The article about films dispense with storytelling convention written by New York Times explains how as years go by the “originality” for films is slowly becoming inexistent. The film industry has slowly been repeating the same format for the past years. When people today start complaining about spoilers they should start to realize how the movie is going to end. If it’s a comedy it’s most likely going to end with a romance ending and if it’s a tragedy it’s going to end with the main characters dead. A.O. Scott said that it doesn’t matter “whether it’s Harry Potter, James Bond or Spider-Man — is going to withstand the dastardly attention of the villain, and that foreknowledge anchors the thrills and surprises you encounter along the way.” I think that the film industry should really try to give its own original input to the films being made, since so far the different story lines in the movies have fooled the audience but that won’t last for long since sooner or later the global audience will realize that every new movie that comes out is the same as every other movie but with a different plot and actors. It has come to a point where people can start to predit what will happen next in the new films which should always be kept as a mystery. As time goes by these predictions that the audience are starting to have can become something much bigger and ruin the main point of film production industry, which is creativity. Current directors of the new coming movies are lacking in the creative motivation that filming use to have and basically starting to copy the same movie structure over and over again.
"Mind-game films", as referred to in the article, are an absolute necessity to the Hollywood film industry. These artistic inventions by filmmakers create a distraction from the stereotypical Hollywood film plots. It is true that film plots are recycled over and over again; however, it is because of the enigmatic, artistic films that allows movie watchers to not get sick of the expected twist and turn in a classic movie plot. If there was no difference in plot once in a while than eventually expected plots would become extinct. "Mind-game films" also are important to the expansion of the film industry overtime. Allowing new directors to come in and create something daring and inventive broadens the horizons of film and opens the door for further development and improvement. Many of these movies are devised because directors want to create a name for themselves, and they do that by taking risk with an enigmatic film that an audience might not grasp. As far as those audience members that might not "get it", there are always popular films available. People who don't adapt to change from familiarity may not enjoy this new increase in enigmatic movies. No matter what, "Mind-game films" aren't destroying classic film plots, they are instead being added to new category in film. Suddenly, characters don't need to be explained to create a classic film. Enigmatic films are simply bettering the capabilities and expanding the boundaries of film. Harsh critics will always stand in the way but anything great will inevitably face strong opposition.
Momento was the most recent mind-game film that I enjoyed. Pulp fiction is still my favorite example.
In addition to what Arda and Anna wrote, I believe that this article is trying to convey that there are two separate paths involved in the creation of the plot for a movie. Either the director can take the linear path that usually follows a genre convention, or they can try and do something different that really challenges the minds of the audience. Movies that do follow genre conventions or generic plots are not necessarily bad, “some of the best movies ever are perfectly orthodox westerns, detective stories, melodramas and marriage comedies”. In these movies it is just safer for the director to be able to present their content. For if they were to attempt to present their content in the form of mind puzzles that must be understood and solved by the audience to get the true meaning of the story, a divide is created. “The divide seems to be not between people who “get it” and those who don’t, but rather between those who are frustrated by not getting it and those (like me) who enjoyed it even though we didn’t get it.” In the article it is mentioned that movies like, “The Master”, have mind puzzles that allow the audience members to take something away from the movie and create discussion. However, “The Master” is a much less likely to have a large fan base like movies such as “Twilight”, and “Harry Potter”. The reason being that it is a harder movie to understand than “Harry Potter”, and those that do not get what is being thrown at them will take the movie with distaste. One example of a movie that includes challenges to the minds of the audience and incited discussion after its release was “Inception”. However, “Inception” was not Christopher Nolan’s only mind-boggling movie; it is only his most remembered. Inception may have been slightly complex, but the reason it was successful, unlike other mind- puzzle movies, was because it was not fully complex and did not require the audience to understand the dream within a dream. Those who did not understand the extreme-science of the movie could instead enjoy the strong plot and overall high quality of the film. I recently watched “The life of Pi” in theatres during my stay in Michigan. The movie was very well made, but on top of that it really made me think. The plot was simple enough, a boy stuck on a boat with a tiger in the middle of the ocean after a shipwreck, but it also had much religious content about God, fate, and the Universe itself. My sister, who is nine years old, simply enjoyed the movie because it was about a boy from the same culture as her with a cool tiger on a boat and completely disregarded the religious aspects of the movie. I however, thought long and hard about the meaning of our own lives, the differences between religions, whether or not fate really existed, whether fate could be changed, and if it was possible to be part of more than one religion. All of these questions came from the content within that movie. This article is interesting because it shows the division between movies. Most popular movies are very linear and simple to understand so they appeal to larger audiences. Complex movies have a hard time doing well because in the end it’s the box-office that matters and if people do not understand a movie, they do not like a movie. Now, however, we are seeing a new type of movie that allow the audience to enjoy a simple plot and strong visual appearances with a complex sub-plot that creates much discussion among those that really want their minds to be challenged.
