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 The New Criterion Releases Thread 
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great cover to boot

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Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:31 pm
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that cover for la chienne is so much better than the film itself it's unreal


Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:57 pm
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Image

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Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:34 am
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Already super tired as a design/photoshop fad, but still nice cover.

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Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:05 am
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why does binoche look like keira knightley

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Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:33 am
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le amiche :khaled:

need to c antonioni's 50's stuff.


Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:55 am
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More than 70 years later, Brief Encounter remains intensely poignant

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Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:20 pm
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does ittt

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Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:16 pm
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it does tbh

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Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:16 pm
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Image
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And a stand-alone of:
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Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:07 am
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Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:45 am
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That Ghost World cover reminds I should finally see that movie.

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Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:52 pm
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I've come to the conclusion that the Criterion Collection is too expensive and too superbly interesting for me to continue to care.


/sour grapes

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Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:27 am
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Does that mean you'd care again if they released Sour Grapes?


Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:20 pm
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undinum wrote:
Does that mean you'd care again if they released Sour Grapes?

I've actually seen that trailer.

In a movie theater!

I had forgotten about the film.

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....But if Criterion Collection would release a three-disc set about that film, I might care again.

But it would still be too expensive for my wallet. :x

(Maybe teh Flix would carry it)

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Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:04 am
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I'm glad that Stalker is getting a Criterion release.


Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:25 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
I'm glad that Stalker is getting a Criterion release.

I'm glad I get to see that restoration on the big screen!


Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:26 am
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Ooh, lucky.

And, huh, I didn't know the AFI had moved. You turn your back for just 15 years, and look what happens...

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Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:58 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Ooh, lucky.

And, huh, I didn't know the AFI had moved. You turn your back for just 15 years, and look what happens...

Yes! It's such an amazing place. :D


Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:28 am
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By the way, does anyone know why Kurosawa's Kagemusha is listed on the "Coming Soon" section of the Criterion website? The reason I ask this is because it doesn't have a scheduled release date.


Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:22 am
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has criterion released ruiz's 80s films yet or are they still re-releasing godard, truffaut and kurosawa

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Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:50 am
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B-Side wrote:
has criterion released ruiz's 80s films yet or are they still re-releasing godard, truffaut and kurosawa

If they release ANY Ruiz, I'll have a heart attack.

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Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:13 pm
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Quite-Gone Genie wrote:
If they release ANY Ruiz, I'll have a heart attack.


There's a new print of Manoel on the Island of Marvels floating around in Europe now...

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Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:17 pm
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Hey one can hope. I still dream of them putting out a good copy of the 1978 cult film The Foreigner.

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Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:13 pm
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Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:45 am
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I really need to review Barry Lyndon sometime, it's been almost a decade since I watched it (which was the only time I ever watched it). Really, really good movie, though, and one of Kubrick's best.

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Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:13 pm
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Image

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Last two are blind buys.

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Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:59 pm
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Is this thread still active? I might as well update it with what hasn't been mentioned here yet.

The Philadelphia Story (1940) Nov. 7, 2017
Desert Hearts (1985) Nov. 14, 2017
Le Samourai (1967) Nov. 14, 2017
Jabberworky (1977) Nov. 21, 2017
100 Years of Olympic Films: 1912-2012 Dec. 5, 2017
Election (1999) Dec. 12, 2017
The Complete Monterey Pop Festival Dec. 12, 2017
Monterey Pop (1968) Dec. 12, 2017
General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait (1974) Dec. 12, 2017

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Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:20 am
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The Breakfast Club (1985) Jan. 2, 2018
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) Jan. 9, 2018
I, Daniel Blake (2016) Jan. 16, 2018
Eclipse Series 45: Claude Autant-Lara—Four Romantic Escapes from Occupied France Jan. 23, 2018
Westfront 1918 (1930) Jan. 30, 2018
Kameradschaft (1931) Jan. 30, 2018

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Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:31 am
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Surprised they included the extra footage of Breakfast Club as a special feature. I would have assumed they would have found John Hughes extended cut and just included that as well.


Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:38 pm
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Criterion's offering a 50% off flash sale.

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Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:24 am
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I can't afford any of them even at 50% MSRP. Spent too much on 3D movies recently. *sigh* But I had to go look!

