godzilla, for example-- that predate Lethal Weapon.  I'm sure there's lots of movies featuring black characters poking holes in racial stereotypes that predate Lethal Weapon.  I think that Trading Places, with Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd, probably did the same sort of thing long before Lethal Weapon did.

What is 'quality'.  Read 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance'.  You can't define it.

"I can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it."

I made an attempt earlier.  If something gives me a genuine experience-- be it a genuine belly-laugh, or the visceral thrill of Fury Road, or the powerful range of emotion that Schindler's List provided, that's quality.

If something leaves me feeling like Philadelphia... "well, that was nice, I guess, and I agree with their message, but it didn't really grip me..." then that's not quite in the same league.

And if somebody sets out with the noblest intentions and the most laudable message and the most important subject, but just doesn't hit the target, then that's not quality...  no matter how much one might wish they'd succeeded in their goals.

For you, perhaps Jurassic Park was a silly fantasy story with an outlandish premise.  For me, when they get to the part where they unveiled the dinosaurs, that moment was etched on my brain forever.  Seeing that, in the theatre as a little kimlet, that was the most wondrous thing I had ever seen and I cried tears of joy it was so beautiful.  For me, that moment was more valuable than any socially-conscious message a director might put in a movie.

Why I think Amour was valuable was that it was engaging and challenging and told a real human story.  I remember more scenes from that film than from all the 2 (3?) Lethal Weapons films.  I believe that societies seek out art as a salve.  There's no knowing why they choose escapism vs. real art.  'Farenheit 911' was the #1 film in the box office a few years back, and the next week the #1 film was 'Kangaroo Jack'.  The poor kids in my town all wore heavy metal t-shirts, and 20 years later it was Tupac.  The superhero film is a fad that will play out, and is thriving because of what I call infrastructure factors (cultural mining, broad appeal, revenue potential) but will eventually die out. 

I think there were 4 or more of the Lethal Weapon films.

A "real human story"...   does a "real human story" have to be told in an ordinary, real-world setting?

At some point, also, the current cultural conflict will manifest itself somehow in the arts.

Which cultural conflict?

Some people believe that every cultural conflict manifests itself in the arts. Some people have proposed that the post-WWII environment in the US-- McCarthyism, fear of communists in every closet, and that sort of thing-- found an outlet in alien invasion, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, War of the Worlds, etc type entertainment.  Similar analysis has been done regarding the effect on the arrival of AIDS on US cinema in the 1980s, and I'm sure there are numerous connections that could be drawn.   Popular culture says something about the audience that made it popular... and that goes not just for what you term "real art", but equally for what is transitory.

 -k