Thursday, December 29, 2005

Entertainment vs. Change

Is the final goal of a film to simply entertain you or to change you in some manner? Sure, some movies are for pure entertainment and don't hide it. Dumb and dumber isn't going to change you're outlook on the world. But with all the money, time, and effort that goes into making a feature film, don't filmmakers want to accomplish just a little more than entertain someone for an hour or so?

Look at King Kong. That film cost some 200 million, hundreds of people, and 3 years out of their lives to make. THREE YEARS!?! Is the end result just so you can say, "That was cool when Kong punched that dinosaur." If entertainment is the end result, don't waste the time. Sure the studio isn't in it for entertainment, they're in it for the billions they make in return. The key grip is in it for the pay check, he's just trying to make a living. But the director, he should have a higher goal.

The other night Kleiber said he likes to just be entertained by movies before he gets critical with them, and that's fine. But I asked him, with all the work and time he's had with Blasto, would he be happy if all it did was entertain everyone for those two hours? Would he be happy if they just walked away saying, "That was fun. Wanna go to Dave and Busters?" I know I wouldn't.

What's the alternative? Life change? Sure that'd be great, but I don't think a film is THAT powerful. To me a film accomplishes it's goal when it both entertains AND presents an emotional and unique perspective on life. A good film makes people laugh and engage the characters in some way. A great film causes a person to try and connect the pieces of the film with their own life. What if this happened in my life? Am I like that? Is my life like that? Think of your all time favorite movie. Does it in some small way connect to something deeper in you? Something you want? Something you feel?

Rocky I is a great film. It forces people to confront the concept of feeling unworthy, unloved, and unwanted. Rocky IV is entertainment. Neat characters, some okay action. But what are you confronted with? Well besides Rocky bringing an end to the cold war that is.

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