Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Error of objective fact

Over at Roger Ebert's blog, he contemplates about the film criticism and Rotten Tomatoes. It is very interesting reading and makes you think about how you appreciate films, as always.
Especially, I find two passages very interesting. Mr. Ebert writes: "I've taught both ("Citizen Kane" and "The Rules of the Game") shot-by-shot and had many students who confessed they didn't feel the greatness. " Even though I admire both films, I can understand many people, even those who are conscious about visual aspect of the film art, find them boring. Is it because passing of time made their "greatness" mundane ? Or is it just so distant, many people find few things in common with the stories told, characters involved ? Or is it simply because they are in B&W ?
Another quote: "When you said 'The Valachi Papers' was better than 'The Godfather,' that was an error of objective fact." Ummm, this one is hard. I don't find anything wrong with the statement, but somehow I feel uneasy. Maybe because I am a scientist by training, the very word "objective fact" clicks. How objective ? Can you describe quantitatively ? What is the metric ? and so on.

Then again, what is the metric of "greatness" in film art ?

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