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Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
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Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:21 am
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I bought 5 Criterion films off of Amazon a few days ago: Following, Eraserhead, For All Mankind, The Phantom Carriage, and George Washington. As of now, I'm still waiting on them. The bad news is that I bought them a day before Criterion put up their flash sale. The good news, however, is that I didn't have to pay a dime for any of them as I had $115 of gift cards. I probably could've gotten a 6th film if I used Criterion's website, but whatever.

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Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:53 am
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Let us know what you think of Following and George Washington.

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What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

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Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:22 am
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Gort wrote:
Let us know what you think of Following and George Washington.

I've already seen them before (I never buy movies I haven't seen as there's a possibility I won't care for them), and I like both of them quite a bit.

George Washington - 9/10
Following - 8/10

George Washington is one of my favorite films from the 2000's and Following is my 2nd favorite Nolan film (Memento is my favorite). George Washington is, understandably, an acquired taste, but I think its purpose is to show us a glimpse in the lives of a group of people in a small decaying town. Also, Following did quite a bit with such a short run time as it developed the relationship between Bill and Cobb well. I highly recommend watching both films if you haven't already seen them.

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Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:21 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
I've already seen them before (I never buy movies I haven't seen as there's a possibility I won't care for them), and I like both of them quite a bit.

George Washington - 9/10
Following - 8/10

And, so, how do you feel about spoilers? Are you a "there are spoilers and they are terrible things" kind of guy, or a "there are no such things as spoilers, merely information to help you know whether to watch a motion picture" kind of guy?

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:55 am
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Gort wrote:
And, so, how do you feel about spoilers? Are you a "there are spoilers and they are terrible things" kind of guy, or a "there are no such things as spoilers, merely information to help you know whether to watch a motion picture" kind of guy?

I try to avoid spoilers whenever possible. I find movies to be more enjoyable when major plot points (character deaths, plot twists, endings, etc.) come as surprises. For instance, I haven't seen Hitchcock's Psycho yet, nor do I plan on seeing it anytime soon as, not only do I know about the shower scene, but another major character death and the ending.

Thank God the ending to Twelve Monkeys wasn't spoiled for me.

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Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:21 am
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I wondered. I'm sorry to hear that you believe in spoilers. But I guess if you do, you do. :D

I have to gather as much information as I can before I see a film in order to know whether I would like it or not. Similar to the way you only buy films on disc that you already know you like. If a surprise is all a film has going for it, to me it's empty and worthless.

Then again, I told my friend as we left the theater in May 1977 having seen Star Wars for the first time, that "Darth Vader is Luke's father. He's not really dead." And he just laughed at me.* Sometimes a plot will surprise me. Most often I can see how it will turn out within the first few minutes of a movie. I key on many other things besides plot when I watch (or read) things. (I produced videos for 23 years, and have made movies since I was 13, so I'm more into production values, and I get a lot of personal mileage out of figuring out the production scheme for certain parts of a film. Many of the movies I see fill me with slight dread when I think about having to get them shot, logged, and edited. ha ha!) It just occurred to me that plot may not matter to me much because I never produced a film or video where I didn't already know the ending, so to speak.

When I was a young man you used to be able to have a conversation with people about movies that you had seen but they hadn't yet. And the most common question was, "How does it end?" They truly wanted to know, because they didn't want the negative surprise of not liking the ending! Times have changed. Back then "Don't tell me the ending" was seen as kind of a negative thing. I'm not making that up. That's an indication of how much times have changed.

Strangely, trailers now show more salient plot points of films than they did back then. The difference is that modern films have little to them. Plot twists would be about all a lot of superhero movies can offer you. So I go to see films for characterization, special effects, and so forth. Not plot.

A lot of times I'll watch a film only because I already have learned the big plot twist. I find it interesting, and want to see how the director pulled it off. But I also know a lot more about the movie besides the twist. Knowing the twist has never ruined a first viewing for me. 8-)

Some of the films I reviewed and analyzed in the Remake Rematch thread were actually better on second and third viewing when I could see beyond the supposed startling plot twist. I think it's because knowing all that secondary stuff like what was going to happen to whom and when, left me free to find the artistry in the film.

Psycho is not about the plot twist. I had read the script before I ever saw the film for the first time, and it still blew me away with its goodness.


*Nonetheless, having guessed the connection between Skywalker and Vader, but not really believing that it would turn out to be true, The Empire Strikes Back stunned me when I found out my hunch was right! See, when I saw Star Wars there wasn't yet a planned sequel. Few thought it would be a smash hit.

