Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

So I'm a feminist, left-wing, pro-BLM, pro-LGBT, etc. Proud SJW, is what I'm saying. And I love film criticism that thoughtfully examines how representation falls short. But God, I fucking hate "woke" criticism and internet culture when it becomes a brainless exercise in generating clicks through manufactured outrage.

For instance, this English professor recently attempted to make the case that Lady Bird plagiarizes an earlier movie about a Latina woman called Real Women Have Curves (article here). And all she does is regurgitate tropes common to both regardless of context and say this proves that Lady Bird is a white woman ripping off a piece of Latinx art, claiming that anyone who says otherwise is hysterically defending their white idol. This woman very charitably went through and gave a point-by-point rebuttal, thank God.

This shit is ludicrous, and you see it more and more often. Some of the examples of "plaigarism" cited by the initial article are:

- Both movies feature a young woman who wants to go to college on the East Coast in contrast to her mother's wishes
- Both movies take place in a distinctive city
- Both movies feature a boy with whom the protagonist has a sexual relationship

Examples that are more specific than that are either misread or outright incorrectly remembered by the author. It's this horrendously sloppy piece of criticism that mistakes tropes for theft, and anyone who criticizes it can be dismissed by the author as trying to prop up their white hero.

I just worry that we're heading into an era of online discourse where it doesn't matter how closely one actually reads a film or how well they actually understand the nature of what they're talking about—all that matters is who has the most woke take, and anyone who attacks that take is guilty of bigotry. That makes me sound like a paranoid white guy, and I'm really not—so many of the people who are hysterical about "SJWs ruining my media!" are just infantile children, and they've definitely had a more damaging impact on discourse to this point. But I just can't express how frustrating it is when someone doesn't do their homework but is able to rebuff all critiques as stemming from hidden bigotry rather than addressing the possibility that maybe they're just not that good at this watching-movies thing.

The same thing happened with Noah Berlatsky recently—he published a hastily-written piece, in Playboy, of all places, accusing Phantom Thread of misogyny and Paul Thomas Anderson in general of being obsessed with worshiping white male geniuses. When a bunch of women pointed out he'd completely misread the movie's portrayal of a toxic relationship and that they loved it, he had the gall to dismiss them as being apologists for the patriarchy. A white guy pulling this sort of shit when women are the ones arguing with him is just indescribably infuriating.

Failure to recognize that the presence of tropes does not constitute banality/theft is bad enough in and of itself, as are flagrant misreadings of works of art. Couple that with this attitude that if what I'm saying is "woke" enough it's beyond criticism, you have a recipe for shrill, sloppy film analysis that is useful to precisely no one.

(Just to make up for the whiney harshness of this post, here are some links to a few of my favorite genuinely fantastic feminist online critiques of movies.)

Last edited by DarthPraxus (2018-01-25 20:31:24)

Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

It does seem that the extreme left are more than happy to attack anyone on the left whilst making no comment whilst the right run amuck...

Extended Edition - 139 The EE Christmas Panto!
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Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

To a lesser impact I'm rather "over" alternative interpretations of common media. You see this with Disney a lot, since it's such a touchstone.

Beauty and the Beast: Haha, Stockholm Syndrome, am I right?!

That was amusing when I was in college. Here we are ten years later and everybody has edgy interpretations of everything and every piece of work has some reason that you should feel terrible for enjoying it (Idiocracy supports eugenics!).

Then again, just because I'm ten years out of college doesn't mean that people ten years my junior aren't in college, and some of it's being written for them. But it's still exhausting and annoying.

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

^ Matt Zoller Seitz had a great Twitter thread on this issue a while back—so many online film critics are just completely devoid of any sort of historical context, and when they "discover" an idea they think it must be new even when it stretches back generations.

There's also just a point where it crosses the line from well-intentioned but uncharitable into straight disingenuousness. Like, Gone with the Wind deserves to be called out and reevaluated vocally because its racism and pro-Confederate revision of history were horrendous and ahistorical even at the time of its release. Ditto Lovecraft's absolutely vile racial bigotry. You'll never hear me saying otherwise.

But then you get people who decide to do something like shit on The Rocky Horror Picture Show because it's no longer up to code in how it treats terminology for trans individuals, which just willfully disregards how historically important a film it was for the LGBT community. Or, to name an example that's more personally irritating to me, people will criticize Malick's The New World, which is among other things a devastating critique of imperialism and white incursion on Native Americans, because it doesn't depict the rape of Pocahontas at the hands of the Jamestown settlers and thus isn't "woke" enough. Which disregards the fact that a.) oral tradition regarding the rape of Pocahontas wasn't widely known until 2007, two years after the film came out, and b.) A FICTIONAL MOVIE IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE A HISTORY TEXT IN EVERY PARTICULAR.

