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stephen_speicher

Movies: Kill Bill

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I'm not surprised by the lack of knowledge of other directors. I believe it was right for Tarantino to heavily promote the film in his name which all directors should do in my opinion. Yes, even if it seems indulgent.

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Areactor

I do not believe the reason directors like hitchcock or welles were not named is because they were relatively unknown.

Neither one shunned the spotlight when promoting their films (I find it odd that you focus on that btw. The implication of your post is that others have suggested it is wrong, which no one has done. I also find it odd that you would characterize pride in creation an 'indulgence.')

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Areactor

I do not believe the reason directors like hitchcock or welles were not named is because they were relatively unknown.

Neither one shunned the spotlight when promoting their films (I find it odd that you focus on that btw.  The implication of your post is that others have suggested it is wrong, which no one has done.  I also find it odd that you would characterize pride in creation an 'indulgence.')

I understand what you mean, I wasn't saying some directors are unknown because their names are plastered on advertisements, I'm only saying that it seems like it needs to be that way these days in particular. For example, I know many people who don't know the directors behind their favorite movie.

I'm not arguing with anyone, just putting in my two cents from my perspective. Am I saying the pride is over indulgent? No, of course not. I said seemed because hardly any other director does it. I'm not on the offensive.

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" For example, I know many people who don't know the directors behind their favorite movie."

Quite true. And in fact, there are many directors who don't want you to know what movies they have directed. Look up Alan Smithee some time to see what I mean. :D

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With a few exceptions, I can't recall many movies by the people you list, RadCap. (Like I said, I tend to pay little attention to directors -- though, I will probably pay more attention in the future.) Let me emphatically second Kubrick, though. Though his movies tend to be extremely philosophically flawed, they're amazing to watch. I have the Kubrick collection, and it has gotten a lot of wear...

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"Let me emphatically second Kubrick, though."

Just to make it clear, my list was not intended to be representative of directors I consider to be great. I merely listed them because, historically, they are considered to be some of the greats in cinema. (Of course, Hitchcock and Lang were included because of Ms. Rand's characterization of them as great directors).

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Personal reactions, philosophical evaluation, and esthetic appraisals of a work of art are often very separate issues.

I like this breakdown Betsy. It seems to me now after following all the movie threads here and seeing the way that various O'ists judge movies both in periodicals and on newsgroups that people weigh each of these catagories differently often coming to radically different conclusions about the same movie. And I find this interesting given that most O'ists will usually hold the same (or similar) value structure.

For example, Robert Tracinsky gives his omnibus movie reviews every year at Oscar time. He has been doing this for at least 10 years. He stresses the philosophical content first. Artistic merrit comes second. I usuall see eye to eye with him on every movie (two exceptions I can think of were Chocolate and Gladiator which I think he both short-changed). In '95 he reviewed Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump and wrote one of his best reviews called the 'Spider and the Worm.' Now I agreed with his assessment of Pulp Fiction as essentially the glorification of depravity but I could see another O'ist arguing 'that it was really a well made film with great artistic selectivity and character development displaying the underlying psychology of violent people'. Which is right?

What I am asking is how best to weigh the various elements of a movie (or any artwork for that matter) to be the most objective. Is there an objective range or spectrum where any movie might legitimately lie? For example, could it be said that Kill Bill is either good or very good but certrainly not terrible or great? Could a film like Chocolate be anything less than great when its message and its style are considered? If the content is so philosophically bad can it ever be said to be great movie? Can great artistic style redeem horrible philosophical content? Does this describe 'The Passion'? How much personal preference is legitimate? And when all this is considered, how much precision can realistically be expected?

Lastly there have been movies suggested on these threads which while I would agree that there are good elements to them I would not call them great art. Some I would even consider repulsive (like American Beauty, and most Tarantino movies). To me this suggests that there needs to be developed a better methodology for accurately weighting the various elements of a movie to more precisely evaluate them.

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... but I think Luc Besson is underrated.  I haven't seen The Professional for a long time, but I loved it when I saw it.

Yes, and yes! Also, the acting in that film was superb. Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, and Natalie Portman gave (arguably) their best perfomances. I'm looking forward to Oldman in the upcoming Harry Potter and the Batman films.

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The reason is that the cinema is such a young art, that some of the best films made more than 50 years ago are artistically immature compared to today's average movie.

