Discussion:
Rashomon
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Tom Benton
2011-03-31 22:32:13 UTC
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I don't think any movie has left me so confused. And I suspect that is
intentional. I have read a few reviews and they didn't seem to help.
The nearest I could figure, all the suspects felt that they had
something to hide that was worse than being charged with murder, but I
really didn't get a feel for what that might be. Any help?


_____________________________________
Procrastinate now! Do not put it off!

Ellen DeGeneres
Sol L. Siegel
2011-04-01 01:34:04 UTC
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Post by Tom Benton
I don't think any movie has left me so confused. And I suspect that is
intentional. I have read a few reviews and they didn't seem to help.
The nearest I could figure, all the suspects felt that they had
something to hide that was worse than being charged with murder, but I
really didn't get a feel for what that might be. Any help?
The point is that everyone not only had something to hide, but
wanted to present himself/herself in a particular light.
Kurosawa underscored this by filming each retelling in a
different style of acting, editing, sound and even music (or
lack of it).

The framing story of the men waiting in the rain was
supposedly added to bring the movie to feature length. I
supposed this partly explains the tacked-on ending. FWIW,
I think this movies deserves its elevated reputation.

- Sol L. Siegel, Philadelphia, PA USA
Clifford Blau
2011-04-02 00:53:08 UTC
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Post by Sol L. Siegel
The framing story of the men waiting in the rain was
supposedly added to bring the movie to feature length. I
supposed this partly explains the tacked-on ending. FWIW,
I think this movies deserves its elevated reputation.
I don't. I also don't see how the framing story could have been
tacked on; it is necessary to tell the main story. But the reactions
of the men hearing the story are so over the top as to be ludicrous.
Was this supposed to be a new idea, that different people see the same
event differently?



------------
Clifford Blau
http://members.dslextreme.com/users/brak2.0
Stone me
2011-04-01 01:34:27 UTC
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Post by Tom Benton
I don't think any movie has left me so confused. And I suspect that is
intentional. I have read a few reviews and they didn't seem to help.
The nearest I could figure, all the suspects felt that they had
something to hide that was worse than being charged with murder, but I
really didn't get a feel for what that might be. Any help?
_____________________________________
Procrastinate now! Do not put it off!
Ellen DeGeneres
Read even more reviews.
This is how I would progress, though there must
be many more routes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashomon_(film)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042876/externalreviews
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042876/usercomments

Stone me.
Old Movie Fan
2011-04-01 02:35:36 UTC
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Don't know if any of those links mentioned this, but "The Outrage"
(1964), is an American remake of the very same story, with an American
twist.
This stars Paul Newman, with Edward G. Robinson, William Shatner,
Howard DaSilva, Laurence Harvey, and in the female lead, Clair Bloom.
It's been shown on TCM, but I don't know if it's available on DVD.

The director of Photography was the famous James Wong Howe.

If you can understand this, then you can understand the plot of
"Rashomon."
Heynonny
2011-04-03 07:06:35 UTC
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Post by Old Movie Fan
Don't know if any of those links mentioned this, but "The Outrage"
(1964), is an American remake of the very same story, with an American
twist.
This stars Paul Newman, with Edward G. Robinson, William Shatner,
Howard DaSilva, Laurence Harvey, and in the female lead, Clair Bloom.
It's been shown on TCM, but I don't know if it's available on DVD.
The director of Photography was the famous James Wong Howe.
If you can understand this, then you can understand the plot of
"Rashomon."
An aquaintance of mine, a fellow student in a film class, once
approached me, breathlessly excited that he had discovered an "obscure"
Japanese remake of The Magnificent Seven.

I've encountered him off and on over the years but have never discussed
The Outrage; I often wonder what he thinks of it.
Jim Beaver
2011-04-05 07:32:17 UTC
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Post by Old Movie Fan
Don't know if any of those links mentioned this, but "The Outrage"
(1964), is an American remake of the very same story, with an American
twist.
This stars Paul Newman, with Edward G. Robinson, William Shatner,
Howard DaSilva, Laurence Harvey, and in the female lead, Clair Bloom.
It's been shown on TCM, but I don't know if it's available on DVD.
The director of Photography was the famous James Wong Howe.
If you can understand this, then you can understand the plot of
"Rashomon."
An aquaintance of mine, a fellow student in a film class, once approached
me, breathlessly excited that he had discovered an "obscure" Japanese
remake of The Magnificent Seven.
I've encountered him off and on over the years but have never discussed
The Outrage; I often wonder what he thinks of it.
A good candidate for greatest joke ever:

Homer Simpson: I hate foreign movies.
Marge Simpson: But you loved Rashomon.
Homer Simpson: That's not the way I remember it.

Jim Beaver
Howard Brazee
2011-04-05 17:18:34 UTC
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On Tue, 5 Apr 2011 00:32:17 -0700, "Jim Beaver"
Post by Jim Beaver
Homer Simpson: I hate foreign movies.
Marge Simpson: But you loved Rashomon.
Homer Simpson: That's not the way I remember it.
Jim Beaver
I don't get it.
--
"In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found,
than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace
to the legislature, and not to the executive department."

- James Madison
Bill Anderson
2011-04-05 21:05:24 UTC
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Post by Howard Brazee
On Tue, 5 Apr 2011 00:32:17 -0700, "Jim Beaver"
Post by Jim Beaver
Homer Simpson: I hate foreign movies.
Marge Simpson: But you loved Rashomon.
Homer Simpson: That's not the way I remember it.
Jim Beaver
I don't get it.
OK, I volunteer.

Howard, "Rashomon" establishes that after a shocking event took place,
each person who was present remembers the details in different ways.
When Homer says "That's not the way I remember it," he's inadvertently
expressing the central premise of the movie. People with senses of
humor may be amused by comments like this, in which an idiot expresses a
truth without realizing it.

Hope that helps.
--
Bill Anderson

I am the Mighty Favog
Howard Brazee
2011-04-05 21:43:06 UTC
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On Tue, 05 Apr 2011 17:05:24 -0400, Bill Anderson
Post by Bill Anderson
Post by Howard Brazee
Post by Jim Beaver
Homer Simpson: I hate foreign movies.
Marge Simpson: But you loved Rashomon.
Homer Simpson: That's not the way I remember it.
Jim Beaver
I don't get it.
OK, I volunteer.
Howard, "Rashomon" establishes that after a shocking event took place,
each person who was present remembers the details in different ways.
When Homer says "That's not the way I remember it," he's inadvertently
expressing the central premise of the movie. People with senses of
humor may be amused by comments like this, in which an idiot expresses a
truth without realizing it.
That's right. I wasn't thinking of its plot, I was stuck on the
language part. And I've seen the movie - but I expect most viewers
of the TV show haven't.
--
"In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found,
than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace
to the legislature, and not to the executive department."

- James Madison
moviePig
2011-04-05 22:30:20 UTC
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Post by Howard Brazee
On Tue, 05 Apr 2011 17:05:24 -0400, Bill Anderson
Post by Bill Anderson
Post by Howard Brazee
Homer Simpson:  I hate foreign movies.
Marge Simpson:  But you loved Rashomon.
Homer Simpson:  That's not the way I remember it.
Jim Beaver
I don't get it.
OK, I volunteer.
Howard, "Rashomon" establishes that after a shocking event took place,
each person who was present remembers the details in different ways.
When Homer says "That's not the way I remember it," he's inadvertently
expressing the central premise of the movie.  People with senses of
humor may be amused by comments like this, in which an idiot expresses a
truth without realizing it.
That's right.   I wasn't thinking of its plot, I was stuck on the
language part.    And I've seen the movie - but I expect most viewers
of the TV show haven't.
I've always admired the stated credo of the MST3K squad, who refused
to discard any joke as too obscure. "The people who are supposed to
get it will get it." (Not always true, obviously, but it made for a
pithy smorgasbord.)

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
calvin
2011-04-06 01:05:56 UTC
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I haven't read all this thread, but in a previous Rashomon thread,
a couple of years ago, there was a lot of variety about how people
remembered the movie. For one example, some people swore
that the music that sounds like Ravel's Bolero isn't really, though
it's obviously close enough. And for another example, I had
watched the Bolero part again to try to understand why it
wasn't Bolero, but never could. But by watching that part again, I
knew for certain which scenes had that music, whatever it was;
yet a self-proclaimed Rashomon expert wrongly said it was
other scenes entirely. I couldn't prove it to him because I had
returned the DVD to Netflix, and the 'expert' refused to give in,
his sole reason for his certainty being that he had been a
Rashomon expert for many years.
Bill Anderson
2011-04-06 02:54:58 UTC
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Post by calvin
I haven't read all this thread, but in a previous Rashomon thread,
a couple of years ago, there was a lot of variety about how people
remembered the movie. For one example, some people swore
that the music that sounds like Ravel's Bolero isn't really, though
it's obviously close enough. And for another example, I had
watched the Bolero part again to try to understand why it
wasn't Bolero, but never could. But by watching that part again, I
knew for certain which scenes had that music, whatever it was;
yet a self-proclaimed Rashomon expert wrongly said it was
other scenes entirely. I couldn't prove it to him because I had
returned the DVD to Netflix, and the 'expert' refused to give in,
his sole reason for his certainty being that he had been a
Rashomon expert for many years.
That's not how I remember it.
--
Bill Anderson

I am the Mighty Silly Favog
Jim Beaver
2011-04-06 17:48:33 UTC
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Post by calvin
I haven't read all this thread, but in a previous Rashomon thread,
a couple of years ago, there was a lot of variety about how people
remembered the movie. For one example, some people swore
that the music that sounds like Ravel's Bolero isn't really, though
it's obviously close enough. And for another example, I had
watched the Bolero part again to try to understand why it
wasn't Bolero, but never could. But by watching that part again, I
knew for certain which scenes had that music, whatever it was;
yet a self-proclaimed Rashomon expert wrongly said it was
other scenes entirely. I couldn't prove it to him because I had
returned the DVD to Netflix, and the 'expert' refused to give in,
his sole reason for his certainty being that he had been a
Rashomon expert for many years.
A number of books have explained how Kurosawa told his composer that he
wanted something "like a bolero" for RASHOMON, and that Fumio Hayasaka
complied. Among those books are Kurosawa's own autobiography, Donald
Richie's The Films of Akira Kurosawa, and Waiting on the Weather, by
Kurosawa's script supervisor Teruyo Nogami. Note that Kurosawa said
"something like a bolero," not "something like Ravel's Bolero." A bolero is
a musical form, of which many, many examples exist, Ravel's being only the
most famous. Here's what Kurosawa himself said:

"As I was writing the script, I heard the rhythms of a bolero in my head
over the episode of the woman's side of the story. I asked Hayasaka to write
a bolero kind of music for the scene. When we came to the dubbing of that
scene, Hayasaka sat down next to me and said, 'I'll try it with the music.'
In his face I saw uneasiness and anticipation. My own nervousness and
expectancy gave me a painful sensation in my chest. The screen lit up with
the beginning of the scene, and the strains of the bolero music softly
counted out the rhythm. As the scene progressed, the music rose, but the
image and the sound failed to coincide and seemed to be at odds with each
other. 'Damn it,' I thought. The multiplication of sound and image that I
had calculated in my head had failed, it seemed. It was enough to make me
break out in a cold sweat.

"We kept going. The bolero music rose yet again, and suddenly picture and
sound fell into perfect unison. The mood created was positively eerie. I
felt an icy chill run down my spine, and unwittingly I turned to Hayasaka.
He was looking at me. His face was pale, and I saw that he was shuddering
with the same eerie emotion I felt. From that point on, sound and image
proceeded with incredible speed to surpass even the calculations I had made
in my head. The effect was strange and overwhelming."

