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Thread: Foreign Favorites

  1. #46
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    "If you have a big audience, you can't really say you respect them-it's like saying you respect the people in the street-you don't really know who they are. But if only 10 people come to see your film, you begin to wonder who they are" J.L.Godard

    Godard makes films for an intellectual elite, films chock-full of literary, historical, and cinema references.For example, in In Praise of Love, a couple converse by the Siene while a 30s tune is heard. The scene makes a lot more sense if you know the tune is from Vigo's L'Atalante and the spot is a famous Resistance site. Like Manny Farber wrote: No other filmmaker has so consistently made me feel like a stupid ass. No other filmmaker has provided me with more pleasure and insight either. Simply I think Godard is ahead of his time. He is still experimenting with form and content for the few who care.
    The reason why his 60s films are most popular is because their innovations and conceits have already been incorporated into mainstream film culture. Watching many of his more recent films is comparable to jazz lovers of the 50s listening to Ornette Coleman or Thelonious Monk for the first time. Godard often separates sound from image and plot from dialogue. The viewer has to constantly readjust but the pleasures are still palpable, the images and sounds, and plenty of food for thought.

  2. #47
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    Godard

    OK, I know I'm going to ruffle a few feathers here, but I find Godard to be an utter bore. I haven't seen all his stuff but I own "two or three things I know about her" and you want to know how many times I've watched it? Once.

    I couldn't bring myself to view this film another time. My time on this planet is limited and I don't want to spend it in a darkened room watching yet another elitist social satire. If I want a good social satire, I'll be much happier throwing in Chaplin's "Modern Times".

    It's not a film I can even recommend to friends and yet Amy Taubin of the Village Voice called it "One of the greatest films ever made!" Yeah, maybe if I subscribed to Godard's belief that consumer society is a whorehouse.

    Godard seems like the kind of filmmaker that the "movie-snobs" I used to work with would gush over but at the end of the night they would rarely walk out of the store with a Godard film.

    These films are made to sit on the shelves at video stores for urban, hipster women with horn rimmed glasses and berets who keep saying, "Oh, I've always wanted to see this...well maybe next time let's get "Beautiful Girls" with Matt Dillon!"

  3. #48
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    You are entitled to your opinions. Godard's films are certainly not for those looking for diversion or for a cure for boredom. However, your comments contain a single glaring inaccuracy. Godard's audience has always been overwhelmingly male. Moreover, males rate his films significantly higher than females(IMDB ratings). You seem to be looking for opportunities to display your misogyny, in my opinion.

  4. #49
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    There are a not a few filmmakers out there who "experiment". Few pull it off.
    Godard's "tests" seem to have an unsettling cohesion. It all seems to come together (for me at least) when we see the final scenes. Even Alphaville with it's mars dialogue/french Frampton narration works for me. (I want credit for that description!)

    Weekend's endless tracking shot of car wrecks is something I've rewound and watched over and over. I wouldn't call Godard a bore- he certainly doesn't bore me, but he confuses me more than Greenaway (and that's an achievement). He knows how to manipulate the screen to sometimes astounding effect, and for that I drop a knee. He also rejuvenated the movies in the 50's/60's. It was VERY uncool to be into film in the 60's. This is a fact. I've talked to film buffs who were in film schools then and they all say it was very "square" to be a film student back then. One guys parents disowned him! Godard (& the new wave) made it cool, made it chic.. Kinda like Top Gun increasing recuiting for pilots in the US Navy-although that is ridiculous:)
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  5. #50
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    My Short, Brief List of Foreign Favorites

    I haven't seen alot of Foreign movies, many of which I saw when they rapidly played through at the small independent theater in town (now much farther away). But of those I can remember, a few really stood out for me:

    • After Life [Wandafuru raifu] (1999 - Japan)
    • Run, Lola, Run (Germany)
    • Picnic at Hanging Rock (Australia)
    • Kieslowski's 3 Colors
    • Solaris (Russian)
    • Amelie
    • Fantastic Planet [Plančte sauvage, La] (1973 - Czechoslovakia / France )

  6. #51
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    I knew it would ruffle feathers

    Originally posted by oscar jubis
    You are entitled to your opinions. Godard's films are certainly not for those looking for diversion or for a cure for boredom. However, your comments contain a single glaring inaccuracy. Godard's audience has always been overwhelmingly male. Moreover, males rate his films significantly higher than females(IMDB ratings). You seem to be looking for opportunities to display your misogyny, in my opinion.
    You'll note that I didn't say the stereotypical woman actually RENTED the film, just TALKED about renting it. So if there was any "glaring inaccuracy" it was on the part of the reader of my post not myself.

    It doesn't surprise me that males tend to rate Godard's films higher because a male will tend to try and justify their film-watching decision by any means necessary, most of the women I know will simply admit when a film is an utter bore. BTW, watching an elitist social satire is the ultimate diversion and convincing oneself that watching a film is socially redeeming is a sign of a bored person.

