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2016 – Breakout Session #6: Auteur Cinema Vs. Post-Modern Producer Cinema

final-destination-3

In our last session we will discuss about how the process of film production has changed after the decline of the New American Cinema.

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107 responses to “2016 – Breakout Session #6: Auteur Cinema Vs. Post-Modern Producer Cinema

  1. Frank Bullitt ⋅

    I have never seen Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex that was partially screened in class today and I found it to be hilarious. With it being an episodic film I didn’t feel like I missed out too much with just seeing clips- that being said I am definitely going to watch it over the break when I have some time.

    But it does bring out a good point, on which this session is said to address, the directors vision versus the producer’s vision. For the most part I don’t think that when a director is making a movie, they set out with the idea of making vast amounts of money. It seems more like they would like to make a piece of art that can relate to people in someway. But the producers on the other hand set out only to make the most amount of money possible. This of course gets in the way of art, as it has to quantify it in some manner. Looking at this from today’s standpoint it seems really hard to make the distinction sometimes. For example when I go see or buy a film I am usually looking to see who directed it first but I think that is slightly disillusioned of me because it seems the producer has more importance these days. But generally speaking we all know the major companies as well and what kind of films they produce. So it makes me start thinking- who is really the super starts when it come to the creation of the films we watch today?

    Okay enough rambling I’ll get back to my impressions of EYAWTKAS. Both clips that we watched today, what is sodomy and what happens during ejaculation, really made my day. Gene Wilder was such a badass. I am really curious as to how many takes had been completed to do that sequence. One thing that I did take note of is after the “patient” came in and told Dr. Ross he had fallen in love with a sheep, Woody Allen allowed for a long take on Dr. Ross. This allows for the audience to fully get the expressions that Gene pulls off with his face. But on top of that Woody Allen completely subverts our expectations with the set up of the sequence. We think that of course this man is crazy for falling in love with the sheep but slowly after meeting the sheep, Dr. Ross starts to fall in love ensuing a constant stream of laughter.

    When it comes to what happens during ejaculation sequence, I found that it has many references to other genres. Of course there is the feel of being in a sci-fi fit with the set up of the human body being controlled by little humans inside of it that operate each of the systems. But there is also a reference to the westerns when the sperm played by Woody Allen plays the harmonica. The other stand out moment for was when the African American man was screaming into the lens “what am I doing here”. It was such a great set up and follow through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pizzaboy ⋅

      The point made about the producer and directors respective roles in the creation of a film were very conveniently placed because I was just researching their roles today and came to understand that I had no idea what a producer actually does.

      Me being a musician…it was natural for me to think of a producer as the guy in the studio that does a backing track and perfects the editing of a tune before it goes on the radio…whereas with film…it’s completely different.

      In certain ways they can be almost interchangeable…often their roles can overlap…and often times the producer may act as the director and vice versa. The producer procuring the capital and resources can seem more vital than the director to some people…while the director can seem like the point of vitality for others. For me personally…the one with the vision is the one who should receive the recognition. I guess this is especially true for the “New Hollywood” and “Post-Modernist” eras where directors and producers became entities into their own in response to to dissolution of the Hollywood Studio System. A lot more research is going to be necessary on my part to truly understand these roles.

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      • Derp ⋅

        @Pizzaboy
        You brought up an interesting opinion that the role of producer is different in film industry and music industry. I never knew that. But I agree with you personally: Director, the one who actually realizes an art piece, should be recognized and rewarded. Although a producer does play a major role in investing on a film and takes a great risk by doing so, I feel like that does not require an artistic skill. On the other hand, a director goes through months and years of hard work with a huge crew in order to live up to that investment and expectation. The work load may be the same, but the level of the required skill seems higher with a director. So I would say a director should get more credit.

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      • BIGANTEATER ⋅

        hey pizzboy,

        I understand the point you’re trying to make but I think you may be confused about a producer in film and music. I myself am a full time music producer. In regards to music, I think you have the terms music producer and music engineer confused. A music producer is doing the creating of the music itself. Unless you are talking about say, an executive producer of an album. In that since a producer for a film is quite similar to that of an executive music producer. The singer known as The Weekend released an album today titled “Starboy”. If you look at the album credits for that album, there are about 30 producers on it but no executive producers. These producers played a part in making the actual music for the tracks that the Weekend sung on. Moreover your definition of producer that you described is moree close to an engineer. The engineer is the last person to touches the music. They tweak the levels of the song, removing any blemishes, and cleans up the entire package so that it translates nice and smoothly to the radio and other listening platforms. There is no executive producer on this album so that means that The Weekend more than likely had the final decision in all creativity for the album. But if you look at the album credits for Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Shawn Carter is listed as the executive producer. So in a gist, an executive producer for an album controls the overall aesthetic and sound of it. Exec producers is the master brains behind the project, they hire producers for the music etc. A definition for from googles say “An executive producer is someone who enables and supervises the making of a commercial entertainment product, and oversees one or more producers and their work on the production.”.

        So in saying all of that. A producer for a film and an executive producer for an album is not that different at all. They are actually completely the same.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Derp ⋅

      @Frank Bullitt
      I have a mixed feeling about the clash between artistic decision and financial decision. As a business, a film does need to get more money than the amount of money the producer has invested in. But at the same time, the audience are not ignorant live stock; when they get tired of tasting same “food” over and over, they will be bored and mercilessly abandon the creator. I feel like that’s where a director comes in as both an artist and a name value. For example, if a director who is totally unknown or has only directed drama films is given the position to direct “War of the World”, I don’t think many people would watch that. But if Steven Spielberg, who created a bone-chilling horror movie “JAWS” and a jaw-dropping Sci-Fi movie “Jurassic Park”, I think people will be super pumped to see that film. In fact, it happened and a lot of people went to see it. I was one of those people who watched it because of Spielberg, and I thought it was brilliant as one masterpiece of art. A producer can start something that hungry audience want to “consume”, but a director can create something that intelligent audience want to “love”.

      About that film about sperms, I laughed my butts off too lol
      But I was astonished because I just saw an anime (a weird one) that showed sperms going out of a penis as soldiers charging through bullets and mortars on D-day and I thought its origin could be this film. I feel that this film, which creatively shows what could be happening inside our brain and body, influenced countless films. To think about it, that Pixar film “Inside Out” could be an innocent (very innocent) version of this film. This gave me another opportunity to appreciate old films.

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  2. White Rabbit ⋅

    Like Frank, I have never seen Everything you want to know about Sex. It was definitely… different? I think it reflects very well how films at the time considered ideas/plots that stray from the norm. I mean a sheep, really? lol. And the Willy Wonka guy played the part perfectly. I enjoyed one of the first scenes, where the patient spits out the word sheep. Priceless. The long shot spoke all the words we needed to hear, and maybe related to. I do really enjoy comedies, although I’m not much into crude humor.

    It was also an interesting twist to see the doctor fall in love with the sheep, and how his wife catches on to the scent of the animal. An equally priceless scene was towards the end, when he’s walking down the street, completely heart-broken over the sheep. I don’t recall watching another film along this plot, but it’s definitely a play on romance, straying from the traditional “male/female” affair.

    Despite the crudeness of What happens during Ejaculation, I thought the movie was brilliant. As mentioned in class, it is very similar to inside out, but far more mature. The collaboration and conflict reflected in the film do speak highly about what some men process internally in a similar situation. In that sense, as an audience, many are able to relate to the topic on a humorist note.

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    • TaiwanSwag ⋅

      I agree with what you said about “What happens during Ejaculation”. I would say Woody Allen was successful because he knows what the audiences wanted, or even just create something that the audiences could relate to. I feel like this technique is kind of underrated nowadays in the mainstream movies because none of us could really relate to sci-fi or heroes movies. However, we can still see a good amount of successes in romantic and love story films where we could always relate to the events in those films. I also couldn’t believe about the sheep, and it caught everybody off guard. But I think it was a success with the reactions in class, and that’s why Woody Allen is so good.

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    • shmoo ⋅

      In regards to the doctor falling in love with a sheep, the ending was even more funny when we see him downing a bottle of woolite instead of alcohal. The plot was really all over the place and it’s obvious that woody Allen had fun creating his interpretation of what sodomy is…I also agree about the internal dialogue during the ejaculation segment, many of the lines the men were saying were stereotypical male behavior during sex. Like afterwards how everyone says, “alright let’s shut it down” as in saying that the man is now tired and ready to sleep. I thought the clips that we saw were very smart despite their crudeness.

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    • dinerbears ⋅

      i think this two film we watched during the class time is pretty interesting and funny. both clips are my first time to watched. i agree with you that the first clip we watched during the class a doctor full in love with a sheep is playing on romance, straying from the traditional “male/ female” affair. i also think “what happens during ejaculation” is similar them as disney movie inside out. i think this film is pretty interesting that to see the guys reaction when they dating with girl.

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  3. IsThePartyOver ⋅

    I was once told by the teacher in a screenwriting class to check out Woody Allen’s films because he thought my story was on the style of his. Naturally I did not, so as not to end up copying him, but am I glad to be watching this now! I really enjoy absurdity in films or art in general and Allen seems to be a master of absurd comedies. Comedies today pop like crazy, 90% of the time being incredibly awful to the point that I have long lost my faith in this genre. The best they can do is make me blow air out of my nose harder, and it is my understanding that if a comedy is not making you laugh out loud then it’s not doing its job. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex however is hilarious! The decision to make a film about sex through frequently asked questions is brilliant. These are questions that lend themselves the most to comedy in my opinion and that’s because sex ed is still precarious and religion does its best to suppress it. Imagine it back in the days of Woody Allen. On top of that, there is a certain casualness and subtlety with which Allen approaches these absurd situations that I can’t help but laugh. I feel like it’s never too vulgar, just enough. Great stuff I will definitely watch later; it’s sad that cinema takes a turn for more commercial films after that. I do not think however that we’re doomed or anything, as I love contemporary cinema. Just because we’re in a era of producers over directors does not mean that we don’t get masterpieces.

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    • pizzaboy ⋅

      I don’t think the subtlety at which the subject matter is approached can be over stated…or even stated enough. With me still trying to wrap my head around what the true intention of the film was…I must say the secret sauce has to lie within the subtlety with which all of the subject matter was approached.

      It’s almost as if they’re doing an impromptu comedy show where they have to perform a succession of scenes as a random style picked out of hat and they get stuck with serious each time.

      It takes the subject of sodomy to the most extreme example that can be fathomed and approach it in the most matter-of-fact manner possible.

      The initial scene goes for a feeling of comedy in the place of palpable confusion felt by the character played by Gene Wilder and flips it around to take you face the fave with how absurd this type of situation could possibly be one and makes you question of taboos in and of themselves at the same time.

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      • Eddie ⋅

        I was at a loss for words, in my head I remember Gene Wilder from Blazing saddles, Willy Wonka, and with Richard Pryor. I found that scene both deeply disturbing and hilarious at the same time. It’s just not something that’s ever been relatable to me though so I’ve never even considered the possibility of something like that happening, without a doubt Willy Wonka the Wacky Wizard of whimsy will always Woefully remind me of the wrongs witnessed in this film without warning. Why wonka?! WHY?!

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      • IsThePartyOver ⋅

        I always felt like there was something off about Wonka, now to think THAT. I absolutely understand where the horror is coming from. I suppose however that we got to accept all forms of love and perhaps see his breakup with the sheep as the beginning of a chain reaction that would lead to the building of the greatest chocolate factory.

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      • Nyphos ⋅

        I’m with you two. I really could not see Gene Wilder as anyone but Willy Wonka throughout the entire piece. It made the film even more hilarious to me and now anytime I see Willy Wonka in the future, I’m only going to be able to think of sheep.

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  4. pizzaboy ⋅

    Must say…Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex was a very entertaining and unexpected screening. A very unique idea for a film. It’s really refreshing to see a film not take itself quite so serious…especially when traversing such a unique and innovative framework for a film. I guess I’m not really used to seeing the episodic format used it such a way…it’s very closely akin to the skit comedy of MAD TV and SNL…but has it’s own unique twist of artistic merit…this causing it to rise above and reach its own type of resonance.

    It’s one thing for a movie to take the form and inspiration of and from a book…but to take it from this particular book is about as bold as bold can be. Me personally…it’s these types of excursions that I live for and truly feel makes life worth living. I’m definitely going to have to complete this viewing at a later date…as my palate has been whetted. It makes me wonder how far in the realm of post-modernism film can truly be pushed. Does art truly need a deeper message? Can it be set for the sake of art? What is art? Cinema poking fun at the absurdity of its own form. People laughing at the absurdities of their own anxieties…a true neurotic’s self-reflection. In a sense it’s a very accurate portrayal of Woody Allen’s own introspection and his inner psyche.

