Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Must movies be pure narrative stories?

I'm a fan of Brian Godawa ( But his latest blog on the movie Hero is annoying. Godawa is a philosophically minded Calvinist, which is one of the reasons I like him, but at times, he just raves too much!

He has a ton of good stuff to say, but sometimes I just wish he'd cool off!

Here's what he said about Hero:

Tarantino is not to be trusted. This movie is boring. I walked out after the first third of the movie because it had no soul. Okay, I understand that these movies are the Chinese version of superheros. But I guess I just don't like Eastern superheros because they think that emotionless expression is
somehow “deep”, when all it really is is dramatically uninteresting. Human beings are emotional beings, so universal emotional suppression in all characters is simply boring drama. Yeah, yeah, my western prejudice. And in this case, my western prejudice is simply superior for dramatic story. And if you doubt that, just look at the worldwide gross of OUR superhero movies as opposed to these Eastern superhero movies, and well, your doubt will dissolve. Also, a movie that is a string of long 5 minute fight scenes, one after another, just doesn’t make good story. Sure, the choreography and cinematography is cool, but choreography and cinematography IS NOT STORY, they are enhancement to story. Without story, they become boring shallow style without substance. And that’s what Hero is: style without substance.

My goodness! Story is fine and dandy, but what about non-narrative poetry? What about Painting, or photography? There are all sorts of books. There are books of Art and Poetry. Can't there be films of Art and Poetry?

I think so, and I see this as a good example. Maybe I'll email Godawa.

But I think it's ridiculous that he walked out so early and then complained about lack of story and emotion. Another reason he didn't like it is probably because he knew it was done by Tarentino. I didn't know that till the credits. I haven't seen Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill, but this really seemed quite different from what I've heard of them. Goes to show how influential our pre-suppositions are.

What do yall think about film and story, etc? (BTW, I agree with alot of what he says about story, I just think there can be different kinds of movies, most being stories though)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't seen Hero yet (though now you've made me want to!), but I agree that there should be no unwritten code of what components a film must contain in order to be a success. Art is art, and art is known to develop different styles with time, so why should films be any different? Actually, given the formulaic "narratives" of most Hollywood movies, I'd rather see something new and creative!


12/02/2004 6:39 AM  
Blogger Stejahen said...

It's good, you should see it. Very beautifuly done.
I agree with what you say on art, I don't know why Godawa wouldn't see that.

Godawa reminds me of Mad Eye Moody in the Potter books. (see new post, it was originally a comment, but it grew to long) Have you read any of the later ones? I really enjoyed them.

12/02/2004 9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, I still haven't gotten past book 2 or so. Alas for a reading list too long and time too short...

12/02/2004 11:21 PM  

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