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  • Showing only topics with the tag "movies". Back to normal view
    1. The value of artistic legacy

      My initial reaction to cloud_loud's post about the upcoming Winnie the Pooh slasher movie was viscerally negative - my gut feeling is that my life would be objectively better without a movie like...

      My initial reaction to cloud_loud's post about the upcoming Winnie the Pooh slasher movie was viscerally negative - my gut feeling is that my life would be objectively better without a movie like this in the world tainting a treasured childhood memory for millions of people.

      Then I thought back to my reaction to the Wednesday Addams trailer and it became immediately clear to me that it was just a 'me problem' - I had no sentimental ties to the Addams Family as a kid, but Winnie the Pooh was one of my mum's bedtime story staples. I trust Tim Burton based on his track record to bring a high-quality rendition of Wednesday to the screen, but these nameless & faceless filmmakers were suddenly antagonists in my mind for turning an innocent story about a talking teddy bear into a trashy slasher. But apples & oranges comparison aside, just like how there will be people against the idea of Burton's vision of the Addams family or Tom Hanks' portrayal of Mr. Rogers, there most likely will be people who enjoy this movie when it releases - it just won't be my cup of tea.

      I then started thinking about the implications of franchises reaching public domain like in this scenario - for better or worse, creators can now build upon, remix or bastardize the world and characters of Winnie the Pooh. I recently had a conversation here on Tildes about the necessity of copyright, patent and intellectual property law where @archevel raised the question of whether a person/entity should be able to 'own' an idea, and on the surface the immediate answer is a resounding "no". But thinking deeper about it (especially in this context) pushed me down a different path, calling someone's creation simply an 'idea' is very reductionist. To me, an idea is 'a honey-obsessed talking teddy bear' - there's no characterisation to that, no soul, no story, no sense of being. An idea is a I-V-VI-IV chord progression (and thus holds no legal protections), but shouldn't the artistic integrity of Journey's Don't Stop Believing be protected even after the creators are gone? Why are we so indifferent towards parodies like this when it could just as easily be something more offensive like this that can harm the legacy of the creator just by association? I've always been a proponent of free speech/freedom of expression but thinking about it from this perspective is fascinating to me.

      That's not inherently an issue of something becoming public domain though, it's an issue of preserving the creator's legacy. Copyright doesn't just protect the creator's means to compensation, it protects their right to control their creations - the right to control their artistic integrity and the legacy they leave behind. Knowing that Milne and Shepard created Pooh to entertain children in a wholesome way, I think it's fairly safe to say they would not be happy with a slasher adaptation if they were still alive. If these filmmakers were using Pooh's likeness to parody Xi Jinping and push a communist agenda, would we care more about preserving Milne's legacy then?

      All that brought me to the question of decency - whose moral compass should we guide ourselves by? Where is the line between socially-acceptable satire and obscenity? Western culture has been extremely cagey about some of the most natural things like nudity and sexuality, but here in Australia our government has no issue plastering billboards, bus stops and cigarette cartons with images of nicotine-stained teeth, abscessed mouths and diseased organs in an attempt to warn people of the dangers of smoking & excess sugar consumption - all in the name of public health. Everybody has genitals, why is our government happy to tell us that seeing boobs on a billboard could be potentially shocking for children to see when kids are exposed to NSFL images just by walking past the cigarette shelf in a store or a discarded carton in the street? When our cultural morality is so cagey about something as innocuous as a natural human body, why are we so unconcerned when someone perverts the life's work of a creator just because it's turned public domain? Should the creator have the right to protect their work from beyond the grave?

      I'm willing to bet when Mickey Mouse turns public domain in 2024 the internet will be flooded with Beeple-style grotesqueries (NSFW) and everyone will get sick of profane parodies very quickly.


      Just wanted to post a frame-by-frame analysis of the philosophical rabbit hole I went down today and hopefully stir up a conversation - I know these are fairly deep questions that none of us can really answer definitively but I still love to hear different people's thoughts and perspectives regardless :)

      10 votes
    2. Is there a terse way to say "movies and TV shows"?

      I often wish to refer to both "movies and/or TV shows" in a sentence. I wish to refer only to movies, or only to TV shows, much less often. Is there a word that could mean both? If not, should you...

