As regular readers of my blog know, I went back to school a couple of years ago. I am ever-so-slowly working my way toward a degree. And when I say slowly, I mean s-l-o-w-l-y.
This semester, I am taking an introduction to film studies class. By early December, I’ll have watched a total of eight films that represent movies from the late 1930s up until 2006. This week’s film was from the 60’s. I’m not going to name the film, because it was vulgar, foul garbage. I kept thinking of the young gal who sits near me every week. Last week, she was reading a Ted Dekker novel in the hall while we were waiting for the classroom door to be unlocked. Should she have to watch this junk? Should I?
I remember the instructor’s comment the first week, telling us that this Academy Award Best Picture winner is considered “brilliant cinematography” but that its content might be disturbing to some. She added that this is a college class and we are all adults.
Excuse me. Just because I’m an adult doesn’t mean I want to see garbage on the screen. In fact, as a mature adult, I’m glad that I have acquired enough good sense and good taste to be able to differentiate between tripe and art. An Oscar does not make this movie better than it is. If it hadn’t been an assignment, I would have turned it off long before it got to the offensive parts because it just wasn’t good.
A well-known critic (who, BTW, has liked many movies I haven’t over the years), called this movie “an offensively trendy, gimmick-ridden, tarted-up, vulgar exercise in fashionable cinema.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
I am no shrinking violet. Honestly, I do not melt when exposed to the more offensive or distasteful aspects of our culture. But those were two hours of my life that I wasted while watching that movie. Two hours that I will never get back. Not to mention the time it took to answer the questions in the viewing guide.
I guess this is a rant that is going nowhere. I’m not even sure of the point I want to make. Other than it saddens and angers me that films like this one are held up as examples of so-called brilliant cinema to potential future filmmakers. Really? Is this the best Hollywood (and academia) can do?