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:20 pm
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Can there be narrative spoilers in a medium so entrenched in auditory and visual processes?


Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:11 am
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Gort: It's fine if you have no issue with spoilers. To each their own. I usually try to look up as little info about a film as possible though. I only look up a brief description of what the film I'm watching is about. But sure, even if I know the plot of a film, I could still be impressed by the acting, cinematography, characterization, practical effects/cgi, etc. However, if a film surprises me, I may enjoy it even more. This may also make me more eager to re-watch it. I'm sure Psycho isn't just about the plot twist. However, I also know about a couple other major plot points which I mentioned up above. I'll probably watch it someday, but, as of now, it isn't even close to the top of my watchlist.

Eminence Grise: Yes, because there have been numerous instances in which movies surprised me by their plot twists, character deaths, and endings which turned out differently than what I thought.

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Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:25 am
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I like to know as little as possible going into a film, not only in regards to plot but even tone and style. If I come in with preconceptions, it alters my viewing of the film; if I expect a certain plot point, I can sometimes focus so much attention on waiting for it that I forget to experience the passing moments of the film. Going in blind gives each experience a certain purity, and if I return to the film it's my own experience informing my preconceptions and not someone else's interpretation.

Granted, the breadth of my film knowledge guarantees I'll have at least some sense of what I'm getting into most of the time, but I try to remain open in other respects. I also don't consider a film "ruined" if I learned some plot spoiler ahead of time. The experience of watching the film takes precedence over the mechanics of plot. I prefer avoiding them solely because I like to minimize thoughts that might distract from the immediacy of watching.

I regularly blind-buy films; I probably buy films I haven't seen more than films I have. But most of the films I buy nowadays are either imported (films I can't get locally because they aren't available) or box sets and shorts collections. I rarely feel the need to purchase films I've seen, unless I stumble across a really good deal.

Also, when watching Psycho, I highly recommend watching it with someone who doesn't know the spoilers. I watched it solo the first time (knowing most of the plot ahead of time), but my second viewing was worlds better. I watched it with my sister and a friend, who knew almost nothing about it, and their reactions bumped it up from "Great movie" to "One of the best viewing experiences I've ever had."

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Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:11 am
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Another unexpectedly long essay as a response to a single line of text. Read it if you want to. Skip it if you want to. There are no spoilers in it!

Eminence Grise wrote:
Can there be narrative spoilers in a medium so entrenched in auditory and visual processes?

I agree with Popcorn on this one. Yes, there can be. The human brain seems to have developed in such a way that it fits everything that we perceive into a format that could be called "story" mode. This includes our own lives, and those of other people. It isn't surprising that all stories follow somewhat standard construction. Our brains dictate how a story is constructed in the most basic format of story. Variations make it more interesting to some, and unfathomable to others. Plot twists are among those surprises.

Life isn't written down in a literary sense, and we still experience narrative discord. What we expected does not happen. Something else (good or bad) does happen. And it's kind of like a plot twist. What our brains want to do is make sense out of what we experience---thus story mode. And real life doesn't actually follow the plot we anticipate.

Perhaps the tension of dread comes from fearing that your expectations are not going to be met. That the good you want will not be the outcome. That functions much like a spoiler does to those who want to know nothing about a film in advance. Dread reminds the person experiencing life that things don't always turn out the way we want.

So an audio-visual process can create story, or your brain creates story out of what you see and hear in the artwork. But in movies, things are going to develop in a predictable way, unlike real life. Movies are safe. You won't really fall off the cliff into the sea, for example. It gives us a chance to try out unfamiliar, even impossible things. And some people perhaps don't want to know how it all turns out in that safe mode. Surprises in real life are sometimes undesirable because the surprises are bad ones. Films separate us somewhat (but not entirely) from the emotional experience, by allowing us to watch things happen to others.

I think in real life we'd like to know how it turns out, or we think we would. So avoiding spoilers for films and books may be a way to try to practice acceptance of the unexpected in real life, where we can't know how things will turn out. But with fiction and other types of films what happens won't directly affect you, which makes it safe. The unexpected things in life sometimes hurt deeply, and we wish we could see those coming from a mile away. We don't always like those fictional surprises, either. But we learn to "live with them," which is where my notion that it might be practicing acceptance in real life, comes from. It is a pleasant experience to have the unexpected occur in a film, whether the outcome is good or bad. In real life only the truly pleasant unexpected experiences give us that same rush.

