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I Hate Movies That Make Me Feel Brain Dead!!!


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Symbolism in movies can be tough.

 

Not unlike trying to "figure out" abstract art in its way.

 

So, I sometimes "feel" movies and seem to enjoy that. Taking drugs can help. I remember when I saw 2001 in the theater back around 1970, the air in there was sweet with the odor of cannabis. I'm pretty sure there was a fair amount of clear liquid at work in the audience as well.

 

Good times.

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FredDobbs said: We need to add that narration to the end of the film, in a man's voice, with a nice British accent.

 

Kubrick often uses imagery instead of narration. It's up to YOU to interpret what you are seeing, that's what I like about it. It can mean different things to different people.

 

 

TomJH said: If the film doesn't "fail," then why do so many viewers not get the ending? 

 

Because many people prefer their stories spoon fed to them.

 

Many enjoy crime & noir because they ENJOY figuring out what's going on. Typically the charactor's words will indicate, sometimes it's their actions. With a Kubrick film, he simply records what is happening, like a news reporter, and YOU have to actively participate.

 

And we haven't even touched on the black monolith.

 

The monolith is a vessel of communication between the "gods" and mankind. You notice the apes listen to it-they are primitive enough not to question the knowledge it communicates. 

A monolith was buried so that once it's uncovered, it would send a signal to the "gods" that mankind has progressed enough to travel to their own moon. It's a physical sign that mankind has developed enough to colonize another planet. Start again.

 

The monolith can be a black hole, electricity, who knows? It's just another element of discussion & opinion.

 

And Bowman was put in that ornate room to live out his life, like an animal in a zoo. That room was his "habitat", designed by his "keepers" in a way they thought would comfort him. 

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And we haven't even touched on the black monolith.

 

The monolith is a vessel of communication between the "gods" and mankind. You notice the apes listen to it-they are primitive enough not to question the knowledge it communicates. 

A monolith was buried so that once it's uncovered, it would send a signal to the "gods" that mankind has progressed enough to travel to their own moon. It's a physical sign that mankind has developed enough to colonize another planet. Start again.

 

The monolith can be a black hole, electricity, who knows? It's just another element of discussion & opinion.

 

And Bowman was put in that ornate room to live out his life, like an animal in a zoo. That room was his "habitat", designed by his "keepers" in a way they thought would comfort him. 

Thanks for the explanation, TikiSoo. I appreciate it.

 

But I have to ask the same question again: did you derive your explanation about the monolith (as well as the understanding of the final passages of confusing narrative in 2001) just from the film itself? Or was the viewing experience augmented by other sources of information (such as Clarke's books, for example) in order to come to your final conclusions?

 

Because if you did it on your own just from the Kubrick film, assuming that you are correct, bravo to you. If you had to use other sources, as well, though, what does that say about Kubrick's narrative skills as a filmmaker? It's one thing for a filmmaker to want his audience to ponder the meaning of something by not being straight forward in his story telling technique; it's quite another for him to leave many viewers largely confused.

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I'd rather watch Mel Brooks' "History Of The World, Part I" than "2001:  A Space Odyssey".  I found "2001" to have too many boring stretches where I was flat-out uninterested.  I honestly do not think I could stay awake if ever I attempted to watch "2001:  A Space Odyssey" again.  I'd have to keep my eyelids open with toothpicks.   I don't hate "2001", but I don't find it interesting enough to ever want to watch again.    

 

     JACOB'S BLADDER leaks rotten pi - ss.       

 

     And WISDOM is even worse.  What a dumb script.     

 

     DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS (1971) I found too disjointed to enjoy.  I won't watch it again.  Once was enough.   

