Fantasy Faction

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Bender on January 28, 2020, 09:14:41 PM

Title: Art vs Artist
Post by: Bender on January 28, 2020, 09:14:41 PM
So does the distinction matter to you?

The internet is rampant with discussions on Kobe's legacy...Basketball hero or a rapist villain?

Lots of famous personalities, movie stars, artists have done some despicable stuff in real life...does this factor into your enjoyment of the books/tv/sports for the person? I've known people who have boycotted stuff and others who simply don't care as art is different from artist.

What say you?
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Eclipse on January 28, 2020, 10:07:28 PM
I would never read Marion Zimmer Bradley no matter how good her novels are


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Zimmer_Bradley

I don’t think anyone knows Kobe outside America , what is his legacy?

Orson Scott Card I wouldn’t read either


https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/film/2013/aug/16/ender-s-game-orson-scott-card-essay-obama-hitler

Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Bender on January 28, 2020, 10:16:22 PM
He was accused of rape but didn't get tried as women refused to testify (got death threats and like) and finally settled out of court. Has had an extramarital relationship too. But also came across as a good father and had excellent relationship with his kids. Reconciled with his wife too.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: cupiscent on January 29, 2020, 01:06:24 AM
I have very high standards for the personal behaviour of very well-known sports stars, because they function as role models, and they need to act like it. When you add to that that there's a very complicated power dynamic in operation with male sports stars in our society (for many reasons, it is very difficult for a woman to say no in the first place, let alone bring charges later) the whole thing becomes very easily problematic, and I want to see sports stars making public statements, even if they settle quietly out of court.

Am I being harsh, when it's sometimes very young men suddenly thrust into a wild situation of fame and perks? Yes. But they need better role models to help them know how to act in these situations... so they have to BE those role models.

I tend to take a similar view of artists of any kind who have a significant profile. You cast a shadow - you have to decide, actively and thoughtfully, what that shadow is going to be. And if an author has a dodgy reputation, and there are situations in their books that might or might not be dodgy, I'm going to think they're probably dodgy. If they have a really dodgy reputation, I might look at the book far more closely in terms of is-this-dodgy. That's just the shadow that's being cast.

Actions have consequences.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Skip on January 29, 2020, 04:23:31 AM
Not an issue for me. I've read some history books written by some very unpleasant people. I've read primary sources written by some even more unpleasant people. I'm quite certain I've read and enjoyed books written by people who took their secrets to the grave.

I'm not going to refuse to read something just because I happen to know something about that person, whereas I'm willing to read another even though I know nothing about them.

The only way to hold a consistent position is to research every author thoroughly before reading anything they wrote. I should point out that you are reading me, right now.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: ScarletBea on January 29, 2020, 12:23:42 PM
I don't know, to be honest.
I see both sides of the problem and I can't decide.

Do I give away my copies of MZB's books?
I loved them, they helped shape my teenage years...

I do tend to view books by authors who I know in real life in a more positive way, but I don't think that prevents me from thinking they're bad/could be better.

So yep, I have no idea where I stand on this :-\
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: NedMarcus on January 29, 2020, 01:19:09 PM
It depends. If someone living a few hundred years ago said something that's considered unacceptable by modern standards, I don't care too much. I think people should be judged according to the times they lived in—that can include old people today who were born in a different era and find it hard to stay modern.

With contemporary authors (or other artists) it's harder, but it still depends. Just saying something I don't like or supporting a political viewpoint I don't like is not enough to stop me reading them. But if it was something really bad (interpret that as you will) then it may stop me enjoying the book or whatever was produced.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Rostum on January 29, 2020, 02:05:59 PM
Wow great topic @Bender.

I too have works by Bradley and OSC that I will not read again. Certain political music that I will listen to and some I won't. I never owned any Michael Jackson or Lost Prophets, but an ex did and threw out both and cried about doing so and being let down by people she idolised.

I have a wall full of DVD's I am not going to not watch any of them because Weinstein's companies financed them but won't watch anything with Spacey in it. There has to be a point of separation or you can limit and self censor yourself into not doing a lot.

@cupiscent I am totally in agreement about sports stars and feel this issue is worse in America where not only the money but the influence is greater and the pedestal they are put upon is so much higher.
 How about female pop stars pushing expectations of beauty, wearing revealing outfits and shaking what they got. The music industry has no issue with 'sex sells' and is targeted at children? This has an effect on both boys and girls and largely is not positive.