That is an excellent point, but you have to be careful not to overgeneralize about what may be more "artistically" of value in film today. The 1930s were absent of the many techniques which today have been perfected, and indeed these techniques can be of tremendous artistic value in crafting a film. But, taking, for instance, Robert Z. Leonard's Maytime and The Firefly, one would be hard-pressed to better the art direction of Cedric Gibbons, or the editing of Robert Kern. There is a montage scene in The Firefly which will rival any of the art and editing work today. Granted the style is different -- art direction and editing are directly connected to the tools of the day -- but the result is fantastic enough that style differences do not matter. At least, not for me.

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Being the first one to do something does not make an artist great. Nor does the fact that others do something else or something more later diminish the greatness of earlier art or artists.

I think what you say is absolutely correct. However, if I understood "erandror's" point correctly, he was emphasizing the evolutionary aspect of crafting a film.

(I might add that technical innovation is not part of the requirement for great art or artists.)

Also very true. But, still, technical innovation plays an important part in the overall results which we see. Painting has been around for eons, but the evolution of pigments and their application can be traced in the artistic results of each period. Of course, better tools in the hand of an incompetent artist will not create a great work of art, but better tools in the hand of a genius is a wonderful sight to behold.

I have often wondered how laptop computers and editing software would have been embraced by Miss Rand, and just how that might have affected her method of writing.

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I'm looking forward to Oldman in the upcoming Harry Potter and the Batman films

No kidding! Gary Oldman is one of my favorite actors. Y'know, I thought I had seen all the movies in which he had a major role, but then I recently realized I had never seen The Scarlet Letter. WOW, was I missing out! (I can't remember if I mentioned that movie on the other thread, but if anyone hasn't seen it yet, DO. NOW.)

Anyone who can play both Beethoven and Sid Vicious is a master of his craft. And, just to toss in another plug for The Fifth Element -- he's hilarious in it. :-)

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I have often wondered how laptop computers and editing software would have been embraced by Miss Rand, and just how that might have affected her method of writing.

Out of all the thought provoking comments on Ayn Rand I've read, this is the most thought provoking in my opinion. I wonder what she think of all this extreme technological advances too. I mean, two days ago, I sat astonished as a friend of mine took out a cell phone with freakin internet access!

I also feel regret for Rand that she didn't live to see the Iron Curtain being torn down on television. I bet that would have been a momentous emotional experience for her.

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Being the first one to do something does not make an artist great. Nor does the fact that others do something else or something more later diminish the greatness of earlier art or artists.

(I might add that technical innovation is not part of the requirement for great art or artists.)

In such a young, and still very limited art - I think it IS the mark of a great artist to stretch the framework of what exists.

In an art that is in it's very essense technological, technical innovation is directly related to the artistic experience of the viewer.

To put it differently: most film makers today just take the different "historic styles" they learned: Dorian, Ionic, Renaissance - and apply them to a new "house" - a new movie that has a different purpose and a different meaning.

The great directors, like the great architects, either forget about what was done before and do everything afresh, or take what was done before and make something altogether different, until the old "styles" are virtually unrecognizeable.

Now, if we are speaking specifically about directors - then you need to remember that their job is integrative in it's nature. So you can't just assume that any great movie was done by a great director. Some known directors constantly produce great movies, just because they have a good taste in stories and a kin eye for actors. They do a good job in the film, but they are not Howard Roark. They don't practice "Form follows function", but rather use old forms for new functions.

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In an art that is in it's very essense technological, technical innovation is directly related to the artistic experience of the viewer.

I share your appreciation of the technical aspects of filmmaking but, nevertheless, the technical aspects remain a tool, not an end. The end result is the visual quality of what we see on the screen. The most menial of tools in the hands of a master can provide a visual quality which is far superior to that of an average filmmaker who has all the modern technology at his disposal. I tremble at the thought of what we might be seeing if the old masters -- some of which RadCap mentioned, and others -- were magically transported to our world today.

For instance, one simple yet important tool is editing. The editing of a film gives it, in a sense, an underlying implicit epistemology, the means and the pacing by which the film is revealed. Computerized editing of film offers many advancements over older techniques, yet the quality of the editing -- the end result -- is more a function of the mind of the editor. The purpose and intention of the editor trumps the technical tools available.

