A Conversation for The Phantom Menace
Rathgrith - Researcher 36670 Posted May 28, 1999
I'm glad the children in your theater were well-behaved. My experience has usually been that they don't know how to act at a movie. When I went with a group of friends to see the re-release of the original trilogy, we had a theater full of 8- and 9-year-olds who never stopped talking throughout the movie. Not whispered questions, but normal talking about completely unrelated topics.
I can imagine that seeing this movie with a theater of (well-mannered) kids the age I was when I first saw Star Wars could be a rather nostalgic experience. I love watching the reactions.
Perhaps the blame lies mostly on the parents. I know I behaved myself when I was brought to the movies as a child. But the parents of the kids I mentioned above either couldn't be found or just didn't care (or were just as loud as the kids were).
I *am* glad I saw Episode I without too many children around, though. I was so eager to watch the movie myself, I doubt I would have had much patience for even the most well-intentioned, quietly whispered question. (Of course, it was 3am. I didn't have much patience for anything at that point in the day.) There is definitely something to be said for watching a movie like that with a crowd of people as excited to see it as I am, who know when to cheer and clap and when to be quiet.
Zach Garland Posted May 28, 1999
Lilly Tomlin had this real cool piece she used to do for this one-woman show she had. It was called "The Search For Intelligent Life in the Universe." It featured her baglady character, Trudy. She was a homeless person who believed she had aliens for friends.
She tried to explain to the aliens the difference between art and real life. She'd show them a can of soup and explain to them that this was soup. Then she showed them Andy Warhol's painting of a Campbell's soup can and explained that THAT was art.
As you would suspect, her alien friends were very confused regarding this planet's culture.
Then the baglady took her friends to see a play. They sat there in the theater and the baglady found herself watching the show, and forgot to pay attention to her alien friends. One of the aliens tapped her on the shoulder and said, "look!" He pointed at his arm where (ironically very much like humans) his armhairs were standing straight up.
The baglady whispered, "yeah! Goose pimples! That's what those are called. You got goosepimples? You like the show that much?"
And the alien whispered back, "not the show, the people!" Then he pointed behind them and she noticed that all these human beings were laughing in unison and crying in unison. The baglady forgot to tell them they were supposed to watch the STAGE. They'd been watching the audience all this time, and that's what gave them goosepimples.
"Trudy" The alien said euphorically, "the stage is soup. The audience? ART!"
So it all depends on your perspective. Are kids watching Star Wars soup to you, or art? Do they give you goosepimples, or do they just get in your way? There's no right or wrong answer to this. It's all a matter of perception and preference.
I prefer to watch the movie. NOT hear the kids. So to me, the kids are soup. However, I understand where others are coming from when they watch children responding to a good movie, and they get goosepimples.
Only ONE dissapointment....
Lost Cause Posted May 30, 1999
Don't worry about HTML not working.. Most code geeks like myself see the code and get caught visualizing it anyway. Now if I start visualizing perl scripting, I ask that you lead me outside and explain what daylight really is.
wingpig Posted Jun 1, 1999
Good, but leave out any reference to Andy Warhol when saying something you want taken seriously.
Zach Garland Posted Jun 6, 1999
Whoever said I wanted to be taken seriously? That was part of the humor. To an alien, the fact that a three dimensional image of a can of soup is just a can of soup but a two dimensional replicated image of a can of soup is art.. well they'd probably have the same problem understanding our still-life paintings. Why paint flowers on a canvas, when it's much more fun canvasing flowers on a painting?
Which I believe was Andy Warhol's point in the first place. We take art too seriously. Andy Warhol did absurd things to cause individuals like yourself not to take him seriously because he was trying to get everyone to question the very value of art itself. Just because many rich and influential individuals applaud and drool over the Mona Lisa doesn't mean you HAVE to like it. I mean if you personally find the Mona Lisa a pathetic thing that doesn't deserve to be called art, that's your opinion.
Those who abhor Warhol's work but applaud Van Gough's or Da Vinci's need to examine why. There are people who think Douglas Adams books are mere hackwork, but then they turn around and read Harlequin novels out of enjoyment. What purpose is art supposed to serve anyway? What's it's definition? I find Douglas Adams work to be art of the highest caliber. He uses the english language like Marcel Duchamp used air. Like the Flaming Idiots use juggling pins. Adams uses words the way Monet used paint.
I do hope for Adams sake his eyesight remains with him as he ages. I'd hate to have to stand thirty feet away from his later books in order to read them.
...uhm.. What were we talking about?
beeline Posted Jun 7, 1999
Nicely put, Z.
I've myself have just had the (sadly too infrequent) amazement of being reminded that all my preconceptions of art are self-centered. I visited the Kandinsky exhibition in London and was helped enormously by one of those CD-audio guides, which told me what Kandinsky intended by his art - what he was trying to explore.
IMHO, it seems to me that art can only be classified into two separate categories:
1 - that which is viewed in the light of the artist's actual intentions, and
2 - that which is viewed using only the viewer's preconceptions and prejudices.
and all other categorization is meaningless.
These two viewing modes produce quite a different effect in the viewer - I didn't have much time for Kandinsky until I understood what he was trying to do. Just the same with Warhol-detractors and -admirers, I guess.
wingpig Posted Jun 8, 1999
Remind me to not sit between you two on the train. I try not to take Art (as opposed to mere art) in any way at all as that's the point - The only thing that Hirst wanker wanted was for people to mention him, which I regret to have to do myself. All I ask of these people is that they occaisonally drop the persona in front of all the pretentious spoons who talk about their stuff in the sunday supplements and laugh at them for taking it all too seriously. It's not the people themselves, it's their acolytes. I suppose it's the same as these $20M-a-film actors getting all "I want a pech backdrop for the press interview, not yellow". They start to take themselves seriously as a result of so many people lauding them and knowing them for their work rather than their person. They being to take on aspects of the work persona as their true persona, the crucial point being that the work persona is all lies.
Zach Garland Posted Jun 8, 1999
Wingpigge please feel free to sit by us on the train and ramble to your hearts content. I for one love it.
Hrung, I've often said any one form of art exists in two forms: the form originally intended by the artist, and the form the viewer senses via their own sensory input. Therefore all art is in a constant state of flux and though it may be a physical construct that is without inertia or change, it constantly changes in the eyes of those who experience it.
Perhaps if we were to somehow tap into this state of flux, and connect it with a really hot cup of tea, we could tap into the energy flow and cause a bowl of petunias to materialize in deep space.
Oh no. Not again.
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