@Skip A big difference in reading academic works often from a less tolerant past for work or knowledge and perspective than reading fantasy for fun. I am concerned about how long you will be able to read such works as I think we are headed towards a round of non-religious book burnings as the current mood is to stifle debate and ignore context.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: S. K. Inkslinger on January 29, 2020, 02:28:46 PM
As long as the book is written well and within my spectrum of interest, I'm reading it. Case closed.  8)
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Bender on January 29, 2020, 03:02:09 PM
I too have works by Bradley and OSC that I will not read again. Certain political music that I will listen to and some I won't. I never owned any Michael Jackson or Lost Prophets, but an ex did and threw out both and cried about doing so and being let down by people she idolised.

I have a wall full of DVD's I am not going to not watch any of them because Weinstein's companies financed them but won't watch anything with Spacey in it. There has to be a point of separation or you can limit and self censor yourself into not doing a lot.

Exactly. Bad people also doing good things conundrum.

I could never stop loving MJs music despite what he did/was in real life. Argument can be made that buying albums will contribute to artist's benefit...but that's a stretch imo.

I'm kinda leaning towards art is seperate from artist viewpoint.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Skip on January 29, 2020, 04:54:18 PM
>A big difference in reading academic works often from a less tolerant past for work or knowledge and perspective than reading fantasy for fun.

And what is that difference? If we are judging an author on their personal life, and making buying and reading decisions based on that, whether the book is fact or fiction seems irrelevant.

I hold, also, to my previous point. If we are going to judge authors on their personal life, if it's really that important, then we are surely obliged to research each and ever author we read before even buying the book. If it's important, it shouldn't be a matter of what we happen to learn about them accidentally.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Rostum on January 29, 2020, 10:40:59 PM
Every assigned reading to students they were unhappy with? Ever made an exception?
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Skip on January 30, 2020, 02:46:01 AM
Every assigned reading to students they were unhappy with? Ever made an exception?

I'm not sure to whom this is addressed, nor how it connects with ethical objections to an author's personal life or views causing someone to decide never to read them. Help me out; I'm slow sometimes.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: cupiscent on January 30, 2020, 02:58:18 AM
How about female pop stars pushing expectations of beauty, wearing revealing outfits and shaking what they got. The music industry has no issue with 'sex sells' and is targeted at children? This has an effect on both boys and girls and largely is not positive.

HMMM this is something I've thought much less about because I don't consume pop music/media. I may start having lots of damn opinions when my child grows up, of course. Indeed, already I'm looking with disapproval at the differences between girl clothes and boy clothes; my child is four, but her shorts are very short, while boy-shorts are often nearly knee-length.

At risk of straying from the topic at hand: I am not sure about blaming female celebrities for what society deems is appropriate/necessary/beautiful for women. Especially when those female celebrities are often manufactured by male-dominated industries. Witness the current Birds of Prey film versus Harley Quinn's depiction in Suicide Squad for an interesting side-by-side on female and male gaze. A lot of the same elements are present, but the whole vibe is quite different. (If you'd like a different example, I'm fond of the Hugh Jackman for men vs for women (https://themarysue.tumblr.com/post/58716099250/jadelyn-enterprisingly-this-is-the-same) comparison.)

But, I mean, certainly I think less of Miley Cyrus for her unrepentant history of cultural appropriation, being a party to the demeaning of women, trash-talking other women, and other less-than-great behaviour. I don't like Taylor Swift's music, but I have a fairly high opinion of her personally for the way she has grown up and discussed her previous poor behaviours and messages, and her willingness to learn and try to do better.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Rostum on January 30, 2020, 02:54:21 PM
@Skip I would say there is a very big difference between reading for fun and reading as a requirement. For me history may be both. Yes I was asking you about students reading and there is a very big difference between the two. Someone who wishes not to read required reading probably shouldn't be on the course. When I read for entertainment it is my choice what I read and if an author is dumb enough or religiously/politically motivated enough to make a stand I find intolerent I am not going to financially support them.

@cupiscent I took big issue with playboy logoed T-shirts for 8 year old girls and inappropriate slogans acrosss them often available from my local supermarket.

I am not blaming female celebs I think its the management teams that determine wardrobe for the most part, have fun with your daughter when she decides she wants to twerk like beyonce at 9.

Thanks for the link Good Housekeeping may not be the cover to compare though I couldn't find him on the cover of Cosmo but they have a library of shots of him though.

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/love-sex/g797/cosmo-man-we-love-hugh-jackman-86875/?slide=1 (https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/love-sex/g797/cosmo-man-we-love-hugh-jackman-86875/?slide=1)
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Yora on January 30, 2020, 03:16:50 PM
I see the work and the creator as separate entities. You can judge the work on its own merits and completely ignore any information about the creator. If you want to. Anything about the creator does not change what the work is.

However, there is a difference between being critics, an audience, and customers.

As a critic, the identity of the creator is irrelevant. This is all about the work.

But as audience for a work, we are almost always also customers of the creator. Even when a work is apparently free, then "you are not the customer, you are the product". The creator is probably getting paid by advertisers for drawing a crowd that will be exposed to ads.
Even in the case where you get the art without having paid for it, you're probably going to tell others what you've been thinking about the work and as such do advertising for it.