  7. #52
    "BTW, watching an elitist social satire is the ultimate diversion and convincing oneself that watching a film is socially redeeming is a sign of a bored person."

    Having previously admitted that you've only seen a few of Godard's films, and then based the majority of your criticism on one of them, it's possible you may be underexposed to Godard to sufficiently make a broad statement equating him to a social or cultural elitist. However, labeling him as such and then referring to people who've convinced themselves that seeing his work is socially redeeming are "bored" seems as much a reverse-justification of your own opinion as it does an attack on theirs.

    Just an observation.

    Besides, one could argue that anyone who posts on a film message board instead of actually seeing a film or doing something otherwise constructive is demonstrably "bored." In that case, it's safe to say we're all bored.

  8. #53
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    Just an observation

    >>Having previously admitted that you've only seen a few of Godard's films, and then based the majority of your criticism on one of them, it's possible you may be underexposed to Godard to sufficiently make a broad statement equating him to a social or cultural elitist.<<

    While it's true that I said I hadn't seen all of his stuff, I did NOT say I had seen "only a few" of his films. Don't misquote me. I'm getting so sick of this same old lame argument that happens every time someone disagrees that a filmaker isn't the best thing since sliced bread. I am not quite sure why people some people are so hell-bent on forcing their opinions down other peoples throats. You like Godard? Fine. Enjoy yourself. I ain't buying.

    I happen to like the works of Kurosawa and David Lean and I don't really care if you don't. In fact, I don't care if you have never seen their films and decide to shout from the rooftops that they are awful. Suffice it to say, my "exposure" to his Godard is sufficient for me to form my OWN OPINION.

    What a novel idea! I form my OWN opinions rather than simply parroting some coffee table book on foreign film.

    >>However, labeling him as such and then referring to people who've convinced themselves that seeing his work is socially redeeming are "bored" seems as much a reverse-justification of your own opinion as it does an attack on theirs.<<

    It never ceases to amaze me that some think that a difference of opinion is an "attack". In life, one of few absolutes that is undeniable is that people will have different opinions. It takes a mature person to accept this fact and move on.

    Just an observation.

  9. #54
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    Everything was fine and then "...parroting some coffee table book on foreign film" implying we like Godard because is the correct/hip/cool thing to do. You cannot fanthom that others experience genuine pleasure viewing his films. You imply we have to convince ourselves of their worth. By the way, I think many would agree with your disregard for Godard. His potential audience is smaller than other directors', resulting in lack of distribution in America. Many of his recent films are proudly experimental and obtuse. I understand your opinion. What I don't understand is: you meant to ruffle feathers and then, when misenscene questioned your "credentials", you call it an "attack" from one lacking maturity. I cannot believe all you expected was:"yeah man, that Godard is a bore"!

  10. #55

    Blah Blah Blah

    This is a case of one side stating a strong case and taking umbrage when the opposing side engages in debate. Debating the issues with fact produces different results from debating issues with opinion. Stating an opinion is fine. Stating opinions made to seem like facts, or opinions that are unnecessarily derogatory or insulting to bolster the credibility of one's own statment seems to create the exact opposite effect: name-calling reduces the credibility of the argument.

    Just an observation.

    And since we're all still harping on this issue, I suppose none of us are mature enough to have accepted the difference in opinion and move on.

    For the record, we're all entitled to strong opinions. It's when those opinions are expressed in a snide and insulting manner that they incite a backlash. Not liking Godard is fine -- I couldn't care less about anyone's opinion of any other filmmaker -- but attributing a like of Godard to a social elitism, film snobbery or coffee-table book hipsterism doesn't exactly lend credence to one's opinion from a conversational standpoint. The dislike of Godard isn't ruffling feathers; the pettiness and defensiveness of the argument is.

  11. #56
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    I happen to think Godard is a bore and an elitist. You guys apparently like his stuff. No problem.

    What IS a problem is making it a personal issue.

    Oscar Jubis:

    >>"Godard's films are certainly not for those looking for diversion or for a cure for boredom. However, your comments contain a single glaring inaccuracy. Godard's audience has always been overwhelmingly male. Moreover, males rate his films significantly higher than females(IMDB ratings). You seem to be looking for opportunities to display your misogyny, in my opinion."<<

    This implies that I watch film for "diversion" and a "cure for boredom". That is clearly an insult. Secondly, you accuse me of misogyny. Do you even know the definition of the word? That's totally insulting and it's sad that you resort to something like that when someone disagrees with you.

    Now, to reply to miseenscene:

    You chimed in on this thread to apparently ambush me with insults even though prior to your response post I hadn't exchanged word one with you.

