Monday, March 19, 2007

Stuff I Just Don't Get

I tend to fall into a pattern on the old blog; that is I write about what I like most of the time. Occasionally I'll write about what I don't like, but not as often. And then there's the stuff I just don't understand. I love sci-fi and fantasy; that much is obvious. But that doesn't mean I like everything that is put out in the genre. I also don't have a brain that understands a whole lot of scientific mumbo jumbo. I like sci-fi movies and I can play along if facts are presented in layman's terms. I do not claim to be a genius. But if I'm being really honest, I have to admit it's the artsy stuff that tends to really lose me. Okay, so artsy is a subjective term, but maybe you'll see what I'm getting at. For example: Stanley Kubrick. I know to some he is a God among filmmakers. But frankly, I don't get it. I have tried watching films like Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange and I can never make it all the way through any of them. To me they tend to be overly drawn out and well, artsy. I can honestly admit the style just doesn't appeal to me. Mentioning Kubrick also made me think of another thing I don't really get, though it isn't often sci-fi or fantasy related. I was looking up info on films and it was mentioned that A Clockwork Orange was controversial at the time it was released-- that's not the part I don't understand. (Yep, I'm going on a tangent) Let me explain... I worked at a movie theatre when I was a teenager and the movie The Last Temptation of Christ came out while I was working there. All the local churches, the leaders and their congregations were in an uproar. In fact, a local reverend came to my movie theatre while I was working there, with a camera crew from the local news station, and shoved a microphone in my face and asked me what I thought about the fact that the theatre was going to show the movie. You want to know the best part? The movie hadn't been released yet and no one had seen it. Not only that, but the theatre I worked at wasn't going to be showing the film. So what this dumb*** thought I was going to have to say about it was anyone's guess. It bugs me to no end when people protest movies that haven't been released yet. Religious movies seem to be a favorite target. I also remember The Passion of the Christ being called anti-Semitic prior to it's release. Granted, what we know now about Mel Gibson and his views may indeed prove the point. But I'd rather hear opinions based on actually seeing the film thankyouverymuch. The same should apply to books too. If you're going to try to ban a book from library shelves, at least do me the favor of actually reading them. I don't care if someone objects to Harry Potter (though I don't like someone trying to tell me what I ought to believe) I just want to know that they have actually done more than read the back cover. And since I've taken this post off on a completely different tangent than I originally intended, let me throw in one more thing I don't understand. People who are famous for no particular reason. Need I even name names? (Paris Hilton) How on earth did this particular trend get started? Was it a result of yet another inexplicable trend, "reality" shows? I don't get either of these things. People who are nothing but "personalities" (and I use the term loosely) and shows that have nothing to do with reality whatsoever. What has happened to our culture? Or did we ever have any culture to speak of? Now that I look at my post, I realize that the only thing here that makes any sense at all is Stanley Kubrick. I'm going to go watch A Clockwork Orange now.....

21 comments:

Fab said...

I agree with you when you say that before going all 'ban this - ban that' you should at least know what you're taking a stand against. How often do I hear people saying they don't like something, without actually reading or seeing it. It's a sheep mentality: being against something because others are. I don't get that. Now, I'm no fan of Kubric. I don't get his movies either. I have voiced it to others, but I don't recall ever preventing others watching his work. (Maybe they could explain it to me afterwards).

mist1 said...

I never saw The Passion because my friend (very pretty, very stupid) called me from the theater and whispered: "I mean, I knew how he died and everything, but they've been pounding nails into him for like 45 minutes now." Then, she made the pounding noises until someone sitting next to her shushed her.

Some people don't understand people who talk on the phone in movie theaters.

Michael Leonard Fisher said...

The sign means "If you aren't intending to park here, just keep driving." I may be wrong.

That was easy.

Now explain to me the meaning of the "Star Child" in the last scene of 2001, if you stayed awake long enough to watch it.

SolShine7 said...

Nothing that Kubric did makes me want to rush to the movie theatre or Blockbuster.

You're not alone in your sentiments.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

I'm not the biggest Kubrick fan, but I did like Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket. To just about everything else you said, all I can say is testify, sister!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Let us know at what point you said "I STILL don't get it" when watching the movie.

Sarah said...

Well, I hate fake celebrities AND I don't get 2001: A Space Odyssey. First we have monkeys jumping around, then we have Hal, then we're in a room with a guy duying... and I majored in philosophy, so there are a lot of profound things I do get. That movie isn't one of them.

So you aren't alone there!

Crunchy Carpets said...

mist1....I am dying here with laughter....

I like SOME Kubrick...2001, Full Metal Jacket, Clockwork Orange..other stuff....Eyes Wide Shut?????

I do love that you can talk and talk about his stuff.