There are almost no circumstances in which you can consume art without it somehow putting money into the creator's pocket, even in a very indirect way. And that means you are supporting the creator. You're not just supporting him, you are actually encouraging him to keep behaving in the way he does and give him confirmation that there  won't be any bad consequences for him doing so. The money keeps flowing and you help making it happen.

And this is why, as a consumer, I do not engage with the works of creators I regard as objectionable. When I talk about their work in a positive way, I am promoting their work and encourage others to give them money that signals them their behavior is okay.

The one exception that I can think of is that I still quite enjoy Lovecraft. But I did think long and hard about it, and did do some serious research that made me conclude that his xenophobia wasn't just regular racism, but resulted from severe psychological conditions. I judge him by the standards of being mentally disabled so I am giving him a pass in that regard. And I guess it helps that he's been dead for almost a century.
I'm also a big fan of Robert Howard, and when I saw people describing him as racist and misogynistic, I also did a good deal of research on him. And I found the opposite being the case, so I have no problem with actively promoting his work. But I still felt the need that I had to check, rather than just ignore the accusation.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Skip on January 30, 2020, 05:12:41 PM
If the author is deceased, we surely are no longer supporting them in their behavior, right? I can see the logic for living authors, but for ones who are dead?

It does seem like a lot of work. Art comes in many forms and has many creators. I'd spend half my life researching the morals of others.

But everyone gets to make their own choices.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Alex Hormann on February 01, 2020, 05:41:01 PM

As a critic, the identity of the creator is irrelevant. This is all about the work.


I would disagree on this point. I think if you're going to analyse and critique a book in great detail, you have to consider the person who made it. A review doesn't need to tell you about the author, but if you're looking at theme and symbolism or anything along those lines, you're bound to find things the author has put in deliberately, which often but not always reveals a fair bit about the author.

When it comes to reading books in general, I couldn't care less who the author is or what they did. Orson Scott Card is homophobic, but that doesn't mean Ender's Game isn't exciting and though-provoking. The vast majority of authors I enjoy reading old very different political beliefs to me, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that i like their books. The person behind the page is, from an enjoyment perspective, utterly irrelevant.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Eclipse on February 02, 2020, 07:36:34 AM
I know Saraband  won’t read Seanan McGuire but  I’ve forgotten why and I think Nighteyes  too is not keen on  McGuire

Done some searches but can’t find why there don’t like McGuire.

remember this topic with some authors acting poorly.

 http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/fantasy-book-discussion/hugo-awards-2015-controversy-sad-puppies/msg98291/#msg98291
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Rostum on February 02, 2020, 08:00:54 PM
Quote
I know Saraband  won’t read Seanan McGuire but  I’ve forgotten why and I think Nighteyes  too is not keen on  McGuire

I know she pushes hard for nominations and votes come award time. A little unseemly perhaps but I don't know if thats the reason? Would love to find out.

Ahh does this involve getting johnathon Ross cancelled?
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: J.R. Darewood on February 04, 2020, 04:54:12 AM
I thoroughly enjoyed a lot of Steven King's stuff, but he just came out calling to oust the Senator from Maine for simply voting to see the evidence in the impeachment trial, and now Steven King is dead to me.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Yora on February 04, 2020, 10:08:46 AM
No, that doesn't make any sense.

He's been very vocal about Trump being a crook and the Republicans making the impeachment a farce the whole time. Apparently he wants her gone because regardless of how she voted about witnesses, he's certain she will acquit him anyway.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Skip on February 04, 2020, 05:54:32 PM
Good grief. We may as well start picking what we read based on what football team the author supports.

I just finished reading another novel by Nevil Shute. Every one of his novels (I've read several) has been memorable and genuinely touching in a way I've not encountered with any other author.

Should I read his biography? What if I find out he was a terrible person? How do I un-read someone? Is it enough to vow never to read another? Should I confess publicly? Go on a campaign to enlighten others to the terrible truth? How deep does my outrage extend?

I repeat: good grief.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: cupiscent on February 04, 2020, 11:12:05 PM
Should I read his biography? What if I find out he was a terrible person? How do I un-read someone? Is it enough to vow never to read another? Should I confess publicly? Go on a campaign to enlighten others to the terrible truth? How deep does my outrage extend?

I repeat: good grief.

Do/read/decide whatever you like, Skip. For some people, myself included, stuff I know outside the artistic work can't help but seep into my mind during the consumption of the artistic work, colouring my enjoyment of it.

