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How high do the stakes have to be?

Discussion in 'Other Chatter' started by dewi, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. dewi

    dewi Full Member

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    I'm a film buff... love my films I do. They are a great part of my life and I watch at least one film every day (unless I'm in the woods, but even then I sneak one in one my mobile phone).

    A disturbing trend in films is the stakes have to be mammoth... huge... the end of the world is nigh. You see it in film after film, that unless the hero saves the day, the Earth will be consumed by evil or darkness or Kentucky Fried Chicken. Okay... so I made the last one up... anyway.

    So, how high do the stakes really have to go to make something dramatic? Taken was about a man who wanted to save his daughter... Die Hard, a man who wanted to save his wife... and ET... erm... well, a boy who wanted to erm... fly a bike? Okay, so I don't remember ET that well... anyway, onto the next.

    My point is, Hollywood or at least the studios making the films want to amp up the destruction with every film... if you look at Norse and Greek story telling, it was more about the struggle with every day life, every day problems that the Gods tackled and how to overcome them.

    Have we lost the story telling ability of our ancestors? Have we really become so shallow that the only thing that excites is if the Earth is destroyed by a glorified smurf?

    Our films nowadays (and forgive me Hamish) are much like the stories in Hamish's leatherwork. He tells stories through his art and through his skill of translating them to leather... we can learn about our past and predict our future in what he puts down into animal skins... but never have I seen a story in Hamish's work that leads to the total destruction of the the world we know... its an optimistic story, a lesson learned in each story... why can't our films be based on that same optimism, that same hope?
     
  2. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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  3. Tengu

    Tengu Full Member

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    You are right; Hamish cannot destroy the world, as then he would have nowhere to put on his next workshop.

    As a story this would not make sense. Stories have to make sense.

    I love stories, -not a film buff, I have never been in the cinema in my life.

    But sometimes traditional myth does have big stakes. If Ameratsu continues to sulk in her cave then everyone is in big trouble.

    (turns out she is easily lured by a party and pretty jewels)

    and Raganok is pretty terrible, -a mythos that promises you nothing but the end of the world...even if you do the right thing.
     
  4. dewi

    dewi Full Member

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    Okay, but Ragnarok is the literally the end of an age... there are thousands of stories that lead up to it. Why are we obsessed with the end of the world as we know it, or rather why is Hollywood? Surely the stories leading up to the end of an age are as interesting if not more so than the final event. (obviously saying final event because... spoilers)
     
  5. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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    That's the times we live in. Maybe a pale rider will pass by.
     
  6. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    Sausage Party, I will say no more.
     
  7. GGTBod

    GGTBod Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I think part of the global threat story/movie genre thing must come from the fact that we are now a globallly alert species and we are more conscious of the world as a whole way more than previously (not that much is done to good use with this awareness like but hey that's for a very different forum lol)
     
  8. dewi

    dewi Full Member

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    Which is an absolute classic... thats how films should be now... something that makes you think a little further than what appears on the screen. I'm thinking the usual suspects have one flown over the cuckoo nest to a breakfast club that is full of a few good men. Not to mention the weird science you see in the Da Vinci code of life that is smokin aces and makes you just say Batman!

    [video=youtube;B9IYeVJiWLQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9IYeVJiWLQ[/video]
     
  9. Drain Bamaged

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    I'm not sure it's a new trend, there was a book (can’t remember the title) written hundreds of years ago where the end of humanity was threatened because some woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat the fruit of a magical tree…in the same book man almost became extinct after a particularly heavy thunderstorm and there are threats in it that at some point in the future the earth is going to be overrun with zombies and madmen on horseback with the only chance of escape being to telepathically tell a particular Jewish zombie that you accept him as your master and symbolically eat his flesh and drink his blood thus allowing him to remove an evil force from your soul and letting you live forever…..Hollywood are just playing catch up the stories have been around for years.

    D.B.
     
  10. GGTBod

    GGTBod Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    That one sounds a bit familiar, was Charlton Heston in it? How many Killings? Does it have a good theme tune?
     
  11. boatman

    boatman Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    We still have the art of storytelling but I think people telling them have a lack of confidence. For example, I read a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction and the recent trend is to not allow the natural consequences of a disaster to work themselves out but, in America especially, we have to introduce, FEMA, Un intervention, Government conspiracy etc etc. could almost be Trump party political leaflets.
     