    I’ve been doing my own personal research into the history of film to broaden my own understanding and I can definitely see this film as definitive of an auteur film as by the definitions described in videos that I’ve been watching. It definitely had Woody Allen’s neurotic yet innovative touch left upon it…and just from the clips we watched in class I can see that it is definitely up to par to maintain a unique impression and reputation for such a unique and definitive director as Woody Allen. The character he played even brought across the same neuroticism he shows in his stand-up…therefore an artist of true solidarity.

    I feel like the first half had a definite deeper meaning…but I couldn’t quite place my finger upon it so I had to take it at face value. I can definitely see how the absurdity in the onlookers looking upon the scene with the sheep as nothing more than a marital infraction. It could be nothing more than a play in absurdist dialogue for the sake of a reaction…but I have very genuine doubts. On the other hand it could be seen as nothing more than a personal flexing of acting ability…such as a musician creating a discordant melodic phrase for the sake of pushing artistic boundaries to their logical extreme.

    I actually pointed out to some of my classmates that the “battleship body” skit reminded of the Magic School Bus whenever they traveled down the digestive tract of a person. In a perverse way I’m sure this movie had more than a direct impact on that episode…especially considering the impact of this film. Another perfect example of the reproductive and self-perpetuating nature of art…playing upon “meta” themes and narratives. Akin to when Voltaire used his own literary style to bring Newton to the masses. A bit heavy minded for a blog…but it’s the first example that came to mind.

    Beyond the mere entertainment value of this skit…it’s a very interesting way to think of the human body in and of itself…could push a neurotic soul to their wits end. In a sense…it can actually describe really well how the thought process of a “hypersensitive” individual would work in such a situation…overthinking every aspect of a very simple and spontaneous situation.

    It’s interesting to see Woody Allen associating himself with such films considering how controversial his personal life has been over the years…and brings forth the question of whether these decisions were made in tandem and reactively. It could almost me the eccentricities of life bleeding over into the eccentricities of his personal life. Perversions in tandem. The question though is which inspired which…in this case it’s probably best to let the art speak for itself.

    I am likely looking too deeply into this…especially with such a limited viewing…but I feel that this film is a perfect representation of Woody Allen’s style and is definitely worthy of further examination. An artists choices in the types of projects they pursue can be just as telling and important as the projects themselves…things must be observed from every possible angle.

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    • Eddie ⋅

      I almost spit out my drink when we were watching the brain try to function during the date, it was absolutely hilarious. I think that was one fo the best skits or shorts that I’ve ever seen. Too much, really I think that whoever dreamt that up had to be a genius. The one with the goat just left me disturbed but the guy trying to win on his date was probably relatable at some point in every guys life. I would actually watch that film in it’s entirety just because of that scene despite the one with the goat.

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  5. clintrump ⋅

    Everything you wanted to know about sex was sort of strange, and I could see how Woody Allen created this film. Personally I think Woody Allen has a rather bizarre, and perverted sense of humor going for the showing bestiality in everything you ever wanted to know about sex. I recognized the main actor who played the doctor also played a main role in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I think he is a good actor for his time, and even though the film we watched in class is not my personal taste he made his character seem believable. The final scene where Dr. Ross takes the sheep to the hotel and talks to the animal like it is an actual human being is rather funny but still isn’t really my sense of humor.

    Shit Happens during Ejaculation was hilarious! Again, I could see some continuity with Woody Allen’s bizarre perverted sense of humor. This film used a lot of creativity with people living inside of the man operating bodily systems like a machine. The humor of the people talking within each system was funny, and I thought that it was creative how the sperm were dressed up like paratroopers ready to go into war. Now that I think of it the whole film played on a sense that there was a war but it involved the real life interaction of a human being and the changes within the body before sexual intercourse. I recognized a lot of big Hollywood actors in Shit Happens during Ejaculation, which I could imagine helped Woody Allen in selling his films to the public back in the 1970’s. I’m looking forward to watching more post-modern Producer Cinema, and hopefully some scenes from Final Destination in class.

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  6. I guess you should never judge a book by its cover. This rule should also apply with films. A movie comprised of just random clips that do not interact or connect with one another is a unique concept. This reminds me of the animated film, Heavy Metal. It always seems that once you are interested and dedicated to a short, it seems to change into something else. The process of getting to know the characters and plot is a repeating process. To be successful in compiling short skits like this takes a lot of effort, as a lot of information must be delivered in a short amount of time. I never thought I would find Woody Allen to be funny, yet the skit about the human body and what it takes for it to seal the deal was pretty funny. The setting was genius, as they occupied the spaces on the set to perfection. The overall design of the body was quite impressive and clever. I thought using the sperm as paratroopers was cleaver. There always seems to be the coward that second guesses in every war movie before leaping out of a plane, and Woody Allen did a great job as that character. The sheep skit was pretty funny too, but a little dragged on. I thought that the actor did a good job being able to do scenes with an animal and make chemistry or dialogue between the two seem real. The cut scene from when he got caught, went to divorce court, and was waiting tables was nicely edited, as it showed how fast his life changed. The coffee shop set was definitely made out to be as stressful as possible, even making me feel tense watching it. I will have to check out more of those sketches at a later time.

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    • BIGANTEATER ⋅

      Accidentally submitted my post before finishing. I was gonna bring Woody Allen’s perverted yet relatable sense of humor and the accusations of him being a child molester together as my conclusion but forgot what exactly I was gonna say

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    • Derp ⋅

      I enjoyed watching the compilation of various clips. If you like animation and this kind of various clips/stories put together, I recommend you watch “SHORT PEACE” and “MEMORIES” made by a director Katsuhiro Ootomo, who made a legendary animation film “AKIRA”.

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  7. Sierra94 ⋅

    I have not watched many Woody Allen films, but Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex was quite an interesting and funny film. It sort of felt like an American counterpart to Monty Python. The “What Happens During Ejaculation” segment of the film reminded me of the animated film “Osmosis Jones”, which I saw as a child, that was based around a similar concept of the human body being a city, but with anthropomorphic blood cells and other microorganisms rather than microscopic humans.

    Onto the topic of the transition from auteur cinema to producer cinema. To me, the reason for the transition is completely understandable. The production of films can get very expensive. If the funders/distributors do not make as much money as they had spent on production and advertisements, they won’t be able to sustain their company. Just like in any other industry, the companies must make profits so they can avoid going bankrupt and continue on with their business.
    Unless there is already a massive fanbase that is guaranteed to pay for tickets (e.g. Star Wars), there is a chance that a film will fail and cost the producers a lot of money. Not like $100 for the average person, but rather millions upon millions of dollars. Contrary to how they’re depicted in media, even billionaires or trillionaires would feel devastated for losing that much money. As such, playing it safe is practically the only option unless it is a very low-budget film as it is the production companies who are putting countless dollars at risk. Gaining a cult following is not enough to make up for all that loss. To minimise the risk, the production companies feel the need to take as much control as they can and base the movie on whatever market researchers tell them.
    Of course, that does not guarantee a success, especially with new films in a pre-existing franchise due to various factors. This is particularly true with reboots like the recent Ghostbusters film (I am of the opinion that it would have done better if it was a new chapter in the franchise instead of a reboot). Even if a film does very well in the box office, there are also cases of disappointing long-time fans of franchises, as was the case with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While not a true remake/reboot as it features brand new characters and advances the story in a universe created over the course of seven films, two TV series, and a number of new comics and novels (not counting the old Legends continuity that has been scrapped by Disney), many fans felt disappointed and claimed that SW: TFA was too similar to the original Star Wars film with a number of plot points, on top of some new plot points that seem flimsy (particularly the use of a “resistance” group to fight against the First Order because JJ wanted to enforce a status quo of the Original Trilogy instead of the more sensible idea of the New Republic fighting the First Order themselves).

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    • Sierra94 ⋅

      So much for planning out what I was gonna write in my head. I completely forgot to mention the “I want it too” mentality that a lot of people has, especially success. As mentioned in the class, the success of Star Wars and Jaws had very likely made major film production companies stop and think “hey, those two films made a lot of money. We want to make films that makes us that much money.” So, they work their magic of market researching to try and find a way to get them the biggest profits possible by finding out what it is that people want to watch.

      My feelings on this are mixed, to be honest. On one hand, the directors and writers might have their hands tied to some degree because their funders tell them to change things, thus not being exactly what the directors/writers wanted to make, because their funders’ primary goal is to make money.
      On the other hand, the profits they make are necessary for them to produce more films, whether as part of a series or completely unrelated.

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      • Vera Lynn ⋅

        I really liked this post, and I totally agree. I think Hollywood needs to start making corrections to their business model. It feels like every study is scrambling to find that movie that can start of their own Marvel cash cow, and they are throwing 200 million dollar budgets at movies just to try and create the next big thing. Ghostbusters being a prime example. Sony had already created a whole division within their company dedicated to just Ghostbusters crap because they were banking on the success of a movie that had not even come out yet. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around how a major company could make a call like that, but then again I think the leadership at Sony, at least at the time, was in some pretty suspect hands.

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      • clintrump ⋅

        Response to Sierra94,

        I agree that Hollywood does focuses to much on making profits ant the monetary side of film production instead of focusing on the creative ideas of the directors and writers themselves. Also I think bigger films that are funded by a single person also diminishes the final end creativity of the film. But Hollywood is run by a capitalistic mindset so creativity is lost to over stimulation of explosions, violence, and special effects to ensure profitability.

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    • Sorabari ⋅

      I think that this is the reason why the first movie of a movie series is usually placed to the best movie. When a filmmaker makes a movie, he or she puts full effort to make a film. If the film gets attention and becomes the greatest hit, the filmmaker owns a lot of money and gets satisfied with it. People are greedy. The filmmaker wants to make more money but to put less effort to make another one since he or she gets exhausted to make one. Therefore, he or she cuts corners in his or her work. The second movie can be nothing but garbage because the audience can’t see the passion of the filmmaker in the movie. On the other hand, if the filmmaker thinks that the second movie needs to be better than the first one, he or she puts more money to make the better movie and impress the audience. The veteran filmmakers might think that they don’t have to worry about popularity, so they make films that they want to show the audience no matter how much it’d cost. This can be the reason why the movies from the veteran filmmakers are usually outstanding. Some people may complain about Michael Bay because he shows nothing but explosion. I assume that the explosion defines him and creates his personal bland, which means the audience can guess he shows them massive explosion before watching them.

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      • Vera Lynn ⋅

        I feel what you are saying about the first film usually being the best. I can think of a few examples of the 2nd film in a series being the best, Empire Strikes Back, Terminator and some might even argue Aliens, but for the life of me I can’t think of a series where the majority of people think the 3rd film is the best. I would be tempted to say Revenge of the Sith… but I would just say its the least bad… not sure if that qualifies as “best.” Just for fun, can anyone think of a series where the 3rd film is the strongest?

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      • Derp ⋅

        That’s an interesting subject.
        I remember someone saying something like this: Everything starts fairly well for the first one, the second succeeds the spirit, technology and everything good from the first one, but the third falls due to the arrogance brought by the success of the first and the second. If I remember correctly, this was said by someone who is related to the field of business study to warn business pioneers that the quality of their business could deteriorate as other persons succeed their original business. I think this could be applicable to the film. Whereas the second film enjoys the continuation or even improvement of everything including both story and production value, the third one tends to fail for some reason. Perhaps, it’s due to the fact that the second one lived up to the expectation to the extent that they can’t make something that surpasses that success.
        On the other hand, starting a new series always works. For example, “X-Men” started a new series from “X-Men: The First Class” and the second one “Days of Future Past” within that series made pretty good success and recognition. But I heard that third one “Apocalypse” didn’t do really well, just like the third one in the original trilogy: “The Last Stand”. I watched “Apocalypse”, but yeah it wasn’t as good as “Days of Future Past”.

        To answer “Vera Lynn”‘s question below,
        I don’t know any third movie that was greater than previous two, but video games tend to do pretty well on their third franchise. Resident Evil 3, Just Cause 3, Bioshock 3, Mass Effect 3…the list goes on.

