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RobertoOrtiz
01-20-2005, 06:26 PM
What happened to stories about REAL people?

One thing that has struck me in the past few years is how
more and more I catch myself realizing that the characters
in almost all movies that are coming out, have very little
connection to how people behave in the real world.

Most characters seen to be living in the same universe as the show "MTVs:The Real World"
With no discernible source of income, unrealistic relationships, and no real consequences to actions.

Sadly I have seen also that this trend hasmoved into Indie films .

Why is this?

In movies from the 70's and 80's you could still feel a palpable realism in the quality of the characters and the writing.

What has been lost?

-R

fwtep
01-20-2005, 07:12 PM
Well, what movies are you seeing?

spudk
01-20-2005, 09:38 PM
I think that's what I like about spiderman 2. Peter Parker couldn't keep a job delivering pizza's and had rent problems. I hated the ending though.

tojo
01-20-2005, 11:02 PM
couldnt agree more....

films have lost so much over the last 10 years or so..

and i imagine will lose so much more...

i thought mystic river was a one of the few recent films i have seen which kinda presented a dynamic between real people...... shot in a 70's kinda way.. (clint eastwood ...director i think?)

but other than that... to many films get created on these 'great' ideas.. whitout much thought towards character development... or indepth caharacter detail.... it is all a case of 2 or 3 well known male actors... and throw in a super hot sexy girl... and there is your character depth..

even movies like 25th hr?? 24th hr? seem to follow this format ... and that was probably one of the best movie i have seen in a while

RobertoOrtiz
01-20-2005, 11:52 PM
My complain is not directed specifically to mainstream films.
They of course have their place and function and I love them.
I love cool mainstream films like the Aviator, House of Flying Daggers (it is a mainstream film), the Incredibles, etc.

And I loved recent independent film like Motorcycle Diaries.

But still, I have yet to see films that reflect a snapshot of real people, in real relationships
in real life. And when I mean real people I am not talking about failed writers finding how shallow they are in the vineyards of California. Most indie films I have seem to go into wild extremes, instead of capturing the nuances of real life.

The cinema of the 70s cinema an 80's , which I am huge fan of, had ton of examples of these kind of movies.

Dramas:
Taxi Driver (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075314/) , The King of Comedy (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085794/) , After Hours (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088680/), Dog Day Afternoon (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072890/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnxteD0yMHxzZz0xfGxtPTIwMHx0dD1vbnxwbj0wfHE9ZG9nIGRheSBhZmVybm9vbnxodG1sPTF8bm09b24_;fc=1;ft=20;fm=1), Serpico (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070666/),

Horror:
The Shining (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081505/) , The Exorcist (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070047/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnxteD0yMHxzZz0xfGxtPTIwMHx0dD1vbnxwbj0wfHE9ZXhvcmNpc3R8aHRtbD0xfG5tPW9u;fc=1;ft=20;fm=1)

Action:
Dirty Harry (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1596010/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnxteD0yMHxzZz0xfGxtPTIwMHx0dD1vbnxwbj0wfHE9RGlydHkgaGFycnl8aHRtbD0xfG5tPW9u;fc=2;ft=20;fm=1) , Escape from Alcatraz (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079116/) ,The French Connection (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067116/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnxteD0yMHxzZz0xfGxtPTIwMHx0dD1vbnxwbj0wfHE9ZnJlbmNoIGNvbm5lY3Rpb258aHRtbD0xfG5tPW9u;fc=1;ft=20;fm=1)

Believe it or not Office Space is the most recent example I can think of what I mean.


-R

Bonedaddy
01-21-2005, 02:00 AM
I dunno, I felt that Garden State and Eternal Sunshine got that sort of feel down, without dwelling too much on unnecessary details. Some TV shows do it pretty well too -- I think Rescue Me is pretty good (except for the amount of sex everyone has on it).

