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Sympathy For the Devil
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Dr. E. Worm
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Post Sympathy For the Devil Reply with quote
I whole-heartedly support Uwe Boll.

Were the hardcore gaming community (or even the casual movie-going community) to give out licenses, the above sentence would get mine revoked. Hell, even whispering such a thing in certain circles would get me drawn and quartered, or at least flamed. But the statement is true, so I have to stand by it. This is, of course, not to say that his movies are good, because his movies are awful. They are total insults to the art of cinema and putrid flatulence in the face of video games. They are so astronomically mediocre that they shoot way past the "so bad it's good" vibe of the films of Ed Wood (Boll's spiritual predecessor of sorts) and straight into the realm of "so bad it's unwatchable."



All of this is irrelevant, though, for one key reason:

Uwe Boll loves Uwe Boll's movies. Even more importantly, he loves making them. At the very core of the creative spirit, especially the indie filmmaking spirit, is not talent, but passion, and Boll's got heaps of it. Directors like Michael Bay and Brett Ratner make movies similar to Boll in that they're big, loud, and dumb. These movies have higher production values and better marketing than Boll's, and they are often at least fun, if nothing more than empty spectacle. As such, they make endless millions at the box office, but unlike Boll's movies, which can't even always find proper distribution (see: Postal...or rather, don't), Bay's and Ratner's have no soul. These types of directors are only in it for the money, and they don't have anything to take pride in because they themselves haven't really made anything at all. Their movies are crafted by focus groups, boardrooms, and bottom lines, not by a passion for filmmaking. And it doesn't stop there in the slums of Hollywood. There are good, even great directors with less artistic integrity than Uwe Boll. George Lucas hasn't poured his entire heart into a film in almost two decades, and even the great Steven Spielberg whores himself out every other project to maintain his bazillionaire lifestyle.

In case you've lost me at this point, yes, I just made the claim that, currently speaking, Uwe Boll more consistently conveys a sense of artistry than Steven fucking Spielberg. That's precisely what he is, though: an artist. He might be a bad artist, even a terrible one, but he's an artist nonetheless. Boll has a pure passion for creation that rarely exists in today's film "industry," and for that he earns my respect and admiration.

I'm not saying that we should go to see his movies. There's no reason why we should ever subject ourselves to such garbage, let alone pay for it. All I'm saying is that we can learn a lot from his example. How many of you can honestly say that you've always done the things you love regardless of what anyone else thinks? Of the few of you who can, how many of you can say that you're so passionate about your work that you've literally fought your critics in a boxing match for its honor? Nobody can say that. Nobody, that is, except for Uwe Boll.

Boll represents (almost) everything that's good about filmmaking, about entertainment media in general, even about Fourth Perspective. He creates because he loves to. Because he is compelled to. Because he is an artist.

Rock on, Uwe Boll. I hate your movies, but I love your spirit.



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Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:27 pm View user's profile Send private message
Michael Danton
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Honestly I can't agree with that sentiment, not that I've got anything against the man personally because he's on a marvelous wicket -- continually pumping out all these lousy films and coming back the next day to do it again! Therein lies the problem, he's been given all the opportunities and resources in the world to create a cinematic masterpiece and he's squandered the chance that the rest of us were never given. Not just once either, he's probably done it half a dozen times now -- I don't want to get too vitriolic but even a blind pig can find a truffle. Is the directing world so unreliable and unpredictable to make Mr. Boll of all people a prized commodity?

I don't think the "spirit" of it or "art" really comes into play. Take "Alone in the dark" (please!) for instance, although I haven't been keeping up with the sequels since the first game. Maybe they should have kept the original premise of a father searching for a lost child... Instead it was about these alien-like creatures and it was up to dolly boy and dolly girl to save the world from them, I can't remember much since it was thoroughly unmemorable; but long story short, it was complete tripe and wasn't faithful to it's namesake.

I think the bottom line is, he's continually hired to do these films because he's a "McDirector" - meaning that you'll always get the same nauseating slop in a box -- Yet, it's comfortably predictable slop and if you can sell it for a penny more than it took to make, Uwe Boll is going to get another job.

M.

P.S.
I was actually about to post some news of my own and it shares a similar sentiment to this post; but I'll hold off this week. I feel privileged to display your posts prominently as long as possible.

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Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:05 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
LazyPint
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Hmmm, but what if his next movie is well received? Does that make him less of an artist? More of an artist? If it makes a lot of money, does that mean he's only in it for the money?

