Galvatron II
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Oct 17, 2017 at 8:32 PM
Apr 13, 2013
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Galvatron II

I can type whatever here?

Galvatron II was last seen:
Oct 17, 2017 at 8:32 PM
    1. SMOG
      Incidentally, I just very randomly ran across your thread (that DOTM one that got closed). I have to say, you lay things out really well and make some solid points. As usual, I'm amazed that you have the energy to proactively engage with the movies in such depth, but your critiques are pretty bang on. No surprise that we're in agreement again, I suppose.

      Also, ugh... some of the counter-arguments... I despair. So simplistic. That'll learn ya, I guess. :)
    2. SMOG
      Selling yourself is one of the things you're best at? I see what you did there. :)

      Well, it sounds like you're at the right age to push hard on this, and the tools are more readily available thanks to affordable digital filmmaking alternatives. I felt that too in my teens and early 20s, but I settled down, lost interest, got lazy... ironically, film school was the nail in that coffin. I still love the craziness of production and post-production (especially editing) but everything that surrounds it puts me off.

      Also, filmmaking is such a communal thing, and as an independent, you need to gather people around you who are willing to go the distance on a project. That's tough too. I mean, unless you want to make small documentaries and Brakhage-style experimental work... or animation, I guess. But I suspect you're thinking bigger than that.
    3. SMOG
      I'm kind of done with "film school"... that was years ago. My grad work now is in film studies, so I'm writing on cinema, rather than making it. Once I finish my thesis, my plan is to try to score work in the local college system (in Quebec it's an intermediate level of education between high school and university). If that fails, I guess I'll whore myself out as a voice actor and freelance artist. :p

      I don't know man... film production is a brutal path. If you're really, really driven, and are a pathological networker, you might make a go of it. Or you might just end up as a union technical worker, coasting project to project.

      I'm too happy to find a nice comfy niche and stick with it. I don't have the ambition to make it in an industry where you need to sell yourself constantly.
    4. SMOG
      It's true though... the general streak of anti-intellectualism running through mainstream American culture really premises itself on the "death of the expert". Everyone's opinion is equally valid... to themselves, anyway.

      I mean, I have a degree in fine arts, an honors degree in Film Production, and I'm currently writing my thesis on intersections of film style, populist studio production, and nationalism/transnationalism in Chinese cinema. I managed an independent video store for 5 years and I'm an original 80s TF kid, with an encyclopedic knowledge of the fiction.

      So yeah, I'd say I'm "qualified" to talk about this stuff.

      Working in academia, I'm surrounded by blisteringly intelligent people, but still not everyone agrees on the finer points of various movies. In fact, I think it would be rather easy to make a case for why the Bayformers movies are important and worthy of study, both as stylistic manifestos and as cultural objects.

      But I still think they're garbage. :)
    5. SMOG
      Heh... nowhere near a professor yet. :) Still just finishing up my MA. But when you're a TA for a course, you basically end up grading a LOT (in some cases ALL) of the student work.

      In this course, it's not so bad... the prof and I split the papers evenly. In my first TA gig, I graded ALL the assignments for a two-semester class of 83 students. That was brutal.
    6. SMOG
      :lol I like your style GII.

      Meh. I was just indulging myself in a good old fashioned forum rumble, as a means of putting off grading undergraduate papers. Honestly, most of the people in that thread are still more coherent than second year film students.:redface2:
    7. SMOG
      I agree, of course... though maybe calling their taste in summer escapist fare "pornographic" isn't the most diplomatic approach. :)

      Are there 5 of "them"? I haven't even been keeping track of the screen names. I've been effectively responding as if I was dealing with just one person. And BP of course, since he's a special case. :lol
    8. SMOG
      Haha! Yeah, I saw that. It's pretty dumb.

      I don't see anybody else changing their minds. Why are you the stubborn, argumentative one for not giving in? They don't realize that if they're participating in the disagreement, they are carrying on a debate?

      *sigh* Been there... so many times. :)
    9. SMOG
      That's the healthy level of general contempt that I can respect. :thumb

      As soon as people start piecing it together and saying "wait, it sounds like you think the movies are bad, and to like them means you have bad taste, therefore you think you have better taste than me in movies.... JERK!!" it's time to back away.