To a certain extent, this is a function of the phases of culture. Right now we are tending towards a high-fantasy, sort of hyper-real phase. Then something bad will happen and everything will knuckle down and we'll get more realistic films, I think. Like how Italian Neo-Realism popped after WWII (I think it was WWII. Could be wrong on the era).

durbdk
01-22-2005, 11:16 PM
I feel that in todays world there is a lot of disillusionment and, frankly, unhappiness. People arn't happy with their lives (obviously this is a genelralization). Movies are made for their escapism qulity, to release us from our day to day struggle in this life. The people writing these, conciously or subconciously, write them so they are more paletable, more in tune with what people want to see when they plunk down their 10 dollars (or more!) at the theatre. I think it's simply that people don't want to be reminded of their problems. Yes, this is a simplistic view, but people tend to take the simplest way out. I do miss films with deep development, gritty everyday dramas, but I still admit I love to go to a movie and not be reminded about the bills/relationships/problems I have.

This is obviously just my opinion, and there are still great "real"movies being made, but I feel this is why Cinema is the way it is.

But then, that's just my opinion... :)

--edit--

I just saw the film, "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" (wife dragged me to it). I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of human nature films. It isn't exciting (far from it actually), but they develop a sexual/intimate tension between Greit (house servent) and Vermeer (the great dutch painter). The whole movie is nuance and suggestion, never revealing but always teasing. No, it isn't blatently sextual, and actually I thought it could have been done better, but the style, vision and execution were very original. The movie exuded emotion.
Score points, take your girl to see it. :)

PS. Scarlett Johansson (Greit) is incredibly beautiful and talented, we'll be seeing more of her in the future, I'm sure.

durbdk
01-22-2005, 11:27 PM
I read for reality, I see films for release.

Dougs
01-28-2005, 02:27 AM
I think it's just a trend based on what everyone else is doing. If the studios do this or that everybody seems to follow along. I also think one of the other things that might be influencing the trend we currently are seeing is that actors have more influence in what's being made now more than ever. Like it or not? but I think they'll probably come back around eventually... just my two cents:)

seankeeton
01-28-2005, 04:55 AM
I recommend American Splendor. It's partly fiction and party autobiographical. I thought it was great at depicting the awkward relationships between some very strange yet down to earth people.

sonicstrawbery
01-28-2005, 11:10 AM
Yeah you're right Roberto but i think it's a culture point... the movies you talked about are all americans... but if you look all around the world you could see that it's not really true.

In Europe for example 80 % of the subjects movies concern about real life, real problems from real people... a lot of political and social engagement...

And that's the big difference with "american movie culture", i think european make more human movies than American...
It's also because of the technology and money, Holywood can put much more money on the table and want to "impress" before looking for feelings etc...

However there's awesome american movies now and in the past but you should look by your self... try to catch some Godard, Assailas, Truffaut or Chabrol movies and you'll see that stories with real ppl are not dead ;)

-cipher

Nucleo
01-31-2005, 02:35 PM
First of all i dont think its a cultural thing i think its a profit driven thing :p. Realist films just dont make enough money as superhero, or hero, based films if u like. Although i think u are forgeting several realist films of the past decade like American Beauty, Heat, Last of the Mohicans etc.. and I cant believe i amlost forgot .. Roland Joffe - Shadowmakers, The Mission - Awesome Films. Oliver Stone - Almost every movie of him just get the filmography Equador, JFK etc. (and thats just from US film makers).

Then you have to think why? Films like Myths act as anxiety reducers to socities so you can understand why people prefer to see more 'fun' films than art or realist films.

Of course everyhting is subjective when it comes to art and one might have fun time watching a 'difficult' film.

fwtep
01-31-2005, 04:30 PM
First of all i dont think its a cultural thing i think its a profit driven thing :p. Realist films just dont make enough money as superhero, or hero, based films if u like.That's what "a cultural thing" is. In our culture, people enjoy escapist films like superhero films better than other types of films.

Although i think u are forgeting several realist films of the past decade like American Beauty, Heat, Last of the Mohicans etc...I think you're just about the only one who would call "Last of the Mohicans" a "realist" film. :)

Then you have to think why? Films like Myths act as anxiety reducers to socities so you can understand why people prefer to see more 'fun' films than art or realist films. Exactly. It's a cultural thing.

Fred

Nucleo
01-31-2005, 05:28 PM
That's what "a cultural thing" is. In our culture, people enjoy escapist films like superhero films better than other types of films.