(I don't really think most people would want to know in advance about everything that happens in real life, though. And fictional stories sometimes tell us that we wouldn't.)

I don't mind knowing what happens beforehand in a contrived story. If I have any doubts about seeing a film because I don't know what will happen, I seek out information. If I can't find any, I usually avoid the film. As I wrote earlier, I have never had a film spoiled by knowing a lot about it before watching. With other films I've known little or nothing about it beforehand (Sunshine, for example) and expected to like it based on the basic trappings of the film. But these often go totally south for me. I still cannot figure out what I dislike so intensely about Sunshine. But all three times I've watched it I've gotten that throw your hands up feeling. "My God, that's Stupid!" wants to come out of my mouth. In the case of that film, knowing about it on two subsequent viewings hasn't helped it be "better" in my experience. So, for me, it isn't in that group of movies that get better with repeat viewings.

I guess to me, knowing the plot and knowing other things about the film beforehand are equally important. I think the "spoilers" in most people's definition would be plot points. And plot points only. And plot twists (unexpected turns) especially. So because I need to know more about the plot in order to enjoy the story in the first place, I don't view anything as a "spoiler." Which makes me an outlier, just like in so many other aspects of being a person. *sigh*

Some of you know that I bought DVDs of The Godfather and The Godfather Part 2 six or seven years ago at a yard sale. I still have never seen either movie. I still have absolutely no desire to see either movie. The reasons would take a long time to explain. But as far as spoilers go: I know pretty much everything that happens in these movies. I actually knew it all before they were made. Like Coppola himself, no doubt, I've seen that genre of film and TV show all my life. It was a staple on television when I was a boy. So for 45 years I've been looking for some information that would make it seem worth watching a great Francis Ford Coppola film that many have dubbed a masterpiece. Yet, even learning practically the whole plot from "spoilers" over the years has never produced one thing about the movies that make me want to "sit through that stuff again." By the time I was 20, when the film came out, I had had my fill of Mob movies. Since you cannot accidentally watch a movie, I expect to never see it. But if there is ever a spoiler that I run across that makes me think, "I'd like to see that!" then I have a DVD close at hand that I could watch.

That's why I find Popcorn's position on Psycho both defensible, and totally nuts! Spoilers seem to have robbed Popcorn of any need to see a particular movie masterpiece. In a totally opposite way, no spoilers have ever given me any incentive to watch a different movie masterpiece. :D I seek out plot spoilers in order to convince myself that watching a film wouldn't be a waste of my time. Popcorn and Macro avoid spoilers in order to make it worth their while to watch a film.

Popcorn likes the surprises. So do I if they are "pleasant" surprises (which are not necessarily pleasant turns of events in the plot, mind you). But most of the film "surprises" I have tried to protect for the expected enjoyment of said surprises, have been letdowns. So I stopped attempting to get that experience that others get out of movies. But, when I watched The Sixth Sense for the first time with co-workers (most of whom had already see it), I did my best not to beat the movie to the big reveal at the end. And I managed to stave it off until three scenes before that revelation is made. But I couldn't keep myself from figuring out the twist of the film before MNS revealed it to everyone. I bought the DVD, and have seen the film four times since. The film is so much better (to me) when I already know what's going on. There is so much more to the film than the plot twist. (If only MNS had realized that, perhaps he wouldn't have lamed totally out and destroyed his career by attempting to recreate the surprise part of that film. It's weakest aspect, as a matter of fact. But that's what so many fans said they love about the movie. He was trying to give them what they wanted, apparently without understanding how the plot twist functions in The Sixth Sense. By the time it happens in that movie you've already seen a really good movie. It would be really good even without the twist!)

My brother gave me a DVD of Secret Window for Christmas several years ago. He insisted that he watch it with me when I saw it for the first time. I read nothing about it, not even the blurb on the box. We sat down to watch it. He assured me that I wouldn't see the great and fabulous ending of this film coming in advance. Then, during an early shot of the movie (when Depp's writer character looks at his reflection in a mirror) I told him what the ending was. I didn't know it at the time, but I sussed out the basic plot twist underlying the film without even trying. When the end came and I got walloped by "the surprise ending," it was no surprise. I'd known it from the beginning. It was a mere confirmation.