Jim Beaver
calvin
2011-04-06 18:17:33 UTC
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Post by Jim Beaver
Post by calvin
I haven't read all this thread, but in a previous Rashomon thread,
a couple of years ago, there was a lot of variety about how people
remembered the movie.  For one example, some people swore
that the music that sounds like Ravel's Bolero isn't really, though
it's obviously close enough.  And for another example, I had
watched the Bolero part again to try to understand why it
wasn't Bolero, but never could.  But by watching that part again, I
knew for certain which scenes had that music, whatever it was;
yet a self-proclaimed Rashomon expert wrongly said it was
other scenes entirely.  I couldn't prove it to him because I had
returned the DVD to Netflix, and the 'expert' refused to give in,
his sole reason for his certainty being that he had been a
Rashomon expert for many years.
A number of books have explained how Kurosawa told his composer that he
wanted something "like a bolero" for RASHOMON, and that Fumio Hayasaka
complied.  Among those books are Kurosawa's own autobiography, Donald
Richie's The Films of Akira Kurosawa, and Waiting on the Weather, by
Kurosawa's script supervisor Teruyo Nogami.  Note that Kurosawa said
"something like a bolero," not "something like Ravel's Bolero."  A bolero is
a musical form, of which many, many examples exist, Ravel's being only the
"As I was writing the script, I heard the rhythms of a bolero in my head
over the episode of the woman's side of the story. I asked Hayasaka to write
a bolero kind of music for the scene. When we came to the dubbing of that
scene, Hayasaka sat down next to me and said, 'I'll try it with the music.'
In his face I saw uneasiness and anticipation. My own nervousness and
expectancy gave me a painful sensation in my chest. The screen lit up with
the beginning of the scene, and the strains of the bolero music softly
counted out the rhythm. As the scene progressed, the music rose, but the
image and the sound failed to coincide and seemed to be at odds with each
other. 'Damn it,' I thought. The multiplication of sound and image that I
had calculated in my head had failed, it seemed. It was enough to make me
break out in a cold sweat.
"We kept going. The bolero music rose yet again, and suddenly picture and
sound fell into perfect unison. The mood created was positively eerie. I
felt an icy chill run down my spine, and unwittingly I turned to Hayasaka.
He was looking at me. His face was pale, and I saw that he was shuddering
with the same eerie emotion I felt. From that point on, sound and image
proceeded with incredible speed to surpass even the calculations I had made
in my head. The effect was strange and overwhelming."
Thanks for the info.

That's all well and good, but when one watches Rashomon
for the first time, the music jumps out as the familiar Ravel
music. In my case, I don't know of any other boleros (as a
musical form), so I can't say how much like each other they
all may sound. But I'm skeptical because, for example,
not all minuettes sound alike. None, as far as I know.
calvin
2011-04-06 01:52:22 UTC
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Post by Heynonny
An aquaintance of mine, a fellow student in a film class, once
approached me, breathlessly excited that he had discovered an "obscure"
Japanese remake of The Magnificent Seven.
...
Actually, The Magnificent Seven is better (and I've seen them
both several times). But of course one is not supposed to
say so. Since Mag 7 owes its existence to 7 Sam, though,
one has to acknowledge Kurosawa's originality.
Jim Beaver
2011-04-06 17:32:47 UTC
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Post by Heynonny
An aquaintance of mine, a fellow student in a film class, once
approached me, breathlessly excited that he had discovered an "obscure"
Japanese remake of The Magnificent Seven.
...
Actually, The Magnificent Seven is better (and I've seen them
both several times). But of course one is not supposed to
say so. Since Mag 7 owes its existence to 7 Sam, though,
one has to acknowledge Kurosawa's originality.

RESPONSE:

Not to mention acknowledging Kurosawa's utter superiority as a filmmaker. I
like a good John Sturges film, but THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is better than
SEVEN SAMURAI the way A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS is better than YOJIMBO, the way
THE OUTRAGE is better than RASHOMON, and the way JOE MACBETH is better than
THRONE OF BLOOD.

Jim Beaver
calvin
2011-04-06 18:09:42 UTC
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Post by calvin
Post by Heynonny
An aquaintance of mine, a fellow student in a film class, once
approached me, breathlessly excited that he had discovered an "obscure"
Japanese remake of The Magnificent Seven.
...
Actually, The Magnificent Seven is better (and I've seen them
both several times).  But of course one is not supposed to
say so.  Since Mag 7 owes its existence to 7 Sam, though,
one has to acknowledge Kurosawa's originality.
Not to mention acknowledging Kurosawa's utter superiority as a filmmaker.  I
like a good John Sturges film, but THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is better than
SEVEN SAMURAI the way A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS is better than YOJIMBO, the way
THE OUTRAGE is better than RASHOMON, and the way JOE MACBETH is better than
THRONE OF BLOOD.
Overall, Kurosawa beats Sturges, no doubt, but Mag 7 is still
an improvement on 7 Sam.

The Outrage is high on my Netflix queue, so I shall see about
that one. As for Fistful and Yojimbo, I'll need to watch them
both to compare. For the last pair, maybe someday. The
title, Joe MacBeth, is a big obstacle to overcome. But why
should Throne of Blood be compared to that instead of to
MacBeth itself?
Jim Beaver
2011-04-07 17:14:20 UTC
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Post by calvin
Post by Heynonny
An aquaintance of mine, a fellow student in a film class, once
approached me, breathlessly excited that he had discovered an "obscure"
Japanese remake of The Magnificent Seven.
...
Actually, The Magnificent Seven is better (and I've seen them
both several times). But of course one is not supposed to
say so. Since Mag 7 owes its existence to 7 Sam, though,
one has to acknowledge Kurosawa's originality.
Not to mention acknowledging Kurosawa's utter superiority as a filmmaker.
I
like a good John Sturges film, but THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is better than
SEVEN SAMURAI the way A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS is better than YOJIMBO, the way
THE OUTRAGE is better than RASHOMON, and the way JOE MACBETH is better than
THRONE OF BLOOD.
Overall, Kurosawa beats Sturges, no doubt, but Mag 7 is still
an improvement on 7 Sam.

The Outrage is high on my Netflix queue, so I shall see about
that one. As for Fistful and Yojimbo, I'll need to watch them
both to compare. For the last pair, maybe someday. The
title, Joe MacBeth, is a big obstacle to overcome. But why
should Throne of Blood be compared to that instead of to
MacBeth itself?

RESPONSE:

Because there are many versions of Macbeth (no capital B), and my string of
seriously less good versions of great Kurosawa films would have been
compromised by simply saying Macbeth. Also, I haven't seen a film version
of Macbeth that I consider seriously less good than Throne of Blood. Less
good, yes, but not seriously less good.

Magnificent Seven is an improvement on Seven Samurai in what way? It is
certainly more "American" than Seven Samurai, but that's a cultural
difference and by no means a qualitative one--some (not me) might even argue
it's a qualitative difference in the other direction. Seven Samurai delves
deeply into matters that Magnificent Seven only touches on. Having Yul
Brynner at the end say in effect, "We lost, the peasants won" is scarcely
sufficient to replicate the way Kurosawa's film shows that, implies it from
the first moments so that when the resolution comes it is retroactively seen
as inevitable. Nothing in Sturges's sunny film has the artistic and
technical excellence of Kurosawa's battle in the rain. Deaths among the
seven are profoundly moving in Kurosawa's film. They are merely (a little)
sad in Sturges's. I'll give you the music though. Elmer Bernstein's score
is a much better score for a Western than Fumio Hayasaka's. (But Hayasaka's
is a much better score for a samurai film.)

Jim Beaver
calvin
2011-04-07 18:13:23 UTC
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Post by calvin
Post by calvin
Post by Heynonny
An aquaintance of mine, a fellow student in a film class, once
approached me, breathlessly excited that he had discovered an "obscure"
Japanese remake of The Magnificent Seven.
...
Actually, The Magnificent Seven is better (and I've seen them
both several times). But of course one is not supposed to
say so. Since Mag 7 owes its existence to 7 Sam, though,
one has to acknowledge Kurosawa's originality.
Not to mention acknowledging Kurosawa's utter superiority as a filmmaker.
I
like a good John Sturges film, but THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is better than
SEVEN SAMURAI the way A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS is better than YOJIMBO, the way
THE OUTRAGE is better than RASHOMON, and the way JOE MACBETH is better than
THRONE OF BLOOD.
Overall, Kurosawa beats Sturges, no doubt, but Mag 7 is still
an improvement on 7 Sam.
The Outrage is high on my Netflix queue, so I shall see about
that one.  As for Fistful and Yojimbo, I'll need to watch them
both to compare.  For the last pair, maybe someday.  The
title, Joe MacBeth, is a big obstacle to overcome.  But why
should Throne of Blood be compared to that instead of to
MacBeth itself?
Because there are many versions of Macbeth (no capital B), and my string of
seriously less good versions of great Kurosawa films would have been
compromised by simply saying Macbeth.  Also, I haven't seen a film version
of Macbeth that I consider seriously less good than Throne of Blood.  Less
good, yes, but not seriously less good.
Magnificent Seven is an improvement on Seven Samurai in what way?  It is
certainly more "American" than Seven Samurai, but that's a cultural
difference and by no means a qualitative one--some (not me) might even argue
it's a qualitative difference in the other direction.  Seven Samurai delves
deeply into matters that Magnificent Seven only touches on.  Having Yul
Brynner at the end say in effect, "We lost, the peasants won" is scarcely
sufficient to replicate the way Kurosawa's film shows that, implies it from
the first moments so that when the resolution comes it is retroactively seen
as inevitable.  Nothing in Sturges's sunny film has the artistic and
technical excellence of Kurosawa's battle in the rain.  Deaths among the
seven are profoundly moving in Kurosawa's film.  They are merely (a little)
sad in Sturges's.  I'll give you the music though.  Elmer Bernstein's score
is a much better score for a Western than Fumio Hayasaka's.  (But Hayasaka's
is a much better score for a samurai film.)
Don't forget Eli Wallach's great performance. Yes, the seven
are more American, in the U.S. sense (except for Buchholz),
but the movie is all Mexico, a brilliant translation from Japan.
The theme throughout, of the strong helping the weak,
voluntarily, as opposed to government-forced help, is not like
the U.S. at all. But I can't write a convincing essay on the
two movies. I just found The Magnificent Seven far more
entertaining, and I gave The Seven Samurai three chances
over the years. The music isn't just the main theme and
Bernstein's other compositions, but also the the thrilling way the
music is integrated into the story. An odd thing about the
movie is Horst Buchholz's utter unbelievability as a Mexican,
though I think most viewers found him charming. He was so
obviously a German that when the Bronson character referred
to the land as 'his', it was jarring to say the least.

But again, the movie owes its existence to Kurasawa's film,
so the original deserves the highest regard.
Beezle Bub
2011-04-07 22:49:38 UTC
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Post by calvin
Magnificent Seven is an improvement on Seven Samurai in what way?  It is
certainly more "American" than Seven Samurai, but that's a cultural
difference and by no means a qualitative one--some (not me) might even argue
it's a qualitative difference in the other direction.  
It's got guns. When a man with a sword meets a man with a pistol, the
man with the sword is a dead man.
Francis A. Miniter
2011-04-08 00:00:44 UTC
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Post by Beezle Bub
Magnificent Seven is an improvement on Seven Samurai in what way? �It is
certainly more "American" than Seven Samurai, but that's a cultural
difference and by no means a qualitative one--some (not me) might even argue
it's a qualitative difference in the other direction. �
It's got guns. When a man with a sword meets a man with a pistol, the
man with the sword is a dead man.
The Seven Samurai also has firearms.

But whether pistol always beats sword depends on a lot of
factors. Close distance may favor the sword, for instance.
Being in water would make it very hard on the man with the
pistol. Training matters both ways.
--
Francis A. Miniter

In dem Lande der Pygmäen
gibt es keine Uniformen,
weder Abzeichen, noch irgend welche Normen,
Und Soldaten sind dort nicht zu sehen.

Siegfried von Vegesack, "Es gibt keine Uniformen"
from In dem Lande der Pygmäen
Heynonny
2011-04-08 18:45:46 UTC
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On 2011-04-07 20:00:44 -0400, "Francis A. Miniter"
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Training matters both ways
And talent.

In this case, training and talent in the use of motion picture
techniques to tell a story.

Winner Mag 7 over 7 Sams?