I think THAT was his whole purpose

Alex said...

Kubrick's rubes: how do you not get the blatant beat-you-over-the-head symbolism in 2001? I mean, the evolution vs. creation theme should at least be obvious to all, right?

Anyway, the man is a genius. Yes, you might have to think and watch a movie at the same time - I realize it's difficult for some - but any minor investment of thought turns a pretty but meaningless movie into a beautiful, poignant film!

I guess I just don't understand people who do not think about what they read or watch. Art is not for entertainment alone. Then again, "Dude, Where's My Car" is art (in its own way), and I have to admit it's not worth thinking about once the film ends.

I guess we have to discriminate between mindless entertainment and thoughtful film making. Too bad there's only about three films per year in the latter category.

SQT said...

Sooo, if one doesn't like Kubrick then they lack the ability to think? That's painting with a pretty broad brush. No generalizing there. Nope.

Actually I think you misunderstood what I meant. It's not that I can't understand what Kubrick's movies are about (nor do I think that's a problem for anyone else here) it's that I don't get the appeal.

It's a stylistic thing. Sometimes I love Scorsese (Goodfellas) and at other times I get bored to tears (The Age of Innocence). I'm not doubting that Kubrick was a genius but I just don't appreciate the style.

I never saw "Dude Where's My Car" by the way.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Okay, mist, that was laugh out loud funny.

SQT...I promise I will do a long posting on Kubrick and explain him to people, along with his importance in cinema history.

And look...hold your breath...Alex and I are in complete agreement about yet something else. Alex, if you ever want to start something homoerotic, let me know.

However, I understand that Kubrick's approach isn't always everyone's cup of tea. It speaks to me though. His use of imagery is astonishing. When I think of Kubrick I think of the twin child specters in The Shining, or I think of the bone tossed into the air to become a space ship in 2001. Or the fantastic black and white photography and the war room in Dr. Strangelove (my favorite).

If he is ever guilty of something, it is being too detached from his characters.

Alex, I don't expect people to join us in our orgiastic response to Kubrick. Everyone has his or her particular taste. Crunchy and I often veer apart, though I love her. Though, I have to admit, I don't understand how a lover of film who truly dives into Kubrick cant love him.

Oh, and just so I can give Sgt. Dub something to cleverly respond to, if Kubrick ever had relevance he has it today...watch Dr. Strangelove, Full Metal Jacket, and think about the Bushies and their war for oil.

Lee said...

Ummmm not to change the subject, but did you see Daniel Craig's dangly bits on Old Bitter Balls? Why'd he have to go do that? And why are men's dangly bits so...odd?

SQT said...

Stewart

I would love to see what you have to say about Kubrick.

Lee

I saw that post. I'm still a little uncomfortable.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i don't get scifi honey but i like the people around it so there you go, alrighty?

smiles, bee

Dirk_Star said...

Kubrick is a fine film maker.

You are a superb blogger. i jreally like the way your site is organized and the content is well written and interesting.

My only complaint?

The link to my site does not work...

Sob. Snif...

SQT said...

Dirk

Thanks for stopping by! I will of course fix that link immediately.

cooltopten said...

I do think Kubrick is probably one of the freshes and exciting film makers there is.The world of movies I think would be a poorer place without Kubricks influences.

Alex said...

Homoerotic, Stew - does that mean I have to call you "my Frodo" or have you call me "your Sam," or do we just have to cuddle in a crevace in Emyn Muil for a while?

SQT, Age of Innocence was a bit subtle (I mean, you would have to know that DDL's hesitation at taking Pfeiffer's hand was a great insult in high society to understand the nuance), but absolutely beautiful. True, it was no Wives and Daughters, but it certainly had more $$$ to throw around than obscure BBC productions of Elizabeth Gaskell novels.

And, if you're going to get mad when I explain things as if speaking to children, perhaps the phrase "I don't get it" could be expanded upon. I feel like I'm in the board room of a toy company with Tom Hanks around here. =)

But, yes, people who don't "get" Kubrick probably aren't that bright. Taste is an excellent indicator of intelligence. Hehe

I'll quit picking on you now. I have to start visiting Stew's blog; he won't get as worked up when I misbehave. Well, after the homoeroticism comment, I believe he might get worked up, only in a different way.

Crunchy Carpets said...

Stew already knows he has a place in my heart....

Alex...you are getting in there too!

I love this take on EWS...

and I think it is pretty close..

http://www.konformist.com/flicks/eyeswideshut.htm

Old Knudsen said...

Theres me reading about boring old Kubric but being reminded by Mr Sternberg about the great film Full metal jacket and Lee pops up with an advert for me and Daniel craig's knob, really I'm not paying her.

Alex said...

*blush*