Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bye Bye Bad Post

The previous post was pointless. I didn't notice till now that there are LOTS of comments on this movie on and most of them correct the Iceland mistake. BUT I was the only one who mentioned colonialism and search for identity! :) I wish I had read the other comments before, there is one I would like to comment on. One person said that this road movie failed because faroese people can tell when a certain road does not lead to the right village in the movie. How silly is that?

Every year Ebert has what he calls "cinema interruptus" at CU Boulder, where he screens a movie and has an open discussion with the rest of the audience about every nuance as the movie is playing, stopping it when people want to say something. It is usually quite interesting. But some poeple say some really silly things. I remember one year - I am thinking it must have been when he showed Fargo - that he prefaced that day's discussion (it's a 5-day thing) by saying something to the effect of: "I don't want to hear anything about how this highway does not go to that part of town... It's a movie!"

It's not as if that's the only part of a movie that is fake. Consider the dialog! If people spoke in movies the way they do in real life, it would sound terrible!
-"What do you want to eat?"
-"Don't know. What do we have?"
-Shrugs & sighs.
-"Don't want to spend anymore money right now."
-"Me either."
-"What should we do?"
-"Don't know."
-"Let's just order a pizza."
-"Don't we have anything?"
-"There is always pasta."
-"Let's eat at McDonalds."
-"Ugh. They don't have crap there."
-"Burger King?"
-"Taco Bell."
-"I gotta pee."
(shall I continue?)

Movies aren't life, they are life enhanced. "Life with all the dull bits cut out" Mr. Alfred Hitchcock used to say, but it's more than that. In life, not everyone you are attracted to, is attracted to you. Having a Makeover doesn't always get you the guy. Saving the day doesn't always get you the girl, and how often is the day really saved? In real life, all questions are not answered and neatly tied up in a pretty package and a bow. And horror of horrors - we don't all have our own theme songs. (How come these same kinds of people don't object to the unlikely orchestral music that plays while the actor is driving on a road that does not lead to the following town?)


Elisabeth said...

PS - I noticed it too - that they were on a road that didn't lead to the following village. But then I felt like I was in on some kind of inside joke. Ha ha! I know the faroes well enough to know that road doesn't go there! tee hee.

Elisabeth said...

You know, I have reposted this post about 4 times because I just didn't think the conversation was awful enough? I still don't think it is, but I am done fixing it. It's really hard to write how people really speak. Maybe as an excercise I will go record someone's conversation with a tape recorder. Then I will write what I got out of it in script form - an make it like I would if I were putting it in a movie. Then I will type up the original version and we can see the difference.

Then again, I don't know if that would be interestng for anyone but me.

OR! I could record a conversation, ask a few different people to write a scene with the major points discussed, and main details, and see how that compares.

But then who would write? And again, who would be interested?

Katrin said...

lol, you are so totally right. We shouldn't expect reality. Remember Northern Exposure? Well, I went to the town were it was filmed, and the buildings are not lined up the same way as in the show.

gMoney said...

So are you saying also that you shouldn't complaining about the dancing either? You know, like in Havana Nights, where we both complained about the dancing not being all that great, yet the crowd went wild whenever a silly dance move was completed. Or how we complained that their dance skills were not even good enough to compete let alone make it to the finals. Or how we complained that they didn't have any casino/rueda style of salsa dancing in the movie even though we know that that style was developed in Cuba during the 1950s, at about the time the movie takes place. I have to say, it sounds hypocritical to me.

Elisabeth said...

YOU'RE MEAN! You don't go easy on your wife at all do you?

Ok, it's totally not the same thing. Every film establishes a set of implied rules for the reality of their world. This set of rules can be anything they want it to be, but it has to be adhered to no matter what. Suspension of disbelief will allow audiences to accept this world if all its rules are upheld at all times. There is a difference between thinking personally that it is annoying to see poor dancers playing great dancers in movies (bring fred & ginger back!!!) and the movie losing all credibility for me because the dancers at the club were CLEARLY better dancers than these little punks. As were the other competitors. Now as for the casino/rueda thing. I wish they had gone with that style because the movie would have been cooler/more meaningful to us, but that one isn't that big of a deal to me. If the filmmakers really cared about the dance in the movie, they would have hired dancers who could act instead of actors who couldn't dance (they say the former doesn't exist, but there are a lot of dance numbers performed on broadway!) they would have choreographed the dancing better, and they would have researched the local style a bit. But there is never a rule that you have to film only the roads that go to the towns you are going to. The script calls for a shot of a road with a hill and a tree, you look for that shot. The real one may have ugly signs, wire, construction, etc. in the way, in may not have a stable place to put your equipment, or in the case of BYE BYE BLUE BIRD, getting the angle you need on the real road might mean that your crew and equipment would be suspended over the ocean (until they looked down at which point gravity would catch up with them. All that matter in that case is getting the right kind of shot. For some reason this doesn't feel the same to me as if they made the traditional faroese dance into a couples' dance. Somehow that would be an outrageous lie, and the other wouldn't at all.


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