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      • Sierra94 ⋅

        I’m not too sure I can fully agree with the claim that filmmakers decide to cut corners to save money. Sure some are, but I think it’s more along the lines of it being a very tiring task, as Sorabari suggested, arrogance and/or being unable to live up to the expectations by fans as Derp suggested. I feel that in many cases, a large number of fans set their expectations a bit too high.
        Another possibility is that the filmmaker does not know exactly what made their film successful, so they end up focusing on the “wrong” things.
        Back onto the “greedy, thus wanting to cut corners” claim, there are cases where the director just is not that good at his work but still cares for it a great deal. One person I can think of is George Lucas. The Prequel Trilogy was not as well-liked as the Original Trilogy, but Lucas cared enough about his franchise to pull money out of his bank account and invest it on things like Star Wars: The Clone Wars (the 2008 series, not the 2003 series) on top of the funding he originally received for it and helping improve the quality. Granted, it also helps that after the first couple seasons, the people working on the show got better at using the tools they were given and have a lot more assets to build scenes with than they had in the beginning of the series.

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      • Sierra94 ⋅

        I forgot to add in the part that the producer also has their hand in the creation of films, which can often lead to the director having their hands tied as production companies want to milk out every dollar they can get out of a film, thus changing things against the director’s wishes to appease their money-giving overlords.

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    • ihatenickelback ⋅

      reply to sierra94.

      I’m so glad you mentioned Osmosis Jones because I couldn’t stop thinking about that movie the whole time! I think Osmosis Jones was the first film with that concept I had ever seen (excluding Magic School Bus since that’s mainly a TV series). Watched we watched in class, however, was obviously bumping up the adult rating a little bit higher. I really liked it, and I liked that I could relate it to a movie and concept I had seen at a younger age!

      Like

  8. KillDozer ⋅

    The late 60’s/early 70’s is a really interesting time for American films because seems like a lot of people were just throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks. It stands to reason because there was such a huge cultural shift going on in the country at the time, so who the hell really knows what these hippies want to see in a film. I guess that’s why a film like Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex could get made when prior to that time it probably at least wouldn’t have been able to be a major studio release. One other film from this time period that jumps out at me as a low budget film with major studio backing and a huge pay off is Rocky. It had no star power, an unproven writer/lead in Stallone, and a gritty look & setting. United Artists took a chance and boom, they made a ton of money on a project they were really unsure about. $1.1 million budget, $225 million box office says it all. After that, Stallone became a household name.

    Jaws and Star Wars brought predictability back to movies in a way, it was easy to see after their success what audiences were looking for. Cool special effects, monsters, aliens, adventures, movies of the future. This led to my personal favorite decade in movies, the 80’s. So much emphasis on really spectacular premises and effects, and a lot of my favorite directors like John Carpenter and Ridley Scott did their best work during this time. I guess it’s safe to say that I’m not really an art house guy, I like my monsters, aliens, and explosions just fine, thank you.

    Like

  9. Nyphos ⋅

    I have had Woody Allen films suggested to me in the past, but have never gotten a chance to watch any. At this point, I feel that needs to change.

    The clips from Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex were hilarious! I loved them both. The second clip, What Happens During Ejaculation was probably my favorite of the two. It had a very Space Odyssey feel to it, which is a movie I love and that only made it all the better for me. The pleasure center and his interpretive dancing was the best part. I still laugh just thinking of it now. I feel like it’s been too long since I saw such a witty film. I also agree with Sierra that it felt almost like a Monty Python skit.

    Also, Frank mentioned the director vs. producer relationship in his comment and I also usually watch movies based on directors I like. While I want directors to have full control over their movies, i feel that this relationship is still on that is evolving. For example, in the Deadpool movie that’s currently being produced, Ryan Reynolds, who is a producer of the movie, fired the director after a disagreement on the direction of the movie. However, with how much involvement Reynolds had on the first movie, I feel that this was probably for the best. I feel that the relationship is one that has many different forms. A producer may be very open to the director’s vision, or they may already have a very strict view on what they want to see. Sometimes, such as in the case of Spielberg, the producer and director are the same people, like what he did for Poltergeist, giving him full control of everything. Of course, these can only be done when the director has a lot of money, as Karl mentioned.

    Like

    • ihatenickelback ⋅

      response to Nyphos,

      Yeah, I think there’s no way to get around that tug-of-war between the directors and producers and other head honchos of filmmaking. I think that the whole industry, being based on something creative which is being sold, makes that necessary and unavoidable because of the variety of tastes clashing with personal visions and, of course, goals and profit. It’s nice to see individuals able to take control, like your Ryan Reynolds story for example. There’s so much going into films and so many individuals working on it that it probably becomes everybody’s baby.

      Like

      • postnroast ⋅

        DId someone say Osmoses Jones ?!

        lol, that cartoon was far from educational; even though it was about the body. I don’t remember learning anything about the body from that cartoon. Other than pills are freaking awesome, because they transform into robots with blasters. It did seem a lot similar to the “what happens when you ejaculate mini episode series” as it was the controls of people as cells portrayed by people. Woody allen may have been the first to think of a cool Netflix series haha.

        Like

      • Sierra94 ⋅

        @postnroast
        I think you might have replied to the wrong post, but I’m going to answer anyway.
        I’m not sure where the comment about the educational value came from as I do not see anyone saying it is. It isn’t any less educational than the ejaculation segment of Woody Allen’s film. Which is to say that neither are really educational. The closest thing to an exception would be oversimplified comments on a few things, particularly in the Ozzy & Drix TV spinoff. Only some things had an “educational” episode such as the “tobacco is bad” episode but even that was extremely light on the educational aspect beyond the “don’t fall to peer pressure, don’t do drugs” message typical of many TV programmes aimed towards children. Of course, you’d have to actually pay attention to the dialogue to notice the offhand comments with any sort of educational value.

        Like

  10. BIGANTEATER ⋅

    Right around the time when Woody Allen was being accused of being a pedophile, I saw my first movie of his “The Purple Rose of Cairo”. This high concept film was enjoyable and easy to digest. But Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex is on a whooooooooooooole different level. I cant say the film was good or bad but the effect it had on fellow classmates and I were to die for. Whenever there was an roaring orgasmic scream of “OH IM COMING” the atmosphere of the classroom was filled with a combination of laughs and awkward staleness. The film is loosely based on a book of the same name. And this is the only relation that the 7 or so different short stories in the film have. Other than that it’s a free for all. None of the short episodes had anything else in common. I actually liked this though. It reminded of another movie titled “Tokyo!”. Tokyo was a film comprised of several short episodes that had nothing in common besides the fact that they are all filmed in Tokyo.

    Like

    • clintrump ⋅

      Response to BIGANTEATER,

      I’ve also heard some rumors floating around the Internet and Hollywood about Woody Allen being a pedophile. As the saying goes “where there is smoke there is fire” certainly rings true nine times out of ten. I think you do have to be somewhat of a pervert on some level to produce the movie Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex. I mean making a film surrounding the concept of bestiality is very far out, and strange for most people to imagine. Even though Woody Allen creates some bizarre films based on strange concepts I do admit that he has unique artistic talent that breaks traditional social barriers making him a true artist.

      Like

      • ihatenickelback ⋅

        Response to clintrump and biganteater,

        Let us not forget that these little “rumors” we are referencing, where smoke may lead to fire, are further supported by the fact that he is literally currently married to someone who once was basically his adopted daughter (if any wants to get any more technical to debunk this they’re just plain creepy). You can look it up. It’s all documented. Creepy quotes below where Woody Allen says their relationship works because he is paternal, as well as that his original intentions were to have a fling with her. A fling. With his girlfriend at the time’s adopted daughter. A fling.

        “Woody Allen says his 23-year relationship with Soon-Yi Previn worked because of their previous parent-child relationship.

        “I’m 35 years older, and somehow, through no fault of mine or hers, the dynamic worked,” the 79-year-old director told NPR in an interview published Wednesday. “I was paternal. She responded to someone who was paternal.

        “The two began their relationship in the late ’80s when Allen was dating Mia Farrow, with whom he adopted several children. Previn is Farrow’s adopted daughter from her failed marriage to composer André Previn.

        “I started the relationship with her and I thought it would just be a fling. It wouldn’t be serious, but it had a life of its own. ”

        —–

        But yes, I think the weirdness people are sensing from the film can be pinpointed to Woody Allen as the source. I still think that the film was very interesting and even laugh out loud funny, even more so than you or some other students seemed to find it maybe. I also think there was a lot of metaphor use and imagery that was interesting. I would like to see them again to further dissect the meanings.

        The darkness that Woody Allen brings to something outrageous and lighthearted, with the excellent help of Gene Wilder who is a genius actor for roles like this in especially, interests me to no end. I wish it wasn’t him who made them so I could get this awful taste out of my mouth as I write about the films.

        Like

    • postnroast ⋅

      media is like yugioh.

      You thought you could attack his monster but he had a trap card, and when it isn’t a trap carp its a quick play spell card.

      Through this analogy you can view that anything you do, will and will not be used against you in the court of social media.

      I know that humans are corrupt, because I am human and I know corruption. Therefore evil is nothing strange when presented to a jury of religion and boasted by the masses to be true or untrue. I do not protect the individual. I only argue that reality can be altered through the medium of news/journalism.

      Woody Allen is a film landmark nonetheless for his work.

      Like

  11. Pedro Rodrigues ⋅

    As we could previously see in the Ed Wood movie, being a director is a very difficult task, moreover, if you have a harsh and rigorous producer on your back. Usually, producers work in the backstages in order to make the film as profitable as possible. So, they are basically responsible for getting back more money that they originally spent. Hence, considering the pressure, they need to guarantee that everything within the film is perfect. And sometimes, they may discuss with the director about the film and its details. Therefore, we have a clear conflict between the artist (director) and the entrepreneur (producer), what can influence sometimes positively, or even negatively, on the final version of the film.

    In one way, the director can have an important role in how popular his or her films are going to be. For example, directors like Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen are basically not necessarily influenced by their producers, once they are very talented and well known in the market. Thus, their movies can be considered an ‘almost guaranteed profit’, considering their quality as directors and the fact that Spielberg is his own producer.

    On the other hand, the producers can be actually a pain in the ass regarding pressuring the directors. Although this attitude is a kind of a necessity, because they are responsible for paying the price of all production and the whole crew, so they need to make a profit out of it. We could see their role in a documentary about the Final Destination series, in which the producers showed some test screening of the first movie. As the original was not well received by the audience, they needed to change some stuff and cut many scenes. Then, the producers were important to change many crucial details in the film in order to guarantee the success and the money back.

    In conclusion, both director and producer are really important for the cinema industry. One may complement each other in order to reach their goal. Surely, sometimes the directors are more important artistically for the film. However, it doesn’t exclude the hard, and sometimes invasive, job of a producer. Additionally, many people in the market can make several functions in a film, including financing and directing at the same time. But when that is not the case, it is good to have a good relationship between director and producer.

    Like

  12. conan ⋅

    I have never seen everything you always wanted to know about sex and I must say that I loved it. Apparently the story is divided into 7 segments and they’re all related on sex issues, so I definitely want to watch other episodes by myself. I thought that its segmentation was perfect, the length was not too short or too long and made me want to see more at the end.
    I loved the one that features Dr. Ross having an affair with a sheep. I’m impressed that the actor plays the weird character completely straight and treats the scenes with a sheep as if he were falling in love with a woman. I especially like the scene in which he compliments the sheep on her performance as they lie in bed together. Since Dr. Ross adores the sheep like a real woman, somehow I came to find her cute little by little. What I thought interesting is the scene that showed doctor’s incredibly long reaction to the man confesses that he has fallen in love with one of his sheep. This is the scene which evokes the laughter and it works the best. It is said that paused moment is essential elements for Japanese comedy but I learned that it is the same in the world.

    The last episode “What Happens during Ejaculation?” was hilarious too. I loved the idea of satirizing the humanly body functions during intercourse. It looks like a NASA operation office and it reminds me of inside out as mentioned in class. The director, Allen Woody is in this episode and he plays a very nervous sperm who is afraid of what will happen to him. How funny it is that a film director plays a sperm. It makes you laugh even if you don’t want to. It made me wonder if Ed wood would have succeeded if he’s done this kind of crazy things.
    Basically the humor is dirty, but it’s not childish. It’s rather thought-provoking. His work makes audience smirk enduringly. In my opinion, this kind of film that includes a lot of dirty things appeal to guys, but this one targets all audiences regardless of gender.

