I’m reminded of the recent Oscar-winning movie Birdman, starring Michael Keaton as a washed-up former superhero actor struggling to reestablish himself as a serious director against public doubts and a malicious theater critic.
In one scene (and I’m paraphrasing here) he confronts the nasty critic and says “What the **** has to happen to you for you to want to be a critic?” He goes on to tear down the entire “industry” of professional criticism, pointing out that they sling lazy insults and labels without putting in any thought toward the techniques, structure, and artistic intentions in a director’s work. He points out that he’s risking everything by staging his own production, but that it’s easy for the critic because she’s risking nothing at all.
This isn’t to say that people can’t have an opinion on a film without also being a filmmaker, but a lot of online bashing DOES amount to lazy and simplistic insult hurling. 99% of the Prequel bashers I’ve seen can’t even tell you about the saga’s themes of parent/child relationships and generational conflicts, or the way the saga mirrors itself and comes full circle, but they’re very quick to spout off complaints using the usual memes and catchphrases. “Practical effects,” “wooden acting,” “trade disputes,” etc.
When it comes to the geek media, you have to strip away even the surface layer of professionalism found in most media criticism and add in an unhealthy dose of obsession. Almost none of the bashers out there are actual writers and filmmakers, and their suggestions on “how things should’ve been” are often far worse or devoid of thematic depth. Of the ones who ARE actual creators, I’ve seen more than one eating crow when their own work ended up being picked apart.
You want to know the worst thing about so-called critics? Half of them never watch the entire movie before bashing it. True fact! I’ve read reviews where the critics even said they only watched the few few minutes of a movie before walking out on it. I never listen to critics anyway. Their opinion is only one point of view and most of the time I love the movies they hate.
Yes! That scene does totally sum up my feelings of the critics towards lucas and the prequels! as an artist myself i can honnestly say screw the critics! they got the easy job…they judge what I create! they risk nothing!
Has Redlettermedia ever attacked a film that isn’t disliked by the majority of the online geek community?
If you’re going to ridicule films for a living, why don’t you be brave and attack a Tarantino film? They don’t because they’re afraid the cool kids will tape them to the flag pole and dunk their heads in the school’s toilets.
They don’t really speak their minds, they’re cowards. They aren’t offering a fresh insight on anything. They’re just part of the problem. It’s a protracted teenage angst. They’re scared of being real individuals and risking isolation.
Perhaps they don’t want to wind up like the banished Jar Jar Binks from the beginning of TPM. In any case, they aren’t at all like Teddy Roosevelt or George Lucas.
“Cools, nerds, your side, my side, man, it’s all bullshit. It’s just tough enough to be yourself”-Ronald Miller (Can’t Buy Me Love)
As I mentioned in a comment to a previous post, the problem isn’t with critics as a concept; its the methodology (or lack thereof) of criticism applied. Good criticism focusses on a balanced examination and exploration, using prior knowledge of the artist and of the genre to analyze aspects of the material and support specific interpretations. Bad criticism focussing mainly on hyperbolic nitpicking of elements without adequately justifying the disapproval, without explaining why such elements were supposedly “the wrong direction” in the first place. The issue at stake here isn’t criticism the Star Wars prequels – they’re a work of art, therefore, they anticipate and even invite criticism – it’s that the more popular Internet-based critics prefer the close-minded nitpicking approach that doesn’t reveal much constructive insights about the works, the artist(s), or the audience.
Further to my suggestion about making a video in tribute to George Lucas.
I want to thank Susan for stepping foward. This means a big deal to me. I want George to know that his movies aren’t universally hated and that his movies have touched many lives.
I also like Heidi’s suggestion to do a recording with her sister. That is my intention. To show that Star Wars fans are more then the typical online, hate filled Geek. I want this video to show as many people as possible telling him how Star Wars has influenced their lives.
I really hope that George will see this. I know that I have no hope in hell in actually meeting him face to face. California is a long way from England. But I want to DO something.
It’s like what Anakin said in The Phantom Menace: The biggest problem in this universe is that nobody helps each other.
“It’s like what Anakin said in The Phantom Menace: The biggest problem in this universe is that nobody helps each other. – so true!
I’m more than happy to make this video and I hope everyone else on the site gets involved too – but please remember to record a short message. (please pass that along) Youtube only allows videos that are 10 minutes long, but hopefully they’ll make an exception due to the nature of our video. If not, I could always make a second video including everyone’s messages telling people to watch that one too – Parts 1 & 2.
It would be nice if I could promote our video so more people could see it, but I’m hoping someone “in the business” will watch it and share our video with Mr. Lucas.
Ah all the usual ***holes in this pic up above, not including Lucas of course. All those idiots are the “I could make a better PT than Lucas did” types. RLMoron and belatedmedia are the biggest offenders of this.
There are people that praise RLMoron about being “insightful” and “intellegint” in his so called “reviews” I myself have never seen any of those 2 attributes within those abortions he calls “reviews” And he claims to have gone to film school? Well I can see that education is being well utilized/sarcasm.
But what is worse than RLMoron themselves is their follow…er, fans. Anyone that thinks their “reviews” are good heartfelt analysis need to get their SW fan status revoked!
The myth cyclical form of GL’s Star Wars, required that the first trilogy be more ambiguous. He had always implied that it would be different to the OT in this way, just as he had implied that the sequel trilogy would be more dreamlike.
It was financially a major successl, he made the movies he wanted artistically, revived Star Wars all round, GL enjoyed the overall creative & innovative cinematic process & experiences & was proud of the films. I don’t think one loud disgruntled ‘section’ among many of the movie going public figured into things too much for him, in a business sense or otherwise, & which didn’t really start winding up until a few years after anyhow.
Down the track, 4 billion whoopies is alot of potential chaos, & i’m not really assuming too much about the whys and wheretofores of a new era’s offerings either way. I appreciated what the live action prequel cinematic era added or made of my own Star Wars fandom & where it came from 🙂
They’ll never leave the poor man alone. That’s why it’s so important we make that video thanking him for ALL his movies. He may never see it, but at least we’re trying to let Mr. Lucas know he’s still appreciated.
George Lucas’ input into Cinema is incomparable thing. If we look at all his contributions we will quickly realize that nobody came close to his amount of achievements. Other recipients of the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award or the AFI Life Achievement Award are great men and women but none of them, not even Alfred Hitchcock, can say that they did as many things for Cinema as George Lucas did. It is obvious for every historian that George Lucas’ place is with forefathers of Cinema like Charles Chaplin, D. W. Griffith, Cecil Blount DeMille and Erich von Stroheim – they were those guys who reinvented cinema as Art with its own language, and some of them received almost equal amount of bashing and hatred during lifetime.
But History puts all on its place. There are geniuses like J. S. Bach who lived in obscurity and were forgotten for quite a many of years. George Lucas was fortunate enough to be both successful and famous. He was honest in his movies and that is why his movies will last.