Trying to rape the viewer into independence
May 5, 2008 2:56 PM   Subscribe

17 Notorious Living, Working Cinematic Provocateurs. The Onion A/V Club strikes again.
posted by chuckdarwin (32 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Onion A/V Club strikes again.

Speaking of which, anyone notice how AV Club comments rank *just* above YouTube in stupidity? Hipster Hell, I tells you...
posted by KokuRyu at 3:01 PM on May 5, 2008


Oh, I don't read the comments. That shit'll give you cancer.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:03 PM on May 5, 2008


Do you count as a working cinematic provocateur if you are Oliver Stone?
posted by Artw at 3:07 PM on May 5, 2008


Those AV Club comments are toxic - every post is a thread-crapper, turns me off to the whole site (well, this, and that awful column The Hater.)

First post for this article is "Warner (sp) Herzog is the man."
posted by porn in the woods at 3:15 PM on May 5, 2008


Do you count as a working cinematic provocateur if you are Oliver Stone?

Have you seen "JFK"? I almost got into a fistfight with my film studies sessional prof (angry young man meets embittered, slightly angrier older young man) over that one...
posted by KokuRyu at 3:16 PM on May 5, 2008


Speaking of which, anyone notice how AV Club comments rank *just* above YouTube in stupidity?

Wow; I completely disagree. They're mostly cogent and literate, and real idiots tend to get shouted down. There's certainly a lot of cattiness and snark, but nothing like the immature blurtings you see on YouTube. And I like that the reviewers regularly respond to and participate in the discussions. My main beef with the AV Club comments is that there are a lot of self-appointed experts with big egos and insistent opinions, but if I had a problem with that, I would stay away from Metafilter, too.

Seriously; I just read the comment thread on the linked list, and it reads not unlike a Metafilter thread.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:17 PM on May 5, 2008 [6 favorites]


Seriously; I just read the comment thread on the linked list, and it reads not unlike a Metafilter thread.

U DONT THINK WE WENT TO THE MOON WHY NOT TELL LOUIS ARMSTRONG TO HIS FACE!
posted by jonson at 3:28 PM on May 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


JFK was 17 years ago. I'd give you Heaven & Earth and Nixon as good movies, and Natural Born Killers and U-Turn kind of have a place in my heart, but that's still a long time without doing much that was all that good or "provocative" (and no, minor flaps about the gaying and ungaying of Alexander don't count, because the movies sucked either way)
posted by Artw at 3:29 PM on May 5, 2008


pro·voc·a·tive adj. Tending to provoke or stimulate.

3. Uwe Boll

An inclination for combativeness is a given among notorious cinematic provocateurs, but only Uwe Boll, the thin-skinned German behind many of the worst video game adaptations of all time, has the iron cojones to literally challenge his detractors to fisticuffs...


Uwe Boll is not provocative. He is the enemy! Don't be seduced into thinking he is anything other than someone who wants to rape your eyeballs and flay your common sense. He needs you to suffer because only then will his pact with Satan be fulfilled and his plague upon our world ended.

The only thing he should ever provoke in anyone is ire.

I'm not a fan.
posted by quin at 3:46 PM on May 5, 2008


Metafilter challenged critics and audiences to distinguish art from pornography.

The stupid, stupid, cocksuckers.
posted by tkchrist at 3:50 PM on May 5, 2008


I can't watch more than 6 seconds of that James Tobak clip at a time without having a full on panic attack...
posted by clockwork at 3:54 PM on May 5, 2008


The filmic work of Uwe Boll really don’t sound very interesting at all. And if they’re going to pull the "ha ha! Low brow!" trick then why not Paul Verhoeven? At least his films are watchable.

But, you know, Not X but Y.
posted by Artw at 4:01 PM on May 5, 2008


But, you know, Not X but Y.

You obviously haven't encountered Z, because otherwise you wouldn't even mention X and Y.
posted by goatdog at 4:08 PM on May 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


It should be 1, 2, 3 anyway.
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM on May 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


You obviously haven't encountered Z, because otherwise you wouldn't even mention X and Y.

But W preceded all of them.
posted by tula at 4:30 PM on May 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


For the most part, I don't think Boll intends to be provocative. I think he wants to make films people will like, actiony blockbusters and whatnot. He's just so bad at it that it riles everyone up... Since the conscious part of the act - the intention to provoke - is missing from most of his movies, I don't think he really counts. After all, every filmmaker wants to provoke a response; it's only the ones that INTEND to provoke outrage that we consider "provocateurs".