It's vitally important that we critique art from political and social-justice perspectives, but it's just as important that we do it the courtesy of taking it on in its own terms.

EDIT: That MZS thread, for the curious.

Last edited by DarthPraxus (2018-01-25 21:49:33)

Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

Faldor wrote:

It does seem that the extreme left are more than happy to attack anyone on the left whilst making no comment whilst the right run amuck...

...what the hell are you talking about? What a baffling claim to make.

Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

I think he means uber-progressives make meals of each other more than uber-conservatives do.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

I am so. very. tired. But here are some feelings.

DarthPraxus wrote:

so many online film critics are just completely devoid of any sort of historical context, and when they "discover" an idea they think it must be new even when it stretches back generations.

"Deeply worn out" definitely describes how I feel about so called "woke" criticism and I would like to wave and say yes, hello, woman of colour here, DarthPraxus is not being paranoid, this really does suck.

Context is so fucking important, and in short supply on the internet, as is nuance.
Look, when people criticize Tumblr SJWs for jumping down someone's throat because they are behind on the "right" language or whatever, I get it. But I also remember that a lot of Tumblr peeps are still teenagers and they're discovering issues for the first time. You're supposed to grow out of that shit. You're supposed to learn some history, learn how to argue, learn how to listen to other people. Learn to take criticism.

You can have nuanced and conflicting feelings about A Thing (see Stephen Fry's Wagner & Me; see also me watching Gone With the Wind). But that's not quite as catchy as a hot take on the latest movies.
Meaningful criticism should enlighten us. I think it should encourage questions, and it definitely should not be presented as the definitive interpretation of what it criticizes.

Long sigh.

The other thing that makes me tired is people trying to tell me how all millennials are _______. People seem to have lots of opinions about my "generation" and my future.

If it's not about musicals, I probably don't know what I'm talking about.

Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

Alice! Wonderful to see you pop in again.

LatinAlice wrote:

The other thing that makes me tired is people trying to tell me how all millennials are _______. People seem to have lots of opinions about my "generation" and my future.

I don't know what you're talking about. *munches avocado toast*

Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

At this point I just like ridiculing millennial criticism. "I don't know guys, I'm really feeling like Applebee's tonight but we're supposed to be killing casual dining. If word gets out I'm breaking our boycott I won't get my participation trophy."

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

^related, this is my favorite thing.

https://imgix.bustle.com/uploads/image/2017/7/5/2530711e-3de0-4070-b7bd-8ad74997d59e-screen-shot-2017-07-05-at-84513-am.png?w=614&fit=max&auto=format&q=70

Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

smile Glad to be here!

When it comes to avocado toast and ridiculing millennial criticism, I must direct you to my girl Katie and this very special episode of Millennial Meals (Of course, every episode of Millennial Meals is special)*.

  Show
Yes, I blatantly stole her joke.

If it's not about musicals, I probably don't know what I'm talking about.

Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

I bought Coco on bluray. It doesn't work. I went to return it and Walmart man said they wouldn't accept it because it had been opened. He said it was because of copyright law.

It made me so fucking angry I had to leave because the alternative was to fucking drag him over the counter and bash his skull in with one of the little rope-holder things that creates the line at the service desk.

I told people back in the day that Bluray was a fucking mistake. I still hate it. It's the worst format for any media that has ever existed. It is fucking trash. I hate HATE the film industry, they way they distribute media, the strangle-hold they have on politics and the way they've convinced every idiot on the planet that perfectly legal things are illegal.

This disc doesn't work on my player, and it's not really because the disc is defective. The disc doesn't work because whoever wrote the software that runs this particular disc fucked something up or used some language features that my player doesn't support, so it essentially crashes my player. I can't return it because my receipt fucking vanished into the aether at some point last night, but the way the guy worded it made it sound like even with a receipt the best I could hope for would be an exchange of the same title.

The irony? Now that I can't return it, I am FORCED to try to rip it or download it and burn a bluray version of it so that I can actually watch the movie that I paid for. They are MAKING ME copy it. Which is perfectly, 100% legal, by the way. It is absolutely not illegal to make a copy of a movie. It is absolutely 100% not illegal to download them. It is only illegal to distribute them without a license that allows you to do so. So right now I'm thinking the best thing I could do is to just download an already ripped and formatted version ready to burn onto a bluray.

Like...  I have the DVD version that comes with it as well, but I want to watch the HD version I paid for.