I mean, if there's a scene in a book where there's dubious romantic consent, I'm going to feel slightly icky about that scene, but if I know the author has a bad reputation for getting handsy at conventions, I'm going to feel even more icky about it. Or if a book has paucity of female characters, I might give the author a pass (or at least wait to see what else they produce) but if said author has a lot of misogynist remarks on record, GO STRAIGHT TO JAIL, DO NOT PASS GO.

I don't go looking for these things, but I'm active and aware in spec-fic circles. I hear things. (And I also go looking for the social media of authors I like so that I can stay abreast of what they're doing next.) And it's not (always) that I won't enjoy that creator's work anymore. It's that it is more difficult to enjoy it when I know there's some unpleasantness behind it.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: NedMarcus on February 05, 2020, 04:47:17 AM
Good grief. We may as well start picking what we read based on what football team the author supports.
I know people who pick who they speak to according to how much beer they drink. I think this sort of thing is part of life (and applies to many parts of life, not just reading); I'm less affected than most, but I understand how it can affect people.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: J.R. Darewood on February 05, 2020, 11:08:55 AM
Good grief. We may as well start picking what we read based on what football team the author supports.

That too!!! If you aren't rooting for... the sportsing I like to sports then it's OVER!

Do/read/decide whatever you like, Skip. For some people, myself included, stuff I know outside the artistic work can't help but seep into my mind during the consumption of the artistic work, colouring my enjoyment of it.

Exactly what cupe said. It's not outrage, Skip, its that.

In an ideal world, the art would be just the art. If I'm able to keep the rest of that baggage at bay, then that would be great. But my brain is porous and stuff seeps through, whether I want to or not.
 
Like the Joker movie.  I read some interview with the director and I couldn't stop being revolted by him enough to go see the movie.

The Witcher was a hot mess.  Interviews with Lauren Schmidt made her sound like just an awful person to work with. But Henry Cavill's nerd-enthusiasm for the show was really endearing and that made me want to watch it even though the plotting was a mess and the magic was random and illogical af, the music was god-awful pop music like something out of "high school musical" and they made Yennifer petulant instead of powerful, I still found myself enjoying it.

I can't watch anything Star Wars related because the whole viciousness of the online debates over the movies makes me ill and watching a Star Wars movie reminds me how repulsed I am by both sides of the fandom, even if I actually liked the writing and direction (it's not bad but, it still feels written like fanfic with cosplay extras, choreographers and costume designers)

I have a hard time reading Heinlein or Orson Scott Card b/c of their politics. In those cases it actually bleeds through into the work-- it would be like reading a militarized Ayn Rand in parable form. The unrepentant fascism of Bennet's City of Blades made me ill by the time the book was over and unable to finish the trilogy.

I love everything about Ursula Le Guin, in part b/c of who she is and the insight it affords her writing.

All that said, I totally plan on reading Mists of Avalon one day, regardless of the stain there.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Skip on February 05, 2020, 04:51:46 PM
I'm not trying to persuade anyone here, and I don't read others as trying to persuade either; we're just trying to sort out and explain where we stand. So, with that in mind ...

I understand how knowing about the author can color one's enjoyment of a book. I read Glory Road and Starship Trooper as a young man and loved both. I read them again about a decade ago and not only did I see the heavy-handed political preaching there, I knew its context because I'd read some biographical information about Heinlein. I think that lessened my enjoyment still further. So, affected by external knowledge, sure.

I see that as different from knowing--let's keep using Heinlein--the political prejudice and then refusing to read that author because of that knowledge. Here I go back to my original point. If I'm going to make buying decisions based on the life rather than the book, then that's a moral judgment on my part. And if it's that important, it seems to my I am morally obliged to research every author before I read them. Which strikes me as absurd. But failing to do that strikes me as hypocrisy, or at best laziness. What, I'm only going to raise a fuss over things I learn by accident?

To go back to the first point, I do recognize that what I know of the life could cause such a strong reaction in me that I just might not be able to bring myself to keep reading that author. But that doesn't mean I would take to social media to condemn it or urge others not to buy the work. That smacks of puritanism, to me.

But it's all good. Folks can go ahead and take the positions set forward on this thread. I'll still like them. ;-)

Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Matthew on February 05, 2020, 11:19:31 PM
I think we should make a distinction between what an artist is and what they believe.

A rapist sports star is very different than an author with extreme political views.

One has no defense, while the other is just an opinion.

Refusing to read something because you don't agree with their politics is the same as burying your head in the sand. "I refuse to consider their point because I am right and they are wrong! No I don't need to know what their points are or any arguments that might help me understand them better, I don't want to know, because I am RIGHT!"
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: cupiscent on February 06, 2020, 02:04:30 AM
I'm not trying to persuade anyone here, and I don't read others as trying to persuade either; we're just trying to sort out and explain where we stand.