I think you're just about the only one who would call "Last of the Mohicans" a "realist" film. :)

Fred

Well you might have a point there in the first and last quote but thats not what i meant europe too makes profit driven productions that are not realist in its content that use the superhero pattern. (France for example).

As for the Last of the Mohican, yeah i think its a realist film dealing with political issues, colonization and the destrcuction of tradition in order new ideologies to evolve. :) Maybe its not the "The Realist" Film but certainly it has elements in it.

fwtep
01-31-2005, 09:59 PM
Well you might have a point there in the first and last quote but thats not what i meant europe too makes profit driven productions that are not realist in its content that use the superhero pattern. (France for example). "Cultural" doesn't automatically mean just one area. If Europe is also in the mood for superhero films that's still cultural.

As for the Last of the Mohican, yeah i think its a realist film dealing with political issues, colonization and the destrcuction of tradition in order new ideologies to evolve. :) Maybe its not the "The Realist" Film but certainly it has elements in it.It's not that there isn't *any* realism in it, but to me there's certainly nowhere near enough to merit singling it out as an example of a realistic film. It's a big seeping romance that happenes to be set in a historical setting. (I don't mean "romantic film," though it's that too of course. I mean romance in story terms.) If your only criteria for "realism" is that it deals with some real issues, then it would be hard to find a film that wasn't realistic. :D

Fred

flawedprefect
01-31-2005, 10:19 PM
What happened to stories about REAL people?
as been lost?

-R

Well, what defines a "real" person?

Nucleo
02-01-2005, 12:10 AM
It's not that there isn't *any* realism in it, but to me there's certainly nowhere near enough to merit singling it out as an example of a realistic film. It's a big seeping romance that happenes to be set in a historical setting. (I don't mean "romantic film," though it's that too of course. I mean romance in story terms.) If your only criteria for "realism" is that it deals with some real issues, then it would be hard to find a film that wasn't realistic. :D

Fred

Ok then u have to define realism in films. What you consider to be a realist film? What differentiates a Hollywood or Fiction film from Realist films. Is Pearl Harbor a realist film? and i think you will agree with me, that its not, but whats the differences then. Is it character development? Is it the camerawork or cinematography? Is it the meaning, the theme, The dialogues? Iam really confused now :p.

So How you define a Realist film?

Nucleo
02-01-2005, 12:16 AM
"Cultural" doesn't automatically mean just one area. If Europe is also in the mood for superhero films that's still cultural.

Fred

Oh yeah you are right i meant culture like US culture UK culture etc..

flawedprefect
02-01-2005, 05:26 AM
The most fascinating stories are about the human condition.

from the wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_condition): "The human condition is a term used in literature to describe the joys and terrors of being human, and generally refers to biologically determined events which are common to most human lives, and to our reactions to these events, and how we cope with them."

And not just to me. I have a firm belief that it is a topic expressed in most genres.

Personally, I have seen science fiction and fantasy stories that express the human condition better than stories set in the "real" world. Examples: Star Wars - the original trilogy; Aliens; The Lord of The Rings. Even speculative fiction such as the Toy Story films (or anything from Pixar for that matter) are excellent examples where the main characters struggle not only with external obstacles, but internal conflicts to reach a happy resolution (Woody needs to confront that he pushed Buzz out the window because he was jealous of his popularity in order to redeem himself. He puts himself on the line to rescue him, and this is what drives the story to its conclusion).

Of course, in stories set in the real world, the human condition is easier to show. I saw the films "Jean de Florette" and "Manon of the Spring" recently. Both are based on a novel. The basic premise is this: A hunchback from the city moves to a country village and inherits a prized farm. He is determined to succeed in leading a rural life by growing his own food on the land. Close neighbors are determined to drive him to ruin so he will leave the farm to them. They do this by plugging a natural spring that gives water to his land.
Unfortunately, the hunchback is driven mad in his quest to dowse for water, and ultimately dies in a dinamite accident. Years later, the neighbors have inherited the farm and are growing carnations. A young woman - the hunchback's daughter - discovers the truth about her father, and how the townsfolk drove him away. She plots revenge by plugging up the spring that feeds the entire village.

This is a story that expresses conflict in a simple form: both parties (hunchback on one side, the neighbors on the other) are battling for the success of their dreams. The story deals with the issues of morality vs greed, honesty vs dishonesty; love vs lust. Of course, all these are merely dilutions of the age-old good vs evil.