Having looked on the interwebnets, apparently the latest Thor movie had the same problem as Coco, in that my player won't play it. This is the issue with this fucking format. DVD / HDDVD had standardized systems that you HAD to support, and those systems were generally pretty simple to author to because all you really had to do was create a very XML-like file that told the player where the tracks started, what channels were available and which ones to play. There was a tiny little bit of ram that stored flags for which tracks to play and where to go / activate when buttons were pressed on the remote. It was simple and easy and everyone was playing with the same toys.

Bluray is Java. I knew this was a mistake from the very beginning. This is the third Bluray I have bought that didn't work on the player I had at the time. I will see if there is a firmware fix for this. I will see if there is an update. After that, I will just download the movie. And if that works, then I will just continue to download any Disney-related movie until I am assured that this is no longer an issue. I will not be throwing away any more money on Disney's trash anymore. Fuck them, fuck Marvel, fuck everything.

The fact that it has to load any sort of java at all is bullshit from the get-go. The way they distribute the movies is trash. If it were any other media there would be a massive outcry. If every legally purchased music file from i-tunes had a minute-long intro with clips from a couple of other songs and an ad for how awesome MP3s are and a disclaimer about not stealing the music you were about to listen to, people would be absolutely shocked, stunned, horrified, etc. But that's what they do with movies EVERY TIME. It makes me fucking furious, and it makes me even more furious that no one else seems to be as furious as me.

Rant over. I have to go legally steal a movie now.

EDIT:

Hey, the movie's actually pretty good. Too bad the people who paid to make it are satan.

Last edited by Squiggly_P (2018-03-11 22:10:24)

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Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/117/913/knowthatfeel.jpg
It might be another failed attempt at copy protection (we've seen many of those over the years).

This whole "copy protection" thing has never "protected" anything, it's been only a major annoyance to buyers like us. With Blu-ray, there's at least a possibility of firmware upgrade. When the distributors started to introduce deliberate bad sectors to DVDs (after they finally realized that CSS is a joke), the discs wouldn't play on some old players and most of them didn't have upgradable firmware. Hell, even in the VHS days, Macrovision used to screw with some TVs. Home video distributors have always been assholes who punish paying customers.

We all float down here...

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Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

Don't try playing Blu-Ray on a computer!

"Hey, you've got two monitors, I refuse to play"
"Why?"
"something something piracy"
"But if I wanted to pirate it, I would be watching it by now?"

Extended Edition - 139 The EE Christmas Panto!
VFX Reel | Twitter | IMDB | Blog

Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something

Oh, dude...  The reason I have a bluray burner in my other PC is because I wanted to just play them on my computer. I bought the burner and I bought legit playback software (like $100 software back in the day just to play a disc...).

It didn't work because I didn't have a compatible video card. So I bought a new video card. $300.

It didn't work because I didn't have a compatible monitor.

So the burner was $200, the software was $100, the video card was $300 and I would have had to shell out another $200-ish bucks for a new fucking monitor. So I paid $50 for a player instead and ripped the burner out of my PC and replaced it with something that didn't make me want to kick my PC through my wall every time I looked at it. Fuckers cost me $600+ dollars and I still couldn't just watch the fucking movies.

Meanwhile, HDDVD was over there being all "I'm a cheaper to produce, open format that requires no licensing and I don't have that stupid region locking nonsense going on so you can play whatever movies from whatever country you'd like, meaning that people who are into foreign films could just get the shit straight from the source..  don't mind me...  I'm just way better in almost every way..." Also a lot of the studios supporting HDDVD were putting minimal bullshit on the discs at the time. Universal's releases often didn't even have main menus. They just started playing when you put the disc in. Like...  You put the disc in and the actual fucking movie started playing after a logo and the default piracy screen. Boom... 30 seconds at the most and you were watching the movie.

Fucking blurays can take 20 minutes. The Blade Of The Immortal bluray I also bought yesterday had like 4 trailers and then launched into fucking ads for charities and websites and just PRODUCTS and shit. Like...  What in the everloving christ? It's not even just trailers for movies anymore and ads for bluray. It's ads for fucking websites and other bullshit now. Probably a solid half hour of garbage before the movie.

The only thing that would make it more of an authentic theatrical experience now would be if they occasionally popped up fake little cell-phones onto the screen, had the audio contain ambient whispered conversations and people eating shit loudly and texting and then had the fucking filmmakers show up to walk in front of the screen every ten minutes and then sit behind you and shove your seat occasionally. Maybe even randomly they could have the disc just stop working halfway through and make it not work again for 24 hours. Also, they could hook it up to your AC unit so they could turn the temperature down to about 50 degrees.

Just spit-balling here on ways they could possibly make watching bluray be any worse than it currently is...

Last edited by Squiggly_P (2018-03-11 22:39:12)

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