Saturday, November 15, 2008

Anhedonic viewing

Cine-scabs… pick your favorites by Richard Harland Smith is a wonderfully entertaining post about a very real and amusing concept that I enjoy contemplating, and in a world that made sense, it would be what I'm writing about and why I'm linking the article.

"Cine-scabs" are described as, "movies or movie scenes that get on your nerves, that annoy, grate, embarrass… but which you nonetheless watch and watch again..." In one of the comments, Jenni from St. Louis chose Gremlins, writing, "Stupid plot, and the scene where the Gremlins have truly gone amok-smoking, drinking, shooting guns-I mistakenly let my kids watch it with me a couple of years ago, I had forgotten how dumb it was and my kids quickly pointed out all of the plot holes, and they asked how could the gremlins know how to smoke, drink, shoot guns, get guns, when they had just been created a couple of days earlier!?"

I've said before, and it looks like I'm saying again: There's something seriously wrong with the way the younger generation watches movies!

Gremlins is on my essential yearly Christmas viewing list, so I'm hardly unfamiliar with it. So are Santa Claus is Comin' to Town and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I suspect if one was of a mind to prove how "smart" they are rather than enjoying oneself, one could also find things to call "plot holes" and elements that could be called "stupid" or "illogical" in those as well, but why would you want to?

What kind of sad, joyless life is this?

It's a madhouse. A madhouse!

UPDATE: Jenni followed-up on my comment in the original post, noting a list of movies that her kids enjoyed, including The Wolf Man and The Music Man. Suffice it to say, very few titles could melt my heart faster than those. The Gremlins thing still strikes me odd, to say the least, but I'll give the kids credit for clearly being ok overall.


Bob Turnbull said...

It's funny, with some movies I can totally forgive plot holes and illogical character actions, but with others I'll pick and pick at them like a old scab.

I guess it just depends on how the film is working on you on all the other levels - if you are caught up in it, you'll likely let a lot of stuff go.

But yeah, those damn kids today.

Neil Sarver said...

And, in fairness, I have the exact same thing. I'm certainly not immune to getting hung up on silly nitpicks that I would find ludicrously pedantic in a movie I enjoyed when I'm watching movies that I don't enjoy.

So, you do make a good point.

I will stand by my perception that it has become more of a mark of cool detachment and smart viewing to come up with these kinds of nitpicks... although perhaps my own old man lack of interest in coolness or detachment may color my view of "those damn kids" in a way that they weren't colored back when I was young and did have some interest in those things.

I prefer my bitter and crotchety old man feelings to empathy, though

I'm going to really suck when I'm actually old.


Bob Turnbull said...

Oh, I think your point is still correct Neil - there does seem to be a greater need by many to show how much they are "smarter than thou" by picking up on logical flaws in some films (especially ones that are widely liked and the time for the blowback has come). It's hard to say if that is just because of the easier dissemination of everyone's opinions through forums and blogs, but I would still agree it has increased.

I'd like to think that I'm comfortable enough in my own coolness that I don't need the validation of others. Then again, that doesn't quite jibe with the fact that I have a blog...B-)

Wait a sec...I hear something outside...

Hey! You kids! Get off my lawn!!

Neil Sarver said...

I think blogs and various Internet opinion forums have had some effect. I think easier access to movies has had an effect as well... I think people around my age who grew up able to watch things on 40 channels (at least when I went to my aunt's house) or at repertory houses than my parent's generation who could watch them on 12 channels or an occasional re-release, etc.

And, yes, having a blog is a kind of reaching out for validation of some kind or other, you are correct.

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