Thumbs up! :D

Refusing to read something because you don't agree with their politics is the same as burying your head in the sand. "I refuse to consider their point because I am right and they are wrong! No I don't need to know what their points are or any arguments that might help me understand them better, I don't want to know, because I am RIGHT!"

Hmm. Yes. BUT I don't owe anyone my time (or a chance to convince me), especially if I think it will aggravate / pain / bother me to read their thing, and/or if I think there is something else I could read that I would enjoy more.

Put simply: why would I bother reading the fiction works of people I know have odious political views when there is so much other great stuff to read? :D
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Bender on February 06, 2020, 02:43:47 AM
Is it just books, or have people stopped appreciating Michael Jackson music too?
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Yora on February 06, 2020, 08:58:39 AM
Of course they have. Movies as well.

Not that the works are any less good than before, but they are no longer enjoyable.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Rostum on February 06, 2020, 05:26:26 PM
Quote
I can't watch anything Star Wars related because the whole viciousness of the online debates over the movies makes me ill and watching a Star Wars movie reminds me how repulsed I am by both sides of the fandom, even if I actually liked the writing and direction (it's not bad but, it still feels written like fanfic with cosplay extras, choreographers and costume designers)

I have not watched a Star Wars Film since the 4th one, and don't have a great deal of interest in whats doing so. A number of people I know contend that the hardcore fans were shut down by incomers supported by certain online journalists who looked to gatekeep the narrative and determine what was going to be said. They may not have much interest in star wars per say but control and shutting down people whose love of the franchise spanned 40 years was the primary objective. Esports has seen a simular landgrab with support by the likes of Gawker group, Kotaku and vice and theose involved for the last 20 or so years are equally as pissed off.
 
@J.R. Darewood on a seperate note I came across the concept of disgust as a survival trait. Still trying to get my head round that as its not a context I had considered it in so I thought I would ask the expert.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Bender on February 06, 2020, 06:15:49 PM
Why would online debates put someone off from watching a movie? Surely we can enjoy a movie without needing to participate in online debates.

Movies aside, there are quite some nice books in SW world, Thrawn is spectacular. Plagueis gives a super psychoanalysis from Sith view, Bane is good.X-Wing is nice if you like adventure.  Mandalorian is a fun watch in TV. Rebels, Clone Wars are very good too. You are missing out on a lot of good stuff that don't necessarily need to be debated with nutcase fans.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Rostum on February 06, 2020, 06:46:53 PM
From my understanding debate is not the issue. Personal attacks on actors and Disney employees, hounding  people off twitter (the short bus of the internet) and looking to get people removed from their positions seems to be par for the course.

You there is a massive amount of material making up Star Wars Lore. 40 years worth in fact and lots of it ignored by the films. Disney may now be done with the Star Wars franchise now anyway.

Edit: My main reason for not seeing movies at the moment is the media's attempts to polarize an audience. Birds of Prey has started up now with the media referring to Middle aged(white) male comic readers as man babies and piss babies based on a few tweets criticising aspects of the movie.
Along with Ewan Mc Gregor saying it’s an anti misogynist movie which seems to equate with anti male these days. Which already has made me cautious. I wont be seeing it in the cinema.

The film may well do OK despite looking to alienate half its audience through its marketing articles. It had a 100 million budget and probably the same for marketing it needs to take 250m to be judged a success, not a huge amount for a Marvel film.

BTW Rotten tomatoes has a 92% critic score for the film which leads me to believe that Rotten Tomatoes is just a paid for marketing tool now. I will stand corrected when this movie makes a billion in the box office.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Bender on February 06, 2020, 08:17:15 PM
Movies where women are portrayed as eye candy and purely for glamour content are not really rare. If someone makes a male version, I don't see the outrage.

And media loves clickbaits. They don't make money unless there's something to get outraged about and keeping emotions stirred is their meal ticket. I tend to ignore this completely similar to SJWs online.

And I ignore RT as it's a positive aggregation site. Metacritic and even IMDB are better for actual closer to ground reviews. I like metacritic. Birds of Prey has a 6.7/10 score in IMDB and 60% rating (mixed reviews) in Metacritic...which imo sounds more honest. It's a above average movie, but nothing spectacular.

In summary, using lesser but more appropriate sources is better than mass social media/news inputs.

Just like facebook vs this forum
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Rostum on February 06, 2020, 09:06:20 PM
Quote
Movies where women are portrayed as eye candy and purely for glamour content are not really rare. If someone makes a male version, I don't see the outrage.

Nor do I, not what I am getting at at all. Where either the director or marketing says this is not for you to a group (and the only acceptable group to do this to is white males) they then always come back and screech about white males boycotting their film or series when they fail to do as well as expected.