 

      SCRATCH:  HARRY (1969-UK) (aka:  "The Erotic Three").  This movie should be re-named "ARTY BRITISH '60s SWILL".  What rubbishy twaddle this was.  Reminded me of that Anthony Newley movie "HIERONYMOUS MERKIN" for some reason.  And 'MERKIN' was a junk movie, too.  I felt more stupider (sic) after attempting to watch and make sense out of it.  What a waste of talent.  I could only get through the first 40 minutes and then I asked myself why in hell should I continue watching this incomprehensible slop? ► I did not give myself a good answer so I stopped the tape, re-wound it and haven't bothered with it since. 

 

      (On the flip-side I did quite enjoy the 1975 musical "THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP" which starred Anthony Newley). 

 

     I will not watch THE USUAL SUSPECTS again.  The ending negates the whole movie.  Apparently the Devil is a secret storyteller and enjoys wasting his time.  And mine!  :angry:

 

     THE WEDDING PLANNER was pretty rank.  There was zero chemistry between the two stars.  I blame Matthew McConaghey for that.  I don't watch many RomComs and I should've skipped this one.   

 

     NAIL GUN MASSACRE (1987-Shot on video) was utter junk.  And LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972) from Wes Craven was stupid garbage.  There's plenty of bad movies I like.  'LAST HOUSE' ain't one of 'em.  It's a dumb movie and it's unbelievable the bad guys would end up at the girl's parents house. 

 

     FEAR NO EVIL (1981) needs to have its negative recycled into bong water.  Totally uninvolving teen-oriented horror movie.  I'd gladly burn the negative for this waste of film if I could.  

This appears to be largely a list of films that you don't like, Mr. Gorman. This thread is about films that make you feel brain dead because you find them confusing. I do see that Scratch Harry falls into that category for you, though.

 

By the way, crude and juvenile as it may be in spots, I really like History of the World, Part One. Made me laugh out loud more than a few times. But then this film has Madeline Kahn, and Gregory Hines (unravelling a four foot tongue).

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Tom; at first I wasn't sure what you meant by "brain dead". Guess your girlfriend at the time felt it was expressive of her lack of understanding of the ending of "Jacob's Ladder. It's as good a way to say "I don't get it" as any.

Me, I tend to just say "That made me feel dumb". Or "I must be stupid, I didn't get that at all."

 

Anyway: About Birdman:

This is not an "explanation", this is a semi-review. Sort of.

 

I disliked the film very much, and felt it definitely did not deserve to win best picture of 2014.  Here's why:

 

Birdman didn't know what it wanted to be- a comedy? a comeback story? a failed comeback story? a fantasy? a personal human beings interacting dysfunctionally drama? (Hey, how's that for a new genre?)

 

Now, I have no problem with films that transcend genre categories. In fact, sometimes they're the best kind. But Birdman was just unsatisfying to me, no matter what level one tries to watch it on. (Even a gravity-defying level haha.)

A film does not have to make sense to me, as long as I "get it" in some other, non-cerebral way. Like darkblue said, sometimes it's enough for me to just "feel" a movie, even if I can't logically explain it.

 

But Birdman couldn't make up its mind if the depiction of  "science defying laws" it kept breaking was real - that Riggan Thomson really did have some kind of kinetic power - or if he was mentally ill, and hallucinating.

But then, how come when he jumped off the roof (the first time) he was actually flying? Obviously, then, he did NOT jump, but somehow imagined that whole scene?

I feel as though the filmmakers are playing games with the audience, and justifying it by saying "That's the whole point - we're leaving it up to the individual viewer to figure out their own interpretation blahblah."

 

I don't know why, but while this approach does often work for me (I agree with TikiSoo's take on 2001: a Space Odyssey, for instance), it feels forced and self-consciously "arty" in Birdman.

 

Also: throughout the entire film, I thought the dialogue felt fake, again, self-conscious in its cleverness. People, even smart, arty people, don't talk like that. I found out that the screenplay was written by at least 4 people. Screenplay be committee. No wonder it didn't sound right.

 

Don't get me wrong - I like all the actors in Birdman (Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Michael Keaton himself...). It wasn't the actors who bothered me, it was the lines they had to say. Kind of ironic, considering how carefully the characters worried about the lines they had to speak in the play they were doing.

