This Should Be Day 1 Of Film Schools Everywhere

by Ted Hope
August 29, 2011 12:30 PM
3 Comments
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After insipid subject matter, complete avoidance of emotional truth, ignorance of film history and the effects of representation, I think the redundant and derivative film language of most films is what truly gets my goat.

Cliches are not without their power and use, but it's not a bad rule of thumb to try to avoid them at all costs. The great things about them is that cliches are easy to learn -- and then hopefully easy to avoid.

It would be great to have a a check list. If I managed a film viewing community I would hand out badges to everyone that spotted and marked a cliche in a movie. I would love to see the list of what films and filmmakers traffic most widely in them.

But I guy can't have everything he wants, and I have to say I am pretty content in what I have in this regards anyway. Film fans world wide have taken control of their culture and have made a hilarious collection of short films parading the cliches in all their glory. I have featured a few of these when they came my way inthe past. But now FilmmakerIQ have done us all a tremendous service and collected MANY of them on one page.

If you ask me these should be playing in constant rotation in the lobbies of film schools the world over. We are so connected to each other now, there's no reason why we shouldn't police ourselves from such fatal flaws.

Suffice it to say that I was so impressed with FilmmakerIQ's post, that I couldn't restrict myself to a simple tweet.

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3 Comments

  • Andrej | August 30, 2011 7:06 AMReply

    somebody doesnt like cary fukunaga...

  • angry cliche | August 29, 2011 6:50 AMReply

    Speaking of filmmaking cliches, these seem to have escaped that website:

    1) highly privileged indie filmmaker, under the mistaken impression that his/her mental life is interesting, makes a movie about other highly privileged persons who Talk About Their Feelings and Stare Out The Window with Anguished Looks. Watch for Something Terrible In The Past, which is evidently why some people stare out the window. In extreme circumstances, there may be an extra planet in the sky. Some characters may stare at it. Other characters have been known to put their eyes out altogether.

    2) highly privileged indie filmmaker, under the correct impression that his/her mental life is of no interest whatsoever, decamps to upstate NY, the Ozarks or Timbuctoo to make a working class/third-world fantasy film for more money than the inhabitants of those regions will see in a lifetime. Drugs and/or guns mandatory.

    2a) highly privileged indie filmmaker, enjoying the bloom of first success, directs adaptation of English literary classic. Particularly useful for non-Anglos seeking to establish Oscar bona fides. The whitebread suits haven't actually handled the books since their Cliff Notes days, and have as little connection to Gentle Jane and the Brontes as Turks, Swedes or Malays, but still. Shows range and that you're worthy of the awards' ceremony.

    3) highly privileged indie filmmaker reprises his youthful travails as [burger flipper] [gardener] [carnival barker] [plumber's assistant] [construction site gofer] where, after the usual mishaps, he finds the girl of his dreams. Or discovers that the girl of his dreams isn't actually a girl. Or discovers that we're all the girl of our own dreams. Whatever. He gets off, eventually, and is a better and wiser person for it.

    4) highly privileged indie filmmaker hires TV actors to reprise their zany TV personas in a feature. Or to play against their zany TV personas in a feature. The director loves the cast. The cast loves the director. The producer loves everybody. That's what they'll say about each other on TV, anyway.

    5) highly privileged indie filmmaker remakes classic films with Post-Modern Knowingness. So what if the originals surpass the remakes in every way, including self-consciousness? We're still cleverer than they were. Those of us who went to ivy-league colleges, anyway. Besides, all stories have already been told, why bother making your own?

    This is only the tip of the iceberg, to indulge another cliche. 6-10, anyone?

  • David | May 8, 2012 6:55 PM

    @Angry Cliche ---

    Don't forget this one: highly privileged indie filmmaker does the obligatory "diaspora" film; doesn't matter which one (Asian, Hispanic, African), although given the phobias of today's age against the Middle East and Muslims, the preferable one is the Middle Eastern immigrant-American dream variety. And to given it even more 'Americana', set it in Oklahoma or Arkansas or Alabama, anywhere but NYC where the real enlightened folk live.

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