Calvin, oh my. Oh my.
calvin
2011-04-09 00:17:11 UTC
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Post by Heynonny
On 2011-04-07 20:00:44 -0400, "Francis A. Miniter"
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Training matters both ways
And talent.
In this case, training and talent in the use of motion picture
techniques to tell a story.
Winner Mag 7 over 7 Sams?
Calvin, oh my. Oh my.
I guess it's better just to think heresy than to speak it.
John Sturges was no slouch, however. And Kurosawa
was great, but not God.
Heynonny
2011-04-09 08:22:54 UTC
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Post by calvin
I guess it's better just to think heresy than to speak it.
John Sturges was no slouch, however. And Kurosawa
was great, but not God.
I think it's better to like movies than not like them. I hardly ever
argue with people about a movie they enjoy. To me, a movie, like sex,
can be great, but it's pretty good all the time. I am a very poor movie
critic in that respect.

You like The Magnificent Seven. I think that's wonderful; I like it
too. When I used to go to cocktail parties one of my favorite parlor
tricks was that I could name all of the Mag 7 (and most other # movies,
including [and I am undefeated in this] all of the Dirty Dozen; not
just the stars of the movie but the actual dirty dozen).

I am not a Calvin critic here, or a critic of anybody about a movie
they like (OK, I draw the line at Sound of Music or a couple of other
monstrosities). I have no problem with what you like. I just had a
momentary disappointment that you were so far off my own personal
COMPARITIVE appreciation of 7 Sams vs. Mag 7.

You run across people, personally, in real life or on the internet; you
form opinions of them; you are sometimes momentarily disappointed.
Magnificent Seven is a very nice movie. I enjoy it very much. I am
simply disappointed that you measure it superior to a movie that is on
a whole different level. No big deal, nothing to rear up on your heels
about.
calvin
2011-04-09 14:16:30 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Heynonny
Post by calvin
I guess it's better just to think heresy than to speak it.
John Sturges was no slouch, however.  And Kurosawa
was great, but not God.
I think it's better to like movies than not like them. I hardly ever
argue with people about a movie they enjoy. To me, a movie, like sex,
can be great, but it's pretty good all the time. I am a very poor movie
critic in that respect.
You like The Magnificent Seven. I think that's wonderful; I like it
too. When I used to go to cocktail parties one of my favorite parlor
tricks was that I could name all of the Mag 7 (and most other # movies,
including [and I am undefeated in this] all of the Dirty Dozen; not
just the stars of the movie but the actual dirty dozen).
I am not a Calvin critic here, or a critic of anybody about a movie
they like (OK, I draw the line at Sound of Music or a couple of other
monstrosities). I have no problem with what you like. I just had a
momentary disappointment that you were so far off my own personal
COMPARITIVE appreciation of 7 Sams vs. Mag 7.
You run across people, personally, in real life or on the internet; you
form opinions of them; you are sometimes momentarily disappointed.
Magnificent Seven is a very nice movie. I enjoy it very much. I am
simply disappointed that you measure it superior to a movie that is on
a whole different level. No big deal, nothing to rear up on your heels
about.
It's just that I've seen them both multiple times, and gave my
honest impression. For the third time in this thread, The Seven
Samurai deserves the greater respect because it was the original,
but The Magnificent Seven has always worked better for me.
Kurosawa is one of the greats, of course.

As for The Sound of Music, I can't see 'monstrosity' there, though
it's hard to think of any great scene, except maybe the one where
the children are missing Maria and singing one of her songs, then
her voice starts to blend in with theirs and they see that she has
come back. The little '16 going on 17' ballet isn't bad either. Most
'monstrosities' have some things to like in them.
Jim Beaver
2011-04-11 08:38:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
"calvin" <***@windstream.net> wrote in message news:56a5d14e-41a8-4e20-a469-***@a26g2000vbo.googlegroups.com...

It's just that I've seen them both multiple times, and gave my
honest impression. For the third time in this thread, The Seven
Samurai deserves the greater respect because it was the original,

RESPONSE:

Calvin, by this logic, does it mean that you think the 1931 MALTESE FALCON
deserves the greater respect over the 1941 version, simply because the 1931
was the original? Or is this just a matter of your not being completely
clear about what you do mean?

I have no problem with you liking THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN better than SEVEN
SAMURAI. I like it a lot myself. But when instead of "I like it better,"
your statements veer into "It IS better," then you're going to get argued
with by what I presume to be the vast majority of people who disagree with
the latter remark. As I vehemently do. I'd never argue over your liking
one or the other better.

Jim Beaver
steve
2011-04-11 13:27:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Jim Beaver
But when instead of "I like it better,"
your statements veer into "It IS better," then you're going to get argued
with by what I presume to be the vast majority of people who disagree with
the latter remark.
I sure hope the argument will be something to the tune of "There is no such
thing as 'IS better' in purely subjective matters".
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
moviePig
2011-04-11 13:42:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by steve
Post by Jim Beaver
But when instead of "I like it better,"
your statements veer into "It IS better," then you're going to get argued
with by what I presume to be the vast majority of people who disagree with
the latter remark.
I sure hope the argument will be something to the tune of "There is no such
thing as 'IS better' in purely subjective matters".
1. There's no such thing as 'knowing' what's better.
2. There's no such thing as 'better'.
3. There's no 'matter' that's not 'purely subjective'.

Take your pick.

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
william
2011-04-11 14:28:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
1.  There's no such thing as 'knowing' what's better.
2.  There's no such thing as 'better'.
3.  There's no 'matter' that's not 'purely subjective'.
There is the matter, however, of asserting why one "likes" something
better than something else. Some will say, "well, I just do" like this
or that. There's some pretty clear choices when the films are "The
Magnificent Seven" and "The Seven Samurai." Outside of being ornery --
"I don't like the Japanese film because it's the darling of the left
liberal critics" -- there could be a legitimate reason for picking the
Hollywood film. If I said that I preferred the Kurosawa film, some
here would say that's because I "hate" Hollywood. That's a tad
overstated and I can support my choice based on numerous other things.
In this discussion -- as with many others -- the "why" of liking
something is rarely articulated so it all ends up as "well, I just
do."

William
moviePig
2011-04-11 21:51:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by william
1.  There's no such thing as 'knowing' what's better.
2.  There's no such thing as 'better'.
3.  There's no 'matter' that's not 'purely subjective'.
There is the matter, however, of asserting why one "likes" something
better than something else. Some will say, "well, I just do" like this
or that. There's some pretty clear choices when the films are "The
Magnificent Seven" and "The Seven Samurai." Outside of being ornery --
"I don't like the Japanese film because it's the darling of the left
liberal critics" -- there could be a legitimate reason for picking the
Hollywood film. If I said that I preferred the Kurosawa film, some
here would say that's because I "hate" Hollywood. That's a tad
overstated and I can support my choice based on numerous other things.
In this discussion -- as with many others -- the "why" of liking
something is rarely articulated so it all ends up as "well, I just
do."
I always figure that anyone who's presenting his opinion as useful
should accompany "Well, I just do," with an apology. At the same
time, accurately discerning why one liked a flick can be problematic.
E.g., how many people here (besides me) would list, in THE MAGNIFICENT
SEVEN's favor, that it's color, Cinemascope, and English-speaking
(...not to mention that super catchy tune)? Meanwhile, a frequent
disincentive, I think, to candor is that, when someone says he likes a
movie for this or that reason, someone else seems always ready to say
he shouldn't... or even that there can be no such reason...

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
william
2011-04-11 22:11:54 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Apr 11, 5:51 pm, moviePig <***@moviepig.com> wrote:
 At the same
Post by moviePig
time, accurately discerning why one liked a flick can be problematic.
E.g., how many people here (besides me) would list, in THE MAGNIFICENT
SEVEN's favor, that it's color, Cinemascope, and English-speaking
(...not to mention that super catchy tune)?  
The English and the catchy tune I have no problem with. On the other
hand, to my visual sensibilities, Technicolor is garish and bloated
and rarely framed well. Or interestingly. It stomps on subtlety and
requires a kind of acting that I've never grown used to. So, for me,
Cinemascope is a downer.

William
Howard Brazee
2011-04-11 22:45:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by william
The English and the catchy tune I have no problem with. On the other
hand, to my visual sensibilities, Technicolor is garish and bloated
and rarely framed well. Or interestingly. It stomps on subtlety and
requires a kind of acting that I've never grown used to. So, for me,
Cinemascope is a downer.
What movies used Technicolor best (not garish and bloated)?
--
"In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found,
than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace
to the legislature, and not to the executive department."

- James Madison
william
2011-04-11 22:52:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Howard Brazee
What movies used Technicolor best (not garish and bloated)?
That's a huge area. I did like the first 3-strip technicolor film, The
Toll Of The Sea with Anna May Wong, but that's not what any of us
meant. Id have to give it some real thought.

William
steve
2011-04-12 14:20:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Howard Brazee
What movies used Technicolor best (not garish and bloated)?
"The Four Feathers" (1939) The British khaki and red combo...high fashion
knockout.

"The Phantom of the Opera" (1925) The 2 strip TC section looks amazing.

steve
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
steve
2011-04-11 22:22:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by moviePig
I always figure that anyone who's presenting his opinion as useful
should accompany "Well, I just do," with an apology.
An exception to that would be that someones general taste in film (or
whatever) may indicate that a naked "I like it" is a reliable signal for
other viewers...positive or negative. I consider a recommendation Dr Watson
(now my avowed political enemy), for example, a very reliable indicator that
I'll like the film, even if he said little (OK, that never actually
happens).

And isnt that one of the valuable functions of this NG? ...to find those
with similar tastes (or reliably dissimilar) and to benefit from their
recommendations?
Post by moviePig
Meanwhile, a frequent
disincentive, I think, to candor is that, when someone says he likes a
movie for this or that reason, someone else seems always ready to say
he shouldn't... or even that there can be no such reason...
That's at least half the fun...as long as it isnt just empty insults.

steve
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
moviePig
2011-04-12 03:13:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by steve
Post by moviePig
I always figure that anyone who's presenting his opinion as useful
should accompany "Well, I just do," with an apology.
An exception to that would be that someones general taste in film (or
whatever) may indicate that a naked "I like it" is a reliable signal for
other viewers...positive or negative.  I consider a recommendation Dr Watson
(now my avowed political enemy), for example, a very reliable indicator that
I'll like the film, even if he said little (OK, that never actually
happens).
And isn't that one of the valuable functions of this NG? ...to find those
with similar tastes (or reliably dissimilar) and to benefit from their
recommendations?
You'd think so. Not that often successful, though, I'd guess.
Post by steve
Post by moviePig
Meanwhile, a frequent
disincentive, I think, to candor is that, when someone says he likes a
movie for this or that reason, someone else seems always ready to say
he shouldn't... or even that there can be no such reason...
That's at least half the fun...as long as it isn't just empty insults.
Yes, it's all great fun until someone loses an eye... (Come to think
of it, isn't "empty insults" nearly always a tautology?)

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
steve
2011-04-12 13:56:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by moviePig
Post by steve
And isn't that one of the valuable functions of this NG? ...to find those
with similar tastes (or reliably dissimilar) and to benefit from their
recommendations?
You'd think so. Not that often successful, though, I'd guess.
Ive done well in that regard. You havent found some reliable predictors in
the NG?
Post by moviePig
Post by steve
That's at least half the fun...as long as it isn't just empty insults.
Yes, it's all great fun until someone loses an eye... (Come to think
of it, isn't "empty insults" nearly always a tautology?)
I'd say it depends if the insult is relevant to the subject and based in
reality. Nonny says I have a "tin ear for film". Not quite an empty insult
because it's on point, though I'd argue that it's difficult for him to back
up. I believe I once told someone their taste in film was "pedestrian". Im
sure he found it insulting, but (potentially, anyway) there is relevant
intellectual content, there. Calling someone an idiot because they
like/dislike a film...that's empty.

steve
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
moviePig
2011-04-12 14:39:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by steve
And isn't that one of the valuable functions of this NG? ...to find those
with similar tastes (or reliably dissimilar) and to benefit from their
recommendations?
You'd think so.  Not that often successful, though, I'd guess.
Ive done well in that regard.  You havent found some reliable predictors in
the NG?
Neither in nor out. Certainly there are folks who taste meets and
often exceeds mine in, say, sophistication, and/or whose thoughts are
usually interesting ...but no one whose reliability even approaches
"automatic". I think it's not in the nature of the beast.
Post by steve
That's at least half the fun...as long as it isn't just empty insults.
Yes, it's all great fun until someone loses an eye...  (Come to think
of it, isn't "empty insults" nearly always a tautology?)
I'd say it depends if the insult is relevant to the subject and based in
reality.  Nonny says I have a "tin ear for film".  Not quite an empty insult
because it's on point, though I'd argue that it's difficult for him to back
up.
Its value, afaics, is only as repartee -- as I know of no cinematic
equivalent to "perfect pitch". (Not that good repartee is worthless,
of course.)
I believe I once told someone their taste in film was "pedestrian".  I'm
sure he found it insulting, but (potentially, anyway) there is relevant
intellectual content, there.  Calling someone an idiot because they
like/dislike a film...that's empty.
I'm sure he thought you *meant* it as insulting. (Was he wrong?) And
that, of course, is the true sine qua non of an insult. But I agree
that 'pedestrian', in this context anyway, isn't intrinsically
pejorative. (Harkness once called my movie-tastes "suburban".
Although I suspect it was a canned jibe, I found it worth analyzing...
and not totally disowning...)