 

The almost incessent drumming in the film almost drove me as crazy as Keaton's character. Again, obviously an attempt to be arty and different, "Oh, great, it's the soundtrack music to Riggan's life", they must have thought.

No, it's just in-your-face (or ear) and annoying.

 

As for the ending: First, how come this guy keeps wanting to off himself? Ok, he has "issues", but none that are "I'll just stab myself for real at the end of the play", or "I'll just jump out of this 20-storey window" -worthy. It just felt like the writers made it go that way for effect.

 

So, yeah....Emma Stone rushes back into her father's hospital room, fears the worst, looks out the open window, looks down, we can't tell from her expression what's happened or what she sees, looks up...Ah yes, there's Dad, flying around like his alter-ego, Birdman. All is well.

 

What the frig??

And the explanation that some have offered, that we're seeing her reaction as imagined by Riggan as he falls to his death, just doesn't fly. (had to say that.)

 

So, I don't think anyone who didn't "get" Birdman is "brain dead". I think their brains are alive and well. But maybe someone should have a good talk with the creators of this highly over-rated piece of cinema, and make sure their brains are in good shape.

 

ps: As I hope I made clear, there are many difficult, weird, hardtofigureout, surrealistic, insert your word of choice to describe theme here  ____    movies that I love. I can handle the truth, or at least, I can handle strange movies that have no apparent explanation. Birdman just isn't one of them.

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Tom; at first I wasn't sure what you meant by "brain dead". Guess your girlfriend at the time felt it was expressive of her lack of understanding of the ending of "Jacob's Ladder. It's as good a way to say "I don't get it" as any.

Me, I tend to just say "That made me feel dumb". Or "I must be stupid, I didn't get that at all."

 

Anyway: About Birdman:

This is not an "explanation", this is a semi-review. Sort of.

 

I disliked the film very much, and felt it definitely did not deserve to win best picture of 2014.  Here's why:

 

Birdman didn't know what it wanted to be- a comedy? a comeback story? a failed comeback story? a fantasy? a personal human beings interacting dysfunctionally drama? (Hey, how's that for a new genre?)

 

Now, I have no problem with films that transcend genre categories. In fact, sometimes they're the best kind. But Birdman was just unsatisfying to me, no matter what level one tries to watch it on. (Even a gravity-defying level haha.)

A film does not have to make sense to me, as long as I "get it" in some other, non-cerebral way. Like darkblue said, sometimes it's enough for me to just "feel" a movie, even if I can't logically explain it.

 

But Birdman couldn't make up its mind if the depiction of  "science defying laws" it kept breaking was real - that Riggan Thomson really did have some kind of kinetic power - or if he was mentally ill, and hallucinating.

But then, how come when he jumped off the roof (the first time) he was actually flying? Obviously, then, he did NOT jump, but somehow imagined that whole scene?

I feel as though the filmmakers are playing games with the audience, and justifying it by saying "That's the whole point - we're leaving it up to the individual viewer to figure out their own interpretation blahblah."

 

I don't know why, but while this approach does often work for me (I agree with TikiSoo's take on 2001: a Space Odyssey, for instance), it feels forced and self-consciously "arty" in Birdman.

 

Also: throughout the entire film, I thought the dialogue felt fake, again, self-conscious in its cleverness. People, even smart, arty people, don't talk like that. I found out that the screenplay was written by at least 4 people. Screenplay be committee. No wonder it didn't sound right.

 

Don't get me wrong - I like all the actors in Birdman (Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Michael Keaton himself...). It wasn't the actors who bothered me, it was the lines they had to say. Kind of ironic, considering how carefully the characters worried about the lines they had to speak in the play they were doing.

 

The almost incessent drumming in the film almost drove me as crazy as Keaton's character. Again, obviously an attempt to be arty and different, "Oh, great, it's the soundtrack music to Riggan's life", they must have thought.