This is a common experience for me with movies. But there are also often surprises in films. Plot developments that I didn't see coming. And that's kind of nice, but they rarely make me ever want to see the movie again. I haven't watched Secret Window but the one time (there is actually nothing at all to that movie except for the "surprise").

Surely, most movies are seen only once by each person who ever sees them. Second or any subsequent viewings are really rare, except among those of us who are cineastes, I'd bet. And we each must approach the pleasure of watching motion pictures in the way that makes it most individually rewarding.

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:44 am
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Thanks for your reply both MAC and Gort

It seems there are certainly many, circumstantial, positions relating to spoilers. And, it goes without saying that we all have our preferences regarding spoilers and our own biases in regard to how we appraise them and the value we place on shocking moments, and so on.

To elucidate my point a bit more, I would ask: does spoiling a film decrease its value as a film object? In other words, does knowing the plot of The Godfather I/II ruin the value the film has to art, culture, etc.? Or does it just make me upset? I'm not trying to take any ideographic experiences away from anyone, however, I think they should be put in perspective. Certainly, I have my own tastes, however, I try to check them at the door the best I can, although, as MAC said, it can be hard when film knowledge increases over time. On the other hand, it's important to understand one's biases, as hard as that may be. Metacognition is a highly undervalued element of film viewing and one that's under discussed.

I think it's also necessary to extrapolate elements of the spoiled plot point and the totality of the film experience. If a plot point is spoiled, what does that tell me about the film object? Is it valuable considering other disparate elements of the film? Or, is the film as a whole--independent of the the spoiled point--more important? In other words, the spoiler is a separate piece of the film, and films are made up of separate elements that form a coherent whole (I hope!), so how does the spoiler have meaning a priori of the interrelated parts of a film? Does it at all? Can reading the screenplay of Psycho ruin the value of the film on film form, history, etc.? Certainly it can ruin one's experience of the film, but independent of that, does it nullify the film?

Personally, I much less concerned about my own "entertainment" value than trying to understand the film object's place within a larger scope. Although films are really entertaining and help me to keep coming back them, personal amusement can often obfuscate the potential value a film may have. Film as entertainment is a really sore subject with me, so don't get me started :D


Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:42 pm
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Eminence Grise: In terms of classic/famous films, I don't think knowing one or more spoilers would ruin a film's cultural impact. Even though I know quite a bit about the plot of Psycho, that doesn't mean its cultural impact would be lessened for me to the same degree as its entertainment value, so yeah, there's a lot of truth to your argument. However, my main position towards spoilers is more that spoilers lessen a film's entertainment value for me, not that it would completely ruin the film altogether. I'm sure there are other great aspects to Psycho other than just the plot points I know about (some of which I might like), but if I also didn't know about the plot points that were spoiled for me, I could have a greater connection with the film as I like being surprised when i watch films.

Although, this isn't to say that spoilers prevents me from watching films all the time. There are obviously different degrees in terms of how major a spoiler is. For instance, I knew about the chestburster scene in Alien before watching it, but I decided to see it anyways since that scene only took up a couple minutes. As for Psycho, however, I feel that the three spoilers I know about are pretty relevant to the film as a whole. As I said, I'll likely watch it someday, but not anytime soon.

One final argument I have is that not all films have cultural impacts. I watch classic films quite often, but I also watch modern films and other old films which don't have nearly as much popularity as films such as Psycho or Alien do. Therefore, there might not be as major of a cultural impact to research for those films.

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Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:13 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
One final argument I have is that not all films have cultural impacts. I watch classic films quite often, but I also watch modern films and other old films which don't have nearly as much popularity as films such as Psycho or Alien do. Therefore, there might not be as major of a cultural impact to research for those films.

Thanks for the reply.

You make a good point that not all films tackle cultural aspects or have narratives or other qualities that change cultural standards. In fact, perhaps very few films do that, and when it happens, it's a real treat and marvel.

This is pretty parenthetical, but:

However, here I'm referring to a film as a cultural object. In other words, because films are produced out of labor and capital, they become a commodity within society - regardless of their sociocultural impact - and thus they mirror, in some way, the culture and time in which they are made. Being commodified, they have a certain place or responsibility that any product has, and if I were a (Neo) Marxist, I would say that what we have now, and perhaps have always had, is enormous excess of product which presents cultural issues, including (in my view) the issue of film as an amusement (note that I'm using this word as common parlance but also within its root etiological origin which means: to divert attention away from something otherwise important).


Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:10 am
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Eminence Grise wrote:
Thanks for the reply.

You make a good point that not all films tackle cultural aspects or have narratives or other qualities that change cultural standards. In fact, perhaps very few films do that, and when it happens, it's a real treat and marvel.

This is pretty parenthetical, but:

However, here I'm referring to a film as a cultural object. In other words, because films are produced out of labor and capital, they become a commodity within society - regardless of their sociocultural impact - and thus they mirror, in some way, the culture and time in which they are made. Being commodified, they have a certain place or responsibility that any product has, and if I were a (Neo) Marxist, I would say that what we have now, and perhaps have always had, is enormous excess of product which presents cultural issues, including (in my view) the issue of film as an amusement (note that I'm using this word as common parlance but also within its root etiological origin which means: to divert attention away from something otherwise important).

Okay. I see what you're getting at now.

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Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:53 am
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You could say: You can spoil a narrative built on the suspense of a lack of knowledge through text, since a narrative is essentially an intellectual understanding of the sequence of events. It's much more difficult to conceive of "spoiling" any other aspect of film, from creativity to cinematography to sound design, etc. You might be able to point to an image or a sound that can be spoiled, ie "Such and such song is sung in Toni Erdmann" which hides the surprise, but you're really spoiling the knowledge of which song is being sung rather than the music, so it's just an intellectual understanding of the sequence of events. It raises two important points:

a.) Are films that can be spoiled typically enlightening about anything other than the withheld plot points?
b.) Does it make sense to orient your life around avoiding information about spoilable films when there are a wealth of unspoilable films which tend to be a more rich experience anyway?

My loaded questions give away my answers, on all levels of experience and influence. Plots are for synopses! Tell me everything that is going to happen so that I can pay attention to the things that will never "go bad" like spoiled milk.

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Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:16 am
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Eminence Grise wrote:
To elucidate my point a bit more, I would ask: does spoiling a film decrease its value as a film object?

You explained this a bit later. But if this question is taken slightly out of context it speaks directly to the subjective experience of film, which you addressed. And I wonder if this subjective experience is itself altered if you consider the generation in which the person experiencing the film grows up.

In other words, I'm in the first generation to grow up with television. My parents were in the first generation to grow up with radio and exclusively sound films. Some of you may be old enough to be in the first generation to grow up with VHS tapes or DVDs.

My generation could see films only if they were exhibited in local theaters or broadcast on TV, on the schedule of the broadcaster or exhibitor. There was no pause to go to the bathroom. My sons, who are 35 and 30 this year, could watch films on demand if they were on VHS. My nephew, who is 24, has always had cable and VOD, and multiplex theaters. He is not a movie person, and doesn't watch TV very much.

LEAVES wrote:
You could say: You can spoil a narrative built on the suspense of a lack of knowledge through text, since a narrative is essentially an intellectual understanding of the sequence of events. It's much more difficult to conceive of "spoiling" any other aspect of film, from creativity to cinematography to sound design, etc.

I agree. Try spoiling Un Chien Andalou. Or Last Year at Marienbad. And try watching either of those films without your brain attempting to create a narrative for it!

Macrology wrote:
I like to know as little as possible going into a film, not only in regards to plot but even tone and style. If I come in with preconceptions, it alters my viewing of the film; if I expect a certain plot point, I can sometimes focus so much attention on waiting for it that I forget to experience the passing moments of the film. Going in blind gives each experience a certain purity, and if I return to the film it's my own experience informing my preconceptions and not someone else's interpretation.

This is interesting. How blind do you go into these viewings? Do you consider revelation of plot points in trailers to be spoiling? Or merely the words of critics and reviewers? So, how do you decide on a movie to watch in the first place? I assume after you have watched a movie you also continue to avoid reviews in order to keep your experience totally personal in the event of a subsequent viewing. But I suspect that the assumption is totally wrong.

I find others' viewpoints about the films I am going to see and have seen to be eye-opening. In general, as I suspect you do, I develop my own take on each film I see. But I also like to compare my take to yours, for example. Yours gives me a platform from which to develop my own conclusions, as I see it. Clearly, you see things in a fascinatingly different way from me, on this issue!

