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The accessibility of films to a wider audience and presentation of themes/ideas and (No replies)

Gustavo Perez
3 months ago
Gustavo Perez 3 months ago

In a post I made here about a year ago, I spoke about how frustrated I was having been challenged by a film for the first time in my life. The film in question was "No Country for Old Men."

Since then, I had watched other films that I feel are similar to No Country in how the very film itself represents the themes, or at least what I (with my own biases) think the authorial intent of the piece is as a whole. 

This will be a long one, folks, so take a break here, grab a drink, and relax. 

I was endlessly recommended a piece called "Wonder Egg Priority" by friends and family alike on the grounds that it was beautiful (it's a 2D animation), and the story was profound and moving. However, upon viewing a few episodes of the show, I found myself feeling that same intense discomfort and, at points, anger that I had felt a year ago when I was first exposing myself to films that had more depth than a cup. So,

much like last time, I set out to understand what made me feel this way and why it was that the "thing" in question made me feel this way.

 

here are the notes I took

Visual challenge 

  • Themes are buried and not presented or given to you. 
  • It makes it less accessible to most viewers.
  • It makes it repeat viewing friendly. 

Challenge Substance 

  • Fake depth used to present a challenging topic? 
  • Use of obvious metaphors
  • Discomfort comes from the topic/its presentation ( the stance taken on the topic being commented on), not my ability to understand the grammar of film and cinematography. 

The general conclusion I came to is that the show was more universally praised and accessible to more people because its themes were literally represented on screen (making it easier to understand)

  • the characters have to fight the personification of what caused the suicide of the person they're trying to save. 
  • The cannon fodder minions being called "See no Evils" representing people who see abuse and do nothing. 
  • The main characters progress toward the main goal being shown through the de-petrification of their statue. 

and given quite heavy-handed exposition( often dedicating the later half of an episode to explaining the metaphor)  after the fact in case you don't catch what they were going for with something presented on screen. All of this and other things equal a show with something to say like many "artistic" films; however, the delivery is more digestible.

 

This is where my observations end, and my invitation to dialogue on the topic begins. 

 

I have often heard classmates, friends, and family call films like There Will be Blood and Jarhead boring. (As a tangent, dont even get me started on that rabbit hole because it's one of my favorite films of my childhood. I will debate anyone who tells me it is bad.) The films I mentioned are dropped within minutes or sidelined as bad films. This is because the film required either a preexisting exposure to or understanding of cinema's grammar, making them less accessible. Yet films like JOJO Rabbit, Wall-E, Treasure planet, Rango take that deeper message and make it available to a younger audience by packaging it in a more user-friendly film.

So is there something to be said about making more media that has mature themes packaged in a digestible form?  I'm getting cramps in my fingers, so I'll wrap this one up quickly. 

Thank you to anyone who reads all of this... you must have been bored?

None of my thoughts on the matter are final, so please feel free to give me your take on accessible media. I personally think there is a time and place for both. However, because I love the medium of movies so much, I would like to see more films like JOJO or Wall-E that can introduce younger people to adult themes and help adults deconstruct complex topics from a more simple point of view. 

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