Are you applauding the fact that he won't stop making films? If so, would you applaud Spielberg or Lucas if they stopped making films?

Is it their fault that the public seems to enjoy these "soulless" films? Is it such a crime to make more of what seems to sell? How can you be sure they don't enjoy making "soulless" films? Maybe that's their entire aim.

Maybe their Wiki page totally disproves that idea. Maybe I'm so drunk that the above statement took about four times as long to type as it should have and I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to be saying. Maybe I've never even seen a Uwe Boll film.

All told, I'm not particularly bothered. I quite liked your post really.

Goodnight.
Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:05 pm View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Dr. E. Worm
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Post Reply with quote
Michael Danton wrote:
Honestly I can't agree with that sentiment, not that I've got anything against the man personally because he's on a marvelous wicket -- continually pumping out all these lousy films and coming back the next day to do it again! Therein lies the problem, he's been given all the opportunities and resources in the world to create a cinematic masterpiece and he's squandered the chance that the rest of us were never given. Not just once either, he's probably done it half a dozen times now -- I don't want to get too vitriolic but even a blind pig can find a truffle. Is the directing world so unreliable and unpredictable to make Mr. Boll of all people a prized commodity?

I don't think the "spirit" of it or "art" really comes into play. Take "Alone in the dark" (please!) for instance, although I haven't been keeping up with the sequels since the first game. Maybe they should have kept the original premise of a father searching for a lost child... Instead it was about these alien-like creatures and it was up to dolly boy and dolly girl to save the world from them, I can't remember much since it was thoroughly unmemorable; but long story short, it was complete tripe and wasn't faithful to it's namesake.

I think the bottom line is, he's continually hired to do these films because he's a "McDirector" - meaning that you'll always get the same nauseating slop in a box -- Yet, it's comfortably predictable slop and if you can sell it for a penny more than it took to make, Uwe Boll is going to get another job.

M.

P.S.
I was actually about to post some news of my own and it shares a similar sentiment to this post; but I'll hold off this week. I feel privileged to display your posts prominently as long as possible.


Let's take it paragraph by paragraph:

1 and 3: Your point here would make sense if Boll was a studio director...but he isn't. He doesn't have all the resources in the world, and nobody is hiring him to do anything or giving him these projects as a "McDirector." He's choosing to make them himself through his own production company and financing them largely by begging around Germany.

2: I'm not disputing the belief that his movies are terrible and that they both ignore and insult their source material, because they very clearly are and do. What I'm saying is that Boll loves the art of cinema, and that even if he doesn't have the talent to make anything even close to arriving at not horrible, he'll settle for "complete tripe" because he loves making movies that much. People like Michael Bay, on the other hand, are McDirectors. They'll take any project that's guaranteed to make a ton of money and allows them to blow shit up or maim people. They are the ones who perpetuate the vicious Hollywood cycle of "nauseating slop in a box," not Boll. The difference is that Boll's slop isn't being force-fed into our mouths. He's only out to feed himself, and anyone else who's dumb enough to want a piece.

4. Wow. Thank you Smile I've also kind of held off on making news posts to let yours and WritersBlock's stay up top for a little while, and I'll continue to do so.

LazyPint wrote:
Hmmm, but what if his next movie is well received? Does that make him less of an artist? More of an artist? If it makes a lot of money, does that mean he's only in it for the money?

Are you applauding the fact that he won't stop making films? If so, would you applaud Spielberg or Lucas if they stopped making films?

Is it their fault that the public seems to enjoy these "soulless" films? Is it such a crime to make more of what seems to sell? How can you be sure they don't enjoy making "soulless" films? Maybe that's their entire aim.

Maybe their Wiki page totally disproves that idea. Maybe I'm so drunk that the above statement took about four times as long to type as it should have and I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to be saying. Maybe I've never even seen a Uwe Boll film.

All told, I'm not particularly bothered. I quite liked your post really.

Goodnight.


And on to the next. Again, paragraph by paragraph, point by point.

1: No, no, and no. As I implicitly stated in the post (though not explicitly, and that's my bad), it's not the fact that Boll's movies are bad or that they don't make a lot of money that makes him an artist. Your last question here, about money, reminds me a lot of the music industry and the concept of "selling out." Now, I listen mostly to indie music, so I have this argument with my more Top 40-leaning friends all of the time, and here's the conclusion that I've come to: merely making a lot of money is not "selling out." Truly "selling out" is changing the nature of your work with the specific intention of becoming more accessible to the mainstream in order to make more money. It's not an easy thing to point out. Not everybody is as blatant about what side they're on (or in the financial position to be as blatant about what side they're on) as Radiohead.