      I often wish to refer to both "movies and/or TV shows" in a sentence. I wish to refer only to movies, or only to TV shows, much less often. Is there a word that could mean both? If not, should you create it?

      And yes, that is a silly, inconsequential, pedantic preoccupation about language. What can I tell you? I have lots of those. I am what I am :P

      10 votes
    3. Recommend a piece of fiction that gives a specific feeling, regardless of genre or medium

      I've been looking lately for something new to read/watch/listen to/play and I've been chasing a particular feeling that some of my favorite works have given me in the past. It's something that's...

      I've been looking lately for something new to read/watch/listen to/play and I've been chasing a particular feeling that some of my favorite works have given me in the past.

      It's something that's hard to describe succinctly, so it's not exactly easy to just google search for something, and usually just telling people I like x thing gets me y recommendation which is maybe a similar style or genre but doesn't really elicit the particular feeling that I'm after.

      I figure other folks might have a similar problem, so I thought it might be fun to have a thread for requests for works that make you feel a certain way, regardless of genre or medium.

      I'll start mine in the comments and other folks feel free to ask for requests as top-level comments as well!

      22 votes
    4. Intermissions for modern movies - what are your thoughts?

      It seems that movies are getting longer and longer nowadays, and some people (like me) are incapable of holding their bladder for more than 1.5-2 hours, especially when movie-theater-sized drinks...

      It seems that movies are getting longer and longer nowadays, and some people (like me) are incapable of holding their bladder for more than 1.5-2 hours, especially when movie-theater-sized drinks are involved. So this got me thinking: is it time to bring back the movie intermission?

      I'm curious:

      1. Are you for or against the idea of longer movies having an intermission? Why or why not?
      2. How do you think adding an intermission to the movies would affect the experience? And how might it affect the film industry and the films themselves?
      24 votes
    5. How would you theoretically go about mitigating the potential near-complete loss of archived audio and video media from 1990 to 2020?

      This article from last year provides an alarming look into the woes that media preservation (specifically audio and video) is facing this century due to a content explosion that shows no signs of...

      This article from last year provides an alarming look into the woes that media preservation (specifically audio and video) is facing this century due to a content explosion that shows no signs of slowing down. It’s not a new problem, as journalist Bill Holland showed nearly 20 years ago (warning, it’s a long read).

      To summarize: In the past, many predecessors to existing media studios did a bad job of archiving their collections of recorded material. In some cases they actively destroyed or threw out parts of their catalogs to make way for new material. This wiped out portions of the available media to be preserved, especially the older stuff. Now that most studios have improved their archival practices though, their remaining catalogs are facing a new foe: Moore’s Law.

      The problem with LTO (tapes) is obsolescence. Since the beginning, the technology has been on a Moore’s Law–like march that has resulted in a doubling in tape storage densities every 18 to 24 months. As each new generation of LTO comes to market, an older generation of LTO becomes obsolete… Already there have been seven generations of LTO in the 18 years of the product’s existence… Given the short period of backward compatibility — just two generations — an LTO-5 cartridge, which can still be read on an LTO-7 drive, won’t be readable on an LTO-8 drive. So even if that tape is still free from defects in 30 or 50 years, all those gigabytes or terabytes of data will be worthless if you don’t also have a drive upon which to play it.

      If the worst case scenario were to happen, this is apparently what it would look like according to “a top technician at Technicolor”:

      “There’s going to be a large dead period,” he told me, “from the late ’90s through 2020, where most media will be lost.”

      But not everyone is that worried, the article also includes this counterpoint,

      “Most of the archivists I spoke with remain — officially at least — optimistic that a good, sound, post-LTO solution will eventually emerge.”

      /u/boredop and I have been discussing the implications of this in the thread they posted a few days ago about a John Coltrane release, and in the course of that discussion they provided that second link to Bill Holland’s multi-part investigation (thanks!).

      So my question is this: What direct or indirect measures would you theoretically take to prevent or mitigate the loss of the vast majority of recorded media from 1990 to 2020? Should any measures be taken to preserve these cultural artifacts?

      By direct measures I mean innovations to physical archiving or storage methods. By indirect measures I mean public awareness, strategies for choosing what to save, workarounds, etc.

      23 votes