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
steve
2011-04-12 16:37:19 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by moviePig
Neither in nor out. Certainly there are folks who taste meets and
often exceeds mine in, say, sophistication, and/or whose thoughts are
usually interesting ...but no one whose reliability even approaches
"automatic". I think it's not in the nature of the beast.
Im talking about anything that increases your chances of picking film you
will enjoy (in relation to picking films on your own), not necessarily a
lock. Your comments about levels of sophistication seem to be wildly off
point. If you're no sophisticate, a sophisticate may provide valuable
information in his recommendations because you know how your tastes differ.
You may benefit more from the pedestrian. Or, perhaps you might benefit
when the sophisticate and pedestrian agree on a recommendation.

As someone who has programmed an algorithm for predicting film ratings, Id
expect you to understand this rather readily.
Post by moviePig
Its value, afaics, is only as repartee -- as I know of no cinematic
equivalent to "perfect pitch". (Not that good repartee is worthless,
of course.)
But there is non-trivial intellectual content, however much I disagree with
it. He claims that Im incapable of drawing even moderately fine
distinctions. That's insulting, but in a way that's relevant to the issues.
Post by moviePig
I believe I once told someone their taste in film was "pedestrian".  I'm
sure he found it insulting, but (potentially, anyway) there is relevant
intellectual content, there.  Calling someone an idiot because they
like/dislike a film...that's empty.
I'm sure he thought you *meant* it as insulting. (Was he wrong?)
I didnt intend it to injure his ego, but it is clearly a negative comment.
Post by moviePig
But I agree
that 'pedestrian', in this context anyway, isn't intrinsically
pejorative. (Harkness once called my movie-tastes "suburban".
Although I suspect it was a canned jibe, I found it worth analyzing...
and not totally disowning...)
The point is not whether it is pejorative, but whether it's pejoritive
without relevant content.

You've criticized me recently for posting long messages with too much
detail. But when Im kurt, you dont get me.

steve
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
calvin
2011-04-12 17:29:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by steve
...
You've criticized me recently for posting long messages with too much
detail.  But when Im kurt, you dont get me.
When you're kurt, I get you very weill.
moviePig
2011-04-12 22:37:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by calvin
Post by steve
...
You've criticized me recently for posting long messages with too much
detail.  But when Im kurt, you dont get me.
When you're kurt, I get you very weill.
Score...

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
David O.
2011-04-13 01:14:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 12 Apr 2011 10:29:40 -0700 (PDT), calvin
Post by calvin
When you're kurt, I get you very weill.
He scores!
steve
2011-04-13 13:48:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David O.
Post by calvin
When you're kurt, I get you very weill.
He scores!
You and PM made the same joke. Is there more to it than Someone gets it =
positive result?
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
calvin
2011-04-13 14:29:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
You and PM made the same joke.  Is there more to it than Someone gets it =
positive result?
It looks like no one may feel like joking soon. With
nearly 10% annual inflation, we're all being robbed of
our savings, and headed for probably worse than the
Carter years, with a year and a half to go before we
even have a chance of changing things. Making it all
the more dismaying is that Bernanke defends inflation
as a desirable thing which he wants to hasten. Arggggh!
(That's not a joke.)
steve
2011-04-13 14:54:15 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by calvin
It looks like no one may feel like joking soon. With
nearly 10% annual inflation, we're all being robbed of
our savings, and headed for probably worse than the
Carter years, with a year and a half to go before we
even have a chance of changing things. Making it all
the more dismaying is that Bernanke defends inflation
as a desirable thing which he wants to hasten. Arggggh!
(That's not a joke.)
Indeed. The more I read about how the fed operates, the more I feel
despondent about saving the currency. Im protected (I bought a shitload of
metals over the last two years, in addition to a big pile from earlier), but
I fear for those on fixed dollar incomes and with dollar denominated
contracts/loans/savings. Debasing (and very possibly destroying) the dollar
is profoundly immoral.
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
steve
2011-04-13 15:38:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by calvin
It looks like no one may feel like joking soon. With
nearly 10% annual inflation, we're all being robbed of
our savings, and headed for probably worse than the
Carter years, with a year and a half to go before we
even have a chance of changing things. Making it all
the more dismaying is that Bernanke defends inflation
as a desirable thing which he wants to hasten. Arggggh!
(That's not a joke.)
You'll enjoy this, calcvin:

http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/ron-paul/the-nanny-state-cant-last

When the dems were having trouble passing BHOs massive expansion of govt,
the press was all about how govt was "broken". In fact, it is out inability
to address out of control spending that indicates how govt is broken, and
the break began with allowing govt to control banking and to redistribute
wealth. Both lead to structural problems in govt that cannot be easily
solved. In fact, solving these problems requires an educated populace, i.e.
a populace that can comprehend the issues. With education almost
exclusively in the hands of govt, the opposite is more often the result.

The two most iomportant things we could do in an effort to restore liberty
would be to end the fed, and to get the govt out of education.

steve
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
David O.
2011-04-14 00:46:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by steve
Post by David O.
Post by calvin
When you're kurt, I get you very weill.
He scores!
You and PM made the same joke. Is there more to it than Someone gets it =
positive result?
No, no. I was worried you'd see it that way, Stevie. It was just a
good pun on a typo -- but it was a very good pun.
moviePig
2011-04-12 22:36:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by steve
Neither in nor out.  Certainly there are folks who taste meets and
often exceeds mine in, say, sophistication, and/or whose thoughts are
usually interesting ...but no one whose reliability even approaches
"automatic".  I think it's not in the nature of the beast.
Im talking about anything that increases your chances of picking film you
will enjoy (in relation to picking films on your own), not necessarily a
lock.  Your comments about levels of sophistication seem to be wildly off
point. If you're no sophisticate, a sophisticate may provide valuable
information in his recommendations because you know how your tastes differ.
You may benefit more from the pedestrian.  Or, perhaps you might benefit
when the sophisticate and pedestrian agree on a recommendation.
As someone who has programmed an algorithm for predicting film ratings, Id
expect you to understand this rather readily.
I did understand it readily. But then I explored it...

Meanwhile, I picked 'sophistication' as an example because, by far, my
most common disappointment has been when someone praises to the skies
a flick whose appeal turns out to be rather simple-minded. (I think
most any of us will have experienced this, courtesy of our less well-
viewed friends.) But, even beyond that early hurdle, I've found that
people's reasons for their strong feelings about movies really don't
jibe all that well. E.g., when Ebert graces a movie with 4 (or, even
better, 3.5) stars, I can usually count on finding some justification
for his delight. However, actually sharing it is more elusive...
Post by steve
Its value, afaics, is only as repartee -- as I know of no cinematic
equivalent to "perfect pitch".  (Not that good repartee is worthless,
of course.)
But there is non-trivial intellectual content, however much I disagree with
it.  He claims that I'm incapable of drawing even moderately fine
distinctions.  That's insulting, but in a way that's relevant to the issues.
He could say you wouldn't know if a film was played backwards. That,
too, would be relevant...
Post by steve
I believe I once told someone their taste in film was "pedestrian".  I'm
sure he found it insulting, but (potentially, anyway) there is relevant
intellectual content, there.  Calling someone an idiot because they
like/dislike a film...that's empty.
I'm sure he thought you *meant* it as insulting.  (Was he wrong?)
I didnt intend it to injure his ego, but it is clearly a negative comment.
 But I agree
that 'pedestrian', in this context anyway, isn't intrinsically
pejorative.  (Harkness once called my movie-tastes "suburban".
Although I suspect it was a canned jibe, I found it worth analyzing...
and not totally disowning...)
The point is not whether it is pejorative, but whether it's pejorative
without relevant content.
The point is whether it's an insult ...which it is if you meant it to
be, at which point its nominal content becomes irrelevant. You can't
paste messages to a hand-grenade.
Post by steve
You've criticized me recently for posting long messages with too much
detail.  But when I'm kurt, you dont get me.
When you're not, I don't read you. However, I've noticed no big
missteps here...

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
David O.
2011-04-13 01:16:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 12 Apr 2011 15:36:35 -0700 (PDT), moviePig
Post by moviePig
When you're not, I don't read you. However, I've noticed no big
missteps here...
Don't you find my movie tastes a reliable indicator for your own?
moviePig
2011-04-13 03:07:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David O.
On Tue, 12 Apr 2011 15:36:35 -0700 (PDT), moviePig
When you're not, I don't read you.  However, I've noticed no big
missteps here...
Don't you find my movie tastes a reliable indicator for your own?
Of course. Your movie tastes are a more reliable indicator for mine
than even mine are... often rescuing films that I'd seen and
mistakenly thought I loathed...

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
steve
2011-04-13 14:36:15 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David O.
Post by moviePig
When you're not, I don't read you. However, I've noticed no big
missteps here...
Don't you find my movie tastes a reliable indicator for your own?
You know, Dober, I can only recall one or two instances where you
recommended a film at all. In any case, I dont have much of a sense of you
film preferences.
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
Yo Bimbo!
2011-04-13 16:24:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by steve
Post by David O.
When you're not, I don't read you.  However, I've noticed no big
missteps here...
Don't you find my movie tastes a reliable indicator for your own?
You know, Dober, I can only recall one or two instances where you
recommended a film at all.  In any case, I dont have much of a sense of you
film preferences.
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
                                                             Joe Liberty
Hana and Alice, Golden Coach, Ugetsu, Manhattan Murder Mystery, and
Eyes Wide Shut are his all time favs.
steve
2011-04-13 21:14:46 UTC
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Post by Yo Bimbo!
Hana and Alice, Golden Coach, Ugetsu, Manhattan Murder Mystery, and
Eyes Wide Shut are his all time favs.
"Hana and Alice" ..hmm...cute japanese high school chicks in school
uniforms. Maybe I should rent this one!

Hard to make anything from that list, really. Need more info.

steve
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
David O.
2011-04-14 00:55:48 UTC
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On Wed, 13 Apr 2011 09:24:29 -0700 (PDT), "Yo Bimbo!"
Post by Yo Bimbo!
Hana and Alice, Golden Coach, Ugetsu, Manhattan Murder Mystery, and
Eyes Wide Shut are his all time favs.
EYES WIDE SHUT?!
I hated that one--I thought it was like urinating on the grave of
Schnitzler.

as for Manhattan Murder Mystery, it's a good time, not one of my
all-time faves!!!