But back to Boll. The real thing that makes Boll an artist is that despite his inability to find either commercial or critical success, he still makes movies. Which brings me to your next paragraph/line.

2: Yes, that is precisely what I'm doing. The fact that he continues to make films proves that he has a great passion for it. People only hate him more with each release, but he doesn't care. Now, as for the likes of Spielberg and Lucas, I would applaud them if they took a break from making films for a little while to reexamine their artistry, because true talent and passion can never really die, but they can be temporarily forgotten over years of mounting cynicism with a showbusiness that's much more "business" than "show." Boll may be a butcher, but at least he's not a rapist (please, somebody tell me that they watched "South Park" last week and understand this analogy).

3: In a way...yes, because these "McDirectors" (as Michael calls them) are the cogs that keep the machine running. And I don't really think that the public particularly likes pointless schlock. They like whatever they're given (case in point: Soulja Boy), and they like what's familiar, and what they're being given at the moment is safe and derivative pointless schlock. Just look at the box office records. There are plenty of bad movies that do very well at the box office, but look at the top two grossing films of all time. #1: "Titanic," which won Best Picture, and #2: "The Dark Knight," which should win but probably won't even be nominated because the Academy has gotten exceedingly stuffy in recent years. Maybe this is just my typical idealistic, mostly baseless optimism speaking, but I think that the unwashed masses really can identify and really do truly enjoy great movies, TV, music, books, etc. They just don't demand it like us pretentious intellectuals do.

But anyway, on to the next point. No, it's not a "crime" that they make more of what seems to sell, but it's also not art. They're just creating and selling commodities, mere things that are made for the sole reason of being sold. Toasters. I don't respect toaster engineers as artists. And I'm actually pretty certain that they do enjoy making "soulless" films, but they aren't passionate about it. Passion is what gives a work soul. As such, "soulless" movies must have passionless directors, or in the case of Spielberg and Lucas and such, generally passionate directors who don't put their passion into this particular project.

4 and 5: Ah yes, drunk posting. Perhaps this response would have had much more spelling and grammatical mistakes in it, but long story short, my town/country sucks when it comes to that kind of thing. Hrrmmm...maybe tomorrow. And thank you for enjoying the post Smile

Phew, my brain is exhausted. Perhaps I'm spending a little too much time and effort defending a man for whom over 300,000 people signed a petition demanding that he stop making movies. But it's the principle of the thing, dammit!

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"No, I don't mind being the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -Ozymandias, "Watchmen"
Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:51 pm View user's profile Send private message
Michael Danton
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Well I didn't know that he did it all himself, likely he still got some industry assistance but that's available to everyone I would think. This changes my position on the matter entirely as he's done it himself, he's made a name for himself and he's free to make any kind of films he likes, enjoys and thinks will be a success. After doing a bit of research on him the other night, I believe he isn't as untouchable as you make out; quite the opposite, I think he cares a great deal what people think and he's probably bitter with people like Michael Bay because he's blotted his copybook and typecast himself as a B-grade director who'll never be given the same opportunities, and honestly I don't think it was his choice to do so and be that way.

He's either really smart or really stupid, I'm not sure which, but he makes himself a target of abuse and he behaves as if he doesn't like it, he's ridiculous- and he doesn't like it when he's ridiculed... He's a bit of an enigma to me and I don't know what drives him. He's got a string of blog-like movies on youtube and he uses this as an outlet to bitterly attack his critics - on the whole, Michael Bay probably gets vastly more criticisms; but he's elevated himself above answering them and manning the desk at the complaints department... Uwe Boll has not and I think it's a case of 'Familiarity breeds contempt'

See video-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi3aMKjBAwI&feature=related

I was condemning of him before, but now I'm inspired that a blind pig can indeed find that truffle! I'm still rooting around for my truffle, but I'm damn pigheaded.
M.

P.S.
The more I see of his work and means of self promotion, I wouldn't be surprised if the anti-Boll petition wasn't his idea. I like the way he works Cool

_________________
"I wouldn't say abrasive. I'd rather say you're a cool soothing groove with a hint of jazz..."

-Alpheez
Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:38 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
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