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The Shame of Memory
September 22, 2006 11:30 PM   Subscribe

When I first saw it, my jaw hit the floor. After years of thinking I would suffer alone with the memory, I found others who knew. Along the way, I discovered other gems... even though my personal tastes were more epic. When she asked why I loved them so much, I replied, "Because they are so ambitious. They try so hard".
posted by squidfartz (23 comments total)

 
Not to be a negative nelly, but why are there so many posts about bad movies on Metafilter and hardly any about good ones? Personally, I have never seen the appeal of ineptly directed, badly-acted, cliche-ridden movies. Sure, there are probably a few diamonds in the rough, but for the most part the Z-movie is a world where dross become gems, failure is hailed as success and the ridiculous is confused for the sublime.
posted by dydecker at 1:44 AM on September 23, 2006


Because very few set out to make bad art. There are thousands - milllons! of us with a genuine and deep desire to make beautiful, heart-wrenching, profound things of beauty, and we are crippled, cruelly by an utter lack of discipline, skill and judgement. But we burn, nonetheless. We have the soul, fire, and passion of a true artist, trapped in the grim shell of the crushingly banal and mediocre. The Z-movie enthusiast happily celebrates the laboured mountings of the low and well trodden hillocks that are the personal Everests of the sincerely talentless.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:32 AM on September 23, 2006 [5 favorites]


Thanks for pointing this one out - I didn't know about it but clearly it's one to check out.

I like to get some of these and have people over and we do the MST3k thing and laugh ourselves silly.

It reminds me of the 1959 Santa Claus which is one off-the-wall movie.
posted by jam_pony at 2:51 AM on September 23, 2006


Maybe sincerity is true for Ed Wood, but for every deluded naive there are a thousand who make movies for more cynical motives - for the money, or they like the idea of being filmmakers, or they have moved up the rungs through sheer determination. And their (lack of) effort shows and usually the result is zzzz tiresome to sit through. Why should that be celebrated?
posted by dydecker at 2:51 AM on September 23, 2006


Why should that be celebrated?

Aw, c'mon dydecker, ain'tcha ever heard of "so bad it's good"? Some folks just like to watch something really, really bad cause it can be, you know, funny. All the more so because it probably wasn't meant to be funny. Also, there's this: people like to have a laugh at someone else's expense, as any regular Mefite should know very well!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:20 AM on September 23, 2006


OK, to save this thread let's make it "so bad they're funny" movies.

Here's another: Modesty Blaise (1966, not the lame remake). Years ago while channel-flipping I saw this on late night TV, and was transfixed by the surpassing silliness of it. Sort of a female James Bond character, with 60's campiness.

Obscure factoid: Travolta's character is reading a book version of this on the john in the boxer's house in Pulp Fiction.
posted by jam_pony at 4:35 AM on September 23, 2006


Surely if the remake was "lame" that is a good thing, isn't it?
posted by dydecker at 4:48 AM on September 23, 2006


wow. this thread was worthwhile if only for dydecker and jon mitchell's first two comments. well spoken!
posted by ab3 at 5:07 AM on September 23, 2006


So bad it's funny is an elusive quality, and is never attained in a remake of a movie that has achieved it.

That's one of the Iron Rules of Cinema, like "Hollywood remakes of European movies are always worthless".
posted by jam_pony at 5:47 AM on September 23, 2006


That's one of the Iron Rules of Cinema, like "Hollywood remakes of European movies are always worthless".

You're telling me Scarlet Street is worthless?

(Okay, that's the only one I could think of.)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:53 AM on September 23, 2006


Well, maybe you've pointed out an exception, but that's 1945. All modern examples I know of validate the rule.
posted by jam_pony at 5:59 AM on September 23, 2006


12 Monkeys?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:01 AM on September 23, 2006


jam_pony, but Modesty Blaise was supposed to be funny. It's a parody of James Bond flicks. I kinda get the look-at-the-trainwreck fascination of it (the movie doesn't make hardly any sense) but it's certainly a worthwhile movie - the direction is competent, it had a fairly big budget, great style - it's certainly streets ahead of say "Abducted 2: The Reunion". I guess I mean there are bad movies which are interesting despite their flaws (or because of them?) and bad movies which are best forgotten.
posted by dydecker at 6:13 AM on September 23, 2006


I thought this

There are thousands - milllons! of us with a genuine and deep desire to make beautiful, heart-wrenching, profound things of beauty, and we are crippled, cruelly by an utter lack of discipline, skill and judgement. But we burn, nonetheless. We have the soul, fire, and passion of a true artist,

was a quote from Salieri?