As many women are as tired of the noisy woke on social media as men but if you argue with them and you are a Nazi, a bigot, alt right, alt right adjacent, a misogynist or the best yet if you are a woman a compartmentalised misogynist. Being woke is about shutting down debate not about having the conversation.

The current hot take for the film is "Harley Quinn doesn't need you when she has the girls and the gays. Cishet males aren't mad that Harley Quinn doesn't have sex appeal they're mad that the characters of Birds of Prey have sex appeal that isn't catering to them."

Now while this may be extreme and ridiculous it is damaging and you read enough of this nonsense and go why should I pay for this. Now I like Margo Robbie as an actress and think she is better at her profession than is required for comic book movies but if that is what she chooses to play she gets very rich doing it. However the film may do better without this type of hate click marketing.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: cupiscent on February 06, 2020, 10:26:07 PM
I'm super looking forward to Birds of Prey and trying to figure out how I can swing babysitting to go see it in theatres. It's wonderful to me that I can see a comicbook film - with the fun action and silly one-liners and over-the-top storylines that I love - that will actually have more than one significant female character in it.

And from looking at the trailer and press for the film, it looks like the setting for the movie is a strip-club and related organised crime endeavours, so if every male speaking-role in the film is a sexist asshat... isn't that just realistic? (I'm thinking about similarities between this and Suckerpunch now, but obvs I can't really write that essay until I've seen the film.)
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Rostum on February 07, 2020, 12:34:04 AM
Well I hope you sort the babysitting and enjoy the movie.

I got taken to see suckerpunch at the cinema and thought it was dire. I would be curious to hear your take on it though.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: cupiscent on February 07, 2020, 04:40:29 AM
I got taken to see suckerpunch at the cinema and thought it was dire. I would be curious to hear your take on it though.

I really enjoyed it. It was a nice chewy blend of fun action (with a kicking soundtrack) and thought-provoking thematic stuff wrapped up in just enough weird for me. It had a few of my favourite actors giving great performances, and it was ridiculously pretty. It wasn't flawless, but the good things covered a multitude of sins, imho.

My comparative essay on both films would probably lean hard into ruminations on stories that explicitly bring female-authored violence into settings entirely about the dehumanisation of women and thereby sort of both offer escapist fantasy and a satisfying real-world commentary. But like I say, should probably wait until I've actually seen Birds of Prey. It might not deliver what the trailer suggests.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Rostum on February 07, 2020, 05:23:26 AM
Well it's opened to empty cinemas so get your Tickets quick cos it won't be showing for long.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: J.R. Darewood on February 07, 2020, 08:53:20 AM
I have not watched a Star Wars Film since the 4th one, and don't have a great deal of interest in whats doing so. A number of people I know contend that the hardcore fans were shut down by incomers supported by certain online journalists who looked to gatekeep the narrative and determine what was going to be said. They may not have much interest in star wars per say but control and shutting down people whose love of the franchise spanned 40 years was the primary objective. Esports has seen a simular landgrab with support by the likes of Gawker group, Kotaku and vice and theose involved for the last 20 or so years are equally as pissed off.

You might find this very very interesting. The implication of this WIRED article is that Star Wars just happened to be released at the same time that Russia was interfering in the US elections, and it became an opportunity to weaponize the social media puritanism of progressives against each other, as part of their larger strategy with Sanders and Clinton

https://www.wired.com/story/star-wars-russian-trolls-study/

Why would online debates put someone off from watching a movie? Surely we can enjoy a movie without needing to participate in online debates.

Movies aside, there are quite some nice books in SW world, Thrawn is spectacular. Plagueis gives a super psychoanalysis from Sith view, Bane is good.X-Wing is nice if you like adventure.  Mandalorian is a fun watch in TV. Rebels, Clone Wars are very good too. You are missing out on a lot of good stuff that don't necessarily need to be debated with nutcase fans.

I can't say I've really participated in online debates much, but the Star Wars is pretty much the most extreme example of my feeling that "fan" is short for "fanatic" would I be a happier person if I'd never seen the horrors of Star Wars fans at each others throats? Absolutely, but it's burned into my memory. You thought the casino subplot made no sense in the middle of a space chase HOW DARE YOU YOU RACIST. Nevermind the awfulness of the actual racists. I feel the same about Marvel fans and DC fans. At one point someone insisted that if you just thought Captain Marvel was "okay" that you were clearly sexist. It's all repulsive and I'm just sick of superheroes and Star Wars and all of it.  Its not out of some sense of social responsibility or trying to punish an industry or an artist. It just has this stain to it now, whether logical or not, I see something star wars and it's hard for me to get over the knee-jerk revulsion I feel because it reminds me of all this grossness and all the ways social media has made us all stupider as a species. I've managed to almost completely get off facebook and I'm much happier because of it, but somehow I still find my way into this stuff. I'm curious about something before it comes out (aka the witcher, WoT) I read up on it. Sometimes that makes me love it more, sometimes I'm revolted.  So yes, I *want* to be able to view art as art on its own, but its just so rare that I'm ever able to keep the blinders on effectively.