The other day I saw Tony Scott's new film Man on Fire, with Denzel Washington. I very much enjoyed the film, but the rapid-fire editing -- the continual fast-moving breaking from one scene to another -- detracted from the quality of the film. The editing pace was so fast that I hungered for some extended moments where we could dwell on whatever was happening. By contrast, there are many older films where cuts are made by hand and the film unfolds at a pace which is pleasing to the discriminating mind.

Incidentally -- and, this is unconnected to the above, but was triggered by the thought of epistemology in film -- I'm curious what you think about Christopher Nolan's Memento? I think of that film as a rare explicit visual presentation of epistemology.

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Kill Bill is the best movie to come out in quite some time. It is a celebration of movie making, and .... well, I won't repeat the high praise that's been given already, except to add: ditto.

A few thoughts:

---

One element given little discussion (here or elsewhere) is the high quality of the dialogue. Recall Bill's monologues on Pei Mei, the goldfish, and Superman. Each featured David Carradine just talking -- yet the audience was captivated. Each of these conveyed the joy in simply telling an interesting story. And, unlike similiar scenes in Pulp Fiction (e.g., the "royale with cheese" scene), there was a point to each vignette. Each was linked directly to the story.

---

It is refreshing to see a director with a distinctive style. Too many films today could change directors and I doubt the films would differ by much. A few exceptions come to mind: Tim Burton, M. Night Shyamalan, Sofia Coppola, Baz Luhrmann, and QT. I could watch any movie by any of these guys, and there would be no doubt about who directed it. Hitchcock was the same way.

Too often, discussions of art with Objectivists too quickly reduce to discussions of philosophy. A work of art is not an essay, nor merely a concretization of the artist's philosophy. The style is just as important as the content. It is a shame that the joy in the process of art - the joy of language in Shakespeare, for instance - is given little consideration.

I mean, if art was nothing more than a presentation of a metaphysical value-judgement, wouldn't there be more first-rate artists among Objectivists? Yes, a lot of the paintings I see for sale at conferences express views of life that I consciously agree with. But for the most part, as art, it leaves me cold. Why? Because, frankly, the quality of execution is not there. Art, like sex, is an experience where skill and the sheer joy in the experience make all the difference in the world.

---

One element that has been discussed, but not directly identified, is the very high level of integration in this movie. QT has a real genius (yes, I use that word) for taking indpendent elements from the far sides of the cosmos and creating something new and exciting. Think of it: where else would one even imagine seeing a combination of anime, spaghetti westerns, kung fu, samurai fight scenes, and a soundtrack featuring Zamfir, Nancy Sinatra, Johnny Cash, and the theme from the Green Hornet? On paper, it sounds like a recipe for disaster. Yet QT *INTEGRATES* it all into a unique whole that is something compeltely new.

BTW, here's a site that identifies a number of the movies Kill bill references.

---

Now having thought about the movie for the past little while, I think I need to see KBv2 a third time... right now. ;)

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Kill Bill is the best movie to come out in quite some time.  It is a celebration of movie making, and .... well, I won't repeat the high praise that's been given already, except to add: ditto.

Obviously the poster is a man of discriminating taste! :D

One element given little discussion (here or elsewhere) is the high quality of the dialogue. Recall Bill's monologues on Pei Mei, the goldfish, and Superman.  Each featured David Carradine just talking -- yet the audience was captivated. 
I agree. Although I think Vol 1 was much better than Vol. 2, Carradine absolutely stunned me in the second part. It was not only what he said -- I agree his words were magnificent -- but it was also how the words flowed from him. I could listen to him talk that way for days, and never get tired. I held my breath when he spoke, not wanting to miss a single word.

It is refreshing to see a director with a distinctive style.  Too many films today could change directors and I doubt the films would differ by much.  A few exceptions come to mind: Tim Burton, M. Night Shyamalan, Sofia Coppola, Baz Luhrmann, and QT.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Now having thought about the movie for the past little while, I think I need to see KBv2 a third time... right now.  :)

I'm the guy in the fifth row, right in the middle. :D

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Sophia Coppola?!?!

BTW - one of the reasons I asked about "great" directors, is because - based on those answers - I wanted to ask if you would actually want any of them (especially QT) to direct Atlas Shrugged, for instance. Or even The Fountainhead.

(Oh - and as to this statement: "The great directors, like the great architects, either forget about what was done before and do everything afresh, or take what was done before and make something altogether different" - there have been plenty of artists throughout history who have done something 'fresh' or made something "altogether different". That did not make them nor their art "great". Newness is not a standard of "greatness".