    This is one of the most awkward films to watch with your family, but it’s the best film to watch with your friends. I’m not sure if I was able to know better or not about sex but I’d like to recommend to my friends.

    Like

  13. Vera Lynn ⋅

    I really liked the documentary on Final Destination. Seeing the nuts and bolts on how a manufactured movie is tweaked was really interesting. I am a film nerd, so I typically watch the BTS and commentaries on nearly every movie I own, and very rarely do they go into much detail about test screenings. I think the most you will usually hear is something like “oh, well this part didn’t test well, but we left it in anyway.”

    Part of me feels like test screenings take some of the heart out of a movie, but at the same time sometimes it’s needed. Looking at some of the deleted scenes of Final Destination, it was probably a pretty good idea to leave those deleted scenes on the cutting room floor.

    The bits and pieces we watched of Woody Allen’s movie were awesome. Gene Wilder’s performance was just great. He carries a long close up take with just tiny eye movements. That is truly impressive. I also really liked the ejaculation scene. the “We’re gonna makes babies!” line absolutely killed me, and it was really fun to see how this movie overall played. We talked about how comedy is really hard to translate from culture to culture, but I feel that movie would play well just about anywhere.

    Like

    • Derp ⋅

      I agree with you on the test screening. Depending on how the audience reacts, the filmmakers have to take out some good parts of the film that could have made the film more appreciable as an art piece rather than a consumable goods. But, in order to make a profit that must exceed the budget used in the creation of the film, I guess they have to do some test screenings to find things to fix and improve according to third-person feedback from the audience.
      And yep, I thought that the humor in Woody Allen’s movie is universal, which means that a language nor culture should not get in the way of understanding the humor. Puns and other literal/vocal humor or jokes require knowledge about the language/culture of that country. However…everyone can relate to sex!!!! lol It may be a dirty topic, but hey, it’s a universally known topic for mankind and all living things on Earth!
      This is why I love being an adult; although it may be sexually explicit, we can have some laughs from this universal topic beyond cultural barrier. And Woody Allen did a great job with sharing that.
      But treating sexual topics as humor can be tricky. This film actually does NOT do anything harmful to disdain a value of women. It simply depicts the process of intercourse–which any male or female can have on their own will–with extraordinary metaphor. However, there are comedies that attempt to make us laugh by exploiting the value of women with rude jokes, obnoxious use of skin exposure, etc. Some women may not feel secure when watching those films. Also, some women could get offended by how Japanese anime neglect the representation of women with what’s called “fan service”.
      On the other hand, (sorry to be persistent) the humor of this humor was executed intelligently. So a big thumb up to Woody Allen!

      Like

  14. White Rabbit ⋅

    The documentary on Final Destination was really insightful. Getting a glimpse of what producers and directors deal with prior to releasing a film gave me great perspective. It was also interesting to see how one of them wasn’t sure about making any changes to the story. Clearly however, the results proved that listening to the audience is key to a successful film. I know they mentioned that the feedback is not always accurate, but generally speaking, it is feedback that enables the film industry to give its audience what it wants.

    The feedback received from some of the audience was also interesting. Many did share some rather crude thoughts about movie expectations, which reflects how some of the targeted audience sincerely desires more sexuality. This certainly reflects on the American culture, and how it continuously strays from the Christian influence. I also think some of them were just messing around, to get a good chuckle.

    The movie itself has an interesting plot. I’ve only seen Final Destination 3, which was a while back, and it was very entertaining. The almost “detective” feel to the movie, blended with the bold suspense, makes for a great movie and twist on the genre. I will certainly watch the first film after getting a teaser, as I’m curious to see how the alternative plot would have affected my expectations.

    Like

    • uruwa ⋅

      It really is a shame that audiences voice their desire for more sexual or suggestive content, though it seems that the horror genre tends to give them what they want more often than not.
      As for Final Destination, I really enjoy these movies, as well (as terrible as some of them are). I’ve seen the entire series multiple times, and no matter how corner or horrible some of the deaths are, I just love them. (I refuse to get laser eye surgery, though. Just saying.) These movies definitely go for shock value, but after they’re over they leave you laughing because it’s usually just so ridiculous in the end.

      Like

  15. dinerbears ⋅

    I was shock when we watch the first clips in the class the concept is a doctor full in love with a sheep also having sex (or they just sleep together on the bed) with a sheep than his wife caught him cheating with the sheep. In the end of movie, I think is funny because wife found out that the doctor full in love with the sheep so took the sheep to other country and see how heart broken and sad doctor was. Honesty the emotion should be sad but they way the act just made people cannot stop laughing. I am also surprise that is main stream movie. For the second clips we watched in the class was very interesting. That clips remind me the Disney movie inside out. There are five personified emotions characters inside of the girl’s body and control her emotion. I think second clips is pretty interesting to know what is guy emotion when they dating with a girl. if I have time in the future I would like to watch whole movie. After watched first clips at class, I am curious since when movie start having animal become one of character in the movie.

    Like

    • GreenBanana ⋅

      I was actually shocked too when we watched the Doctor fallen love with the sheep and the arminian guy already have done such a thing. I think in Japanese TV to films we don’t really have such a situation but it could happen.. also the second the film are really funny but also this wouldn’t show in Japan its shown in a different way but its still sexual and not really good for children etc.. We have a Japanese show call “Baka tono” That show have done sort of sexy themed play but its not that extreme. I personally think Japan is not really open with sexual content in public TV.

      Like

      • I found this film sceening my favorite! it was very different than all the other ones we saw throughout the semester. So out of the blue that it literally kept me laughing the whole time.

        Also in response to “GreenBanana”, i agree, although there are content on TV where they show sexual stuff late at night like “DownTown”, its mainly for comedy so nothing too serious.

        Like

      • dinerbears ⋅

        yea i agree with you there is not comment to see this kind of story in Japanese TV or films. even Japanese TV always do something weird test or program but i still think better than full in love with a sheep. i cannot stop laughing when i watched this clip during the class time. I just search Baka tono online its looks very old Japanese shows and i quite not understand what is this shows about. However, I think Japan is open with sexual content in public TV compare with other Asian countries because i always saw the social media talk about Japan’s midnight TV do some weird sexual test.

        Like

      • dinerbears ⋅

        #superduper0214
        i agree with you this two clips we watched in the class is much different than other films or clips we watched in whole semester. probably because this two films is new compare with past few one. Also the topic makes people feel relax. Also this two clips is low content so people can easy to understand. the one midnight TV you talk about downtown I could not find it online. i think in Japan there are many sexual shows at midnight talk about sexual stuff. just like what i reply green banana i think japan is open with sexual topic in the movie and tv show compare with other Asian countries

        Like

  16. clintrump ⋅

    Watching the behind the scenes test screening of final destination was interesting. I find it interesting that many movie producers test their movies on audiences before they are released on the market. I also think that it is a good idea to have test screenings considering the fact that modern day Hollywood films are very expensive to produce. Test screenings seem like a cheap and rather efficient way to fine-tune your film before the general public goes to the movie theater.

    I also thought it was strange in the first cut of Final Destination that the producer wanted to have a heart warming scene where a woman gives birth after she lost her husband to an unfortunate accident. Most Americans love violence so when you mix that type of film with some heart warming experience it becomes confusing and loses continuity. I liked how that behind the scene of the film production showed that audiences were more accepting of the film after they made some changes to the ending of the film killing off a character that nobody really liked. Even though it is dark I think most people can relate on some level that a crappy person in their life would have a life ending accident so you don’t have to deal with them anymore.

    Like

  17. shmoo ⋅

    I was really impressed with the final destination documentary, I didn’t know that the director originally planned for such a meaningful ending. It just goes to show that it’s not only Hollywoods fault for the dumbing down of movies, but that the audience also expects it in a way. Although this may be because the film industry hasn’t been making people think so hard about the films they watch, you would think people would want to think more when they go to the theatre. Maybe it’s all about preference, but personally I couldn’t stand only watching “straight line” films as my entire entertainment budget. I’ve never actually seen the final destination series because I was turned off by the violence and lack of a plot, but now I have a bigger respect for the series as a whole. It’s good to note that they were originally going to let the “bad guy” live while the good guy died. This is such a cool twist to add, in comparison to the hundreds of films with the good guy triumphing over the bad guy. I think they did it this way in the first cut because the thing killing everyone wasn’t a person but a force of nature. This force doesn’t care about good and evil, it just wants to kill.

    Like

    • uruwa ⋅

      It’s unfortunate that the masses would rather watch a dumbed-down version of a movie that could have had a much more interesting plot. There are so many amazing films with intricate storylines that will never be popular. I think it might be because most people want to see a movie to relax, and not have to think too much about what they’re watching. Of course, not everyone is like this, and I’m sure most people enjoy a deeper, more complicated movie every now and then, but the most popular films are usually the easiest to follow.

      (Also, I love what you said about the force of nature not caring about whether someone is good or evil. I think that’s an underlying point in the FD movies. Bad things happen to good people even if they try to do everything they can to fix it.)

      Like

  18. shmoo ⋅

    I’ve never seen Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Sex, but after watching the clips I was so drawn that I went and watched the whole film myself. I can’t believe I’ve never even heard of it, because I am into The Holy Grail and other campy, older films. That one scene with the sperm where that guy says, “why am I here…why am I here?!?!” Was absolutely hysterical. I watched that clip about five times and every time I was laughing so hard I almost cried. The script is very well written, lots of hidden humor as well as perfectly timed one liners. It was such a good idea to use an actual book to get away with this movie. Overall I was very impressed, and I wish we could have watched the whole thing in class.

    Like

    • TaiwanSwag ⋅

      I really wanted to go back and watch the whole thing after watching clips of the movie. After reading your comment it makes me wanted to watch it even more. Even just from the scenes that we watched were impressive and hilarious enough. I really wish the comedies today can try to look back and see why some of the comedies were successful. I feel like the comedies now are just based on nonsense and just bad jokes all around. I agree with what you said and wish comedies today can start to adapt the amount of hidden humor in this movie. I can imagine what the class would be like if we were able to watch the whole thing. It would be a chaos room with loud laughter.

      Like

  19. Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Sex was hilarious and genius. Although I had never seen or heard about this particular film, I can say hands down that it was by far the funniest thing Ive watched in a while.

    I wish we were able to screen all of the scenes of the film. I cant imagine how much laughter would break out in class.
    I merely lost it in the “Sodomy” scene with the doctor and the sheep. It was so unexpected and also the way they directed this film was incredible. As well as the scene that portrayed what happens in the mind during sex. Hilarious!

    Ive seen several parody videos on youtube about the mind during sex but I never knew there has been a movie like production for that idea and its great to have taken this course to let me know of that existence. Definitely going to watch this at home one day.

    Like

  20. I thought the documentary that was showing the process of how films are tested with audience members was very interesting. The trial and error that comes along with figuring out what the audience prefers seems like a long and costly process. I feel that test runs can sometimes comprise the artistic views of the creators. By taking too many suggestions from those who are the viewers seems that it can make the film too predictable. With no surprises or twist can really make a movie, especially in the horror genre seem quite repetitive. However I feel that in the case of Final Destination, it was probably for the best to listen to those in the focus group. When the main audience that is being targeted is teenagers and young adults, it is probably for the best to make it easy and relatable.
    Having watched the Final Destination, I feel that it was a better idea to leave out the romance and also the whole plot twist with the baby. When seeing the final edit, I was shocked to hear that the last scene was a two million dollar bill. Getting the cast and the film crew together in a short amount of time did not seem like an easy task. Although not every film should go through this process, I feel that the movie benefitted from this greatly, as they were able to continue producing these films and making money.

    Like

  21. IsThePartyOver ⋅

    From a solely financial/business standpoint, test screenings are the most sensible course of action considering the amount of money usually involved in any mainstream film production, even if they’re not 100% effective. I had little to no idea about how much a selected audience actually gets to change a film before it’s released, which I think is actually a pretty smart idea, again, from a business perspective. During the course of last class I wondered however whether films that have gone through test screenings would have been better or worse off without them. One has to question whether those you chose to be your selected audience can be really trusted about their opinion of your film. But most concerning of all to me, is this idea of entertainment or the larger media communications being tailored to our tastes or viewpoints; that is, we don’t get to see what we don’t want or like and that can have serious consequences on our perception of reality. It’s like we’re being coddled in this comfortable and warm bubble but what happens when it bursts? That is why throughout this semester I have emphasized the importance of paracinema/anti-establishment art in film and human history as a way to broaden the intelligence of our species through conflict. Maybe I’m going too far into this argument. Obviously if Final Destination were to be released the way the director’s intended it would have not made us better humans, and as many have pointed out in class, those spiritual, more serious scenes felt completely out of place in that film. On that point however, I can say that a film distances itself from art if it is submitted to test screenings and changed to appease a selected audience. It ceases to be your true expression and becomes a shiny piece of entertainment. It’s like calling a chair a tree, you can’t.