So perhaps what we should be asking is: where are stories set in the real world?

Actually, I have to admit, reading the threads here on script writing, and have found the following:

The flick's basically about a teenage goth boy who drives an ice cream truck and hates it -- one day, he accidentally gives some kids some past-expiration ice cream, and...

or this one:



a super hero movie.

a gritty super hero movie with all that that requires.

i was thinking tarintino meets super friends done in 3d animation.


Big problem with these are they fail to answer the most important question: Why should I want to watch this film? They are discriptions of the settings, genre, and running gags, but not of the STORY. Who is it about? What happens to them/What do they learn? Where does it happen? When does it happen? Why does in happen/Why is it about this person?

And most importantly: Why would anyone want to see this story?

Bonedaddy
02-01-2005, 04:43 PM
Big problem with these are they fail to answer the most important question: Why should I want to watch this film? They are discriptions of the settings, genre, and running gags, but not of the STORY. Who is it about? What happens to them/What do they learn? Where does it happen? When does it happen? Why does in happen/Why is it about this person?

And most importantly: Why would anyone want to see this story?


I just get sick of describing things as "Ice cream driver struggles against his own misanthropy." Had to do that for four years in film school, and aside from a small section of the populace, it really doesn't help to sell your movie or tell what it's about. I prefer to try and describe things more as a trailer would, and let people find out a bit from watching/reading. Describe the entire movie to them ahead of time is sort of useless, because then, why would they see your movie anyway? :)

Just a difference in how you pitch something, really.

jmBoekestein
02-01-2005, 06:34 PM
In reply to the original question,

I'd say you're dealing with angst here. Things like the tsunami, terrorists which have people think that they're next, the big millenium change which didn't change anything except numbers in the calednars. Also the effect of mass media on this angst hasn't been working for a good resolution, it has only been feeding it. The facts add up to people longing for heroes, and if reality doesn't provide them than story writers will give them what they want.
You should also remember that the people who are controlling these industries are "tuned " to general opinion, all the disaster movies and so on are based on general interpretation of science run through the general opinion and accessability adaptation. And then plugged to a generally ignorant audience, even further panicking them. The longer these tensions and disappointments build up the more they long for heroes and abnormalities. Luckily these things quite down after a while as soon as there is no more direct reminders of the troubles that are now happening, the effect is quite accute too.
That's my 2 cents.
edit: I forgot to mention that all these panic attacks also bring up the wanting for the "strong daddy", a most familiar person and the strongest in the world if I recall listening to all my classmates when I was a kid.

fwtep
02-01-2005, 06:36 PM
I just get sick of describing things as "Ice cream driver struggles against his own misanthropy."I think that what "flawedprefect" was saying is that he doubts that any of those stories goes any deeper than the surface plot.

Had to do that for four years in film school, and aside from a small section of the populace, it really doesn't help to sell your movie or tell what it's about.But when you submit a script or go to pitch it you're not dealing with the general populace, you're dealing with people who know a thing or two about movies and stories. I'm not saying that you should pitch Raiders of the Lost Ark as "a adventure film about a man struggling to come to terms with his own beliefs and his past relationships," but those elements should be at least part of the pitch (in my opinion). People that *do* have a clue about story will want to see that *you* have a clue too, and that you haven't just strung together 50 cool things you've seen in movies or comic books.

Fred

Bonedaddy
02-01-2005, 06:50 PM
I think that what "flawedprefect" was saying is that he doubts that any of those stories goes any deeper than the surface plot.

Ah, okay. That's a valid argument. But showing the depths of a script is fairly difficult with just a two, three sentence description. :) I'm trying to make mine a bit deeper, believe it or not, trying to find time to write...


But when you submit a script or go to pitch it you're not dealing with the general populace, you're dealing with people who know a thing or two about movies and stories. I'm not saying that you should pitch Raiders of the Lost Ark as "a adventure film about a man struggling to come to terms with his own beliefs and his past relationships," but those elements should be at least part of the pitch (in my opinion). People that *do* have a clue about story will want to see that *you* have a clue too, and that you haven't just strung together 50 cool things you've seen in movies or comic books.