Perhaps you would be interested in telling me what AR did "afresh" with her writing (style remember, not content). I dont remember her adding anything new to the art. Nor do I remember her creating a new form of plot, theme, sentence structure, or the like. She made no 'technological' breakthroughs when it came to the novel. So I would be very interested in learning what you believe qualifies her art as great. Or do you? Am I making an incorrect assumption here?)

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Sophia Coppola?!?!

Yes. She has a very distinctive style. See "Lost in Translation", and tell me it doesn't have a style unto itself. It is well made and very expressive. A mood of loneliness just pulses through it.

I wanted to ask if you would actually want any of them (especially QT) to direct Atlas Shrugged, for instance. Or even The Fountainhead.
My point is that each of the directors I mentioned would have a distinct spin on the material -- the Tim Burton version, for instance, would be quite different from the Baz Luhrmann version. (Actually, the latter might be amusing. Imagine a musical vignette with John seranading Dagny!)

Seriously, I don't know an established director who is up to the task. However, a couple of up-and-coming Objectivist directors *MAY* be, provided they continue to develop their craft.

Perhaps you would be interested in telling me what AR did "afresh" with her writing (style remember, not content). I dont remember her adding anything new to the art. Nor do I remember her creating a new form of plot, theme, sentence structure, or the like. She made no 'technological' breakthroughs when it came to the novel. So I would be very interested in learning what you believe qualifies her art as great. Or do you? Am I making an incorrect assumption here?)

Are you serious?

AR answered that herself. See her journals. Or The Art of Fiction. Or The Romantic Manifesto. In the latter, remember her discussion of characterization, where she compares two different versions of the early scene in the The Fountainhead in which Keating asks Roark for career advice? That's an example of AR's innovation in style.

Look at Atlas Shrugged. What other author - in the history of civilization - wrote a novel whose climax was a 3-hour radio speech that covered everything from politics to metaphysics? Is that not innovative?

But my point is broader than innovation. I said "distinctive," which AR ALWAYS was, in her novels, her philosophy, and her life.

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Obviously the poster is a man of discriminating taste!  :) 

I agree. Although I think Vol 1 was much better than Vol. 2, Carradine absolutely stunned me in the second part. It was not only what he said -- I agree his words were magnificent -- but it was also how the words flowed from him. I could listen to him talk that way for days, and never get tired. I held my breath when he spoke, not wanting to miss a single word.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

I'm the guy in the fifth row, right in the middle.  :D

I agree. Although I think Vol 1 was much better than Vol. 2, Carradine absolutely stunned me in the second part. It was not only what he said -- I agree his words were magnificent -- but it was also how the words flowed from him. I could listen to him talk that way for days, and never get tired. I held my breath when he spoke, not wanting to miss a single word.

You are correct, sir. I think Carradine deserves an Oscar. He reminds me of Christopher Walken. Both revel in the words they deliver. There's a sensuous quality, as if they feel the words physically leave their lips and they want to savor the taste of them. It is entrancing.

I love the beginning of KBv2, when the bride meets Bill. I wish, though, another scene or two would show Bill and the bride in love. It would really drive home the level of inner conflict they both feel. Each is torn between loving and hating the other.

And, it adds real punch to the opening line of KBv1: "Do you find me sadistic?" Now that's a great opening line! "This is me at my most masochistic" -- after seeing KBv2, the meaning is quite clear.

It's interesting that the comparison I keep thinking of is Casablanca. The first time I saw that film, the first onscreen meeting between Rick and Ilsa had little emotional resonance. It was obvious from Rick's reaction how he felt, but the audience wouldn't know until later when the flashback revealed their affair. The second time you see that scene, there is far more emotional impact because of this additional knowledge.

And that's also how I feel about the opening of KBv1.

P.S. Check out this interview with David Carradine. Good stuff!

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[T]here have been plenty of artists throughout history who have done something 'fresh' or made something "altogether different".  That did not make them nor their art "great".  Newness is not a standard of "greatness". 

Perhaps you would be interested in telling me what AR did "afresh" with her writing (style remember, not content).  I dont remember her adding anything new to the art.  Nor do I remember her creating a new form of plot, theme, sentence structure, or the like.  She made no 'technological' breakthroughs when it came to the novel.  So I would be very interested in learning what you believe qualifies her art as great.  Or do you?  Am I making an incorrect assumption here?)

Yes, you are making an incorrect assuption.