No, it's just in-your-face (or ear) and annoying.

 

As for the ending: First, how come this guy keeps wanting to off himself? Ok, he has "issues", but none that are "I'll just stab myself for real at the end of the play", or "I'll just jump out of this 20-storey window" -worthy. It just felt like the writers made it go that way for effect.

 

So, yeah....Emma Stone rushes back into her father's hospital room, fears the worst, looks out the open window, looks down, we can't tell from her expression what's happened or what she sees, looks up...Ah yes, there's Dad, flying around like his alter-ego, Birdman. All is well.

 

What the frig??

And the explanation that some have offered, that we're seeing her reaction as imagined by Riggan as he falls to his death, just doesn't fly. (had to say that.)

 

So, I don't think anyone who didn't "get" Birdman is "brain dead". I think their brains are alive and well. But maybe someone should have a good talk with the creators of this highly over-rated piece of cinema, and make sure their brains are in good shape.

 

ps: As I hope I made clear, there are many difficult, weird, hardtofigureout, surrealistic, insert your word of choice to describe theme here  ____    movies that I love. I can handle the truth, or at least, I can handle strange movies that have no apparent explanation. Birdman just isn't one of them.

Thanks for the Birdman review, MissW.

 

Aside from my confusion with the film's ending, I didn't much care for the film either. Like you, I thought all the performances were fine and, like you, the drum soundtrack (that's gotta be a first, PLEEESE let it be a last) drove me crazy.

 

I appreciate that those long, excessively long (Look Ma, No Obvious Editing) takes that the film had must have been a tremendous technical challenge for all involved, director, cast, crew. If just one person made a mistake during these long shoots the entire take would be ruined and they'd have to do it over again. That must have put tremendous pressure on everyone while shooting Birdman.

 

But just because it was technically challenging for those involved doesn't mean that I have to like the film anymore because of it. In fact, I even found the long takes distracting, making me lose track of the dialogue, at times, as I concentrated, instead, on the camera pulling back or forward or whipping around corners to have another actor ready to do his thing. I assume those long takes were designed to approximate the theatre experience to a degree.

 

It would appear that we're in agreement about the film's final scene. Neither satisfying to me nor understandable. I clearly do NOT understand why the daughter is smiling and, if they're trying to imply it's because the birdman really is flying, give me a break! I like to see at least a little bit of logic in a film in which the previous flights taken by him were in his imagination. Suddenly, though, we're supposed to believe it's "Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Birdman!" time?

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I am probably alone in thinking Birdman's camerawork was incredibly annoying.  Yes, Chivo jumped through many hoops getting all those very long shots BUT ... I wanted the reaction cutaways.

We always seemed to be on the person spouting off those very long speeches.  Often insulting ones.  Where were the reactions of the other character enduring those attacks?  Sorry, but you can't have 'em because we are locked into this style and we are facing this way, not that?  And why is that?  Because Chivo shoots this way all the time, that's why.  

Sorry, but it didn't seem like a good enough reason to me.

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I am probably alone in thinking Birdman's camerawork was incredibly annoying.  Yes, Chivo jumped through many hoops getting all those very long shots BUT ... I wanted the reaction cutaways.

We always seemed to be on the person spouting off those very long speeches.  Often insulting ones.  Where were the reactions of the other character enduring those attacks?  Sorry, but you can't have 'em because we are locked into this style and we are facing this way, not that?  And why is that?  Because Chivo shoots this way all the time, that's why.  

Sorry, but it didn't seem like a good enough reason to me.

 

Exactly. Another example of the film showing-off for the sake of showing -off, at the expense of story and character.

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I am probably alone in thinking Birdman's camerawork was incredibly annoying.  Yes, Chivo jumped through many hoops getting all those very long shots BUT ... I wanted the reaction cutaways.