Well said. Didn't realize I was under such scrutiny. I'll try and post some of my more in-depth stuff here a bit later, see how that goes.

dobermunk
02-01-2005, 06:58 PM
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=206930
guys, BoneDaddy, whatcha think? (just whipped it out, but take it, twist - show by example!)

flawedprefect
02-01-2005, 11:00 PM
But showing the depths of a script is fairly difficult with just a two, three sentence description. :) I'm trying to make mine a bit deeper, believe it or not, trying to find time to write...


Please don't feel I was dissing your film. :) I happen to like the idea. As far as a pitch goes, however, it is only dressing you are describing, and not the story.

I can't remember where I read it, but a famous writer (of films) once said: "If you can't describe your film in fifty words or less, then it won't make a good film".

wiserender
02-02-2005, 05:30 AM
Yes what happend to movies like "the Graduate" "Midnight Cowboy" and if we look far back in cinema history; "On the Waterfront".
What happened is mass-commercialisation, the kind that is beautifully ilustrated in the documentary "the Blockbuster Imperative". Media conglomeration opens the door to frainchisment more product placement and movies made because they have high marketability. The main problem is they are tailor making movies for the most profitable (and gulible) demographic, teenagers.
I think the answer to the problem is independant film and animation which lets you create anything, it only takes time. So, lets get to work!

ps. Consumer advocasy works: if they stop paying for this mind-numbing entertainment; they will stop making it.

flawedprefect
02-02-2005, 06:16 AM
What happened is mass-commercialisation, the kind that is beautifully ilustrated in the documentary "the Blockbuster Imperative". Media conglomeration opens the door to frainchisment more product placement and movies made because they have high marketability. The main problem is they are tailor making movies for the most profitable (and gulible) demographic, teenagers.


Yes... and no. Granted: there is a huge motion towards the cross-marketable movie that allows for product placement; merchandising and profit from sequels, but I tend to steer away from many of these types of films. Their success is usually only in terms of dollar value, and with the growing price of a movie ticket, the urge to screen Said Movie in as many theatres as possible on opening weekend, and the insane ammounts spent of marketing the film - all ensures maximun profitability... but does it ensure that the film marketed is one we want to see?

On the other hand, films like the Pixar animations have little scope for product placement, for example (here's a question: did anyone spot a used coke can or Orios packet in "a bug's life" or Toy Story? What brand of chips was the toy collector eating?), and one movie even made a point NOT using a popular chain for its pivotal fast-food outlet scene (Toy Story - Pizza Planet). Of course, the marketing opportunities keep coming, and you can get all sorts of figurines over the counter at McDonald's... but is this going to continue once Pixar breaks away from Disney (sorry - if)?

Many films such as "Eternal Sunshine of a spotless mind" have been quoted in these forums, which is encouraging, because I feel as though I am surrounded by more than mere consumers, but people who actually watch films! Go you guys!

Teenagers were the demographic of last decade. Today, it is the "tween" - 8 to 13 year olds, who hold the pester power card. Please, prove me wrong if there is someone in this demographic here, but IMO, I believe this age group knows little of story structure, the human condition, or the elements that make a good story. The movies that cater to their list of what makes a good film are all present in the blockbusters of the past few seasons: big bangs, loads of cool action sequences, sci-fi fantasy and action hero settings. The dressing is what enthralls and gets attention - not the storyline or plot. Perhaps one assumes that the story will be good because the ads look good?

RobertoOrtiz
02-02-2005, 06:32 AM
Great replies guys.
I have some points to make.

Indies are not exactly Indies either:

One thing that i have to express is that in my opinion Indie movies have also been suffering in the past few years too.

(and boy do I have a huge axe to grind about the current crop of indie films. I mean come on, how can a films in Sundance 2005 with Kevin Cosner, Robert Downey Jr and Michaele Keaton be considered indies is beyond me. )

What are real people:

And to answer a previous question, by real people I mean people who act and behave like they live in a world of jobs, mortages, car payments good days and bad days. I am not saying that the script cannot be a fantasy of scifi, but the foundation of the character backstory has to be solid.