The incorrect assuption is that Ayn Rand did not innovate in the technical aspects of writing.

This is simply untrue - Ayn Rand invented, developed and created many stylistic and dramatic mechanisms. It's enough to read The Art of Fiction to know that she did not simply copy traditional ways of writing a novel. She insisted on understanding the craft by its philosophical principles, not solely by what has been done before her.

Her metaphors, her use of tragedy in We the Living and The Fountainhead, her unique love triangles, her use of material culture, like buildings and railroads, to symbolize abstract principles like second-handness, or productivity. Her characterizations are technically superior to almost ALL authors, and for all I know her methods of characterization are of her own making.

One clear example is her use of John Galt as a hero behind the scenes in Atlas Shrugged. Now, this is a virtual taboo in fiction circles. Your hero must be always at the center of attention, otherwise - how can the readers relate to him? But she did it, and she pulled it off amazingly.

Another example is the unique process of editing she developed, and called "editing in layers", and her constructive use of criticism while editing every new chapter in Atlas Shrugged is also something to be studied.

Now - I don't say that nobody used any of these techniques before - but they are far from the established doctrine in fiction writing - and she had to learn and develop them first hand - which comes out perfectly clear in her writing.

As for the question of whether or not I would want these directors directing AS or TF - it depends not on their artistic abilities, but on their persons. I would want the director to be able to understand and admire the work, in addition to being a good director.

But yes - assuming Quenting Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Anthony Minghella and some of the others I consider great, became Objectivist (or at least had some admiration to the works), I would LOVE to see them direct Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead.

And I think an Objectivist Quentin Tarantino could make Atlas Shrugged into a masterpiece of cinema (which the existing Fountainhead movie is NOT, by any stretch of imagination). This is a man who knows his craft through and through.

P.S. - I did not say innovation was in itself enough to call an artist great. But I think no artist can be truly be great without innovation. Ayn Rand said there are 3 kinds of artist: those who take old ideas and express them in old forms, those who take old ideas and express them in new form, and those who take new ideas and express them in new form. I believe she considered only the last two kinds to be truly great.

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I share your appreciation of the technical aspects of filmmaking but, nevertheless, the technical aspects remain a tool, not an end.

Of course. If I wasn't clear about it - let me say it: the technical aspects are the means, not the ends. And the technological aspects are just the means to the means.

But since every artwork is an end in itself, I don't think that you can just sit back and use only existing means.

This will be tantamount to the Dean's speech in The Fountainhead, where he said:

"But all the proper means of expressions have already been invented!"

To which Howard Roark replied: "Expressions of what?"

I happen to agree with Roark on this.

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You are correct, sir.  I think Carradine deserves an Oscar.  He reminds me of Christopher Walken.  Both revel in the words they deliver.  There's a sensuous quality, as if they feel the words physically leave their lips and they want to savor the taste of them.  It is entrancing.

Beautifully put. And, exactly right. I saw Man On Fire the other day and Walken has a line which exemplifies what you say. It is worth seeing the entire movie to hear how these words flow from his lips.

"A man can be an artist in anything. It depends on how good he is at it. Creasey's art is death. He's about to paint his masterpiece."

There are a few other really good lines in that movie. One in particular by Denzel Washington, speaking to a nun about avenging the bad guys.

"Forgiveness is between them and God. It's my job to arrange the meeting."

I love the beginning of KBv2, when the bride meets Bill. I wish, though, another scene or two would show Bill and the bride in love.  It would really drive home the level of inner conflict they both feel.  Each is torn between loving and hating the other.
Yes, there is a conflict and tension between love and hate, but I am not sure I agree that flashback scenes to their romance would be of value. I think QT did all that in a more subtle way, in the campfire scene between the two. You saw a very early version of the two, with all the seeds of their romance planted in how they related to each other at that time. I think seeing more of their romance might have detracted from the current conflict. As long as the idea of their romance is planted firmly in your mind -- and, I think QT did that superbly -- then all the emotional tension is there in your own mind, and you are more free to concentrate on the here and now.

And, it adds real punch to the opening line of KBv1: "Do you find me sadistic?"  Now that's a great opening line! "This is me at my most masochistic" -- after seeing KBv2, the meaning is quite clear.

A little like "Rosebud."

P.S.  Check out this interview with David Carradine.  Good stuff!

Interesting. But, actually, what I like most is what he said about QT"

"Quentin is the most aware person I've ever met."