We always seemed to be on the person spouting off those very long speeches.  Often insulting ones.  Where were the reactions of the other character enduring those attacks?  Sorry, but you can't have 'em because we are locked into this style and we are facing this way, not that?  And why is that?  Because Chivo shoots this way all the time, that's why.  

Sorry, but it didn't seem like a good enough reason to me.

What concerns me is that because the film community has just given this director and film the highest awards that it has we're going to see more films like this in the future with endlessly long takes and no cutaway shots for reactions.

 

And God help us all if there are more drum solo soundtracks!

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Exactly. Another example of the film showing-off for the sake of showing -off, at the expense of story and character.

I think it finds its roots in some sort of Mexican version of Dogme.  You find this attitude in Alfonso Cuaron's films as well which Chivo also shoots.  I think its an attempt to make you feel like you are in a real space in real time and not in a movie.  And when Alfonso cuts he wants you to feel the perspective changes in sound and in light as you would if you were watching a home movie on video.

But, yawn ... you do sacrifice some of the power of film when doing this.  Again, I was crying out for reaction cutaways in Birdman.

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What concerns me is that because the film community has just given this director and film the highest awards that it has we're going to see more films like this in the future with endlessly long takes and no cutaway shots for reactions.

 

And God help us all if there are more drum solo soundtracks!

Oh, and they are not necessarily 'real' long takes.  The computer CGI effects often seamlessly join bits together to form these long takes.  Impressive slight of hand I must say.  The joins are often made when the camera goes around corners or does a whip pan, etc.

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Oh, and they are not necessarily 'real' long takes.  The computer CGI effects often seamlessly join bits together to form these long takes.  Impressive slight of hand I must say.  The joins are often made when the camera goes around corners or does a whip pan, etc.

That may well be. But they are still excessively long takes (whether or not with computer sleight-of-hand) and that "you are really there" feel they want to approximate by it is not something that I particularly appreciate. Certainly not for the entire length of a film!

 

This is the exact opposite of that other film technique so popular with so many, excessive fast edits that make a film seem more like a rock video. I dislike both extremes.

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To get back to movies that defy explanation, one that comes to mind that I really like is Mulholland Falls. Maybe it's because there's no use even trying to figure it out, you can just relax and watch it and accept it as an exceptionally bizarre and interesting dream.

Coincidentally, Naomi Watts was in MF. And very good she was in it, too.

 

Edit: Gak !  NOT "Muholland FALLS".  "Mulholland DRIVE." dumb of me to confuse them.

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That may well be. But they are still excessively long takes (whether or not with computer sleight-of-hand) and that "you are really there" feel they want to approximate by it is not something that I particularly appreciate. Certainly not for the entire length of a film!

 

This is the exact opposite of that other film technique so popular with so many, excessive fast edits that make a film seem more like a rock video. I dislike both extremes.

Agreed.  I didn't think Birdman and its particular story leant itself terribly well to this 'constant' use of this style anyway.  

Over to you Miss W ...

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I like misswonderly's view on not understanding a movie, in that it makes me feel dumb. There is a quote from a goofy movie Billy Madison, after Billy says some incoherent, word salad, jibberish, the principal states something to the effect of "Everyone in this room is now dumber after having listened to it." Kinda how I felt after watching it too.

Besides 2001, which I still don't get, I had a hard time with Vanilla Sky. I didn't understand the ending. The contemplating of the jumping off the building. Was he inside some sort of life enhancing machine? I have no clue. What did the jump signify? It's been years since I saw it but if anyone remembers and gets this movie, I would appreciate to hear anything.

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To get back to movies that defy explanation, one that comes to mind that I really like is Mulholland Falls. Maybe it's because there's no use even trying to figure it out, you can just relax and watch it and accept it as an exceptionally bizarre and interesting dream.

Coincidentally, Naomi Watts was in MF. And very good she was in it, too.

 

Edit: Gak !  NOT "Muholland FALLS".  "Mulholland DRIVE." dumb of me to confuse them.