    Like

  22. The documentary for final destination pointed out very great points about B movies and films in general on how it can become successful in the business.

    The fact that directors and his crew went through every comment about the film to figure out what works and what doesnt regarding the audiences reaction towards the story line as well as the scenes on how to improve.

    I personally felt as the idea for Final destination and the reason why it became so successful was because it was never all about what the director wanted but what the audience wanted and I feel like that is missing in the film industry now.

    The part I enjoyed most besides the creation of the film was when the directors sat down and read the negative comments about the film and the fact that they simply just laughed it off and changed those aspects was amazing to me. Great documentary for a great movie series.

    Like

    • itsthesky20 ⋅

      Hi Superduper0214, Thank you for your post. You mentioned something that I found interesting. I agree with your personal comment about why you think Final Destination became so successful is because the director made the film completely about what the audience wanted to see. I agree with that, I think succesful films becomes successful when its made dedicated for a specific audience. It was also interesting when you said that you feel like that the film industry is missing that quality now.

      Like

      • Yeah I feel like with all the CGI being used in films now a days, they are just thinking “Hey, lets see what else we can do to make a bigger effect” and not really thinking about the turn out of the film as much.

        Although there are films such as Final Destination that used tons of CGI for the film which worked out but I hope directors arent relying too much on CGI to make their films the best.

        Like

    • I also agree with you that it was a great documentary for a great movie series. Also I agree that the reason why it became so successful was because it was never all about what the director wanted but what the audience, and it’s missing in the film industry now. I also said similar things in my post, but I think it true for certain types of films only. Films like final destination is a film where the story is not so important and it’s about explosions and people getting killed. So the test screening is curtail, but if for films that have a strong idea and a story, test screening may not be so good. Because directors may want to shock or surprise the audience from what they want to see or expect, in that case test screening may work negatively for the film. Also sometime the directors just want to share a story or idea and it has to be the way they want to show or tell it. By other people opinion and idea getting involved there is the risk of the story or message being changed. Thus I agree test screening is crucial for films that not about the story but when the story is important it may not be necessary to have a test screening.

      Like

    • postnroast ⋅

      I disagree.

      This film did horribly.
      As stated in class only a production company as big as the producers for final destination could cut a loss that big.

      On a brighter note the film was pretty cool for those of us looking for a little thriller and the niche audience who enjoys the concept of death. These films were landmarks that allowed critiques to pin point historical moments in film history. Such as the failure of final destination.

      Like

  23. Sierra94 ⋅

    I often see the words “remake” and “reboot” being given different definitions. Some say remakes are only of one film and reboots are of an entire franchise. Others say remakes are very similar to its source material and reboots have drastically different stories. Regardless, I felt that calling Robert Stormberg’s Maleficent a remake or reboot of Sleeping Beauty would be a mistake. It is more of a spin-off as it fits the description of a work that follows a different character’s story than that of the original work’s main character. As for the various DC and Marvel films, they are a bit more confusing. As someone mentioned in the class, DC and Marvel has multiple parallel universes in which they tell stories in the form of comics, films, and TV series. If a Marvel film retells a story in a different way with a new cast, then they can just say that “it is set in a separate universe”. Of course, there are a few times in which some universes have affected the “main” universe, which I believe is “616” for Marvel. One example would be Nick Fury, who was originally white, being turned black in the likeness of Samuel Jackson in the “Ultimate” universe, then in the films starting with The with the explanation of him being the son of the original Nick Fury. The eyepatch was added with the explanation of some villain torturing Nick Fury Jr and having a sick sense of humour by making him look like his Nick Fury Sr.

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  24. IsThePartyOver ⋅

    With today’s talk of pastiche and rip-offs, I was reminded of one of the greatest questions I have when it comes to the production of films or art in general, namely whether we will ever run out of ideas for new creations. Will we ever reach a point where every single story has been told a hundred times in every possible style and perspective? Today we already find ourselves struggling to make anything “original”. Of course this question assumes that humanity will still live on for many centuries, which we are not sure. Nevertheless, this is a very interesting question to think about, and one which I don’t have an answer exactly. I think an important factor we have to take into account is our limited memory. There is only much we can see, learn in a lifetime and pass on to newer generations; the older something is, the most likely that it is going to be forgotten and fall into the cracks in favor of more recent productions. It might still be data stored somewhere, but it may play no relevancy or be invisible to 99% of society because of its age. In other words, that means that if two extremely similar films were released 1000 years apart, the newest one might feel totally fresh to the audiences. All in all, we can’t know the answer to that, and if you think about it, our film history is still only a little more than 100 years old, it’s still a baby.

    Other minor comments on today’s class: a potential next direction for the film industry might have something to do with turning films made exclusively for the internet being bought by larger companies and becoming mainstream productions. A recent example I can think of is a short horror flick originally released on Vimeo (Lights Out) that got released as a full fledge long. Now as for the parallel drawn between The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams and The Revenant: although I think that nature can be seen as something scary in the latter, the message I got from it is more of a reverence, it portrays nature as something powerful and beautiful which we have to respect. Still the comparison shown is completely valid.

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  25. Nyphos ⋅

    I really enjoyed learning the terms high concept and low concept. I never realized it until class, but I’ve been separating movies loosely in my mind into these types of categories, but now I have terms for them! Growing up, my father and I always used movies to bond, and most of what he would take me to see were abstract films, which we would then discuss at great length. I now know that these films are what we would call low concept. I believe that this is what started my love for films in the first place. While I still enjoy high concept films, being a large fan of trope-filled b-movies, I feel that most films in my top rated list would be considered low concept. I love films that make me think and aren’t easily explained. It feels less like pure entertainment and more like something I experience.

    As for the other topics mentioned in class, I really enjoyed seeing the documentary about Final Destination’s test screening. Learning about the deleted romance scene was surprising, as I would have never guessed it to be something originally in the movie. I remember seeing it when I was a teenager and any bit of slowing down would have bored me to death. I did have to laugh at the comments on the cards though. If you’re targeting a teenage audience, I’m not sure how many insightful comments you could expect to get with anything that requires filling out. I mean, we’re adults and we still have to set aside specific class time to fill out the class feedback forms or else no one would do them!

    I also wanted to touch a little on something mentioned while we were covering pastiche. Karl talked about the lack of “ma”, or empty space, in modern movies, and I agree. I tend to enjoy films that take a second to breathe. Let the scenery or the scenario speak for itself. I feel I don’t always need every action narrated to me. Allow me to think and come into my own feelings or conclusions about what is happening. This probably also relates to why I seem to enjoy more abstract movies. Many tend to slow down and take their time. I loved the comment today in class about (I believe it was David Lynch?) the quote regarding movies being seen as an art form similar to music. I really enjoy that premise. If anyone has any favorite movies that require thinking, please send them my way. I would love to have new suggestions.

    As a final quip on class topics, I’m not sure if it was only me, but when Karl was talking about empathy and revenge movies, all I could think of was John Wick. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so into a revenge movie before. Freakin’ dogs man.

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  26. Eddie ⋅

    With the end of the semester looming and the number of discussions we’ve had on the topic of the evolution of American film, I have to say that film in it’s essence has been generally the same. The primary difference is the things that have been allowed as well as the things that society has been willing to accept which has been obviously dictated by past precedent and cultural shifts. People are more willing to accept a lot of different kinds of films and topics that may or may mot be taboo in general discourse can be more easily approached if done in film. Film allows people to express or perhaps provides a level of catharsis. either way I believe that despite the evolution of film the story remains the same as it was at it’s inception. people want to tell stories, entertain, excite, and elicit emotions or either breach topics taboo in nature and interesting to provoke change and inspire.

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  27. GreenBanana ⋅

    I personally think this is a well made comedy film. This is one of a laughable and unique American comedy film I’ve ever seen. Ive never seen “Everything you always wanted to know about sex” by Woody Allen before. This film consists of a series of short sequences. what the actors are doing looks very serious however the content is little silly. By looking at the title itself, people would think it is a porn film or something else. That is why it may disappoint some people because its wasn’t what they expected. I did little research and found that this directer is actually inspired by the Dr. David Reuben’s book of the same name. I definitely want to check that soon.
    Ejaculation story was also very funny and interesting part. We had male body, but it looks like a people working at spaceship or something, and it showed how its working inside his body. It is nice that the directer, Woody Allen also participated in acting. I liked the idea of how directer created whats happening in the body with people. Also I was astonished because I personally think or at least can’t think any of Japanese filmmaker did sexual thing into comedy. In past few years, Disney cartoons released the film “Inside out” but I’m quite sure the directer is inspired by this film in some ways.

    The sodomy story which Doctor fallen love with the sheep was one of the favorite sequence i watched. Doctor thinks Armenian Shepard who fallen love with Daisy, a sheep. Doctor thought he was totally pervert, but at the end the Doctor also fallen love with the Sheep. I like how Doctor acted. His eyeglasses and his hand gestures gave him more realistic actions. I personally think this is not the film for people to watch seriously rather its more casual. The film made us laugh, but it was not really exciting to watch.

    Like

    • OOR ⋅

      I agree with you that it is really laughable and comedy movie. I also like second movie as well that when I watched it in the class, I couldn’t recognize the director is in the movie acting as sperm. It was surprising why he choose acting sperm. I agree one more thing that it is really similar with the Disney movie called inside out. It also consist human body and there are some characters control a girl’s feeling like emotions, but the movie what we have watched in the class is much more scientifically like people are working in NASA office when they try to launch a rocket. The first movie is really serious acting, but content of that film is ridiculous that Dr. Ross felt in love with a sheep and he treated the sheep as a woman. I feel like it is really sad story for his wife that she can’t understand what is happening on his husband. It is really funny and ridiculous, and I wonder that I know it might be one of the fiction movie, but the person like the doctor can exist in the world rarely. If it’s happened in real, do we have to accept and understand who he is?

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  28. itsthesky20 ⋅

    This weeks screening was definitely surpising. Seeing Woody Allen’s film “Everythin You Wanted To Know About Sex” shocked me. Before viewing the short clip in class we were already told or warned that the some of the cotent of these films were going to be different from what we would normally be used to watching. Yes indeed that was definitely true (my thoughts exactly right after watching two of the short clips of Woody Allens film.)

    The first clip that we have seen was about a doctor falling in love with a sheep. That story in itself is already weird. I can not imagine how difficult it would be to act a role like that. So shoutout to the main actor Gene Wilder for fulfilling such a difficult awkward role. This clip also reminded me one of my favorite Disney Movie “Inside Head” where the movie was also about whats happening inside a girls head. When I saw woody allen’s clip I immediately thought of this film and made me wonder if Inside head is some sort of inspired by Woody Allens film. If thats the case that would be really interesting.

    The second clip that we screened was about what happens in a mans head during an ejaculation. That also was super weird to watch. However both of these short clips have very interesting plots. I find Woody Allen’s film ideas are sort of weird and out of the norm however I respect him for his boldness to make show that to a public audience. His films are have humour to it and I think his were also shot techinically good.

    Like

    • GreenBanana ⋅

      I completely agree to what you said. Gene Wilder and all actors are acting wired setting seriously. If I were the actor Ive be laughing and can’t concentrate on the shot. It is very true that the ejaculation story remains of “Inside head”or “Inside out” it definitely got inspired by “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex”. I can’t remember exactly what they said but there were only one black guy/jewish?(Im sorry i can’t remember) but people waiting to be jump off after ejaculation…. It almost killed me.

      and the sheep story was really wired but I guess it has a message of not to judge things based on how it looks because it might really happen but this show showed in very funny way.