I get the exact same vomit in my mouth feeling I get when I see an academic cite Nietzsche: he might not have been a Nazi himself but the stain is still here of being a proto-Nazi whether I find a logical reason for the connection or not.

@J.R. Darewood on a seperate note I came across the concept of disgust as a survival trait. Still trying to get my head round that as its not a context I had considered it in so I thought I would ask the expert.

There are at least 2 different theoretical strands that would lead to this concept.  One comes out of sociobiology (looking people as animals first and foremost, who's behaviors are adaptations that (whether useful or not today) enhanced the viability of ones offspring at some point in time). Whether it has to do with sanitation or identifying allies and enemies, disgust can play a role.  Personally I find sociobiology a bit hard to swallow.

The other line of thinking is likely one that comes from Mary Douglas's Purity and Danger released in 1966. I'm not entirely on board with Mary Douglas either, but her ideas have been incredibly influential both within anthropology and outside of anthropology.  She looked at the historical production binaries of sacred/profane and clean/unclean, comparing taboos in different cultures.  Its a bit more abstract, but one of her ideas is that its very much about the need to produce categories. We need things to fit into one category or the other, and that liminal, unknown, uncategorized space distresses us so many societies link it with the profane, the dangerous.

There's a whole strand of work in anthropology on categories. Categories give us a sense of "knowing" things we can't possibly know-- through categories we essentialize, misrepresent, presuppose, and interpolate all of these ideas, in effect making categorical thinking often less accurate, rooted in false binaries, a tool for the propagation of all sorts of -isms.  Think of it as the (much-maligned) Meyers-Briggs concept of judging vs. perceiving-- social categories are about judgement, which impedes understanding. And what is unknown is judged as taboo, or what is known but associated with the Other, or with outside groups.

Here's a poem-- kind of a polysemy of disgust

https://culanth.org/fieldsights/disgust

Slate did a great anthology of essays on online outrage awhile back, I found some of them to be very insightful:
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/culturebox/2014/12/the_year_of_outrage_2014_everything_you_were_angry_about_on_social_media.html
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Peat on February 07, 2020, 08:08:49 PM
After trying to write this post two times and coming to some sort of understanding about where I'm coming from...

I mostly, but not always, separate art from the artist in terms of my enjoyment. There's a bit more of a link in terms of whether to promote them. This is partially deliberate, a reaction against the sort of puritanism Mr Darewood talks about. The nature of the artist's unpleasantness matters to me too. Abusing pre-adolescents is about the pits for me. I also prefer honesty and have a harder time accepting it when they haven't paid for it. The honest kinda goes into the artform. Nobody ever claimed Black Metal or Gangsta Rap was going to promote wholly wholesome views and be by wholly wholesome people. Conversely, sports/movie stars who want to pretend they're just a good everyday lad while trying to stick it in anybody that doesn't get away fast enough are extra contemptible.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Rostum on February 15, 2020, 07:33:51 AM
So I was mostly wrong. Birds of Prey tanked but most of the people who saw it were men. Presumably insulting those who read the comics didn't stop them watching it.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Bender on February 19, 2020, 06:31:44 PM
So I was mostly wrong. Birds of Prey tanked but most of the people who saw it were men. Presumably insulting those who read the comics didn't stop them watching it.

Found this interesting statistic. It does seem comic book movies are generally more popular with men than women.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/807365/marvel-movie-viewership-gender/

Also that BoP had a R rating whereas most Marvel movies had a PG-13 rating, which is a key differentiator because of kids/family. Kids are a big reason for presence of accompanying adults in audience, which BoP didn't take advantage of.

Joker was the only R rated movie to do well at box office and I'd put that down to familiarity of character plus Dark Knight movie's popularity. BoP had mostly unknown characters outside of comic book community...probably similar to why Suicide Squad was also a dud.

Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: cupiscent on February 20, 2020, 03:23:29 AM
Found this interesting statistic. It does seem comic book movies are generally more popular with men than women.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/807365/marvel-movie-viewership-gender/

Gotta wonder how much of that is the fact that it's only in the last few years we've had comic-book movies that contain more than one significant female character. "Oh no, women won't come watch movies wherein characters like them are traditionally sidelined!" No, really? Trust needs to be earned.

Quote
Also that BoP had a R rating whereas most Marvel movies had a PG-13 rating

Now this is fascinating to me, and my initial thought was about how expressions of female sexuality get a higher rating than male, but seems like that's probably not the case here. I couldn't find US information, but the Australian rating information (https://www.classification.gov.au/titles/birds-prey-and-fantabulous-emancipation-one-harley-quinn) has it MA15 (our equivalent) for themes, language and violence, which seems totally on-brand for the character and in keeping with the trailer. (I mean, you're only allowed one f-bomb below R-rating, right? A bit restrictive.)