 

I happened to catch "Mulholland Drive" a couple years ago on TV, and I have to say I think you've SOMEWHAT hit the nail on the head regarding this David Lynch movie, MissW. 

 

However, after venturing to the IMDb website immediately after my viewing of this perplexing but fascinating film and in search of finding other perspectives and some possible explanations to this film's strange twists and turns(and of course to find out a little more about the luscious Miss Laura Harring...wow, what a beauty), I found a bright soul who explained it all to me there. And of course, once you realize......

 

.....SPOILER ALERT....

 

...that it's a David Lynch take on the "Carnival of Souls"/"The Sixth Sense"/"The Others" type of stories where the lead character is actually dead but doesn't know it, it makes it all so clear.

 

And not only that, but I found I appreciated this movie all the more in retrospect.

 

(...and something I can't say, and as I mentioned earlier, about Antonioni's "Blow-Up", because even knowing or at least guessing what HIS movie is supposedly suggesting, I still think it somewhat a disjointed mess, and unlike Lynch's film)

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But I have to ask the same question again: did you derive your explanation about the monolith (as well as the understanding of the final passages of confusing narrative in 2001) just from the film itself? 


 


My brother told me to read the books BEFORE seeing the movie because I wouldn't understand it! Then I saw the movie (on the big screen in a theater) and while I liked it, like everyone else found it confusing.


 


Every time I watched 2001 on TCM, I liked it a little bit more, and each time I figured out a little bit more. It simply took repeated viewings.


 


Because if you did it on your own just from the Kubrick film, assuming that you are correct, bravo to you. If you had to use other sources, as well, though, what does that say about Kubrick's narrative skills as a filmmaker? 


 


I agree Kubrick's not for everybody. I know a movie should stand on it's own and at best reaches many instead of a select few. I like the fact the vision isn't "dumbed down", but also realize unless it reaches others, any art is masturbatory. 


Once you recognise the story Kubrick is telling, many viewers prefer the non narrative style.


 


For example; when the ape throws the bone into the air and it turns into a spaceship.....I thought huh?


It jumps next to seemingly empty moments....really giving your mind a chance to digest what you just saw. I thought: the ape had just discovered tools....then man is in space. We KNOW the story of mankind in between those 2 events. Why waste time showing it?


 


I think this is why it took Kubrick so long to make his films....he had a vision and wanted to communicate it with pictures. I bet he edited his stuff to death trying to take OUT as much out as possible. 


 


2010 is more of a linear narrative that the average person prefers. Those who "get" 2001 prefer it just because it's a different style of storytelling.


 


Last night I tried watching Jean Cocteau's ORPHEUS. I didn't understand a THING! Of course, it made me think of this thread, haha. I'll give it another go Sunday afternoon when I'm not so sleepy and hopefully enjoy it better.

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But I have to ask the same question again: did you derive your explanation about the monolith (as well as the understanding of the final passages of confusing narrative in 2001) just from the film itself? 

 

My brother told me to read the books BEFORE seeing the movie because I wouldn't understand it! Then I saw the movie (on the big screen in a theater) and while I liked it, like everyone else found it confusing.

 

Every time I watched 2001 on TCM, I liked it a little bit more, and each time I figured out a little bit more. It simply took repeated viewings.

 

Because if you did it on your own just from the Kubrick film, assuming that you are correct, bravo to you. If you had to use other sources, as well, though, what does that say about Kubrick's narrative skills as a filmmaker? 

 

I agree Kubrick's not for everybody. I know a movie should stand on it's own and at best reaches many instead of a select few. I like the fact the vision isn't "dumbed down", but also realize unless it reaches others, any art is masturbatory. 

Once you recognise the story Kubrick is telling, many viewers prefer the non narrative style.

 

 

Well, you are certainly to be commended, TikiSoo, for your perseverance to come to a greater understanding about 2001. Obviously, the film captured you enough for you to want to explore it more.