      Like

  29. OOR ⋅

    I have never watched woody alien’s movie before it screened in the class. I can say that was hilarious and I love those two moves which are screened in the class. The movie which is called “everything you always wanted to know about sex” have seven segments in the DVD, and we have just watched two segments of the movie, so I want to watch the other five segments. Even though we have watched only two segments, those were really different with other films and hilarious, so the other five segments also hilarious and weird movie that I expected.
    One of the movie we have watched first one was Dr. Ross fell in love on sheep. It was amazing that it was shot with animal, and the sheep named daisy was really good girl that she doesn’t move a lot and stay calm. The scene he was taking her to the hotel and lying on the bed together. She was a good girl just lying on the bed. Also, actor was acting weird character who loves a sheep like a woman acted really well. However, it was kind of sad story for him that his wife? pissed off that he loves a sheep, so they got divorced, and I feel like if the person who loves an animal like him really exist, and the wife spited out everything what happened on her, he will never live in the city that a lot of people can’t understand what he thinks. It seems like similar with the drug queen, gay and those kind of people how they treated. Long time ago, most of people stayed away from those kinds of people that people thinks they are different put with normal people.

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  30. OOR ⋅

    The other movie was consisted that human body function that the content of the movie seems like similar with the Disney movie called inside head, but little bit more scientifically. Both movies are same that there are a lot of people control human feeling and how the person move. I was surprised that the director of the movie showed up in this movie as sperm. It was hilarious and ridiculous the director act as sperm. I think that the director has done making these movies really well that I think that no one has never conceived making like this movie at that time like them, so if I have a time to watch these rest of 5 segments, I want to watch them.

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  31. From learning about the term high concept and low concept, I think I like high concept better. It’s easier to watch and understand a low concept movie might be good sometime but for a regular movie night I feel like a high concept movie is better. Before this class I never though about the high concept and low concept of films but once I leaned it, it makes perfect sense.

    The documentary about Final Destination’s test screening was very interesting too, and how the documentary was shot was also nice. I like how they made me laugh. Now that I think back we didn’t watch a documentary in this class and this was it. So it felt fresh watching it, and i learned a lot actually about how films go though test screens. Before this I thought there wasn’t anything like this, or maybe the people who make movie watch it together, but never knew regular people watch it before it comes out. This was very interesting to me and though I want to test screen for a movie too. But in all honestly I think test screening are important after watching the documentary, because it is true that final destination has a lot of scenes were people die right and left and that’s what made it a great movie for me. So the test screening made the movie what it is, so I think test screening are curtail for many films now.

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  32. KillDozer ⋅

    After we had our most recent talks and cleared up what high concept and pastiche movies are, I can say that I understand why producers prefer this type of film, I’m pretty sure I would too if I had a ton of money at stake. Yes, make a movie about a simple, easy to understand premise, load it with cool special effects and hip stars and we’ll make a boatload. Makes sense to me. Sure, if you’re a real high minded movie goer, you might think of mainstream movies as poorly written, overly produced crap that’s meant to appeal to a dimwitted mass audience. Well, the intelligence of the audience may be in question but I think the writers, producers, and directors who go this are incredibly savvy, that’s why they’re allowed to keep making movies. For instance, I hate pretty much anything that Michael Baye puts his hands on but he knows what to put in his movies to wow the masses and keep him making millions. This is movies not as art, but as kind of a carnival ride. That’s not to say movies can’t still be art, but that the money is in the carnival kind. I have to admit, if somebody offered me a huge amount of money to make some stupid schlock, I’d do it in a heart beat.

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  33. Derp ⋅

    When I came to this topic, I felt sad somehow. Different from old time when people got to be creative and innovative without the fear of failure, I felt that many films today play everything safe, doing only what the audience pleases. My favorite manga about the life of manga writer said something very meaningful: “A product that has everything that the audience wants will be consumed vastly; however, it will NOT be loved.” I feel that many films nowadays cram things the audience wants–sex, violence, white wash, positive story/ending, etc–just not to make failure. For filmmakers who do their jobs as business or anyone who make living, failure should not be an option. But I feel like the range of creativity will be limited if they are afraid of the risk.
    I also had a mixed feeling about how “Final Destination” conducted test screening. I’m sure it is a good action to test the movie, receive the feedback from the audience and improve the quality. Improving a work by getting feedback is necessary for all kinds of creativity. However, altering everything for the sake of audience does not sound good to me. I feel like there is a big difference between improving flaws based on audience feedback and changing/adding things just because the audience wants them.
    In addition, I feel that film companies give creative limitation to good directors who made innovative anti-mainstream films, once they become famous. For example, the director of “District 9”, the film praised to have a theme relatable to our current situation surrounding the treatment of immigrants/minorities, made “Elysium” and “Chappie” with bigger budget and more famous actors. To me, the films were not very appealing. The theme, story and the ending seemed very weak compared to the shock “District 9” brought to me when I first watched it. Same applies to “Godzilla (2014)”. The director Gareth Edwards got the position after creating “Monsters”, a low-budget documentary-style film about a man and a woman crossing Mexico, the territory of extraterrestrial monsters. Perhaps due to the freedom from the low budget, he was able to include violence and negative theme about humans’ treatment of “immigrants” (aliens = Mexicans?) and the tyranny of military. However, in “Godzilla”, which originated as an anti-nuclear film in Japan, he could not have freedom in expressing the negative side of nuclear testing/bombing. I heard the story that he actually tried to put a scene related to Hiroshima bombing only to be rejected by the studio. I can imagine that the reason is because the majority (American) don’t want it. I’m not sure how “Star Wars: Rogue One” will turn out; it’s another film that Gareth directed. It’s looking pretty good, but I hope that he did not get too much of creative freedom taken away.
    In conclusion, I can not help but feel that the film industry has lost a lot of creative freedom and courage to create something new. Even if someone like the director of “District 9” and Gareth Edwards makes innovative and unique films, he/she seems to get suppressed by the film industry. Now that some people are getting tired of mainstream films, I hope that films gain more freedom and courage.

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  34. mkt18 ⋅

    I could not stop laughing while watching Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Sex. In fact, the stories of this film was crap like a doctor loves sheep. Who think to film this story? I like this film`s title. This title is kind of long comparing to other films. Most of all films title is a compact jut one or two words. So I saw this title, I wondered what is this film about, but I also was impressed. This film`s story were silly as I wrote, but I could not stop watching because of actors. Actors act very seriously even acting character of a sperm. I like a director`s thought because I feel he filmed what he really wanted. The important thing in film industry is to create new thing I realized. Even though a content of story is silly (for me), a director successfully excites the audience with his new idea. One of classmate mentioned inside person`s story is similar to Disney film, Inside Head and I agree. I did not know a director of Inside Head watched this film or not, but I understand that a basis of this kind of humor or idea were created by Everything..`s director. However, this film did not teach anything about Sex different from title. Inside person story explains a little how a boy feel or think, but other stories were just comedy. I disappointed this part because I like this title as I wrote before.

    It is necessary to shift from auteur to producer, I think. In order to develop of Hollywood industry, a film company has to gain profit.

    Like

    • Pedro Rodrigues ⋅

      I agree with you about the film Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Sex, mainly when you mention its silliness. Sure, the idea is pretty bizarre, but the way how the film is produced is all that matters. Who cares if it is weird? The details and the unusual plot make the movie really funny and interesting.

      Also, Woody Allen manages to make it more bizarre with the sheep story. Although, it is different than the majority of Hollywood movies and incredibly comical.

      Finally, in summoning, Woody Allen is an excellent director, trying to take the best of unusual and bizarre stories. Another example of his work, which I appreciate very much, is The Purple Rose of Cairo. The story is one of his classics, narrating the story of a young waitress that has a hard life, but finds comfort in seeing movies at the local theater. Suddenly, a man literally get out of the screen in other to meet her!

      Yeah, I think it is hard to be more bizarre and impossible than that, but no matter of fact, The Purple Rose of Cairo is a great film. As well as Woody Allen.

      Like

  35. dinerbears ⋅

    I did not watch final destination before because I am not a big fan with horror movie. However, when we watched final destination’s documentary during the class time. it makes me feel interesting about their production team and director because they talk a lot of thing what they deal with behind the camera, such as, how do they do the market research to know the audience wants which character alive or are they also do the market research for how make character died in the film. If people take production class before people might know when production team filming a video they will take several different shot for different angle in case, they need it. When I saw the extra part that they did not put in the movie I was think about if they put those scenes on it how the movie would be. Also when we talk about the remake movie on the class. The first movie I thought about was new version of Beauty and the Beast going to come up in 2017. It good to know even the first movie come up is animation the new version come out with actors still call remake because their storyboard is the same.

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  36. conan ⋅

    Even though this film didn’t tell you everything you ever wanted to know about sex, I would say that I do enjoy the witty dialogues of Woody Allen and I think it is pretty hilarious. It has many different elements that made this film appealing. Firstly, the subject matter of this film is so incredibly controversial. It is interesting to contrast the subject matter of this movie to our other films. Even though Vanishing Point had drugs and naked women in the forefront, the overall content of Vanishing Point did not cross the boundaries many Americans had set. Everything you always wanted to know about sex however crossed so many cultural boundaries that not just American but people around the world had set. I feel like it did mirror American humor. I guess it would have presented differently for this kind of subject in Japanese movie. He sounded familiar before watching this film, but it was first time for me to actually watch his work. It made me wonder if Woody Allen is popular in Japan.

    In addition to the controversial subject matter, the layout of this film was different than most films. Derived from the book, this film is composed like a book. Each different section acts as a chapter. Each scene had its unique plot and story with the only thing connecting them was overall theme of sex. Two episodes we watched didn’t deliver the clear answer to the question as the title says, however it does asks embarrassing sex questions which are answered with comical stories. Perhaps the idea was to make it easier to talk about sex.
    I understand some people felt uncomfortable watching this film. But I want to suggest to watch it again. It is not just entertaining but also meaningful. Perhaps you might find a new angle and gain some appreciation.

    Like

  37. In our previous class where we all had discussions about the class, the topic of computer graphics came up and I found it very interesting to how it may influence the future of film in a positive way or a negative way.

    As editing softwares progress and people begin to rely more on what the visuals can offer rather than what the actors can offer, It is interesting for me to see how that will effect the future.

    For example 3D and 4D movies. The although the audience may show interest to the movies in regards to the storyline or the actors, I feel as if those who are “paying” to go see a 3D or a 4D movie, they show more interests to the effects instead. Although they may just want to see the movie they love with more intense effects, I still feel as if people are beginning to forget the importance of actual acting.

    im my opinion, i hate 3D or 4D movies so I like to enjoy watching films with no type of special effects because it gives me headaches.

    Imagine if “Cloverfield” had a 3D movie made, the normal one already had people nauseous during the film.

    But to conclude, I don’t want the future for film to be only CGI.

    Like

    • itsthesky20 ⋅

      Hi! I totally agree with your opinion about how software editor and computer graphics progressing these days and how it will progress more in the future. I can only imagine how crazy the films will change just trying to keep up with the advancement of the technology. Like, personally right now, just watching a 3d film already makes me feel dizzy. Exactly just like what you said if things get more advanced I think the audience will have a hard time keeping up with it or it would at least require a little getting used to before adjusting to a very advanced technology.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah its crazy how advanced the software its getting! I feel like in 40 years or something we wouldnt even need actors anymore. (Just kidding ofcourse) But I’m afraid soon the softwares are going to take over the art of film making.

        For future film makers, we should keep on creating films that use less CGI in order to maintain a level of competition.

        Like

  38. Pedro Rodrigues ⋅

    As many of you may know, the auteur film theory believes that the director is the main creative mind behind the great pictures. But, is it really true? Yes, most of the times.

    I think many directors make themselves famous in the film industry especially because of their style and personal film taste. Some examples are Quentin Tarantino, who was originally working in a local film store as he was younger. During his work time, he often watched a lot of movies when suddenly decide to become a director. Additionally, he also made a lot of other functions, such as actor, producer, screenwriter, etc. Many of his inspirations as a screenwriter were taken from his favorite pictures, and surely, he makes a great job out of it.

    On the other hand, Ed Wood was a major example of how the director’s skills are important in order to produce a top movie. However, the sympathetic Ed was not the man for it, what was the main problem of most of his movies. Despite that, I’m still a kinda fan of him, as a person at least.

    Therefore, the director is essential in order to give the right style and tone for films. He or she is the mind behind many iconic scenes and awarded pictures in the movie industry, inserting his or ger own view through scripts. So, it is surely one of the most important figures.