You're just yanking my chain because I defriended you on Facebook.
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David O.
2011-04-14 00:48:52 UTC
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Post by steve
You know, Dober, I can only recall one or two instances where you
recommended a film at all.
WHAT?! No!
Post by steve
In any case, I dont have much of a sense of you
film preferences.
I like the films of Marco Bellocchio & Preston Sturges.
steve
2011-04-13 14:24:27 UTC
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Post by moviePig
Post by steve
As someone who has programmed an algorithm for predicting film ratings, Id
expect you to understand this rather readily.
I did understand it readily. But then I explored it...
I still dont understand your comment.
Post by moviePig
Post by steve
Neither in nor out.  Certainly there are folks who taste meets and
often exceeds mine in, say, sophistication, and/or whose thoughts are
usually interesting ...but no one whose reliability even approaches
"automatic".  I think it's not in the nature of the beast.
Which seems to argue for some "sophistication should = good personal
recommendation".
Post by moviePig
Meanwhile, I picked 'sophistication' as an example because, by far, my
most common disappointment has been when someone praises to the skies
a flick whose appeal turns out to be rather simple-minded. (I think
most any of us will have experienced this, courtesy of our less well-
viewed friends.)
So...this is just dicta?
Post by moviePig
But, even beyond that early hurdle, I've found that
people's reasons for their strong feelings about movies really don't
jibe all that well. E.g., when Ebert graces a movie with 4 (or, even
better, 3.5) stars, I can usually count on finding some justification
for his delight. However, actually sharing it is more elusive...
"Reasons" are not particularly relevant in this discussion...except to the
extent that the reasons given cause you to try the film. Obviously, if you
dont watch the film, you cant determine if the recommendation works for you.
Post by moviePig
Post by steve
But there is non-trivial intellectual content, however much I disagree with
it.  He claims that I'm incapable of drawing even moderately fine
distinctions.  That's insulting, but in a way that's relevant to the issues.
He could say you wouldn't know if a film was played backwards. That,
too, would be relevant...
Agreed, though the intellectual content in that insult is less clear.
Post by moviePig
Post by steve
The point is not whether it is pejorative, but whether it's pejorative
without relevant content.
The point is whether it's an insult ...which it is if you meant it to
be, at which point its nominal content becomes irrelevant.
Which is where we started. Where we differ is that I say there is a
difference between an "empty insult" and one with relevant intellectual
content. You are _defining_ insult as devoid of such content, and basing
that definition on the intent behind the comment. This makes no sense to me.
Critical comments often do convey a percieved and relevant truth, and are
also intended and taken as insulting. Why does the latter make the former
irrelevant? When Nony says I have a "tin ear", I'll bet several regs nod in
intellectual agreement. Clearly the comment is an insult, and probably
intended as such in addition to a sincere (however misguided) belief that it
represents truth. Why do you reject the possibility that it is, or at least
can be, both of these things?

If you call a fat girl "fat", she may break down and cry*. Call a thin girl
fat, and she'll run to a mirror, and then (if she has normal human self
esteem) curse your stupidity.

Some insults are empty, and some are not.

steve

* Score!
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
moviePig
2011-04-13 15:29:13 UTC
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...  Where we differ is that I say there is a
difference between an "empty insult" and one with relevant intellectual
content. You are _defining_ insult as devoid of such content, and basing
that definition on the intent behind the comment. This makes no sense to me.
 Critical comments often do convey a perceived and relevant truth, and are
also intended and taken as insulting.  Why does the latter make the former
irrelevant?  When Nonny says I have a "tin ear", I'll bet several regs nod in
intellectual agreement.  Clearly the comment is an insult, and probably
intended as such in addition to a sincere (however misguided) belief that it
represents truth.  Why do you reject the possibility that it is, or at least
can be, both of these things?
If you call a fat girl "fat", she may break down and cry.  Call a thin girl
fat, and she'll run to a mirror, and then (if she has normal human self
esteem) curse your stupidity.
Some insults are empty, and some are not.
Sure, you can package content with insult. My point is merely that
(especially on Usenet) you thereby decimate the audibility of one or
the other. E.g., although I like the "tin ear" riposte, I doubt I'm
supposed to relate it to some real disability regarding movies (...not
even to your affinity for movies that exert zero pull on me and my
fellow pedestrians). And, I submit that the fat girl is crying either
because she was insulted or because she was in weight-denial ...but
not both.

--

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YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
steve
2011-04-13 16:07:17 UTC
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Post by moviePig
Sure, you can package content with insult. My point is merely that
(especially on Usenet) you thereby decimate the audibility of one or
the other.
So you're talking about how the message is received. That simply isnt on
point. Someone may, through personal failings, hear only negative intent,
but that doesnt rob the statement itself of intellectual content.
Post by moviePig
E.g., although I like the "tin ear" riposte, I doubt I'm
supposed to relate it to some real disability regarding movies
I think you're dead wrong about that. Im convinced Nony the Coward actually
believes I have that tin ear, and he uses that phrase advisedly, and in a
sincere effort to paint what he sees as an accurate description of my
failings.
Post by moviePig
And, I submit that the fat girl is crying either
because she was insulted or because she was in weight-denial ...but
not both.
I dont get your point. My point is that the truth value in the insult is
relevant. What is your point?
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
moviePig
2011-04-13 18:13:23 UTC
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Sure, you can package content with insult.  My point is merely that
(especially on Usenet) you thereby decimate the audibility of one or
the other.
So you're talking about how the message is received.  That simply isn't on
point.  Someone may, through personal failings, hear only negative intent,
but that doesn't rob the statement itself of intellectual content.
If a tree falls in the forest...
 E.g., although I like the "tin ear" riposte, I doubt I'm
supposed to relate it to some real disability regarding movies
I think you're dead wrong about that.  I'm convinced Nonny the Coward actually
believes I have that tin ear, and he uses that phrase advisedly, and in a
sincere effort to paint what he sees as an accurate description of my
failings.
Okay, then what does 'tin ear' actually "mean", beyond an observation
that your dis/likes seem not to resemble his or (maybe) the
majority's?
And, I submit that the fat girl is crying either
because she was insulted or because she was in weight-denial ...but
not both.
I don't get your point.  My point is that the truth value in the insult is
relevant.  What is your point?
The "truth value" is irrelevant if she's crying because her BFF
insulted her. It's also irrelevant if she's crying merely at being
reminded that she's fat ...inasmuch as she could be similarly
depressed by an ad for Jenny Craig (...i.e., which has no "truth
value").

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
steve
2011-04-13 19:05:51 UTC
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Post by moviePig
So you're talking about how the message is received.  That simply isn't on
point.  Someone may, through personal failings, hear only negative intent,
but that doesn't rob the statement itself of intellectual content.
If a tree falls in the forest...
..it either does or doesnt make a sound, depending entirley on the
definition of "sound".
Post by moviePig
I think you're dead wrong about that.  I'm convinced Nonny the Coward actually
believes I have that tin ear, and he uses that phrase advisedly, and in a
sincere effort to paint what he sees as an accurate description of my
failings.
Okay, then what does 'tin ear' actually "mean", beyond an observation
that your dis/likes seem not to resemble his or (maybe) the
majority's?
Already answered, PM. It's an inability to draw anything but crude
distinctions. His motivation may have been a disagreement over
likes/dislikes, but I believe it has as much or more to do with the way I
express myself about film.
Post by moviePig
Post by moviePig
And, I submit that the fat girl is crying either
because she was insulted or because she was in weight-denial ...but
not both.
I don't get your point.  My point is that the truth value in the insult is
relevant.  What is your point?
The "truth value" is irrelevant if she's crying because her BFF
insulted her.
OK, from her perspective. That doesnt change the relevance to a third party
observer ("Yes, I see that she is, indeed, a real porker."). And it IS
relevant to her IF she cries because she's a fat fuck and she doesnt like
being reminded of that fact. You cant dismiss that hypothetical by
proposing another ("BFF"...and I'll bet you're surprised that I even know
what that means).
Post by moviePig
It's also irrelevant if she's crying merely at being
reminded that she's fat ...inasmuch as she could be similarly
depressed by an ad for Jenny Craig (...i.e., which has no "truth
value").
Doesnt follow. Pointing out that a fat person is fat is a relevant and
truthful observation, as well as an insult. If an ad for Jenny Craig also
reminds the fat chick of her problem...so what?

And why doesnt that ad have any "truth value"?
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
moviePig
2011-04-13 20:02:29 UTC
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...
Post by moviePig
Okay, then what does 'tin ear' actually "mean", beyond an observation
that your dis/likes seem not to resemble his or (maybe) the
majority's?
Already answered, PM.  It's an inability to draw anything but crude
distinctions.  His motivation may have been a disagreement over
likes/dislikes, but I believe it has as much or more to do with the way I
express myself about film.
Then he'd be saying that your movie opinions approximate, e.g.,
"good", "blows", "bee's knees", and other such coarse judgments. I
doubt that's the case, and rather suspect he's implying, say, your
dependence on LSD.
Post by moviePig
Post by moviePig
And, I submit that the fat girl is crying either
because she was insulted or because she was in weight-denial ...but
not both.
I don't get your point. My point is that the truth value in the insult is
relevant. What is your point?
The "truth value" is irrelevant if she's crying because her BFF
insulted her.
OK, from her perspective. That doesn't change the relevance to a third party
observer ("Yes, I see that she is, indeed, a real porker.")
So, that's like a message in a message ...e.g., whereby the second
party receives a love sonnet, within which a third party decodes a
treasure map. Point is that, since neither party attends to *both*
communications, they're effectively mutually exclusive -- no matter
how they've been physically multiplexed.
 And it IS
relevant to her IF she cries because she's a fat fuck and she doesnt like
being reminded of that fact.  You cant dismiss that hypothetical by
proposing another ("BFF"
If she cries because she's fat, then she's taken scant notice of the
insulting nature of the reminder ...and vice versa. (Sure, one could
construct some hypothetical tipping-point syzygy, but its practical
likelihood would be negligible )
...and I'll bet you're surprised that I even know what that means).
I'm surprised you'd bet that. It's even in tv ads.
Post by moviePig
It's also irrelevant if she's crying merely at being
reminded that she's fat ...inasmuch as she could be similarly
depressed by an ad for Jenny Craig (...i.e., which has no "truth
value").
Doesn't follow.  Pointing out that a fat person is fat is a relevant and
truthful observation, as well as an insult.
Such a pointing-out is by no means always an insult ...and, when it
becomes one, it jettisons any conveyance of "truth". (I.e., both
already know that both already know of the fat at issue, and thus know
that what's being conveyed isn't truth, but rather insult -- to which
truth has become, for all practical purposes, irrelevant.)
If an ad for Jenny Craig also
reminds the fat chick of her problem...so what?
And why doesn't that ad have any "truth value"?
Well, as regards the fat chick, it's not even making a statement.

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
steve
2011-04-13 20:23:34 UTC
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Post by moviePig
Already answered, PM.  It's an inability to draw anything but crude
distinctions.  His motivation may have been a disagreement over
likes/dislikes, but I believe it has as much or more to do with the way I
express myself about film.
Then he'd be saying that your movie opinions approximate, e.g.,
"good", "blows", "bee's knees", and other such coarse judgments. I
doubt that's the case, and rather suspect he's implying, say, your
dependence on LSD.
What?
Post by moviePig
OK, from her perspective. That doesn't change the relevance to a third party
observer ("Yes, I see that she is, indeed, a real porker.")
So, that's like a message in a message ...e.g., whereby the second
party receives a love sonnet, within which a third party decodes a
treasure map. Point is that, since neither party attends to *both*
communications, they're effectively mutually exclusive -- no matter
how they've been physically multiplexed.
Can I remind you of the topic here? The question is whether or not there
can be insults athat are not simple "empty insults".
Post by moviePig
 And it IS
relevant to her IF she cries because she's a fat fuck and she doesnt like
being reminded of that fact.  You cant dismiss that hypothetical by
proposing another ("BFF"
If she cries because she's fat, then she's taken scant notice of the
insulting nature of the reminder ...and vice versa. (Sure, one could
construct some hypothetical tipping-point syzygy, but its practical
likelihood would be negligible )
What?
Post by moviePig
...and I'll bet you're surprised that I even know what that means).
I'm surprised you'd bet that. It's even in tv ads.
That's where I saw it..but it was only weeks later that I discovered the
meaning. In fact, the add offered a creative and nonsensical use of the
term: "New BFF." which made the discovery a bit more challenging.
Post by moviePig
Doesn't follow.  Pointing out that a fat person is fat is a relevant and
truthful observation, as well as an insult.
Such a pointing-out is by no means always an insult ...and, when it
becomes one, it jettisons any conveyance of "truth".
OK, you're insisting on a definition here, and it isnt a definition that
follows/reflects common usage. You've constructed an impass. I'll make one
more attempt to break through.