;-)

SUN
posted by RubberHen at 6:47 AM on September 23, 2006


To address dydecker's first comment... I love bad movies and enjoy pursuing awful films for the simple fact that it is fun. Really, really fun.

The first film I wanted to share the most (Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny) is not just a "bad" movie or a grade Z film it is a work that will defy you to reason that the producers of which were capable of pulling up their own pants. It's not just inept and misdirected, it challenges one to try and understand how such a project came to be... and usually the background stories of bad productions are even funnier and more interesting than the finished product.

Jimmy the Boy Wonder is just cheap and weird, but the next step up from Santa.

I actually love Starcrash. For all of it's awfullness, it's really a delightful film and if I had seen it upon it's original release (and been a few years younger) I would have loved it just for the sheer color and adventure.

All of the Italian sci-fi stuff is worth a look if you appreciate this sort of work.

And it's lonely row to plow when you're one of the few people who actually likes Metalstorm. I think it's not a "bad" film. It was released in 3D and I saw it in a theatre and thouroghly enjoyed it for what it was -a cheap, sci fi western with a lot of cool ideas. A lot of work went into that production with very, very little money, and it shows. It succeeds at being funny and eery and unlike most films I see, never boring.

I respect your point and would like very much to post and and share some of the "good" films I love -and I plan too, eventually... I thrive on people suggesting rare films (good and bad) that I haven't seen.

Thanks for taking a look at this either way.
posted by squidfartz at 7:10 AM on September 23, 2006


"Hollywood remakes of European movies are always worthless".

Insomnia is good. Dunno that it stands up to the version with Stellan Skarsgard, but it's far from worthless.

I may be a philistine, but I prefer Cousins to Cousin/Cousine, though that's not really a proper comparison as they're very different films. But then I'd generally prefer a movie with Isabella Rossellini to one without her; yum.

And Point of No Return isn't any more stupid than La Femme Nikita. Both are extremely silly.

Magnificent Seven is nowhere near worthless, even if Seven Samurai is admittedly not European.

Soderbergh's Solaris, while very different from Tarkovsky's -- different enough to not be a remake of the film but rather just another adaptation of the novel -- is very far from worthless.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:22 AM on September 23, 2006


If ever a post needed more YouTube, this one is it.
posted by BeerFilter at 10:33 AM on September 23, 2006


I agree, Beerfilter... but this is my first post on MeFi and my girlfriend told me not to 'overdo it'.

If anyone is interested, many of these film do appear on YouTube in one form or another ...I highly recommend this trailer.

It's in French, but I'm sure you'll get the point.
posted by squidfartz at 10:53 AM on September 23, 2006


I absolutely love the name "The Agony Booth."

/geek
posted by fandango_matt at 10:57 AM on September 23, 2006


I threw out that line half jokingly, unable to think of any counterexamples. Now I'll moderate it to: Hollywood versions of foreign films are always inferior.

Soderbergh I don't think of as Hollywood. That's debatable I suppose but he's not quite mainstream.

But the rule holds for all the above, IMHO, possibly excepting Scarlet Street which I'd never heard of until today. Cases like Cousin, Cousine are exactly what I had in mind. The original Star Wars may be as good as The Hidden Fortress tho it's hard to compare.
posted by jam_pony at 11:09 AM on September 23, 2006


PinkStainlessTail: 12 Monkeys was not in any way a remake of La Jetee. It was very loosely inspired by it, but if Gilliam hadn't pointed it out it probably would never have been noticed.
posted by rusty at 4:55 PM on September 23, 2006


Yeah, I was wondering if anyone was going to call me on that.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:07 PM on September 25, 2006


Called. Totally called. I called you so hard, you're gonna stay called for the rest of the week, if not longer.
posted by rusty at 2:30 PM on September 25, 2006


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