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Old June 12 2013, 12:57 AM   #248
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Location: La Belle Province or The Green Mountain State (depends on the day of the week)
Re: Why did they bother...

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
Ovation wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post

This ties in with my own (completely unscientific) pet theory that it's mostly TNG-era fans that have issues with the new movies, because they're not "intellectual" or "utopian" enough--as opposed to us old-school TOS fans who grew up on a STAR TREK that was both "cerebral" and good, old-fashioned space-opera adventure.
A theory I share. It would seem the only venue that would satisfy them would be a TV series that would have room and time to explore some of the themes that are necessarily given short shrift in a 2 hour movie once every 3-4 years.
This strikes me as generalizing the critics of the movies in order to delegitimize those critics. I think you'll find enough exceptions and qualification to these generalizations to make them pointless.
I don't think so. Of course, every generalization is subject to exceptions (something I warn my students of rather frequently) but generalizations can still be made with sufficient data points AND they can help discern broad patterns. As this is not a dedicated research site for statistical analyses of audience preferences broken down by demographics and viewing experiences, this theory is (as already conceded) more of an interesting hypothesis (if we must, in a casual setting, be so precise). And like all hypotheses, it could be wrong--even spectacularly so. But I'd set a small wager on the hypothesis being correct to sufficient degree as to be a viable generalization (subject to the usual caveats of such things).

YARN wrote: View Post
Ovation wrote: View Post
M'Sharak wrote: View Post
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.
That's fair. The transition point from too much to too little is highly dependent on the film type, though. A Terrence Malick film frequently offers what most movie viewers would consider far too little exposition--but if you are a fan of Malick's work (as I am), you are willing to live with that as, by now, such an absence of exposition is an expected element of the viewing experience. On the other hand, I fully expect a Tarantino movie to have as much dialogue as twice the collected works of Malick and would be disappointed otherwise.

First and foremost, I want movies to entertain me (there are a few exceptions, some of which I make use of in my work, but they are not numerous). If they make me think (in a good way), so much the better--but it's not a requirement. I also don't require that my entertainment necessarily conform to some checklist of items by the committee for the promotion of the "way things out to be". Again, if it's there (and makes sense within the context of the film) so much the better. And most important to me, about any work of art (commercial or otherwise)--I want something that first satisfies the artist's desires. I don't want something made "for the fans", unless that is what the artist wants to do. All art should be the product of what the artist wants. I have the right to like it or not, but I have no right to expect satisfaction on my terms. As I have a wide palette of what I find entertaining, I'm rarely frustrated by any art (if I don't like it, I leave, stop watching, listening, etc.). And even when I am frustrated, I don't usually spend much time telling others they should be too (well, except with The Blair Witch Project--that is something no sentient being should suffer ).
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