 

But that just allows me to sound like a bit of a pedantic bore by repeating, once again, if someone has to turn to other sources in order to understand a film, what does that say about the filmmaker himself? In other words, if you were cut off from those Clarke books, you would be just as confused and baffled as the rest of the crowd that was collectively scratching its head about the film.

 

To me, that makes Kubrick's nonlinear (or whatever you want to call it) story telling style a failure. In watching it originally in the theatre (and a few times since) he succeeeded in giving me that "am I brain dead cause I don't know what the heck is going on" feeling. Now I'm placing the blame on Kubrick, not myself.

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Thanks, Jake!  I saw this years ago and it was worth another look.   Shows that the answers to Kubrick's riddles are in the movie itself.  Whether you like this sort of filmmaking approach is another matter.  Personally, I thought 2001 had a certain unique wow factor in 1968 that puts it up there with many other great films.  An essential in my book.

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This kind of conversation "just goes to show" that sometimes,when it comes to movies and how we feel about them, one just has a gut feeling that no amount of rationalizing or theorizing can explain.

 

What I mean by this is, I agree with Tom that a movie should not require outside sources in order to appreciate it. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've said something along those lines myself (but can't remember which thread or when or anything ...)

But at the same time, I think there's a certain kind of film that "works" in some way, whether you consult those outside sources or not. These kinds of movies - and their numbers are legion - operate on a different level from most.

Just to name three that come to mind - all 3 have been cited earlier on this thread - Blow Up, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Mulholland Drive.

 

Some posters here have helpfully provided links to sites that "explain" these movies (the latter two, anyway).

But here's the thing: I did not read those articles, on purpose, because I don't want to hear the "explanations". Not only do I not feel I need them, I actually prefer to carry on not knowing them. I feel I will enjoy the movies, upon future viewings, more, if I don't "know" what's going on in them, plot / explanation-wise.

Sometimes I have this experience with certain books, too. Usually short stories. I read the thing, feel at first that I missed something, that I didn't "get it". But if the story leaves me with some kind of feeling or mood, or a sense of discovery, even if I can't logically define what that is, then I derived something worthwhile from it.

Same with films. For some apparently incomprehensible movies, I "get something" out of them anyway, whether I was provided with a satisfactory rational explanation or not.

It's like the feeling you have sometimes when you wake up from a dream - it made no sense, but you liked the world of that dream while you were in it.

 

I also feel this way about certain songs. These days, you can look up the lyrics for almost any song ever written. There are some songs that I don't want to know the lyrics for, let alone be offered "explanations". I like the mysteriousness of not knowing exactly what they're talking about.

 

Does any of this make any sense? If not, I'll provide a link to an article I wrote 'splaining it all.

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@Tiki

"Last night I tried watching Jean Cocteau's ORPHEUS. I didn't understand a THING! Of course, it made me think of this thread, haha. I'll give it another go Sunday afternoon when I'm not so sleepy and hopefully enjoy it better."

 

hope you give it another go, it's become one of my favs :)

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hope you give it (ORPHEUS) another go, it's become one of my favs

 

I'm really glad we CAN have repeated viewings nowadays. And understand, it was my repeated viewings that helped me "get" the meaning of 2001, not Clarke's book.

(I love that linked Flash synopsis-even more points I never thought of)

 

But yes Tom, I agree with you 100%-if a viewer can't understand and enjoy a movie with the information presented, it's a failure.

 

I think some filmmakers get so caught up in their vision, they don't realize they are failing to communicate. Sadly, most of these films are often discounted. But some, like 2001 and the others mentioned are worth "working" to understand.

 

And yes, I will revisit ORPHEUS, it's a library Criterion copy, obviously deemed worthwhile by others! Other people get it, I feel like a dummy that it eluded me.

 

What a great art medium film can be....head scratchers like 2001 along with crazy fluff like Marx Brothers and musicals like ANNIE GET YOUR GUN!

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