More importantly: this list is less a list of provocative filmmakers than it is a collection of people who have at some time made a film which was provocative who haven't quite died yet. Over half that list hasn't made a film that was very debatable in the last decade. Guys like John Waters just got shoved in the trashy bin and ignored by all the people who get upset about 'obscene' films and Oliver Stone ran out of ammo years ago.
posted by Kiablokirk at 5:34 PM on May 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I had a professor for history of film 101, who was convinced that Verhoeven was a genius. He felt Verhoeven's message in Showgirls was "Hollywood is nothing but a whorehouse." Starship Troopers was, "War makes fascists of us all. Boo war." I don't recall his precise opinion of Robocop.
posted by Richard Daly at 6:29 PM on May 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Christ, what a bunch of wankers.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 6:35 PM on May 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Robocop is one of the most subversive big-budget Hollywood films of the eighties. It's crammed with messages about corporate fascism, fear of the lower classes, and mindless consumerism.
posted by autodidact at 7:04 PM on May 5, 2008


According to Verhoeven'Robocop is robojesus, dying for us and being reborn. Then shooting lots of people.
posted by Artw at 7:18 PM on May 5, 2008


He felt Verhoeven's message in Showgirls was "Hollywood is nothing but a whorehouse." Starship Troopers was, "War makes fascists of us all. Boo war."

Yep, that's pretty much spot on. Add in funny and you're all set.
posted by Jeff_Larson at 8:20 PM on May 5, 2008


Speaking of which, anyone notice how AV Club comments rank *just* above YouTube in stupidity? Hipster Hell, I tells you...

This will not stand, sir! You've defamed my beloved AV Club once too often. You see, I obsessively read both the AV Club and Metafilter. In both cases the comments are much of the attraction, but for very different reasons.

Metafilter comments are interesting, engaging, thought provoking, and often amazingly well informed. They're also strikingly unfunny (except for a few commenters, like greg nog, who somehow bats 1.000). That's fine, of course. Funny's not the point. If the admins wanted humor to be a focus they'd have set things up very differently. Sorry to break it to those of you still diligently working the three or four house in-jokes.

The AV Club message boards are also sometimes informative and interesting, as was pointed out above. More often though, they're a combination of dumb as hell and funny as shit. But the things that allow the funny--things like fake usernames, threaded comments, limited supervision and no on-topic requirements--would seriously undermine the value of metafilter. Of course, I sometimes wish for a Z0diac M0therfucker around these parts to remind us all that we're "wack as shit."

Back to the cinema provocateurs! "Irreversible" certainly provoked me, if by provoked you mean hurt my soul. Oh for an "unwatch" function.
posted by bepe at 8:31 PM on May 5, 2008


bepe, I watched Irreversible when I was going through a phase. I was watching the weirdest movies I could find. Irreversible ended that particular phase. I got about a minute into the rape scene, said "what the fuck," turned it off, and felt for a little while like I was going to vomit. I've never had such a visceral reaction. I think it was the complete lack of... cinematic interest in the scene. It was too real.

My phase ended with Irreversible.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:42 PM on May 5, 2008


Ah, Irreversible. I came that close to seeing that movie on Valentine's day with someone I'd just started dating. (We had been dating for less than 2 weeks and wanted to do something that wasn't too couplely). Years later I finally saw it and thanked god that our plans fell through. Can you imagine? Also what sick fuck scheduled it to play one night only on Feb 14th?
posted by aspo at 9:10 PM on May 5, 2008


A genuinely funny and/or intelligent and/or in some indefinable way at least worth-fucking-while comment on an AV Club article is like a shining sapphire in a huge vat of bullshit that's been sprinkled with something that causes cancer and boobytrapped with rusty hypodermics, every third one of which is loaded with hepatitis C. It's not that you won't find a sapphire, maybe even a couple, but really...is it worth it?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:39 AM on May 6, 2008


sonic meat machine writes 'I got about a minute into the rape scene, said "what the fuck," turned it off, and felt for a little while like I was going to vomit.'

When I first saw Irreversible in the cinema, an awful lot of folk walked out immediately after the rape scene finished. I could never work out if they somehow needed to see the whole thing to be absolutely sure that they were outraged, or were, er, rape fans who were just there for that scene.
posted by jack_mo at 7:00 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Uwe Boll... being bad is not being provocative.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:32 AM on May 6, 2008


Oh and is it just me or has John Waters basically become a slightly camper version of the demi-lich from Tomb of Horrors?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:34 AM on May 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised that they've didn't talk about Lars von Trier's quite open anti-Americanism to focus on his misogyny, which seems to be where most controversy surrounding him has flared up since Dancer in the Dark.
posted by Weebot at 10:17 AM on May 6, 2008


At least Dogville has a happy ending!
posted by Artw at 10:21 AM on May 6, 2008


Lars' relationship with his actresses has gotten a lot of press. Kidman will never work with him again, and Bjork retired from film altogether after being directed by him.

The boy has some issues.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:13 AM on May 7, 2008


Uwe Boll's Five Favorite Films
posted by Artw at 4:23 PM on May 14, 2008


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