Where are all the film fans gone? And where did those miserable flaw spotters come from?
Like all avalanches it had been building up for quite some time. It was coming any day now. It was only a question of who would provide the tipping point. It turned out to be my Swedish blogger friend Joel at Deny Everything. All he did was sharing a link to a snarky fake trailer about Prometheus from YouTube, adding the comment that this was the most disappointing film of the year.
It was pretty innocent, really. And it wasn’t Joel’s fault at all. But it was as if I had been served the tiny little mint biscuit, the last little thing that pushes you to the breaking point.
This was it. I had had enough.
Enough of the constant whining, moaning, complaining and nitpicking that has taken over the film podcast-,Twitter- and blogosphere the last year over films such as The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus.
Enough of reviews where the main purpose seemed to be to find as many plot holes as possible (is there some kind of prize for that?)
Enough of top lists over the “worst films of the year”. (Why do you even make such a list? They’re full of problems, as Matt Singer at Criticwire points out in a great post.)
So I sent a couple of tweets about it to let off some steam.
I can’t wrap my head around why film fans these days seem to be disappointed about every film they see. Do you even like films anymore?”
“I wish people could talk more about movies they love and less about the ones they hate. Your disappointment brings me down”.
I got a few replies. The first one came from Joel, who prefers movies from the 80s to newer ones, which he frequently bash on. Now he thought my tweet was aimed directly at him. Joel: it wasn’t. You were just the one who pulled the trigger.
Ryan McNeil at The Matinee tweeted:
Proving you’re smarter than a piece of art is more fashionable than championing it. It’s also easier.”
Word. [Edit: Ryan has now expanded his thoughts in a wonderful blog post: Believe: If you claim to love film, express that love. Go ahead and read if you haven't already.]
I also got support from Will Malone at Malone on Movies:
I have often thought that people look for flaws before looking for the fun. Seems the wrong way round to me.”
James Blake Ewing at Cinema Sights said:
In my case it’s more that I really like movies no one has seen or seems interested in reading about it”.
“For every negative review of a popular film, I have three positive reviews of a film with only a handful of readers”.
That is probably true. I’ve got the feeling that it’s more likely that I will be linked to, talked about, commented on and retweeted if I write a negative review on Hunger Games (I take this example because Joel did this and this post is one of his biggest hits ever) than if I write an enthusiastic post about a film like Laurence Anyways or Reprise. In the case of blogging it seems as if hate sells better than love.
It’s strange when you think about it. At which point did we stop loving movies? And if you dislike so many of the films you watch, why are you watching them in the first place? Unless you’re making a living on it (and very few of us are), it’s not as if you’re forced to go and see them.
Kai B Parker said in a tweet that he’s been to the theatre more this year than he has in years, hashtagging the name of the site he contributes to: “manilovefilms“.
Man, I Love Films.
Try to say it aloud once in a while! Say it with passion and enthusiasm! And if we one day find that we can’t because it isn’t true anymore – well, maybe it’s a sign that it’s time that we start considering picking up a different hobby.
Before you raise the issue: YES, I don’t think all reviews have to be raving positive. Negative criticism can sometimes be justified. I’ve written some negative reviews myself over the years. But they’re never allowed to dominate my mind or this blog. They’re about 10 percent of all the movies I watch. If even that much.
1. Those rants are exceptions. Kermode doesn’t moan about every film he watches and
2. His rants are concise, fun to listen to and perfectly executed. As opposed to other podcasts I’ve come across over the years, he never goes on for hours about one movie and he doesn’t try to maximize the flaw count.
The general negativism I’ve noticed among so called film fans is a different creature, which should be fought.
I can’t help wondering what has caused this.
Where are all the film fans gone? And where did all those constantly miserable flaw spotters come from?