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Jane Q. User [love that sig!] comments:
"While spectacle can be excessive, it can be used to help the narritive in
creating a sense of wonder within the audience which makes them easily
manipulated by the filmaker. Where this stops is when the spectacle overtakes
the narrative and the resultant product is only a shell of what is ought to
be. What it boils down to is, the person watching the film starts to enjoy
the sets or effects more than the characters. (George Lucas has interesting
comments on this.)"
 
 
Then again, there are filmmakers whose "message" lies in the visual aspects of
what they represent rather than in the core of narrative events or the
 definitions
of character traits more typical of classic Hollywood narrative--Bresson,
Dreyer, Ozu are among the more obvious, but I think a film like 2001 (and
 perhaps
most of Kubrick's work) stands here as well.
 
A useful concept here is David Bordwell's discussion of narrative "modes"
(see NARRATIVE IN THE FICTION FILM for a full unpacking).  Since Hollywood
narrative is typically driven by goal-oriented protagonists and stylstic
effects are subordinated to getting the narrative across, viewers who are
 not familiar with or ready to accept other modes are going to find them
"boring" or inept.  In short, one cannot watch 2001 in the same way that one
would watch STAR WARS.
 
As an example, people have often complained that watching Dreyer's GERTRUD is
like watching wallpaper.  Yes, I reply, but what *interesting* wallpaper!
 
Don Larsson, Manakto State U (MN)
 
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