Some films I enjoy seeing blind, but most don't interest me--until I get someone else's biased information about the art object I am curious about. I like most of the films I watch, only because I cull from consideration those that I feel certain I won't like.

Without a doubt I have passed up some movies that I would have found riveting and illuminating simply because the blind approach led me to belive that they would be total duds! I am largely unaware which films those are, naturally. Sometimes from what I read in this forum I learn more about such a movie, and correct the error I made by skipping it.

That is why I asked those first two questions. I think your approach is certainly a valid way to see films. But I'm not sure what sort of information you'd call a spoiler, and what sources you would say they come from, these spoilers.

Usually, upon getting a Criterion disc in hand I watch the supplemental materials in advance, in order to be prepared to assess the movie as I watch it. Some people think that's nuts. :D But it's worked for me ever since DVDs with supplements have been available.

Your approach is pure adventure. I understand this, though. I read your posts about your adventurous trip to Asia. I think your approach to film is based on your personality type as much as on anything else. Am I close?

I keep thinking of other questions. Do you approach restaurants in the same way you do films? Or do you like to know more about them, since you're going to eat, and not merely watch their products?

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Although, this isn't to say that spoilers prevent me from watching films all the time. There are obviously different degrees in terms of how major a spoiler is. For instance, I knew about the chestburster scene in Alien before watching it, but I decided to see it anyways since that scene only took up a couple minutes.

I saw Alien in the theater the first day it was available to watch in Memphis. I didn't know about the chestburster, though, and it was a total, amazing surprise. I could even call it wonderful. But it lasted a few seconds, and then its impact was completely gone. The suspense of the creature being aboard the Nostromo lasted for the entire film, and I knew about that before I went to the theater. That's why I went! The chestburster set one of the rules of Scott's movie: anyone can die at anytime. No character is safe. Obviously that didn't seem like a large enough spoiler to keep you from watching the whole film.

The best thing about seeing Alien in the theater in 1979 was the guy who sat two rows up from me, and his insistence to the onscreen Ripley to "Forget the damn cat!" Which got a chuckle from his fellow viewers.

Eminence Grise wrote:
Personally, I [am] much less concerned about my own "entertainment" value than trying to understand the film object's place within a larger scope. Although films are really entertaining and help me to keep coming back [to] them, personal amusement can often obfuscate the potential value a film may have. Film as entertainment is a really sore subject with me, so don't get me started :D

So I might deduce that you would not agree that a film must first entertain you (get your attention, so to speak) before it can educate or inform you? I certainly can see your irritation with the idea of film as nothing but entertainment. But I grew up in an era when films were expected to have a social message. I find many of those films boring, now. When I was 20, I thought Five Easy Pieces was such a monstrously perfect film. When I was 42 and watched it again, it was a piece of worthless shit. The film didn't change!

But I still prefer films that make me think and give me a cultural point of view that I would not be able to come across on my own. Completely shallow, mere entertainment movies bore me, too.

Although, I must admit that a lot of the time the messages I find in films may well be my own interpretation of what I think I see, rather than what the filmmakers purposely intended as they built the art object.

When I saw The Adventures of Tintin I was able to experience once again the sense of wonder that I felt as a 13-year old reading my friend's Tintin comics. That's why I bought the Blu-ray of the movie. I still get it when I watch it (moreso from the 3D version, for some reason). But by some measures it's probably a piece of fluff, a pure entertainment only film. I don't see it that way, though. And its place as a cultural object, given its famous comics source, is fun to contemplate.

Macrology wrote:
I regularly blind-buy films; I probably buy films I haven't seen more than films I have. But most of the films I buy nowadays are either imported (films I can't get locally because they aren't available) or box sets and shorts collections. I rarely feel the need to purchase films I've seen, unless I stumble across a really good deal.

Still fascinated, I hope to understand, and Popcorn, since your approach is much like Mac's you could answer all the questions I posed to him: Do you read the blurbs? How do you decide which adventure you want to go on? How often do your blind-bought films disappoint you? And do you use any streaming services? Also, since you don't buy copies of most films you've already seen, when you do buy them, do you watch them? Or are they future projects that you promise yourself, but you never get around to seeing them from those discs? I have a terrible habit of buying a movie that I loved, and then I never get around to watching the disc I bought (or it takes me sometimes years) because there is so much else to watch that I haven't already seen. :D

Eminence Grise wrote:
However, here I'm referring to a film as a cultural object. In other words, because films are produced out of labor and capital, they become a commodity within society - regardless of their sociocultural impact - and thus they mirror, in some way, the culture and time in which they are made. Being commodified, they have a certain place or responsibility that any product has, and if I were a (Neo) Marxist, I would say that what we have now, and perhaps have always had, is enormous excess of product which presents cultural issues, including (in my view) the issue of film as an amusement (note that I'm using this word as common parlance but also within its root etiological origin which means: to divert attention away from something otherwise important).