In films like Kramer vs Kramer, Serpico, Blade Runner, Dog Day Afternoon the characters felt like real breathing people. A great example of a movie that got it right was Eternal Sunshine.
That movie had a very real relationship that made the whole concept work in a great way.

For example the movie "Office Space" is a brilliant film. I fyou have worked more than 10 minutes in a REAL job, you will understand how true the humor of the movie is. Sadly most filmakers do not have that connection with reality. If they did, it would show more on the scripts.

What are memorable characters:

And there have been great blockbusters with real characters.
I have a simple test do determine if the characters felt real to me or not.
If I can remmember the name of the character, then the movie did something right.
Think about it, from Michael Corleone, George Patton, Henry Jones,Belog, Vazquez, Hudson, Ratboy, Coffee and Onenight.

Let me put it this way,

Can you remmember ANY character for Pearl Harbor?

-R

Vajra
02-16-2005, 04:08 PM
I have greatly enjoyed this thread... its helped the boredom of scannning documents over and over.

hah.. i think i rember one character from pearl harbor the guy named Red i belive side character lost his finace to the attack but i am just messing around thats an excellent point Roberto. I can't remember any of the supposed main characters.

anyways one thing i was curious about with eternal sunshine that urks me a little is though what you have said is true the movie did do alot of relationship work and as well did do work with characters and work and such. Though i think the one thing is as far as i remember they never went into what jim carreys character did that always bothered me he seemd like a writer or a artist of some sort but they never said. I am wondering did that bother anyone else or does anyone else have an opinon on what he actually did?

W-I-L
02-17-2005, 08:06 PM
see closer .... want real people in real relationships in rela life see closer. powerful film in my humble opinion.

Fierras
02-22-2005, 12:27 PM
Well I don't believe that movies with 'realistic characters are disapearing but that they just don't get as much publicity as the typical american holywood movies.
If you want realistic you should watch European movies in the genre of 'Dogma95' or movies from Pedro Almodóvar

Trojan123
02-28-2005, 06:29 AM
What happened to stories about REAL people?

One thing that has struck me in the past few years is how
more and more I catch myself realizing that the characters
in almost all movies that are coming out, have very little
connection to how people behave in the real world.

Most characters seen to be living in the same universe as the show "MTVs:The Real World"
With no discernible source of income, unrealistic relationships, and no real consequences to actions.

Sadly I have seen also that this trend hasmoved into Indie films .

Why is this?

In movies from the 70's and 80's you could still feel a palpable realism in the quality of the characters and the writing.

What has been lost?

-R

Here's what happened: a generation that ate and drank so-called "reality tv" like "The Real World" went on to produce crap like what they have been fed.

How about a music video junkie? What films will he/she produce?

A video game junkie? Quake: The Motion Picture.

What has been lost? Real life, that's what. Filmmakers of the 70's didn't have the media info-tainment deluge that today's message and agenda driven "filmmaker" had.

SB

greynite1
02-28-2005, 10:53 PM
The thing about them is that they take a bit more time and effort to understand and absorb and as someone said earlier that alot of the movie going populace goes to movies to escape not to be challenged. Thus why the block buster and big bang shoot em up movies are so popular. Spiderman 2 worked so well because it managed to blend all these elements. In my opinion the screen writers were trying to make peter a real person. thats part of the whole character of Spiderman that he is a normal guy who has been given amazing responsibility on top of everything else he was trying to do.

Its very possible for more of these kind of movies to be released and do well. Hollywood studios buy up hundreds of scripts every year and 9/10ths of them I think never get made they just sit there. Hollywood right now from what I see In the current market is terrified of almost anything but a sure thing. It needs to have mass appeal because it needs to make huge box office. They have been trying to recapture the profit margins from the 80s to mid 90s but are doing alot of other things then what made them that money to begin with.

This is just me but I think one of the most damaging things to good movies is having so many hands in the pie of script writing and dynamic script changes on the set even.


another issue is that not everybody wants a deep thought provoking movie. I personally think the concept of the test audience and focus groups should be gotten rid of. You don't get movies like Easy Rider and the Exorcist through focus groups because the best movies are always gonna offend someone.

Just some ideas.

