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W.Alexander

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  1. W.Alexander

    A Clockwork Orange

    Amy's remarks on this picture remind of everything that is wrong with modern film criticism; lack of research surrounding the thematic elements in the film, filmmaker quotes and other historical elements taken out of context, and flimsy arguments used to support a negative view the film because stronger evidence to prove their point simply doesn't exist. Although, these complaints have always been around when speaking about film criticism, in this modern age they've taken a strangle hold over as the norm when criticly viewing movies. Looking purely at the surface value view of film, lacking any real investigation into the images and sounds of the film, and letting preconceived notions of what filmmaking (or filmmakers motives) is, has poisoned how the general public see motion pictures. Amy's opinions are a textbook example of these problems that are only becoming more entrenched as we let any person, regardless of their education or experience have an equal voice to those that do take the time and effort to evaluate the worth of films and art. Paul, on the other hand, should be given an award for his patience and grace in handling a conversation where he obviously disagreed with Amy. I intend on using this episode as an example with my students on how you can have a civil conversation with someone you don't agree with.
  2. W.Alexander

    The Shawshank Redemption

    I've been listening since episode one. In fact, if it weren't for this podcast I would never have gone back to rewatch Titanic. I enjoyed it at first, but as the shows went on I have started to become less and less enthusiastic about it. In fact, with the most recent episode on The Shawshank Redemption, I actually couldn't get past Amy's initial comments regarding this film. I will eventually get back to listening to the entire episode, but I find it very troubling that she's dismissing this film in the same way that she mentioned people dismiss Citizen Kane. This dismissal essentially boils down to over saturation. I could hear this in my head as the episode began, although it was never literally said, "Too many people like it, and think it's great, so I'm going to use this as an opportunity to bash it using generalities and oversimplifications to sound hip and smarter than everyone else." There have been other issues I've had with the podcast reaching all the way back to The Wizard of Oz episode. Namely, that the subtext of the film had something to do with the economic environment of the early 1900's in the United States. This theory, that's been around since the 1960's, has since been debunked multiple times. With L. Frank Baum being an active participant in the women's suffragist movement (he was a member of a supportive club of that movement) makes it much more likely that he was saying something about women coming of age in taking charge of their own lives. All the strong characters are women, the male characters all lacking in some way or another, and Dorthy having the power to send herself home all along all support this interpretation, and yet this was never brought up. The question of why these movies are on the list has come up. Is it because they are groundbreaking, or because they are great movies that are just as great today? Obviously, most of the movies on the list are there because they were groundbreaking. They have changed how we think of cinema, how we make films, and even had some effect on society. In the same way that we still study Shakespear, and hold in high regard is why these movies are on this list. Regardless of them standing up to films today, they were the beginning of a new direction or were the pinnacle of the craft in general. We may have newer films that we feel are better, (Terminator 2 is by far a greater film than Titanic) but the films on this are why we have those newer greater films. I promise to listen to the rest of the podcast at some point, but it's going to take me a while if all it boils down to is a hipster dislike of a movie that is genuinely a great film. Also, who on earth actually takes IMDb ratings seriously?
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