Capitalism leads to enormous excess of product in all areas, don't you think? I doubt anyone could ever watch every film ever made. Or every TV episode ever made. Or read every book ever published. Or listen to every song ever written, or even every song ever recorded. Yet, having always lived life in a country that has all that excess, I wouldn't want to give it up (not entirely). Nor would I want others in total control of what I could see and when (I already lived that way as a youth, remember).

Do you see films as existing outside the general question that can be phrased, "Yes, but is it art?" which is a cheeky way that people sometimes express it, but does illuminate the fact that art is as much subjective as it is objective. Isn't your opinion of the significance of a film of paramount importance to you? It seems that your pondering of its place as a cultural object fascinates you as much as the adventure of a blind viewing fascinates Mac. Perhaps watching a film is an exercise to you. And you appreciate and enjoy that exercise. Maybe even to the point of it entertaining you more than merely watching the film could ever do.

And I understand that. That's in part how I approach film.

Perhaps that's the source of your original, insightful question. You don't see spoilers as significant because they don't affect your analysis of the film and its place within the echelons of similar cultural objects. I might be totally misreading what you mean by the quoted phrase above, of course.

But if you are honest, does your fascination with that aspect (cultural significance of the individual art object, and indeed with the collection of all such art objects as a form of art) ever distract you from things that others might consider more important?

As a teenager I considered that I chose my words so very carefully that when I made a statement or asked a question anyone who read the words I wrote, or heard the ones I said, would automatically understand my question or my statement. I really believed that. It's because I was clearly an asshole to some degree in those days. Communication is always a bartered process, with give and take, confusion and understanding on both sides. It is a dynamic process. But little butthole Gort thought it was all one-sided. My side! (I am not comparing you to me, by the way.)

Now I can see the viewpoints of other people as their valid way of addressing the question at hand. If they don't understand what I write or say, it is perfectly fine for them to ask, or to quarrel with my presentation. After all, I do nothing but send a signal; the message appears in the minds of those who read or hear. It is possible for me to not fully understand what I have signalled, especially from another's point of view.

So I'm not certain there is a single, monolithic set of things that are important and all other things are not important. And maybe that wasn't what you meant at all. But isn't capitalism built on diversion? Even if it's from one "important thing" to another. I always wanted my potential customers to be diverted from looking favorably toward my competitors, to my production company for all their video production needs. Fortunately, I had already learned that my competitors weren't shitheads or gnarly ogres. They were other people who really enjoyed earning a living by creating videos. And none of us had to create 100% of the videos made by Memphis companies in order to make a good living.

The biggest fear I have is not of conspiracies. It's that my suspicion that there is actually no one group in charge of anything, that scares me. But, it seems more likely than all these big conspiracies do. Not that there aren't conspiracies. I was once conspired against and had a customer wooed away from my company by some suppliers I hired for a quick, high-quality production. But I was in business for another sixteen years after that, so it didn't hurt me.

And since becoming a father (35 years ago on Monday of next week) I understand the occasional need for a diversion from what everyone is telling me is so important. The thing is, the best diversions as far as I'm concerned are those that rev my brain. The harder I think, the better my head feels. I'm sure this is not everyone's experience of life. And I even submit that it has something to do with me not believing in plot spoilers as anything significant, or anything that diminishes my enjoyment of films.

(Sadly, it leads to walls of dense text that most of you probably skip reading. Ha ha!)

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:22 pm
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Gort wrote:
(Sadly, it leads to walls of dense text that most of you probably skip reading. Ha ha!)
Basically, but I still appreciate all the effort you out into it.

:D

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Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:56 pm
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Stu wrote:
Basically, but I still appreciate all the effort you put into it.

:D

"The harder I think, the better my head feels."

Is this a sign of text-addiction? :D

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:11 am
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