Ghiangelo
03-01-2005, 11:09 PM
Real people?

i'm not sure if story telling has ever been about real people. myth narratives are generally larger than life images. for the most part only the basic humanistic archetypes are maintained in narrative.

ghi

bdeda
03-02-2005, 11:33 PM
Another point is that many of us here on cgtalk are or are trying to hone a craft in the creation of visual effects. Realistic movies are great. I loved American Splendor. It spoke for the nerd in all of us. But, as for the nerd in me, I want to geek out on the computer, dreaming of the worlds I can help bring to life. Effects movies are still developing in the craft of storytelling, and I think its partly based on a motive to become as great, in our generation, as the world of Star Wars (the original three) became when we were kids.

The basic plot constructs used in the movies can be generalized down to a plot that has been recycled many times. Lots are Shakesperian. Many of us can connect with the stories due to the romaticism of the characters. Scifi tries to use these constructs, but often fail when they overemphasize the effects.

What would you rather see, Spiderman bursting into the room telling you how he fought Dr. Octo on the train, or witnessing it firsthand?

Yes, we need realistic qualities in order to connect the viewer with the characters. We need to empathise to some degree. But I'd rather watch a movie that leaves me feeling empowered (or humored) through that empathy, that a movie that makes my life seem that much more futile.

Matellis
03-04-2005, 11:25 AM
We as humans want to feel that we are greater than animals. So we protray our selves in that way. If we didnt and never started doing it back in the biblical days maybe we would all be more humble and have more respect for what we do have instead of dreaming about what we could have. So making these movies that are unrealistic in my opinion is putting images in our subconscious that we are greater like the super heros we see maybe we actually see the person or situation as our own and actually beleive it. Now if that is a good thing or bad I personal am still debating.

fwtep
03-04-2005, 04:33 PM
We as humans want to feel that we are greater than animals. So we protray our selves in that way. If we didnt and never started doing it back in the biblical days maybe we would all be more humble and have more respect for what we do have instead of dreaming about what we could have.We'd have never even made it to those biblical days if we weren't like that. Don't for one second think that animals are any different. Think they're compassionate and would never hurt a fly? Think they're not willing to do whatever they want in order to stay alive?

I love my opposable thumbs and try to use them every day.

Fred

Megalodon
03-05-2005, 06:42 AM
We'd have never even made it to those biblical days if we weren't like that. Don't for one second think that animals are any different. Think they're compassionate and would never hurt a fly? Think they're not willing to do whatever they want in order to stay alive?

Fred

I think that the vast majority of animals don't do what they WANT to do, they do what they HAVE to do in order to survive. Oh, there may be some that kill because it's a sport - but not most. Compassion may not necessarily be an animal trait, but it is one we humans need to improve upon. Regardless of the traits of animals, humans have the ability to decide NOT to harm.

Megalodon

sonicstrawbery
03-05-2005, 10:28 AM
To second my opinion that stories with real people are a cultural thing, take a look at the cinema events of the past week... precisely "the cesars"

i saw the ceremony and i saw only stories with real people...no sci-fi, fantastic, horror...

The big winner of the competion is an arabic guy who made "L'esquive" (a title that probalby nobody knows here...), this guy made a beautiful film about immigrated kids involved in the staging of a play (old french play...), we can consider this film being a real story with real people in the real world because the characters and the environnement are an excellent mirror to the society... The problems and questions raised in this film come directly from the reality... that is what i call a story with real people...

lostPin
03-21-2005, 06:04 AM
I think that it's mostly about our ustoppable appetite as human beings. I mean, things that used to make us happy and content once, will not be the same the next time we use them. We always want a bit more. It's like when you make your two minute 3d film, at the time you see it you imagine in your head making a better one, longer, with a better story, with better effects. We believe in our supreme power as human beings, the power that makes the things we dreamed come to reality... And maybe these super-hero things only fosters that feeling. Although, we again find ourselves traped in this reality, realising that we're only human. Imperfect. And then, we go again;)

neiy0
03-25-2005, 03:40 PM
I agree that I think the realization of life in movies is becoming less and less. Perhaps it is because we want to escape from reality for a while, and let our imaginations run wild. Or, perhaps it's because we want to get away from the pressing every day reality that we live in, and movies are often the best 2 hr. escape. However, that is why movies like Garden State, Motorcylce Diaries, the Incredibles etc.. are so good. Now a days, all of the movies seem to be a long the same lines, where there is no reality. And that's just why the few movies that incorporate reality in them are so good. The Incredibles, for instance, when have you seen an animated flick that contains a family haveing an actual fight and the parents yelling back and taking charge. It just doesn't happen in the animation world. That's why the Incredibles appealed to such a wide audience because even though they were animated, and even though they were "super" they still had real life things happen to them that people could relate to. I know everyone here has wanted to throw their boss through 5 walls a few times;)