I really enjoyed reading this article. The writers seemed to all be focusing around a simple main point: the evolution of film. Film making in terms of technology is still fairly young (cameras havent been around for many years and the adaptation of making a story that an audience can connect with using the multitude of film techniques that are available is even younger still) and even though we have established a certain, typical way for making films, we certainly havent tried everything. Stereotypical genres have emerged and are getting to the point of wearing themselves out," It’s funny how much people complain about spoilers, when so many plots are the same. This is partly because so many movies fit comfortably into established genres, and much of the time moviegoers seek out the comforts of familiarity. You know which rom-com characters are going to end up together, just as you know that the franchise hero — whether it’s Harry Potter, James Bond or Spider-Man — is going to withstand the dastardly attention of the villain, and that foreknowledge anchors the thrills and surprises you encounter along the way". Film is now starting to take different directions, whether there´s risk of making a profit or not, something new and creative and away from the norm and predictability is exactly what the evolution of Film needs. Directors are taking movies in a new directions, instead of creating a story where you can relate the events to your own life or grow attached to a certain character and his or her story (you still can, but it isnt the vital aspect of what is going to make people enjoy watching the movie), many modern movies are focused on making you think. They give you layers of meaning and "mind puzzles" to capture your interest and to solve in order to get a better understanding of the movie´s intentions/meaning. "For the past few months I’ve been collecting reactions to “The Master,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s movie about (in the sense in which “about” can mean both “having nothing at all to do with” and “obsessively concerned with”) the early days of Scientology. This may be the great polarizing puzzle-film of 2012, in no small part because it unfolds with what seems to be a total disregard for the audience’s expectations. The movie does not explain its characters, or offer any of them up for us to like or identify with. Instead of building to a dramatic climax it seems to taper off, to let go of the strange emotional intensity that had built up over more than two hours. The divide seems to be not between people who “get it” and those who don’t, but rather between those who are frustrated by not getting it and those (like me) who enjoyed it even though we didn’t get it". This reflects the new direction film is taking and the divide it is creating. Directors like this one are no longer taking into account the vital aspects that make a stereotypical movie enjoyable, instead they are focusing on the message of the movie over the messengers that deliver it (actors, actresses, building connection with the audience). You can look at even the most gruesome action movies or horror movies and see that there is a larger meaning to the movie, however that isnt what an audience is looking for when they go to these kinds of movies. They want to see action and blood and guts and a damsel in distress; they are more focused on the messengers of the movie used to deliver the message rather than the message itself. With the new direction that film is taking that focuses on the message rather than the messengers and making the viewer think about these mind puzzles, this posses a threat to be commercially successful which dictates everything about movie making. If someone doesn´t understand the movie or the overall message, they arent going to enjoy the movie and it wont do well in the box office. So where is the line drawn? Where is the point where the message is too big for the messengers and the audience is left not understanding and not satisfied with the movie? Inception is a good example of a very successful hybrid between the old and the new as well as Life of Pi; both films contain great meaning and mind puzzles that will get you thinking, but they also have strong, mostly linear plots that stick to the old ways and are sure to please any audience that is expecting mixed things from their experience. You dont have to understand in order to enjoy these movies, and if you DO understand, that just makes it even better. This is where film is headed in the future, and Im sure it will change more and more as it evolves.
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