A fat woman walks by. Being an insensitive jerk (and liking it), I call her
"fat". She is offended, even though (or because) she is, in fact, fat. An
innocent bystander of some sensitivity recognizes the truth value in my
statement, but also feels it is an insult and feels sorry for Porky and
tells me off, saying "She may be fat, but you're a jerk!". The insult is
felt and taken as an insult by all parties, but also recognized as true by
at least one party who also believes it to be an insult. So the statement
is both insulting, and has true, intellectual (though minimal) content.

steve
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
moviePig
2011-04-13 22:02:59 UTC
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Post by moviePig
Already answered, PM.  It's an inability to draw anything but crude
distinctions.  His motivation may have been a disagreement over
likes/dislikes, but I believe it has as much or more to do with the way
I express myself about film.
Then he'd be saying that your movie opinions approximate, e.g.,
"good", "blows", "bee's knees", and other such coarse judgments.  I
doubt that's the case, and rather suspect he's implying, say, your
dependence on LSD.
What?
If you can draw only 'crude distinctions', then your opinions must be
coarse (rather than fine). So, you'd be like the teenager for whom
every movie either "totally rocks" or "sucks ass".

But, in fact, I think 'tin ear' means to suggest that your movie-
perceptions are effectively hallucinatory, i.e., disconnected from
"reality".
Post by moviePig
OK, from her perspective. That doesn't change the relevance to a third party
observer ("Yes, I see that she is, indeed, a real porker.")
So, that's like a message in a message ...e.g., whereby the second
party receives a love sonnet, within which a third party decodes a
treasure map.  Point is that, since neither party attends to *both*
communications, they're effectively mutually exclusive -- no matter
how they've been physically multiplexed.
Can I remind you of the topic here?  The question is whether or not there
can be insults that are not simple "empty insults".
Yes ...with me saying that, when a message becomes an insult, it
effectively empties itself of content.
Post by moviePig
 And it IS
relevant to her IF she cries because she's a fat fuck and she doesnt like
being reminded of that fact.  You cant dismiss that hypothetical by
proposing another ("BFF"
If she cries because she's fat, then she's taken scant notice of the
insulting nature of the reminder ...and vice versa.  (Sure, one could
construct some hypothetical tipping-point syzygy, but its practical
likelihood would be negligible )
What?
Is she crying because she's fat or because someone's insulted her?
Although you can make up a situation where the percentages are evenly
balanced, in the real world they're always heavily tilted one way or
the other.
Post by moviePig
...and I'll bet you're surprised that I even know  what that means).
I'm surprised you'd bet that.  It's even in tv ads.
That's where I saw it..but it was only weeks later that I discovered the
meaning.  In fact, the ad offered a creative and nonsensical use of the
term: "New BFF." which made the discovery a bit more challenging.
Even so, I trust your ability to Google...
Post by moviePig
Doesn't follow.  Pointing out that a fat person is fat is a relevant and
truthful observation, as well as an insult.
Such a pointing-out is by no means always an insult ...and, when it
becomes one, it jettisons any conveyance of "truth".
OK, you're insisting on a definition here, and it isn't a definition that
follows/reflects common usage.  You've constructed an impasse.  I'll make one
more attempt to break through.
A fat woman walks by.  Being an insensitive jerk (and liking it), I call her
"fat".  She is offended, even though (or because) she is, in fact, fat.  An
innocent bystander of some sensitivity recognizes the truth value in my
statement, but also feels it is an insult and feels sorry for Porky and
tells me off, saying "She may be fat, but you're a jerk!".  The insult is
felt and taken as an insult by all parties, but also recognized as true by
at least one party who also believes it to be an insult.  So the statement
is both insulting, and has true, intellectual (though minimal) content.
So, the third party bystander here serves to illustrate that your
callous remark qualifies for both Column-A ("insults") and Column-B
("facts"). And indeed it does, let's say, at least from his point of
view. Moreover, if he is scholarly, he may may also qualify it for
Column-C ("Shakespearean quotes"). However, *my* point is that the
actual recipient (as well as the author, most likely) of such a
charged remark will magnetize very quickly to only *one* of those
(only two) columns ...so strongly that its membership in other columns
becomes moot.

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
steve
2011-04-13 23:05:33 UTC
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Post by moviePig
What?
If you can draw only 'crude distinctions', then your opinions must be
coarse (rather than fine). So, you'd be like the teenager for whom
every movie either "totally rocks" or "sucks ass".
Oh, for Christs sake. The mere fact that you have such an interpretation
makes it more than an empty insult.
Post by moviePig
Can I remind you of the topic here?  The question is whether or not there
can be insults that are not simple "empty insults".
Yes ...with me saying that, when a message becomes an insult, it
effectively empties itself of content.
Unless that's the definition, you have to justify that statement. If it is
the definition, you have to justify using that narrow definition in the face
of common usage.
Post by moviePig
So, the third party bystander here serves to illustrate that your
callous remark qualifies for both Column-A ("insults") and Column-B
("facts"). And indeed it does, let's say, at least from his point of
view.
We're done, then. The rest is extraneous.
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
moviePig
2011-04-14 03:43:19 UTC
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Post by steve
Post by moviePig
What?
If you can draw only 'crude distinctions', then your opinions must be
coarse (rather than fine).  So, you'd be like the teenager for whom
every movie either "totally rocks" or "sucks ass".
Oh, for Christs sake. The mere fact that you have such an interpretation
makes it more than an empty insult.
Reread. That's not my interpretation of 'tin ear', but yours. My
interpretation of it is that it's only repartee, with no actual
semantic application to cinema.
Post by steve
Post by moviePig
Can I remind you of the topic here?  The question is whether or not there
can be insults that are not simple "empty insults".
Yes ...with me saying that, when a message becomes an insult, it
effectively empties itself of content.
Unless that's the definition, you have to justify that statement.  If it is
the definition, you have to justify using that narrow definition in the face
of common usage.
This has never been about definitions, but rather about my contention
that insults (as commonly defined) displace content (as commonly
defined) and vice versa.
Post by steve
Post by moviePig
So, the third party bystander here serves to illustrate that your
callous remark qualifies for both Column-A ("insults") and Column-B
("facts").  And indeed it does, let's say, at least from his point of
view.
We're done, then.  The rest is extraneous.
Then by all means elide "the rest" as you've done, lest it disrupt
your dream of extraneity...

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com

David O.
2011-04-13 01:13:34 UTC
Reply
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On Tue, 12 Apr 2011 07:39:09 -0700 (PDT), moviePig
Post by moviePig
I'm sure he thought you *meant* it as insulting. (Was he wrong?) And
that, of course, is the true sine qua non of an insult. But I agree
that 'pedestrian', in this context anyway, isn't intrinsically
pejorative. (Harkness once called my movie-tastes "suburban".
Although I suspect it was a canned jibe, I found it worth analyzing...
and not totally disowning...)
Pauline Kael once told Stanley Kauffmann that he wrote criticism "for
dentists."
moviePig
2011-04-13 02:53:55 UTC
Reply
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Post by David O.
On Tue, 12 Apr 2011 07:39:09 -0700 (PDT), moviePig
I'm sure he thought you *meant* it as insulting.  (Was he wrong?)  And
that, of course, is the true sine qua non of an insult.  But I agree
that 'pedestrian', in this context anyway, isn't intrinsically
pejorative.  (Harkness once called my movie-tastes "suburban".
Although I suspect it was a canned jibe, I found it worth analyzing...
and not totally disowning...)
Pauline Kael once told Stanley Kauffmann that he wrote criticism "for
dentists."
Pretty good, except that, upon further reflection, I think it's an all-
purpose put-down -- e.g., "Constable's landscapes seem painted for
dentists." Thus, it's actual victim would seem to be those hapless
toothmongers...

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
Yo Bimbo!
2011-04-13 16:27:27 UTC
Reply
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Post by David O.
On Tue, 12 Apr 2011 07:39:09 -0700 (PDT), moviePig
I'm sure he thought you *meant* it as insulting.  (Was he wrong?)  And
that, of course, is the true sine qua non of an insult.  But I agree
that 'pedestrian', in this context anyway, isn't intrinsically
pejorative.  (Harkness once called my movie-tastes "suburban".
Although I suspect it was a canned jibe, I found it worth analyzing...
and not totally disowning...)
Pauline Kael once told Stanley Kauffmann that he wrote criticism "for
dentists."
John Simon of the Desert wrote film criticism for the mafia.
Obveeus
2011-04-11 23:23:03 UTC
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Post by moviePig
I always figure that anyone who's presenting his opinion as useful
should accompany "Well, I just do," with an apology.
Why the need for an apology? If a person states 'Film X is really boring',
'Film Y was completely nonsensical', or 'Film Z was the best film ever
made', it should be understood that they are offering their opinion. They
should not have to offer an apology to those that don't understand that
basic truth.

...besides, It is, IMO, rather annoying to have to add 'IMO' to neary every
sentence written on usenet.
moviePig
2011-04-12 02:29:38 UTC
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Post by moviePig
I always figure that anyone who's presenting his opinion as useful
should accompany "Well, I just do," with an apology.
Why the need for an apology?  If a person states 'Film X is really boring',
'Film Y was completely nonsensical', or 'Film Z was the best film ever
made', it should be understood that they are offering their opinion.  They
should not have to offer an apology to those that don't understand that
basic truth.
...besides, It is, IMO, rather annoying to have to add 'IMO' to neary every
sentence written on usenet.
The context here is one of: "Well, I don't know (or don't have to
say) why I like the movie ...I just do." Of course, that's my right
to declare. But then, e.g., what connects *my* opinion to *yours*
more than a random passerby's?

Meanwhile, the issue of how often to genuflect with an 'imo' seems to
call for a middle ground of etiquette. Yes, it's cumbersome and maybe
even ironic to keep repeating it ...but it's also good for a speaker
periodically to remind listeners that he, too, is aware of his own
subjectivity (...if indeed he is).

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
william
2011-04-12 02:38:24 UTC
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Post by moviePig
Meanwhile, the issue of how often to genuflect with an 'imo' seems to
call for a middle ground of etiquette.  Yes, it's cumbersome and maybe
even ironic to keep repeating it ...but it's also good for a speaker
periodically to remind listeners that he, too, is aware of his own
subjectivity (...if indeed he is).
I think it's dumb and a sign of false humility. This ain't your aunt
Tillie's tea party. My god, between gaza, the liberator, and the other
psychopaths, who is going to forget where they are? It's usenet where
there are actually more assholes than opinions.

William
moviePig
2011-04-12 03:03:06 UTC
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Post by william
Post by moviePig
Meanwhile, the issue of how often to genuflect with an 'imo' seems to
call for a middle ground of etiquette.  Yes, it's cumbersome and maybe
even ironic to keep repeating it ...but it's also good for a speaker
periodically to remind listeners that he, too, is aware of his own
subjectivity (...if indeed he is).
I think it's dumb and a sign of false humility. This ain't your aunt
Tillie's tea party. My god, between gaza, the liberator, and the other
psychopaths, who is going to forget where they are? It's usenet where
there are actually more assholes than opinions.
It's 'false humility' only when the humility's false. On a
controversial or subjective issue, yes, I sometimes *do* have the
definitive and clearly enlightened position. More often, though, I'm
working in partial darkness, and interested to hear the views of
others similarly handicapped and aware of it. And on Usenet,
especially, that sort of flexible discourse needs a little unction to
remain so... (imo...)

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
william
2011-04-12 03:53:29 UTC
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It's 'false humility' only when the humility's false.  On a
controversial or subjective issue, yes, I sometimes *do* have the
definitive and clearly enlightened position.  More often, though, I'm
working in partial darkness, and interested to hear the views of
others similarly handicapped and aware of it.  And on Usenet,
especially, that sort of flexible discourse needs a little unction to
remain so... (imo...)
You do realize that you're slowly morphing into Flasherly, yes?

William
moviePig
2011-04-12 13:14:21 UTC
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Post by william
It's 'false humility' only when the humility's false.  On a
controversial or subjective issue, yes, I sometimes *do* have the
definitive and clearly enlightened position.  More often, though, I'm
working in partial darkness, and interested to hear the views of
others similarly handicapped and aware of it.  And on Usenet,
especially, that sort of flexible discourse needs a little unction to
remain so... (imo...)
You do realize that you're slowly morphing into Flasherly, yes?
Well, I do know the pull of the dark side of the Force...

