Originally Posted by StephenHero
I was discussing this with someone the other day and my viewpoint is that if someone says Rothko paintings suck, it's an entirely valid viewpoint, even if the person is a complete philistine, as many of the people that would say such a thing are. Personally, I've never liked Rothko to the degree I felt I was supposed to like him. I just don't care about them, despite my support of their theoretical value. I think the broader point is that people who create films or art with few directly observable means of artistic value have to accept their limitations without faulting the ignorant of audiences. If the concept of Rothko paintings is to create a sensory experience that displaces a person from their prior emotional state to engage some new one, it's completely valid response to call the artist a failure if 99 out of 100 people would have no attachment to one of his paintings if it wasn't hanging in a museum and supposedly worth $40 million. I don't fault people for declining to contextualize artwork within the theoretical or historical canon before they say it sucks. I've liked each of the three Mallick films I've seen, and look forward to this one, but there is such a burden for people to acclimate their tastes to their peers that I think it's entirely refreshing and honest when people simply and remorselessly decide not to give a shit about something they're told to appreciate.
It seems like you're confusing not linking
something with disliking
something, as well confusing a lack of apppreciation with dismissiveness. I'm as middle-brow in my tastes as you're likely to find- I admit I know practically nothing about painting-, but there's really only 5%-10% of cultural product I'd say I actively
dislike. Of course, tastes often need to be cultivated, and so the question becomes-- is the person open to viewing the art in a mew way, or are they closed to the possibility? If a person finds the artwork sensually repellant on the surface, or morally objectionable, that person will likely revisit their opinion only on their own time. A person may also be concerned that their failure to protest a work may be taken as tacit approval of art-fart flim-flammery- silent assent to the emperor's clothes- which, of course, can be a valid concern. The reverse-philistinism that automatically praises the new and difficult is as corrosive to artistic appreciation as automatic dismissiveness. (As a fan of modernist art music, I squirm whenever I see any
critical comment to a modernist piece on YouTube- no matter how considered the criticism, nor how turgid and bombastic the piece- automatically shouted down with, "GO BACK TO LISTENING TO BRITTINY SPEARS U RETARD!!11") The avant-garde in still-image artwork always enjoyed an easier time going over with the general public than avant-garde music or avant-garde film, if for the simple fact that a still image doesn't really require any minimum level of involvement on the part of the viewer. A person can look at it for fiftten seconds, or walk past it, or buy it and hang it on their wall and never look at it again. Time-based art requires that you sit there and, if not pay attention, at least try to keep quiet so that other people can. What's funny is that a movie like "The Tree of Life" is far more representational in its subject matter than any number of paintings those very same walkouts might never think to object to, and is far more conventional in its use of cinematic grammar than some blurb of music in a Nike commercial passed unnoticed is in its use of the traditional harmonic language. The issue is not so much the form or the style of the work, but rather the scale to which that form and style is stretched, which for some might make the movie seem more like a work of endurance art.
Originally Posted by robbie
I saw it June 24,I was one of 3 people in the theater when it was over. So many people got up and left. When I left the theater the couple who sat the movie out asked for a refund.
Face it, if for no other reason, you'd watch it just for the Americana.
Originally Posted by StephenHero
Apparently there was an Italian theatre that ran the film out of order for an entire week and nobody said anything. They switched the order of two reels, and in the middle of the movie there was a production logo on screen. I don't know if that's good or bad.
Sounds like what happened when my elementary school tried showing a 16mm print of "Where The Red Fern Grows".