The thing is, it's just a trend that the movie companies are going through. It's obviously a good one too, because most people seem to be doing it. Robot's for instance is just another example of escaping from reality into some fake world.

There are also these stupid comedy movies out, that follow along the lines of stupid humor, and slight romance. Movies such as: Guess Who, American Wedding, Not another Teen Movie, Up the Creek Without and Paddle, etc.. These movies are yet another escape from reality, but in a funny sort of way, where everything always turns out for the best (well, for the main character(s) anway).

I think that the tables will turn someday, but until then, we have the chance of waiting for the next biggest movie that relates to us in some way or another. :thumbsup:

fwtep
03-25-2005, 08:53 PM
Things are just as they've always been in movies. The percentage of movies about "real life" is about the same today as it was 10 years ago, 20 years ago or 80 years ago. There's always a mix, and in each generation people bemoan the fact that movies aren't "real" any more. Then a few years later they look back and say it again. There are movies with a more realistic view of life, but just as always, they're not big audience pleasers. How many of you saw Sideways as opposed to how many saw Spider-Man 2?

The movies are there, but you have to actually get off your butts and see them. Not only that, but see them in the theater instead of waiting for DVD or HBO. If no one sees them in the theaters they'll stop putting them there.

Fred

lostPin
03-28-2005, 10:01 AM
I think that Hollywood only reflects the demands of the mainstream population and their taste. It is a big industry with high budgets and monetary risks taken. It cant allow itself to post movies to the cinemas without knowing if the population will accept it and give money to see it. Because if they dont give their money, an investment fails, and there you see mad sponsors, producers, etc., and you never get to do anything like that anymore. And if you really want to make anything that will have an off-the-stream subject, which very few people will understand... you are left alone to struggle for your film.

I belleive that the problem has deeper roots. People who are highly exploited, physically and mentally(and that circles almost 90% of the working class) will never have the power to face something that would be an intelectual challenge. After pain comes pleasure and nobody would like to see a truth statement that would only increase their pain and remind them of the miserable and repetitive life they lead. Sometimes I even wonder if its truth that people want...or just getting and having temporary pleasure.

.J.
04-01-2005, 10:58 PM
random thoughts:

'escapism' has permeated more areas of day-to-day life such that 'reality' and movies about real people and real problems are sometimes regarded as novelties, quaint vignettes, rather than offering the audience things with which they can truly identify. how connected are we? most movies have a variety of elements through which a story unfolds. which of those elements are most commonly elevated? which do we embrace?

Lique
04-02-2005, 07:16 AM
I understand RobertoOrtiz talking about. Things that make sense as in reality. Yes it can be sci-fi or fantasy or anything, but everything must make sense. The cause of an action, the consequences, reasons, and also the stories behind the movie it self.

Movies like the day after tomorrow, okay his father was able to reached his son's place, then what? Die together in that place? Oh no of course no, because there were helps coming to rescue all of them by helis. Make me wonder daddy's frens were dead because of nothing? Why cant daddy use helis join with proper rescuer? It's like forcing to put a lame story of daddy rescuing his son, just so the movie have a 'story' beside showing all those end of world special effects.

lostPin
04-02-2005, 07:28 AM
I beleive that the problem today is that it is a lot easier to escape and temporarily forget about all of your problems than to sit down, think about it all and find a solution to the problem. It seems that people forget the pleasure of standing pround before a solved problem. Its happening in the game industry too. Games used to be more schematic and problem-solving, and today they are turning into wow-graphics, wow-sounds, wow-and-more empty enjoyments. Is this what we are really demanding? The minds of the people are turning passive. And when the mind is passive, boredom prevails. And boredom needs these brainless staff that pop up the box-office.

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