    >>Having previously admitted that you've only seen a few of Godard's films,<<

    There is your first error. You start off on the wrong foot by misquoting me. I clearly said I hadn't seen ALL of his stuff NOT "only a few of Godard's films". Excuse me if getting misquoted bothers me.

    >> and then based the majority of your criticism on one of them, it's possible you may be underexposed to Godard to sufficiently make a broad statement equating him to a social or cultural elitist.<<

    This implies that I am just casting about an unfounded opinion which is absurd and insulting. It's one thing to say "I don't like the films of director X because of A, B, or C reasons" "I don't have a problem with someone replying "Well. I DO like the films of director X because of A, B, and C reasons" Tabuno, Docraven and I do this quite a bit. We don't take it personally when we disagree. In fact, none of our top 10 film lists are identical.

    However, it's entirely another thing to insult or misquote someone in a thread and make implications about that individual.

    >>The dislike of Godard isn't ruffling feathers; the pettiness and defensiveness of the argument is.<<

    Bull. The only people that are defensive are the ones who are defending Godard. Pettiness is saying something like "you may be underexposed to Godard". If someone insults me, don't be surprised if I come back with equal invective.

    I don't wish to turn this into some sort of flame forum but if attacked I will defend myself. I am willing to move on at this point as long as I am not further misquoted or falsely accused of "being underexposed".

    >> I suppose none of us are mature enough to have accepted the difference in opinion and move on.<<

    The difference of opinion on Godard? I've moved on from that issue a long time ago. The current issue is (and has been for the last few posts) forum etiquette. You hold your own opinions and I'll hold mine and we can exchange viewpoints, but start misquoting people and insulting them and the lack of civility will make this forum pointless.

  12. #57

    ironlcad argument

    >>>The dislike of Godard isn't ruffling feathers; the pettiness and defensiveness of the argument is.<<<

    >>Bull. The only people that are defensive are the ones who are defending Godard. Pettiness is saying something like "you may be underexposed to Godard". If someone insults me, don't be surprised if I come back with equal invective.<<

    Hmm...

    Thank you for clarifying the status of what is and isn't considered petty. The "movie-snob" comment previously mentioned is an example of what I'd taken to be petty, as were the defenses of your opinion in which you equated Godard fans with social elitists, attacked anyone who defended their like of said films as bored, presumed to state the audience these films were made for (horn-rimmed glasses-wearing Matt Dillon-loving pseudo-hypocrites), and then dismissed all further argument as the pedantic pandering of coffee table book-quoting film snob intelligentsia. I take it that these are valid examples of non-petty, openminded and justified statements, wholly supported by you and the two other posters on this board who have set the standard for appropriate ways to state one's opinion, or so your defense claims.

    Having inferred earlier that you may be underexposed to Godard is an observation based upon your criticism, not an attack. You viewed the challenge to your opinion, or perhaps the wording thereof, as an insult. If I said you were underexposed to the political upheaval in Venezuela, for example, I wouldn't be calling you ignorant, I'd be stating a perception based upon evidence at hand. Dismissing a difference in opinion, particularly one made without overtones of a personal attack (and even lacking the misogyny comment made by another), seems to indicate an unwillingness on your part to engage in a debate of ideas without resorting to harsh, take-it-or-leave-it opinions that will be defended righteously if challenged.

    As for the defnesive angle, we both appear to be vigorously defending everything we've said, not just the Godard fans. The difference is, I'm trying to clarify my point at which I thought your argument lost credence; you're trying to debunk everything I have to say as an insult or personal attack. Since we're at cross-purposes at this point in the thread, and have completely moved off-topic in terms of foreign films, I say we leave this issue where it lays since neither of us is going to sway the other to see his point of view anytime soon.

  13. #58
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    On Being Thin Skinned

    May I weigh in on both sides here. I find these kinds of arguments interesting, but a bit frustrating. This has been a part of a few other strings on this forum as well. Everyone who has entered into the fray has provided an insight or two, especially regarding their own vision. All seem to agree that everyone of us has different sensitivities and legitimate preferences.

    What I’d like to suggest is that all of us read responses to our postings with generosity, and not assume personal attacks. I suspect we all disagree with things we read here, and we all find other things to agree about. Hopefully, we also get some new insights. We also come to get a sense of how various individuals respond.

    Stevetseitz, for example, is right up front with his views, and often states them in very strong ways. I rather enjoy this. If he refers to something like “coffee table books,” I think I get the point. And it makes me think a bit. I have to admit having been influenced at times by film books rather than really thinking and responding for myself. I cannot state it as a fact, but I suspect many of us have done the same. But hopefully, these are not long lasting or imbedded influences. Anyway, it doesn’t hurt me to think about such a possibility -- or about “band wagon” responses to film. I could make similar comments about things almost everyone has stated here, but what’s the point?