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
calvin
2011-04-12 01:10:11 UTC
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Post by moviePig
I always figure that anyone who's presenting his opinion as useful
should accompany "Well, I just do," with an apology.  At the same
time, accurately discerning why one liked a flick can be problematic.
E.g., how many people here (besides me) would list, in THE MAGNIFICENT
SEVEN's favor, that it's color, Cinemascope, and English-speaking
(...not to mention that super catchy tune)?  Meanwhile, a frequent
disincentive, I think, to candor is that, when someone says he likes a
movie for this or that reason, someone else seems always ready to say
he shouldn't... or even that there can be no such reason...
There's a lot more to Elmer Bernstein's score than that
'super catchy tune'. You could listen to the soundtrack
CD that was over 30 years late in coming; or better,
listen to the James Sedares re-recording (on which Bernstein
was involved in the reconstruction), and maybe you will come
to share my high opinion of it.
moviePig
2011-04-12 02:30:35 UTC
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Post by calvin
Post by moviePig
I always figure that anyone who's presenting his opinion as useful
should accompany "Well, I just do," with an apology.  At the same
time, accurately discerning why one liked a flick can be problematic.
E.g., how many people here (besides me) would list, in THE MAGNIFICENT
SEVEN's favor, that it's color, Cinemascope, and English-speaking
(...not to mention that super catchy tune)?  Meanwhile, a frequent
disincentive, I think, to candor is that, when someone says he likes a
movie for this or that reason, someone else seems always ready to say
he shouldn't... or even that there can be no such reason...
There's a lot more to Elmer Bernstein's score than that
'super catchy tune'.  You could listen to the soundtrack
CD that was over 30 years late in coming; or better,
listen to the James Sedares re-recording (on which Bernstein
was involved in the reconstruction), and maybe you will come
to share my high opinion of it.
You misunderestimate my regard for any 'super catchy tune'.

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
steve
2011-04-11 14:49:33 UTC
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Post by moviePig
Post by steve
I sure hope the argument will be something to the tune of "There is no such
thing as 'IS better' in purely subjective matters".
1. There's no such thing as 'knowing' what's better.
2. There's no such thing as 'better'.
3. There's no 'matter' that's not 'purely subjective'.
I cant go with any of these. One is OK if the subject matter is empirical,
but can faile if the SM is conceptual. Two fails anytime "better" is
adequately defined, even if One prevents us from knowing the right answer.
Three is just nonsense.

steve
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
moviePig
2011-04-11 21:34:22 UTC
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Post by steve
I sure hope the argument will be something to the tune of "There is no such
thing as 'IS better' in purely subjective matters".
1.  There's no such thing as 'knowing' what's better.
2.  There's no such thing as 'better'.
3.  There's no 'matter' that's not 'purely subjective'.
I cant go with any of these.  One is OK if the subject matter is empirical,
but can faile if the SM is conceptual.  Two fails anytime "better" is
adequately defined, even if One prevents us from knowing the right answer.
Sure, if "adequately defined" means "numerically assigned". Of
course, the assigning is when subjectivity gets a foot, knee, and most
of a pelvis in the door.
Three is just nonsense.
...in your purely subjective opinion.

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
steve
2011-04-11 22:09:43 UTC
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Post by steve
Two fails anytime "better" is
Post by steve
adequately defined, even if One prevents us from knowing the right answer.
Sure, if "adequately defined" means "numerically assigned".
It's an objective truth thing, PM. We dont have to beat that dead horse
again.
Post by steve
Post by steve
3.  There's no 'matter' that's not 'purely subjective'.
Three is just nonsense.
...in your purely subjective opinion.
Once again...

Im so tempted to beat that dead horse...mostly because I dont believe that
you actually believe that there is no objective and inescapable reality.
That's just a silly parlor game, isnt it? C'mon. Fess up.

One of my HS English teachers used to quote some philosopher (I'll bet you
know this) who pushed the idea that empirical truth is unknowable (a
conclusion you and I have agreed upon). The philosopher was asked "What
would you do if you were in the street and saw a carriage careening directly
towards you?" His answer: "I would act as if it were so."

What I take from that exchange is the admission that something can be "so".

Wait...I think the horse moved.

Nope. My mistake.

steve
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
moviePig
2011-04-11 13:36:25 UTC
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Post by calvin
It's just that I've seen them both multiple times, and gave my
honest impression.  For the third time in this thread, The Seven
Samurai deserves the greater respect because it was the original,
Calvin, by this logic, does it mean that you think the 1931 MALTESE FALCON
deserves the greater respect over the 1941 version, simply because the 1931
was the original?  Or is this just a matter of your not being completely
clear about what you do mean?
I have no problem with you liking THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN better than SEVEN
SAMURAI.  I like it a lot myself.  But when instead of "I like it better,"
your statements veer into "It IS better," then you're going to get argued
with by what I presume to be the vast majority of people who disagree with
the latter remark.  As I vehemently do.  I'd never argue over your liking
one or the other better.
*You* may be forgiving, but one can't help but suspect *some *
opinions must eventually be answered for. I'm pretty sure St. Peter
is a Kurosawa fan...

Still, for better or worse, it's common practice to speak of movies
from the "objective" perspective ...and we all tend to do it, afaics.
I've even heard the aspiring critic *advised* to view his own
judgments as definitive, lest his insightfulness grow tentative and
amorphous. So, Calvin may be alone in his opinion, but not in his
opinionation... at least stylistically... imho...

--

- - - - - - - -
YOUR taste at work...
http://www.moviepig.com
calvin
2011-04-11 17:54:44 UTC
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Post by calvin
It's just that I've seen them both multiple times, and gave my
honest impression.  For the third time in this thread, The Seven
Samurai deserves the greater respect because it was the original,
Calvin, by this logic, does it mean that you think the 1931 MALTESE FALCON
deserves the greater respect over the 1941 version, simply because the 1931
was the original?  Or is this just a matter of your not being completely
clear about what you do mean?
I have no problem with you liking THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN better than SEVEN
SAMURAI.  I like it a lot myself.  But when instead of "I like it better,"
your statements veer into "It IS better," then you're going to get argued
with by what I presume to be the vast majority of people who disagree with
the latter remark.  As I vehemently do.  I'd never argue over your liking
one or the other better.
All of my views on art, film, music, and literature are only personal
subjective opinions, of course, no matter how seemingly otherwise
they may be stated. On politics, however, ...
Joe Snodgrass
2011-04-08 21:15:51 UTC
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Post by Francis A. Miniter
Post by Beezle Bub
Magnificent Seven is an improvement on Seven Samurai in what way? It is
certainly more "American" than Seven Samurai, but that's a cultural
difference and by no means a qualitative one--some (not me) might even argue
it's a qualitative difference in the other direction.
It's got guns. When a man with a sword meets a man with a pistol, the
man with the sword is a dead man.
The Seven Samurai also has firearms.
But whether pistol always beats sword depends on a lot of
factors. Close distance may favor the sword, for instance.
Being in water would make it very hard on the man with the
pistol.  Training matters both ways.
"Just like a Dago, brings a knife to a gunfight."
-- Brian de Palma
Jim Beaver
2011-04-11 08:32:50 UTC
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Post by Beezle Bub
Magnificent Seven is an improvement on Seven Samurai in what way? ?It is
certainly more "American" than Seven Samurai, but that's a cultural
difference and by no means a qualitative one--some (not me) might even argue
it's a qualitative difference in the other direction. ?
It's got guns. When a man with a sword meets a man with a pistol, the
man with the sword is a dead man.
Never saw YOJIMBO, did you?

Jim Beaver
Howard Brazee
2011-04-07 23:44:32 UTC
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On Thu, 7 Apr 2011 10:14:20 -0700, "Jim Beaver"
Post by calvin
Overall, Kurosawa beats Sturges, no doubt, but Mag 7 is still
an improvement on 7 Sam.
It's certainly more reasonable than copying the weakest parts of _The
Hidden Fortress_, by Lucas.
--
"In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found,
than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace
to the legislature, and not to the executive department."

- James Madison
Padmar Mushkin
2011-04-08 13:17:45 UTC
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Jim, you've been missed on Twitter. I hope all is well.
Beezle Bub
2011-04-07 22:51:10 UTC
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Post by calvin
Post by calvin
Post by Heynonny
An aquaintance of mine, a fellow student in a film class, once
approached me, breathlessly excited that he had discovered an "obscure"
Japanese remake of The Magnificent Seven.
...
Actually, The Magnificent Seven is better (and I've seen them
both several times).  But of course one is not supposed to
say so.  Since Mag 7 owes its existence to 7 Sam, though,
one has to acknowledge Kurosawa's originality.
Not to mention acknowledging Kurosawa's utter superiority as a filmmaker.  I
like a good John Sturges film, but THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is better than
SEVEN SAMURAI the way A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS is better than YOJIMBO, the way
THE OUTRAGE is better than RASHOMON, and the way JOE MACBETH is better than
THRONE OF BLOOD.
Overall, Kurosawa beats Sturges, no doubt, but Mag 7 is still
an improvement on 7 Sam.
And Pearl Harbor is an improvement on Grand Illusion.
calvin
2011-04-08 00:11:24 UTC
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Post by Beezle Bub
Post by calvin
Overall, Kurosawa beats Sturges, no doubt, but Mag 7 is still
an improvement on 7 Sam.
And Pearl Harbor is an improvement on Grand Illusion.
Better that than being a hand puppet for the critics.
poisoned rose
2011-04-13 04:04:03 UTC
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My two cents: I love The Seven Samurai and have never bothered to see
The Magnificent Seven at all. ;)
Howard Brazee
2011-04-13 16:12:01 UTC
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On Tue, 12 Apr 2011 21:04:03 -0700, poisoned rose
Post by poisoned rose
My two cents: I love The Seven Samurai and have never bothered to see
The Magnificent Seven at all. ;)
Well, who *doesn't* like The Seven Samurai? But not bothering to see
The Magnificent Seven at all really doesn't say anything about the
movies.
--
"In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found,
than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace
to the legislature, and not to the executive department."

- James Madison
Francis A. Miniter
2011-04-01 02:51:46 UTC
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Post by Tom Benton
I don't think any movie has left me so confused. And I suspect that is
intentional. I have read a few reviews and they didn't seem to help.
The nearest I could figure, all the suspects felt that they had
something to hide that was worse than being charged with murder, but I
really didn't get a feel for what that might be. Any help?
If you look at it as a crime mystery, you will never
understand it. It is, rather, a comment on reality. After
an event has occurred, all that remains is the narration of
it. As each person perceives differently, and as each
person's perception is further colored by his or her biases
and ego, so each narrative will portray a different reality.
An outsider hearing (in this case, viewing) the competing
and contradictory narratives has a difficult, perhaps
impossible, task in determining which, if any, of the
narratives represents reality.

As to your question about what was worse than being charged
with murder, the answer is easy. Dishonor. The bandit, for
instance, is proud to have defeated a Samurai (in his
narration, that is) and to have seduced the Samurai's wife
in front of him (under threat of rape, granted, but that is
not how he sees it).

The ending - with the woodcutter taking the baby to save it
- sets off against the problems of trying to understand the
past the only thing we can do, which is make the best of the
future.
--
Francis A. Miniter

In dem Lande der Pygmäen
gibt es keine Uniformen,
weder Abzeichen, noch irgend welche Normen,
Und Soldaten sind dort nicht zu sehen.