What has struck me most about QT is, based on all the interviews I have seen of him about the movie, it is clear just how consciously determined all his choices are in that movie. Everything is intentional, purposeful, well thought-out.

Did you see the recent "Dateline" interview with him? I recorded it on my computer. It is probably a long file, but if you have not seen it I could probably send it to you somehow.

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I agree with RadCap that novelty (particularly with regard to style) is a very poor standard of artistic greatness. Something new is only good if it is good by other, objective, standards--its newness by itself is not enough.

That said, I do think that Ayn Rand injected something in some sense original into fiction writing, although I think it's somewhat deeper than most of the things mentioned by other posters on this point, most of which I disagree are at all original (she's hardly the first to use love triangles!). Her superb style is a result of her new discoveries in epistemology. Her opposition to both epistemological empiricism and rationalism is reflected in her fiction, which is neither concrete-bounded nor floating, unlike so many other writers. She gives concretes, then draws abstractions from them. That's not to say that no other writer ever did this, but as far as I know she was the first to pursue it consistently as a principle of style.

As for the directors mentioned, many of them are good directors, but they could not do justice to Atlas Shrugged. And while there are good things about some of the unique aspects of their direction, I would probably not classify most of them as "great," and I think the praise being heaped on them here is a bit much. For one, I don't think that each of their styles is as brilliant as some people here apparently do. But for another, art is not a matter only of style or form, but an integration of form and content. The most technically brilliant film in the history of the craft would be worthless if its content were utterly empty.

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Of course. If I wasn't clear about it - let me say it: the technical aspects are the means, not the ends. And the technological aspects are just the means to the means.

But since every artwork is an end in itself, I don't think that you can just sit back and use only existing means.

This will be tantamount to the Dean's speech in The Fountainhead, where he said:

"But all the proper means of expressions have already been invented!"

To which Howard Roark replied: "Expressions of what?"

I happen to agree with Roark on this.

You have made your point in a very nice way. Since I have a very profound love of architecture, and since I know a lot about the few innovators in that field, I can more easily relate to your point in architecture than in film.

I will have to think about this more. It is true that the way of making movies has blossomed in the past few decades, and technology has become more important than it ever was. You may well be right to grant techological achievement and advancement in filmmaking, to be an artistic statement on its own. Or, at least, to underscore the importance of techological advances applied to the art of making films.

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I agree with RadCap that novelty (particularly with regard to style) is a very poor standard of artistic greatness.  Something new is only good if it is good by other, objective, standards--its newness by itself is not enough.

It's not a a poor standard, it's simply one of many - and not enough in itself. But I still insist that greatness in art depends on achieving innovation in form and means (not merely, or necessarily, in ideas and ends). If Ayn Rand would have tried to dramatize the exact same ideas, but with a clicheic story and flat stereotypical characters she would have failed, and would not have been the great writer that she is.

I want to stress that I don't support innovation for it's own sake. I just happen to believe that in creating any work of art, if the theme and the artistic value are the two things what truly guide your decision, then you will not limit yourself to what has been done - but will use anything that works best. If you endeavor never to stretch the established rules, you will commit a sin against your own work. And if you don't limit yourself, the logic of your artistic choices will necessarily lead you to technical innovations (assuming you have any shread of creativity).

That said, I do think that Ayn Rand injected something in some sense original into fiction writing, although I think it's somewhat deeper than most of the things mentioned by other posters on this point, most of which I disagree are at all original (she's hardly the first to use love triangles!).
Did I say she invented the love triangle? I don't think so... Anyway I didn't mean she invented the love triangle, but that her use of the love triangle is unique. She used it as a philosophical comparison between two outlooks, while giving the side she disagreed the best possible representative, and the side she agreed with the worst possible time.

She writes about it in The Art of Fiction... I will bring you this quote later, as I'm alreading writing more than I have time for right now...

Her superb style is a result of her new discoveries in epistemology.  Her opposition to both epistemological empiricism and rationalism is reflected in her fiction, which is neither concrete-bounded nor floating, unlike so many other writers.  She gives concretes, then draws abstractions from them.  That's not to say that no other writer ever did this, but as far as I know she was the first to pursue it consistently as a principle of style.

Right. Good point. Saying Ayn Rand was not an innovator in fiction writing I think would insult her like a slap in the face. This is what she gave most of her energy to, and I think she is one of the great, in not the greatest, innovators in this field.

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