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    • RM ⋅

      I want to discuss final destination, and as we saw in class it’s kind of, design by committee creation. I realize this is not exactly a fair way to describe this screening of movies and then making adjustments, but it does feel that way. I think the modern era of producer designed movies is starting to drag on the creativity of the films as a whole within the industry, this is not a controversial opinion and I think many would agree. However I want to quantify it. I find the test screenings, however much they may help movies with mass appeal , are starting to influence the films too much. It is turning into design to the lowest common denominator of the audience. I understand that it is possible to overestimate the intelligence of the viewer, and make a movie to complex for the american market, and with big deals like this going on all the time with multi hundred million dollar movies being made it’s easy to see why studios are risk averse. Hell just look at the long string of sequels and remakes that the theatres are rife with these days. Final destination is simply in my view a perfect example of this. The director clearly had more vision, but he had to tone it down to please the audience. He did not seem too bothered by it, but I guess some people are more in it for the money. I think there is a balance that can be found between money interest and interest in creating something genuinely meaningful or different. I imagine it as a sort of scale , on one side you have whats going on now, which is purely in the interest of money and safe bets, and on the opposite you have super artistic films that fail to gain an audience. I want the industry to go back to a healthy middle ground where, producers trust their directors, and are more willing to go out on a limb. It’s not as if the major studios are strapped for cash, they can afford to take risks now more than during the auteur era of 1970 and 80s. It would be a nice return to form, but I doubt it is going to happen any time soon unfortunately.

      Like

    • liarina ⋅

      I agree with you. For auteur theory it is said that the director goes with similar style and vision, and it might related to one’s personal experience or preference in film. That is the point that make the director special and outstanding to be called an auteur.
      However, like you mentioned, Ed Wood is an example of the importance of skills. And of course I am also a fan of Ed Wood, but do you think it might a different result if Ed Wood is born and work in nowadays? Since now that many movies are made just to earn money, the certain style and skill seem to be not so important anymore. Just curious.

      Like

    • liarina ⋅

      I agree with you. For auteur theory it is said that the director goes with similar style and vision, and it might related to one’s personal experience or preference in film. That is the point that make the director special and outstanding to be called an auteur.
      However, like you mentioned, Ed Wood is an example of the importance of skills. And of course I am also a fan of Ed Wood, but do you think it might a different result if Ed Wood is born and work in nowadays? Since now that many movies are made just to earn money, the certain style and skill seem to be not so important anymore. Just curious.

      Like

  39. postnroast ⋅

    the last film we were going to view in class, final destination, is a film based on the fear of death. although it has one of the highest production values and was destined or expected to be a high selling film. The film fell flat and obtained a large amount of loss versus its estimated goal of earnings. The film, although not shown in class, is probably one of the best descriptions of new age cinema that only appeals to a niche audience and ends up being a B-film. While final destination was not the only b-film of its time, it left a crater in which critiques can follow on a progressive scale.

    Woody Allen films were also screened during the last class. These films were aimed at no particular audience in defense to the director expressionism. As he did not participate in any critique of his films during his film making career. Many critiques may explain that woody Allen’s work was very sexual. This may or may not have been because of his life and the consideration people take for a artist and his art to be directly influenced by the type of person woody Allen was.

    “everything you want to know about sex” screening was very comedic, but in sense educational. I’m not sure if “educational films” were a satire, in which it was funny to make fun of those videos through indirect parody but it did serve as, what I think, as a funny way to introduce adolescents to sex ed in the educational system. Filming techniques and landscape models from the film, have striking similarities to that of Charlie and the chocolate factory.

    Which leads me to gene wilder in the episodic series of “everything you want to know about sex” Sodomy. The concept of sodomy was religiously based as much of films in America are. And introduced the concept of Sodomy in the form of bestiality. Gene wilder plays a physician that sees a patient who is in love with a sheep. And as we know it, Gene wilder’s ,character falls prey to the temptation of sodomy. He losses everything due to this sacrilegious act and ends up with nothing. The thought that woody allen tries to instill in this short film series ” sodomy ” argues that sodomy is not worth giving into if you lose everything in the process. Although with this mentality one could also argue that its ok to commit sodomy as long as you aren’t caught.

    Like

    • ihatenickelback ⋅

      I actually hadn’t thought much about the portrayal of that “episode”. The fact that it’s title was referencing sodomy, and posing a question almost to imply that through the film the audience would understand the concept of “sodomy” is very interesting. Gene Wilder’s character did express initial discomfort with the idea of a man bringing in a sheep to his doctor’s office, and the idea of the man having sex with the animal as well. But as time went on he kind of “eased into it”, if you will (I’M SO SORRY). So it was almost like the “beastiality” aspect had been removed from the picture as there was no further mention of the how weird it was for him to be with a freaking SHEEP. It was almost like, if you closed your eyes and watched it, you could imagine that instead of the issue with the sheep, everything was just in reference to sodomy. A man being urged and finally giving in to sodomy, to the deprecation of everyone around him.

      I feel like that episode was sending a deeper message, with a lot of religious undertones.

      Like

      • postnroast ⋅

        I agree.

        The concept of sodomy, as I know it, is anal intercourse. Which late through religious rite and George bush became a pen name for anything unnatural. This is arguable the most confusing term ever. As the term has different meanings depending on the persons understanding.

        I too feel like the idea of bestiality was completely masked by the term sodomy.

        Liked by 1 person

  40. ihatenickelback ⋅

    I love Gene Wilder! That’s pretty much what I wanted to say in reflection of the Woody Allen films we screened in class. I am not a fan of Woody Allen but the quality of his work is undeniable, therefore I will pass on the praise to the actors! Gene Wilder is so great – he can do serious or silly, and transforms into every character. He will truly be missed. R.I.P.

    I do think that I will spend some time viewing the episode film again, trying to dissect some of the deeper meanings. There was some apparent imagery, metaphors and quick jokes, that I would like to further investigate. I also want to take some time to think about the religious contexts and undertones present in the film’s episodes. I think there is a lot of commentary on the religious (or at least conservative) American perspective, often using solely comedy.

    Besides that, I think that “What is Sodomy?” had some other very interesting aspects, as well. For instance, as I mentioned in a response to postnroast who had initially brought up religion and sodomy, I didn’t find my self too “shocked” by the actual bestiality (I keep typing ‘beastiality’, sigh). Not that I am okay with ACTUAL bestiality, which I fully believe should be and stay illegal and looked down upon. I mean that when I was watching the film, I found myself drowning in mental debates over its deeper meaning and religious connotations regarding sodomy, rather than focusing on the sheep and the weird dude having sex with a sheep and omg its sheep sex in a movie ahhh bestiality on TV help my dear little old heart ahhh.

    I guess I must be really liberal or really New York City art school crazy cat lady or something, because I just do not care about those types of “shocking” images in films (also in Pink Flamingos!) since I am watching it with a default that there is a reason I am seeing those images present. Woody Allen’s a bad guy, but I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and guess that he didn’t just put bestiality in a film because he felt like rustling people jimmies and without much further thought of the consequences and effect.

    And why do people keep getting so shocked? It’s art! It’s a product, but it has a meaning. Just watch and think. You don’t have to feel uncomfortable or laugh or smile or do anything except watch and think.

    Students here are also frequently bringing up that the film’s content isn’t suitable for children and therefore isn’t very widespread or popular, etc. Don’t show these things to your children, then! Adults can have their own tastes and think about deep messages and contemplate risque, taboo concepts and humor or whatever, babies don’t have to watch the sheep sex movie too!

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  41. RM ⋅

    I love woody allen films, but strangely enough I haven’t seen the ones he is most famous for. For example I’ve never seen even a bit of annie hall. The Film that made me get into digging allen movies was his 2006 movie to Rome With Love. My god is that film weird and amazing. One of the culminating scenes of the film and one of the funniest concerns a man who can sing opera amazingly. There is one catch though, he can only sing in the shower. As in if he is not in the shower he cannot sing, but when in it, he is a virtuoso. This leads to the surreal scene of a man in a portable shower showering on stage, as he sings opera in front of an audience. It is glorious in it ridiculousness, and is fantastically funny. I find what I most like about allen is his sense of humor. It is fun, light and often pokes at the human condition in crazy ways. The film we saw in class showed off his sense of humor perfectly, as well as his sense for the surreal. I mean how else can you describe the sequence we saw in which a mans body is controlled by a bunch of tiny people inside him, operating him like a giant robot of some sort. The idea is even developed to the point that a priest, in the role of the mans conscience or moral sense, tries to sabotage the “initiation” of intercourse. It is just plain silly, its wonderful. I love allen for these things, these little touches. He is an excellent example of an auteur, his movies are the perfect contrast for producer driven abominations like final destination and its ilk. I really dislike movies that are clear cash grabs and go directly for most profit. Doubly so for trashy stuff like final Destination. I don’t see the entertainment value in it. Well rather I do see the entertainment value but I don’t find it entertaining myself. I was thinking as I watched the Allen film in class, that one of the other most famous or well known auteurs I could think of was Wes Anderson. He is another great example of a Film maker that has his own very very distinct style. With both Allen and Wes , you could show about 5 minutes of anyone of their movies and mix them in with clips from other directors. I guarantee most people who have seen any of their films would instantly recognize the style and director. They have such a unique approach to film-making. However if you were to show me for instance, any two movies in the marvel universe, I would be hard pressed to tell you which director had produced which. I’m so tired of superhero movies. Welp anyway, Gene Wilder was amazing RIP. He will be missed, what an actor. I doubt I could have kept a straight face through any of those scenes in the sodomy skit.

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    • liarina ⋅

      You are so true. Although i haven’t watch Rome With Love but iI think it is kinda the same format that Woody Allen use to produce his works, to use several pieces of stories to tell the ultimate idea to his audience. In addition, Allen also use a lot of similar actors in his works which also make his film so easy to be recognized. For example, in recent years, when I see Emma Stone I will just assume if it is a movie of Woody Allen again since she casts in Magic in the Moonlight in 2014 and Irrational Man in 2015. The same example also goes with Scarlett Johansson who stared in his three films within four years. And for this, it is interesting to see how Allen can actually dig out much talents from one actor. I have heard some of my friends comment that Allen’s films are difficult to understand because the ideas he wants to show is all over the place. However, as you, I also think that is why make Allen so good and truly unique because of his creativity, weirdness making his films so perfect and these give the wonderful, perfect sense of humor in his movies which I also consider as more valuable and entertaining then mainstream movies.

      Like

  42. liarina ⋅

    Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex is an absolutely surprise and entertaining piece. The clip we watched in class is hilarious and very Woody Allen. I will not say I am very familiar with the works of Allen, but I do watch some of his feature films such as Vicky Christina Barcelona, Midnight in Paris and Magic in the Moonlight. There are some kinds of style and vision and Allen’s film that can be found that his films also give me the sense of humor and never fail to deliver the message that he wants to present to his audience. Everything You Always Wanted To Know surprise me for some reasons. Of course the movie is fun, but fall in love with a sheep, really? However, that is why in my opinion that Woody Allen is so good and popular. His madness, craziness and creativity make what he is now. Furthermore, I think Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex is interesting is because the movie consists of a series short sequences and it is cut into several vignettes. It is like watching episodes that telling you those sex things you are so afraid to know which is an incredibly amazing work. Also, the director himself also cast in the movie which is the common style that Woody Allen uses, cast in his own films. In other aspect, that is also something worth to look at because at that moment, he is not only the director but maybe also the screen writer and actor, and those roles are all devote the efforts for the film to the audience. So for this, how can we say no to Woody Allen?

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  43. liarina ⋅

    Well, I have to admit that I have watched the first two films of final destination series. And that is the reason that I am so surprising after watching the documentary about it. I remember so clearly that when I watched the first two movies of the series, everything was still fresh including the concept of the movie saying the death is after everyone and there is no way you can escape from it, and the ideas of how people die and how to make all the things related to each character.
    However, from the third one I started to feel disappointed with the film because I’m kinda getting tired of the same format and it is like you are watch the same thing over and over just with different actors. And I was wonder why since horror film is always my favorite. Then I found out the reason behind it after watching the documentary in class so thank you for Karl too! It is sad to know how they produce a movie like this, to discuss and research what the audience want to watch and what they might like just to earn money.
    Although I do not know much about filmmaking, I do know that movies are made as arts to deliver ideas, and money should not be the reason why people are making films. That is the reason why that I do not really like the mainstream movies nowadays because sometimes you don’t really see any value in it. As Karl mentioned in the class, the value of a film is not only created by the filmmaker but also by the audience because the film you watch have to or should be somehow provoke you to think and gain or learn something from it. Instead of walking out from a theater with an empty mind, I rather watch some independent films which might be more interesting.
    For this point, I think that is also the reason why auteur theory is so important now. As we know that the point of auteur theory is the director stick with certain shooting style and trying to deliver the same idea or vision to his audience. And for this kind of style, it depends on one’s experience and preference. For instance, some auteurs are heavily influenced by their family which cause their films are mostly emphasizing on the true meaning of family love or discussing the family relationships such as father-daughter relationship. This is why some director is outstanding and special due to their films and it is also a big contrast from the post-modern cinema because the concept and idea of the auteur is bigger than money.

