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  1. 1. Does "Vertigo" belong on the AFI list?

    • Yes 🌀
    • No 🤢

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  • Poll closed on 05/31/19 at 07:00 AM

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8 hours ago, Harry Lime said:

Okay, so picture that famous moment in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy opens the door in black and white to reveal the Land of Oz in vivid color.  Are you saying this scene is "a bug, not a feature" because it wouldn't have worked for the vast majority of that 1956 television audience, who would have been watching on black and white TVs?  Those viewers could truthfully claim to have seen the movie, but they wouldn't have felt the impact that scene was meant to have.

For one thing, if the color in Wizard of Oz is the only reason you enjoy the movie, then you're missing more than just color.  Now, I do think things like color and sound and (as sycasey mentioned) aspect ratio are fundamentally different than size in terms of what makes the film the film.  (I'm on the fence about 3D.  Avatar is a shitty movie that has great 3D effects if you can see in a theater equipped with 3D, but my gut is that the 3D is not a fundamental part of the film, and that the film can and should be judged on its 2D merits, or lack thereof.)  I agree with you that changing the color of a film does fundamentally alter the film.  Changing the size alters the experience, but I still don't believe it fundamentally alters the film.  One last thing that I haven't mentioned yet is that the proportion of the screen to one's field of vision really doesn't change much across different platforms, unless you're a weirdo who sits in the front row of a movie theater or a weirdo who puts their phone five feet away to watch something.  Yes, the screen in a movie theater is 10-15 times as big as my TV, but I also sit 10-15 times farther away.  So it's really hard for me to envision a situation where the film is fundamentally altered by the size of the screen.  So again, I still believe that if someone has a "meh" reaction to a movie, the movie's not going to change by seeing it in a different venue, only the experience.

When I was in middle school, one of my friends was asked what his favorite song was, and he responded "All-Star" by Smash Mouth.  We ridiculed him, because "All-Star" by Smash Mouth is pretty universally accepted to be a cheesy bad pop song.  My friend responded, "Not when you see it live," as if to lord over us the fact that he was fortunate enough to see Smash Mouth live.  And I don't doubt that Smash Mouth performed the shit out of "All-Star" that night, probably with added guitar solos and a crowd sing-along refrain that stretched it into a 10 minute ordeal and culminated with fireworks blowing off the stage and a stadium full of people cheering for an encore.  That doesn't change the fact that "All-Star" is still a cheesy bad pop song, but I'm sure it was a great experience.  And once again, I do not diminish the importance of experiences, and I encourage everyone to seek out those types of experiences if they have the means to do so.   But the song is the song, and the film is the film, and the experience is the experience.  We're judging the films here, not the experiences. 

If you haven't already, you should listen to the Canon episode on The Tingler, as Amy and her guest talked a bit about William Castle's theater gimmicks, such as theater seats rigged with buzzers and physical props flying over the audience, and whether those types of things should factor into how we judge the film itself.  But I've shared my opinion and you've shared yours, and it seems that we're at an impasse, so this is the last post I'll make on the subject.

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I did happen to see Smash Mouth live once, and I can confirm that they did put on a very fun, energetic show.

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