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Old June 11 2013, 10:10 PM   #245
Fleet Captain
Re: Why did they bother...

Ovation wrote: View Post
M'Sharak wrote: View Post
Belz... wrote: View Post

That... that's the oddest comment I've seen posted here...
To be fair, I have seen that opinion expressed here before: that it's the filmmaker's job to fill in all of the gaps and answer all of the questions, leaving nothing whatsoever to the imagination of the viewer.

This notion seems to be a relatively recent development, however, and certainly doesn't reflect the way most filmmakers in the history of the art have approached their craft. An engaged imagination has typically been a huge and important part of the experience of watching a movie.
Very reminiscent of the attitude I see among my students. Once I could simply assign a topic for research and expect the students to go the library and do the legwork--with no grumbling, save from a small minority (there's always at least one lazy student in a class). Now, though, if students don't get all the assigned readings pre-packaged as pdf files taken from the relevant journals and a detailed list of suggested sources to consult (in other words--all the legwork done for them), I get a lot of complaints (including, on occasion, some fairly nasty comments about how unfair I am because I'm not accounting for how "busy" their lives are). While I've not entirely given in, I do provide a list of suggested sources (with the caveat that they need to find x number of others on their own--x depends on the scope of the assignment--cuts down on a lot of gibberish, in the end).

It would seem that if it is not spelled out for a viewer, it's a "plot hole" or "doesn't make sense". Sometimes that's the case but often, a few seconds of thought can "fill in the blanks" quite nicely and is actually, to me, a rewarding part of the movie watching experience.
I think that this is a fair point. I would rather put things together for myself rather than have the film over-explain everything. When the plot stops so that the exposition character can tell everyone what's going on it's patronizing and ejects me from the reality of the film.

I think you would agree, however, that if there is such a thing as over-explaining that there is also such a thing as under-explaining. What either amounts to is a debatable question, but I think we can agree, in principle, that a film should not ask the viewer to have to imagine too much.
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