    I just suspect all of us can be a little less thin-skinned about our postings. After all, I assume we come here for exchange. I hope we even come to be challenged a bit. I hate to see personal wars when they are not necessary, and I question their value to any of us. A sense of generosity of spirit wouldn’t hurt any of us when it comes to reading other people’s postings.

  14. #59
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    >>Thank you for clarifying the status of what is and isn't considered petty.<<

    You're welcome.

    >> The "movie-snob" comment previously mentioned is an example of what I'd taken to be petty<<

    You mean this statement? : "Godard seems like the kind of filmmaker that the "movie-snobs" I used to work with would gush over"? If you would bother to read what I ACTUALLY said rather than have a "knee-jerk" reaction you would see that it's more a comment about the people I used to work with rather than any specific description of Godard, his fans or his films.

    >>You mean , as were the defenses of your opinion in which you equated Godard fans with social elitists<<

    Yet another misquote! I said in the original post I didn't want to waste my time watching "yet another elitist social satire". This doesn't apply to Godard fans but specifically "two or three things I know about her..."

    >>, attacked anyone who defended their like of said films as bored, <<

    Yet another misqoute. I did not attack "anyone who defended their like of said films as bored". The actual statement, in a reply post, was "convincing oneself that watching a film is socially redeeming is a sign of a bored person."
    It's not an "attack" it's a belief. If you disagree...fine, no skin off my nose.

    >>presumed to state the audience these films were made for (horn-rimmed glasses-wearing Matt Dillon-loving pseudo-hypocrites)<<

    Wrong. That isn't what I said. But apparently you didn't bother to read the original post very carefully. From my experience in working at a trendy, alternative video store after high school, I stated that films like these were "made to sit on the shelves at video stores for urban, hipster women with horn rimmed glasses and berets who keep saying, "Oh, I've always wanted to see this...well maybe next time let's get "Beautiful Girls" with Matt Dillon!" This scene was so common it became amusing at the store I worked. Employees would make wagers predicting the actual rentals of people who came in asking for foreign films. If you have no sense of humor you don't have any business interacting with other people on these forums.


    >> I take it that these are valid examples of non-petty, openminded and justified statements, wholly supported by you and the two other posters on this board who have set the standard for appropriate ways to state one's opinion, or so your defense claims.<<

    It's not "defense". I have no need to "defend" against such an obvious lack of facts. Since you haven't quoted me correctly thus far, I'll assume you are new to the process of message boards or unfamiliar with common etiquette.

    >>Having inferred earlier that you may be underexposed to Godard is an observation based upon your criticism, not an attack.<<

    Even if it was meant as an "observation", and not an attack, it was based on faulty data. I clearly stated that I had not seen all of Godard's films. Somehow you misquoted me by saying I had seen "only a few". So your "observation" was based on either a lack of comprehension on the part of the reader or an intentional omission.

    >>You viewed the challenge to your opinion, or perhaps the wording thereof, as an insult. If I said you were underexposed to the political upheaval in Venezuela, for example, I wouldn't be calling you ignorant, I'd be stating a perception based upon evidence at hand.<<

    It wasn't a "challenge" to my "opinion". It was a misquote and furthermore a conclusion based on incorrect data.

    >> Dismissing a difference in opinion, particularly one made without overtones of a personal attack (and even lacking the misogyny comment made by another), seems to indicate an unwillingness on your part to engage in a debate of ideas without resorting to harsh, take-it-or-leave-it opinions that will be defended righteously if challenged.<<

    Not at all. I am certainly open and accepting of different opinions. Look at my last post: " I happen to think Godard is a bore and an elitist. You guys apparently like his stuff. No problem. " The problem is the misquoting and the implying of "underexposure". This is basic etiquette which must be followed in order for message boards to serve their purpose.

    >>As for the defnesive angle, we both appear to be vigorously defending everything we've said, not just the Godard fans.<<

    You can't vigorously defend misquoting someone, no matter how hard you try. The proof is in the posts.

    >>The difference is, I'm trying to clarify my point at which I thought your argument lost credence; you're trying to debunk everything I have to say as an insult or personal attack.<<

    Clarity will never be reached as long as you consistently misquote others. When you make implications about others based on misquotes it only serves to weaken your case.

    >> Since we're at cross-purposes at this point in the thread, and have completely moved off-topic in terms of foreign films, I say we leave this issue where it lays since neither of us is going to sway the other to see his point of view anytime soon.<<

    Like I said before: " I happen to think Godard is a bore and an elitist. You guys apparently like his stuff. No problem."

  15. #60
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    I cannot let this die without saying I was wrong to use the term "your misogyny" in response to Stevetseitz. I do not know you and I don't have enough information to make that judgement. I was reacting to your specifying gender in your comments about customers at a rental store, when gender was irrelevant. This, and terms like "movie-snobs", tick me off. But that's no excuse. I apologize.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 01-22-2003 at 09:35 PM.

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