Siegfried von Vegesack, "Es gibt keine Uniformen"
from In dem Lande der Pygmäen
steve
2011-04-01 14:30:58 UTC
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Post by Francis A. Miniter
If you look at it as a crime mystery, you will never
understand it. It is, rather, a comment on reality.
It's a comment on perception, interest, honesty, and the difficulty in
knowing truth. Reality, of course, exists apart from perception.
Post by Francis A. Miniter
As each person perceives differently, and as each
person's perception is further colored by his or her biases
and ego, so each narrative will portray a different reality.
Why use phrases like "different reality"? Why confuse truth with
perception?
Post by Francis A. Miniter
An outsider hearing (in this case, viewing) the competing
and contradictory narratives has a difficult, perhaps
impossible, task in determining which, if any, of the
narratives represents reality.
But here you acknowledge that reality (truth) is distinct from perception.
Why conflate the two, above?

steve
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
Francis A. Miniter
2011-04-01 18:17:21 UTC
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Post by steve
Post by Francis A. Miniter
If you look at it as a crime mystery, you will never
understand it. It is, rather, a comment on reality.
It's a comment on perception, interest, honesty, and the difficulty in
knowing truth. Reality, of course, exists apart from perception.
Post by Francis A. Miniter
As each person perceives differently, and as each
person's perception is further colored by his or her biases
and ego, so each narrative will portray a different reality.
Why use phrases like "different reality"? Why confuse truth with
perception?
Post by Francis A. Miniter
An outsider hearing (in this case, viewing) the competing
and contradictory narratives has a difficult, perhaps
impossible, task in determining which, if any, of the
narratives represents reality.
But here you acknowledge that reality (truth) is distinct from perception.
Why conflate the two, above?
steve
We do like to believe there is a reality independent of
perception. It makes life easier. And it is easy to slip
into that way of speaking, as I did in my last remark. But
I think that the movie (and the short story by Akutagawa
from which it came) do question whether there is any reality
(as to past events) apart from perception. That is why
simply doing, as happens at the end, is the best response to
the conundrum posed by contradictory recollections.
--
Francis A. Miniter

In dem Lande der Pygmäen
gibt es keine Uniformen,
weder Abzeichen, noch irgend welche Normen,
Und Soldaten sind dort nicht zu sehen.

Siegfried von Vegesack, "Es gibt keine Uniformen"
from In dem Lande der Pygmäen
steve
2011-04-01 21:24:41 UTC
Reply
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Post by Francis A. Miniter
We do like to believe there is a reality independent of
perception. It makes life easier. And it is easy to slip
into that way of speaking, as I did in my last remark. But
I think that the movie (and the short story by Akutagawa
from which it came) do question whether there is any reality
(as to past events) apart from perception.
It not only makes life easier, but it is the only sensible, reasonable
position to take. Truth (reality) is whatever it is apart from perception,
as a matter of definition. To confuse problems of interest, perception, and
memory with the abstract notion of truth is either sophomoric philosophizing
or an abuse of language.

But, again, it seems that we agree, because you attempt to draw some
distinction regarding "past events". I assume your point there is that past
reality is (to some extent) lost to us, as all we have left* is memory of
perception. Whereas the problems of perception remove us one step from
reality, memory of perception places us two steps apart from reality. But
(to the point) these are not actually questions of truth and reality. They
are questions of human weakness. I believe it is the latter than Kurosawa
was exploring, and hope that it was not the former.

steve

*Of course, some evidence of past events remains, and a skillful examination
of the location of the Rashamon event might shed some light on the truth. I
recall an astrophysicist saying something to this effect: "Everything that
has ever transpired is recorded on the film of the universe." I think that
statement assumes way too much, but there is significant truth, there.
--
"If the founding fathers were alive today, they'd be rolling in their
graves."
Joe Liberty
Tom Benton
2011-04-01 22:39:55 UTC
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Post by steve
Post by Francis A. Miniter
We do like to believe there is a reality independent of
perception. It makes life easier. And it is easy to slip
into that way of speaking, as I did in my last remark. But
I think that the movie (and the short story by Akutagawa
from which it came) do question whether there is any reality
(as to past events) apart from perception.
It not only makes life easier, but it is the only sensible, reasonable
position to take. Truth (reality) is whatever it is apart from perception,
as a matter of definition. To confuse problems of interest, perception, and
memory with the abstract notion of truth is either sophomoric philosophizing
or an abuse of language.
But, again, it seems that we agree, because you attempt to draw some
distinction regarding "past events". I assume your point there is that past
reality is (to some extent) lost to us, as all we have left* is memory of
perception. Whereas the problems of perception remove us one step from
reality, memory of perception places us two steps apart from reality. But
(to the point) these are not actually questions of truth and reality. They
are questions of human weakness. I believe it is the latter than Kurosawa
was exploring, and hope that it was not the former.
steve
*Of course, some evidence of past events remains, and a skillful examination
of the location of the Rashamon event might shed some light on the truth. I
recall an astrophysicist saying something to this effect: "Everything that
has ever transpired is recorded on the film of the universe." I think that
statement assumes way too much, but there is significant truth, there.
I am starting to get a feeling of where you all seem to be coming from
but I am not sure I totally agree with all. An event viewed by
several observors will have inconstencies even if all accounts are
honest/ However, given the wild differences in stories told, some, if
not all, had to be lying through their teeth.

Actually, Steve's explanation rings pretty true to me, FWIW. Thanks
for all the insightful comments, though.


_____________________________________
Procrastinate now! Do not put it off!

Ellen DeGeneres
Francis A. Miniter
2011-04-02 01:06:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Tom Benton
Post by steve
Post by Francis A. Miniter
We do like to believe there is a reality independent of
perception. It makes life easier. And it is easy to slip
into that way of speaking, as I did in my last remark. But
I think that the movie (and the short story by Akutagawa
from which it came) do question whether there is any reality
(as to past events) apart from perception.
It not only makes life easier, but it is the only sensible, reasonable
position to take. Truth (reality) is whatever it is apart from perception,
as a matter of definition. To confuse problems of interest, perception, and
memory with the abstract notion of truth is either sophomoric philosophizing
or an abuse of language.
But, again, it seems that we agree, because you attempt to draw some
distinction regarding "past events". I assume your point there is that past
reality is (to some extent) lost to us, as all we have left* is memory of
perception. Whereas the problems of perception remove us one step from
reality, memory of perception places us two steps apart from reality. But
(to the point) these are not actually questions of truth and reality. They
are questions of human weakness. I believe it is the latter than Kurosawa
was exploring, and hope that it was not the former.
steve
*Of course, some evidence of past events remains, and a skillful examination
of the location of the Rashamon event might shed some light on the truth. I
recall an astrophysicist saying something to this effect: "Everything that
has ever transpired is recorded on the film of the universe." I think that
statement assumes way too much, but there is significant truth, there.
I am starting to get a feeling of where you all seem to be coming from
but I am not sure I totally agree with all. An event viewed by
several observors will have inconstencies even if all accounts are
honest/ However, given the wild differences in stories told, some, if
not all, had to be lying through their teeth.
Actually, Steve's explanation rings pretty true to me, FWIW. Thanks
for all the insightful comments, though.
If you are interested in this sort of writing, take a look
at *An Instance of the Fingerpost* by Iain Pears. This is
not just *In a Grove* [the proper name of the story by
Ryunosuke Akutagawa on which the movie *Rashomon* was based]
changed from a short story to a large novel. It analyzes
through the various narratives particular fallacious lenses
through which people look at the world.
--
Francis A. Miniter

In dem Lande der Pygmäen
gibt es keine Uniformen,
weder Abzeichen, noch irgend welche Normen,
Und Soldaten sind dort nicht zu sehen.

Siegfried von Vegesack, "Es gibt keine Uniformen"
from In dem Lande der Pygmäen
Francis A. Miniter
2011-04-02 01:01:19 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by steve
Post by Francis A. Miniter
We do like to believe there is a reality independent of
perception. It makes life easier. And it is easy to slip
into that way of speaking, as I did in my last remark. But
I think that the movie (and the short story by Akutagawa
from which it came) do question whether there is any reality
(as to past events) apart from perception.
It not only makes life easier, but it is the only sensible, reasonable
position to take. Truth (reality) is whatever it is apart from perception,
as a matter of definition. To confuse problems of interest, perception, and
memory with the abstract notion of truth is either sophomoric philosophizing
or an abuse of language.
But, again, it seems that we agree, because you attempt to draw some
distinction regarding "past events". I assume your point there is that past
reality is (to some extent) lost to us, as all we have left* is memory of
perception. Whereas the problems of perception remove us one step from
reality, memory of perception places us two steps apart from reality.
And ego places us three steps away. Each character in the
story makes him or her self look good and most important.
Post by steve
But
(to the point) these are not actually questions of truth and reality. They
are questions of human weakness. I believe it is the latter than Kurosawa
was exploring, and hope that it was not the former.
Human limitations, perhaps, more than human weakness, though
ego, the lens through which we perceive, may be a weakness
as well.
Post by steve
steve
*Of course, some evidence of past events remains, and a skillful examination
of the location of the Rashamon event might shed some light on the truth. I
recall an astrophysicist saying something to this effect: "Everything that
has ever transpired is recorded on the film of the universe." I think that
statement assumes way too much, but there is significant truth, there.
--
Francis A. Miniter

In dem Lande der Pygmäen
gibt es keine Uniformen,
weder Abzeichen, noch irgend welche Normen,
Und Soldaten sind dort nicht zu sehen.

Siegfried von Vegesack, "Es gibt keine Uniformen"
from In dem Lande der Pygmäen
Heynonny
2011-04-03 07:24:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On 2011-04-01 14:17:21 -0400, "Francis A. Miniter"
We do like to believe there is a reality independent of perception. It
makes life easier ... But I think that the movie question[s] whether
there is any reality ... apart from perception. That is why simply
doing [my insert: "the best we can"], as happens at the end, is the best
Very nice.

I once tried to get a very beloved friend, a Republican lobbyist who
quotes Hitler spot on in the original language when he's drunk, to
watch Roshomon in an effort to reconcile or establish kinda a
commonality in our separate but equal righwingedness, simply to agree
that there might be grey in the world. But he couldn't stomach it. I
actually begged him to see it through so we could talk about it, but it
was just too painful for him.
mikeos
2011-04-06 17:36:09 UTC
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Post by Tom Benton
I don't think any movie has left me so confused. And I suspect that is
intentional. I have read a few reviews and they didn't seem to help.
The nearest I could figure, all the suspects felt that they had
something to hide that was worse than being charged with murder, but I
really didn't get a feel for what that might be. Any help?
That's not how I remember it!
Beezle Bub
2011-04-07 22:47:51 UTC
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Post by Tom Benton
I don't think any movie has left me so confused. And I suspect that is
intentional. I have read a few reviews and they didn't seem to help.
The nearest I could figure, all the suspects felt that they had
something to hide that was worse than being charged with murder, but I
really didn't get a feel for what that might be.  Any help?
_____________________________________
Procrastinate now! Do not put it off!
Ellen DeGeneres
Well, this is the weird and ironic part of the story. Generally,
people accuse OTHERS of the crime and say "I'm innocent." In
Rashomon, all the particulars who were directly involved--bandit,
samurai, wife--say "I DONE IT'. Bandit says he fought a great duel
and won. Samurai says he was wronged by both the bandit and his wife
and he killed himself. The wife says she couldn't stand the shame and
her hubby's accusatory looks, and so, she killed him.
So, each says I'm guilty, but by professing guilt on the physical
level, they're claiming righteousness on a higher level. The bandit
says he gave the samurai a fair chance, and he came out ahead. So, he
aint just a thief but a proud warrior who fought and won a fair duel
and is ready to die with honor.
The samurai blames himself for the suicide, and as such, tugs at our
sympathy. He was fooled by the bandit and betrayed by his wife. He was
wronged by everyone, including himself, since greed led him to follow
the bandit and fall into the trap. Even so, he died as a samurai
should, to atone for his shame and die for honor.
The woman says she resisted the bandit the best she could but he
overpowered her. And then she tried to help her husband, but he
reproached her with cold steely eyes, as if she were to blame. So, she
was violated by the bandit and wronged by her husband.
This is what is really strange in the story: the claiming of higher
ground by the admission of guilt.
While the three particulars admit physical guilt, they profess
spiritual innocence and psychological righteousness.

Of course, there's the fourth witness, the woodcutter, who was not
directly involved with what happened; his account both corroborates
and subverts parts of the testimonies of the others. One would like to
conclude that his account is the definitive one.. but there is the
issue of the missing dagger. Was the samurai killed by the dagger or
by the sword? Could the woodcutter have taken the dagger and altered
to story--that the samurai was killed by the sword--to conceal his
theft? The bandit and the woodcutter say the samurai was killed by the
sword, and the samurai and the woman say he was killed by the dagger.
In the movie, it seems as though the woodcutter did take the dagger.
But did he pick it from the ground or did he remove it from the body?

At any rate, the real point of the movie is NEVER TRUST A JAP. Why?
They don't even trust themselves. It's like what Frank said in Once
Upon a Time in the West: "how can I trust a man who wears both a belt
and suspenders? He doesn't even trust his own pants."
Well, how can we trust Japs who use both dagger and sword? They don't
even trust their own blades.
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