I also found an article talking about why they weren't shying away from a higher rating (https://www.amctheatres.com/amc-scene/why-birds-of-prey-is-going-for-an-r-rating) and it just makes me more interested in the artistic vision, honestly. I certainly agree that not being able to dig into dark themes with characters who have significant trauma--in a film thematically about confronting and overcoming that trauma--hamstrings the whole story. But perhaps, if that's what they wanted to do, expectations needed to be adjusted accordingly.

On the other hand, it's still making them money. Which reminds me of an amusing comparison I've seen of opening-weekend numbers for BoP and for Ford vs Ferrari, which have the same numbers (both take and budget) but BoP's labelled a "disappoint" and FvF "terrific". The difference, of course, is in expectations for the film (from the studio and elsewhere). And yes, I'm finding a lot of discussion suggesting it's the rating that's limiting the audience. I found this quote particularly amusing:
Quote
“Suicide Squad” was rated PG-13 and went on to have a record-breaking $US133.6 million opening (if it got the kind of reviews “Birds of Prey” did imagine what its lifetime gross would have been). (from Business Insider (https://www.businessinsider.com.au/birds-of-prey-has-soft-opening-at-the-box-office-2020-2?r=US&IR=T))
Reviews say it's a good movie. And yet. The impossibility of understanding how this all works is bleakly amusing to me.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: S. K. Inkslinger on February 20, 2020, 03:24:17 AM
So I was mostly wrong. Birds of Prey tanked but most of the people who saw it were men. Presumably insulting those who read the comics didn't stop them watching it.

Found this interesting statistic. It does seem comic book movies are generally more popular with men than women.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/807365/marvel-movie-viewership-gender/

Also that BoP had a R rating whereas most Marvel movies had a PG-13 rating, which is a key differentiator because of kids/family. Kids are a big reason for presence of accompanying adults in audience, which BoP didn't take advantage of.

Joker was the only R rated movie to do well at box office and I'd put that down to familiarity of character plus Dark Knight movie's popularity. BoP had mostly unknown characters outside of comic book community...probably similar to why Suicide Squad was also a dud.

This, especially that the movie itself is a kind of continuation from the Suicide Squad, which a lot of people thought was pretty terrible. Besides Harley Quin, people also doesn't know any of the other characters so it lacked the star power of Suicide Squad too. I for one saw how the posters looked and just from that lose most of my interest in the flick.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Rostum on February 20, 2020, 07:34:16 AM
Don't forget Deadpool was also R rated and did ok. I think the Birds of Prey comics had a fairly low circulation which may not have helped.

Now Wonderwoman wasn't an R nor was Alita Battle Angel both 13's and they did better and if BOP was a 13 it may have picked up the teen demographic but I still think Ewan McGregor opening his mouth and then combative marketing sank this movie.

BTW the link takes me to no data and lots of ways to spend money and no I am not creating an account for the maybe promise of usable data.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Bender on February 20, 2020, 02:34:51 PM
BTW the link takes me to no data and lots of ways to spend money and no I am not creating an account for the maybe promise of usable data.

Not sure why it's suddenly become premium.

(https://mtv.mtvnimages.com/uri/mgid:file:http:shared:mtv.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/superhero-movies-2015-1449763346.png?quality=.8&height=592.3444976076555&width=800)
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Yora on February 20, 2020, 02:58:33 PM
With the exception of Dredd it's all pretty even at ~40/60, and I wouldn't even count Dredd as a superhero movie.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Bender on February 20, 2020, 03:14:55 PM
Yeah. For BoP it was 46-54 split on opening weekend, which is in line with any other marvel movies.

The lack of box office popularity was probably due to unfamiliar heroes, failure of suicide squad and getting released immediately after Joker which shares similar themes.

I don't see any gender demographic change due to Ewan's "feminist movie" comments and related marketing.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: cupiscent on February 23, 2020, 05:25:26 AM
I read an interesting blog about Birds of Prey, female gaze, and processing vs inflicting trauma (https://bookriot.com/2020/02/21/birds-of-prey-movie-2/) and thought it might be of interest to others in this discussion too.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: Rostum on February 24, 2020, 10:48:55 PM
Have you seen it yet? A friend did and thought it an OK film if lacking in coherent plot.
Title: Re: Art vs Artist
Post by: cupiscent on February 25, 2020, 12:28:59 AM
Have you seen it yet? A friend did and thought it an OK film if lacking in coherent plot.

Alas no. My February babysitting credits were all already used up. Hopefully I can arrange something for this weekend coming...