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  44. Armitage ⋅

    In class we talked about Auteur cinema briefly, saying that its been replaced or taken over by Producer driven cinema. Perhaps the mainstream film audience knows more about production companies (i.e. 20thC Fox, or Universal, or Disney). But i think there are still strong Auteurs: Joss Whedon, Wes Anderson, Guillermo Del Toro Make very profitable films. Often students of communications and/or film “buffs” tend to project their experience onto all movie goers. I don’t know how well the average American who only watches around 5 movies a year knows those names. But on the same note i wonder if they know producers or production companies better (i would guess not). I personally don’t really pay attention to the production company when I make movie decisions, I pay more attention to directors.

    Like

    • theSiren_Song ⋅

      I’m with you on this one. I mean, I see the films production company at the beginning (or end) and am just kinda like “oh its a _____ film” but I sure don’t see films just because a certain company produced it.

      Just because Universal produced a film, it doesn’t mean its going to be an amazing movie. In my opinion its all in the director’s, actors, screen-writers, all the people who are on set daily and with the film from beginning to end, that really help develop the film into being an amazing film. I know the production company gets the final say on some editing, but I really believe most people prefer to see films because of certain actors/esses or directors are involved in the film.

      Like

      • Sorabari ⋅

        Your statement reminds me of three values in the powerpoint. In the star value, we might expect the actor, characters, directors, or producers can make better movie comparing with somebody’s film. For example, if Johnny Depp plays a role of main character in a film, the audience may imagine that he’d act a weird guy. If Spider-man is in the movie, it might be an action movie, and so on. The second value is production value. If an advertisement of a movie says that the movie used the most number of extras in the film era, then we might think or guess how much it’d cost and it could be a neat film because of the advertising. Likewise, if a film is announced as the movie is taken at the several spots in the world, then we may think that film’s scale must be huge, so it could be interesting. The third value is story value. If a movie is made based on J.K. Rowling’s novel, we may think that it’d be a story that magic is related even if we haven’t read the novel because of her past works. We may be disappointed in the live action movie based on a comic because it can’t perform better than what the fans of the comic expects(it usually happens in Japanese cinema like Attack on Titan).

        Like

  45. theSiren_Song ⋅

    This. Screening. Killed. Me.

    I don’t think I laughed so hard through any of our other screenings than this one. What a great way to poke fun at other genres AND it was produced by a major company and wasn’t considered a B-Film. If i hadn’t known it was produced by a major company, i would have thought it was a B-Film, to be honest.

    Before I go into both films, I just wanted to give my thoughts over all on both. I thought it was a creative way to poke fun at two different genres (romantic dramas and sci-fi) to at the same time, make a statement about certain aspects of our society.

    The first one with the sheep. Dear god… Gene Wilder is such a phenomenal actor that he was able to get through this shoot and give such an outstanding performance. It was also a little sad to see him on the screen after his passing. But, this bit, what a way to poke fun at the typical story of adultery and the way it can sometimes spiral out of control and result in one’s downfall, especially during the time period where marriage and divorces were huge deals. I thought it was clever they used the sheep. People laugh when they are told of “oh i’m in an affair and be careful it could happen to you.” Most who have never been put into the position of possibly having an affair would think it’s ridiculous, especially when they have such a good life already with their job and wife. But then it happens, the moment is poised in front of them and suddenly they’re hit with ideas and desires they had no idea were within them. And if they follow through with them, it could spiral out of control to the point Wilder’s character got to.

    The second one was my favorite. What an hilarious way to talk about getting laid on the male perspective. As a woman, it really resonated with me since we often wonder what the hell is going on through a guy’s brain and to be honest, I felt like that was really what went on. I loved the sabotage of the christian thoughts of not having un-married sex. So many (including me) have struggled with that at one point in their life until they finally banished those thoughts from their minds and manage to enjoy themselves without the self-induced guilt tripping. Once the priest was kicked out, everything went smoothly and even down for a round two!

    Over all, this was a hilarious film that I really enjoyed watching.

    Like

  46. jonsnow ⋅

    The screening of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) had me busting out laughing. I couldn’t help it, the scenes we watched were brilliantly written and just hilarious. The concept of the film itself is already so interesting, and done in a way where it leaves a lot of creative room to exploit a lot of double meanings and innuendos for humor. Gene Wilder was amazing in his scene and his wry humor really drew me into the rest of the short sequences. I love films that exhibit absolute absurdity where the things the characters say leave you with your jaw on the floor thinking “I can’t believe that just happened”. Also, the format of this film and its honest yet absurd take on sex related matters is refreshing. I think I would prefer this format for a film with a large ensemble cast, rather than like those awful holiday movies (New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, etc.) with huge ensemble celebrity casts but with poorly interweaving stories that is supposed to tie together one big narrative pertaining to the holiday. I can’t express how badly I wish I didn’t pay to watch those movies. EYAWKAB was cool because while all of the short stories are different and shown in succession with no connecting narrative, they are connected by the common theme of sex. I also definitely think this film fits under this breakout session’s theme of auteur cinema. While I hadn’t seen EYAWKAB prior to the class screening, I was a big fan of some of Woody Allen’s more mainstream successes, like Annie Hall and Midnight in Paris. I’ve often heard about his many neuroses with filmmaking and how it sets his films apart from others in his genre. You can tell from his films that any film or project with his name on it is a truly “Woody Allen piece”. I like how a common theme of his films is the extreme tendencies or inner neuroses of people that you don’t talk about regularly. Of course, when you weigh his films and their content against the controversy surrounding Woody Allen’s personal life, it can cast a bit of a negative shadow over it. This is unfortunate but inevitable, and I think one of the side effects of being an auteur. Because auteurism centers around the individual’s personal creative vision, it’s natural to align the director’s creative vision in filmmaking with his personal life.

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  47. Nox ⋅

    It was really enlightening to see a behind the scenes look of Final Destination. I’ve never been part of a test screening, so it was highly intriguing to hear from the directors and other people involved with the production speak on the movie and how they changed things according to the response. It made me think of so many times I’ve left a movie confused or mad about a character death, it’s very possible the directors tried numerous scenes before deciding on one that fit.

    It humanized them for me in a sense, obviously they’re in the business to make money and produce content they believe wholeheartedly in, but the attention to detail and willingness to take criticism (“More boobs” wasn’t very constructive… but I digress) in order to better their final piece of work really made me smile. I wish more directors did this although it’s not always applicable, especially if you’re not a newcomer or making a large blockbuster.

    Like

    • TaiwanSwag ⋅

      I really love those comments that we saw in the small commentary of Final Destination. It shows that although all the people who were in the test screening were their targeted audience, the results and comments still differ depend on their personal preferences. I don’t actually agree on what you said about leaving the theater angry, it might be the director not doing any test screening or try different scenes before releasing it. But I also really wish directors could really take advantages of these types of test screenings, whether it’s for their own success or to fulfill the expectations of the audiences.

      Like

  48. After watching the documentary piece for final destination, I felt that the directors and co directors did a fantastic job on not letting the business side take over their film.
    Now a days, everything is business focused and everyone is in it all for the money because…who doesnt want to become rich right?

    But I believe making films just for money is BS, I feel as true directors, you should produce films to the extent where you yourself as a director can appreciate your work as well as doing it for the audience.

    The great thing about the final destination directors was that they went through every random audience member they had for their test screening and read through all of the reviews to see how they can improve their film all for the audience.

    At the end of the day, it becomes a business but taking the time and LISTENING to what the audience wanted in the films and taking the time and reshooting those scenes makes for a true film maker in my eyes successful or not.

    But a great documentary to open up the eyes of the audiences.

    Like

    • jonsnow ⋅

      I agree, I liked how the Final Destination filmmakers seemed to put aside their pride and business to make a quality film that viewers would enjoy. I mean, if you’re going to make a film targeted at a niche audience, don’t you want to make sure that it’s a film that that specific target audience will enjoy the most? I feel like we always want to measure the quality of a film with the integrity of the director/studio. Zack Snyder, the director of Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman, catches a lot of flack for his subpar storytelling and huge productions, but I feel like he also gets a lot of bad press for his handling of films that are also targeted at a niche audience. I think his problem lies in that he focuses far too much on the huge iconic moments and not enough on what will satisfy the audience or fan base. it was cool to see the Final Destination filmmakers care enough about the outcome of the test screening to change the story and reshoot scenes from the movie.

      Like

    • TaiwanSwag ⋅

      I do agree with you saying that the directors and the Final Destination crew did a good job on hosting a test screening and read their reviews. However, isn’t all the doing for the audience thing contribute to the financial part of the movie? They wanted to make sure that this movie satisfied their targeted audience, which will bring them success with the movie and eventually make more profit out of it. I am not sure if I am being to pessimistic, but I do believe there are directors and crews out there who wanted to create something that they appreciate and satisfy with and also fulfill the audiences’ expectations.

      Like

  49. armitage ⋅

    There is a cool movie about the “Island of dr moroe” movie from long ago. The studio wanted a cool cult movie director from “Hardware”, and modern sexy stars, and classic hollywood royalty. The studio almost converted a whole island into the film set for the movie. But as the studio started making demands and the stars began rebelling against the director, he [the directro] wasnt able to handle all the moving parts (understandably). Eventually the director withdrew into his bungalo refusing to deal with the nonsense. The studio got fed up with the delays and replaced the director, but apperently they still were delayed months after. There are mind bogling interviews with extras and crew. They talk about how they were only supposed to be shooting for a few weeks. After a few months one cast member resigned themself to living the rest of their life on that island in a purpetual state of film production. eventually the movie came out though and everybody went home, but as you might imagine the movie failed. The documentary is called “Lost Soul”, bad title in my opinion.

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  50. TaiwanSwag ⋅

    Last summer I took a screenwriting and a memoir class with Professor Ron, and he recommended us to watch Woody Allen’s show and movies in both classes. Back at the time I didn’t really bother watching them because it would take a lot of time to go through some of his works and take something out from it. But now I am glad that I had a chance in this class to watch it and being able to transition what I learn into other classes in the future.

    His film Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex was very entertaining, and the reactions in the class during the screening sums it all up. I think what made his film, particularly this one, so great was because of its unpredictable story. No one would ever have thought ahead and believed that the doctor would ended up taking the sheep as his partner. This movie was presented in episodic style and I would say it was pretty dangerous because we rarely see this kind of presentation succeed despite The Pulp Fiction.

    I really love the part where he decided to go into the male character’s brain and act out all the processing inside. I was definitely a creative and innovative idea to do that, and I am certainly sure that this eventually inspired later productions to do something similar. It kind of remind me of the success that the movie Inside Out had with the same representation. As a male, I never really went back and think about what was going through my head when I was in the same situation as the character, but I definitely can relate to it very much. And I think that’s one more reason why his movie was successful because he was good at making the audiences relatable to what is happening on the screen. Just from watching these short edits of the movie ignited my interest to go back and watch the whole thing to see if the entire movie was just as good as the clips.

    Away from the screening, it was also very interesting to learn about the difference between high and low concept movies. I would say that most of the mainstream movies now would be considered as high concept movies because even just the posters are straightforward enough for the audiences to understand what the movie is about. But I hope every now and then there would be a good low concept movie out to keep people thinking and guessing about the movie instead knowing them even before watching. It was also interesting to know that there is test screenings for the targeted audiences to ensure the movie’s success and make sure they are satisfied.
    I remember hearing people saying that a lot of the franchise, for example X-Men, is getting worst and worst after each releases of the series. Also people were complaining about how the timeline of the story is different than the order of the movies. I actually disagree on that because I believe having a mixed timeline of stories keeps the fans thinking, and that’s what makes the movie even better. Sometimes fan created their own theories and ended up being taken by the production and use it in the new film. Sure, there are a lot of bad ones which are only trying to make as much profit before the franchise dies out, but I have to say I love some of the ways they built the franchise so they could make more movies and kept the fans waiting every time. All in all, I think people should really stick with their preferences instead of watching things that they don’t like and complain about them, just don’t watch them if you don’t like it.

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