  12. wicca

    wicca Native

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    It's to appease the masses who are moulded into a robotic stupor by the conveniences of a push button world. Without moving from a chair, it's possible to work, buy food, be entertained, arrange to pay bills, even receive medical diagnosis. If something goes wrong it's possible to blame someone else and there are hordes of legal types to assist the complainant (who doesn't have to move from their chair) Wiki will make you a wizard so that you can dispense knowledge of things that really are far beyond your understanding. Life without the slightest challenge slowly numbs brains.

    Rather like the Roman amphitheatres of old, as the population got more and more secure, comfortable,fat and bored, the games became more violent to entertain. Always bigger better and more expensive to satisfy and replace in grey numbed brains a sense of excitement, achievement and effort that our fore fathers felt just by living and surviving in a totally different world.

    One thing that always struck me when wandering abroad. In countries where life was cheap and hard, Charlie Chaplin, cartoons and Bollywood type romances were infinitely more popular than films of mass destruction.

    Norman Wisdom and his films were the most popular viewing in Albania. They had their own real experiences of of 'shoot 'em up' antics and mass killing anyway and didn't need to see it on the silver screen.
     
  13. Leshy

    Leshy Full Member

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    Your posts crack me up...
    :)
     
  14. dewi

    dewi Full Member

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    Ironically though the masses couldn't read said story until around 75 years ago due to the lack of education given to the masses, so although a nice synopsis of the Bible, wholly irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

    Hollywood playing catch up though? Interesting point... maybe Hollywood is replaying the doomsday voices of the past that preached in ornate building placed in the centres of towns.... interesting.
     
  15. dewi

    dewi Full Member

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    Ah, the Madmax syndrome... the Terminator will come, the end of the world is nigh.

    Thing is, that is 80s film making... then we have the 90s with Armageddon and Independence Day.

    Now we have this mix of super hero films that dominate the box office that offer us this life and death situation rather than any positive message. Some weird super being will come and destroy the Earth, and all we can do is support the hero... we're helpless to do anything ourselves... we just have to sit around and wait for the latest superhero battle to end and on we go. Thankful to a group of weirdos with iron suits or adolescent injections to the abdomen. Bizarre.
     
  16. Leshy

    Leshy Full Member

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    Dewi thanks for that link!
    Priceless
     
    #16 Leshy, Sep 19, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
  17. dewi

    dewi Full Member

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    Blimey... Norman Wisdom and the Roman circle of death in the same post.... but great points... and I agree, its about entertainment. My argument is that the stakes being so high remove something from the entertainment value. There is only so many times you can see the entire Earth threatened before you think nah.... thats a bit daft.
     
  18. decorum

    decorum Full Member

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    They're still listening to the pulpit though ;)
     
  19. GGTBod

    GGTBod Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    On a side note i think Jen is going to murder Batdad one day
     
  20. Fadcode

    Fadcode Full Member

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    Surely the overall theme of films, soaps on TV, and even books, is the fight against evil, there has never been a book written, or a film or programme been made which does not have the fight of good against evil in it, even the comedies of Norman Wisdom, Laurel and Hardy contained these themes, Shakespeare , Dickens, all on the same theme, this is the reason that the latest films, etc, have to increase the violence and the shock factor, because otherwise people would realise its the same story being told over and over, the problem is that people expect more and more violence, I mean the soaps on TV now just mimmick each other with the rapes, murders, etc, and it gets to the point where they become unreal, if you remember "Brookside", which basically consisted of 6 houses in a dead end street, got so confused with murders, affairs, robbery, that it had to stop, because people could no longer relate to it, it seems to me that when you watch TV now, nothing good happens in the shows, they have to have that shock factor where everyone is against each other, a bit like the end of the world in most films now, even the Harry Potter films was good against evil, the only film I think that wasn't based on this recurrent theme was "Grease", and everyone was happy at the end.
    I too am a film buff, and enjoy a good film with a good story, films like "Papillon", I recently(last night) watched an old black and white movie "Hobsons Choice" on TV, they don't make them like that anymore, another good film to watch is "Lost in Yonkers", still if there was always a good film or two on TV, we wouldn't be on the forum.
     

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