      Because the only other option is to say "Well, duh." :)
    10. SMOG
      Oh cripes, don't you start taking things seriously and getting offended now! :lol

      Not really disappointed, but a joke is always better when someone gets it.

      And that thread IS full of philistines, after all... :p
    11. SMOG
      Why WOULD you call me on it? :D
    12. SMOG

      Yup, the same. Considered one of the great authors of the 20th century. But it's a joke really, because it was a pretty facile, obvious reference. I just thought it would be funny to throw into a Bayformers rant. :)
    13. SMOG
      Meanwhile I managed to bring a Nabokov reference into a critique of Bayformers, and nobody applauded. A bunch of classless philistines, I tell you! :lol
    14. SMOG
      Meh. Bellpeppers is as stubborn a customer as I've run into, and I barely even love-tapped him. He probably just had other stuff to do. I don't think either of us wanted to get into a heavy discussion.

      I think you're right about BayPrime being a different beast, one that is specific to the post 911 context. But I also think the geneaology of the American action hero (and sometimes the Belgian or Austrian) definitely plays a role in shaping ideas of acceptable heroism, one that is actually at odds with what Optimus Prime represented on television from the same time. At the least, I think it's formative in Bay's own mythology.
    15. SMOG
      Considering that the main mouthpiece for the "other side" of this debate apparently idolizes Bruce Willis, I think my comment about images of masculinity being shaped by 80s action heroes was pretty on-point. :)

      There are all kinds of action heroes. Indie is the unlikely type, while Bond is despicable in his own ways. But the 80s were definitely the era of truly larger-than-life "real life action figures". Their silliness was what made them appealing... which is why I don't much like Seagal. He always seemed just a bit too self-serious and mean-spirited.
    16. SMOG
      I must be getting old... :redface2:
    17. SMOG
      I prefer stimulating conflict over the kind that makes me feel sorry for people and despair for the future. :(

      Carry on then... :lol
    18. SMOG
      See... this is why I wonder why you bother. No matter what you say, no matter how you say it, no matter how blindingly obvious it is, there will always be someone who will take whatever rhetorical low road they can in order to disagree with your point... and all that effort will be wasted.

      Better to engage in a real dialogue with someone who is at least ideologically and intellectually committed to reaching a greater understanding. BP is not one of those people.

      You're not in the trenches, you're in the gutter! Climb out of there! :)
    19. SMOG
      I think Cameron is a terrifically competent action-film craftsman, and in a way I've always seen Bay as the ugly flip side of the same coin. Cameron's movies (okay, Titanic and Avatar) have become more pompous and intellectually blunt in the last couple of decades... but I think he's still earnest, and still an absolutely solid stylistic baseline for action cinema.

      I think that what bothers me most about Bay is this... it's not just that he makes terrible movies... it's that he doesn't give a shit about anything.

      To me, that's what's unforgivable. There are many bad filmmakers out there, who are at least really dedicated to what they're doing. Bay's movies are actually paeans to his complete and utter contempt for his audiences. They aren't just bad... they are insulting.

      But then, maybe he's got a point. Why shouldn't he be contemptuous of audiences that line up to be insulted, and pay him handsomely for the privilege? That's the bitter truth in all of this.
    20. SMOG
      :lol Yeah, I get it.

      I think auteurism is still a valid approach to studying film, since the director is ultimately the coordinator who sets the creative direction and whose guidance brings all the separate efforts together. All artists work within limitations... materials, time limits, financial constraints, influence from patrons... so a film director is not that different. But I agree that with that, you also have to be attentive to the collective contributions of the filmmaking process as well.

      And I'm still perfectly willing to blame Bay for 99.9% of the Transformers franchise, most especially because he's the kind of successful douchebag who demands complete control of his production. As far as dictatorial blockbuster directors go, at least James Cameron has a fundamentally effective command of craftsmanship. He actually cares about what he's doing... even if what he's doing can be a bit egotistical and pandering at times. :)
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