Thanks I Hate It
August 6, 2018 6:15 AM   Subscribe

Film critic and Metafilter fave Lindsay Ellis (previously on Metafilter) on That Time Disney Remade Beauty and the Beast.

Spoiler: she hated it.

For more Lindsay Ellis and Beauty and the Beast: Is Beauty and the Beast about Stockholm Syndrome?
posted by Ziggy500 (29 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
The context Lindsay raises of nitpicking a la CinemaSins, having a negative impact on filmmaking is fascinating. If your form of criticism encourages films to be worse, why on earth are you making videos?
posted by eyeofthetiger at 6:20 AM on August 6, 2018 [9 favorites]


I missed these previouslies... happy to have another pile of smart person opining on the youtubes to enqueue

[Also, she's dead on regarding the nitpicky, scour the earth 'humor' style of Everything Wrong With style BS]
posted by DigDoug at 6:49 AM on August 6, 2018 [5 favorites]


Just chiming in to say I love this video as I love pretty much every thing else Lindsay does. If you're new to her work start with her video on Rent; it's stellar.
posted by CatastropheWaitress at 7:03 AM on August 6, 2018 [6 favorites]


The context Lindsay raises of nitpicking a la CinemaSins, having a negative impact on filmmaking is fascinating. If your form of criticism encourages films to be worse, why on earth are you making videos?

I quite like the movie goofs twitter account's take on that style of 'criticism' in the last few weeks.

Great video. Ellis is always good not just for digging into the background context of the studio but on top of that does a fine job dissecting the cinematography and story structure. She's very neat at identifying what (theoretically interesting or praiseworthy) things the filmmaker might have been trying to do - here "no, see, Disney was trying to address the plot holes" - and then shutting it down for simply not working.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 7:33 AM on August 6, 2018 [10 favorites]


lindsay is fantastic -- to pile onto the recommendations, I highly recommend the whole plate series, which is kind of like a wide-ranging Film Studies course through the lens of the Michael Bay transformers movies, and the It's Lit! series she hosts on PBS's youtube channel

I also really enjoy how much proper background and context she pulls into her videos -- love here the meta-analysis of the Disney corporation's head honchos and their motivating ethos as a way of understanding how this particular remake both fits in line with but also differs from the company's past patterns of regurgitating its IPs
posted by Kybard at 7:38 AM on August 6, 2018 [8 favorites]


Watched this over the weekend. Her stuff is really the current gold-standard in film dissection these days. I think that her King Kong video was my favorite but the recent Hobbit ones were pretty wonderful too.

And yes, I've also come to hate the whole idea of "plot holes" and goofs in movies. Narrative films aren't documentaries and I don't care that some character used the wrong gun for that year or that a car chase doesn't follow the topography of a city. I recently saw someone complain that the 5 minute countdown in Mission Impossible: Fallout takes longer than five minutes runtime as if the last 115 years of cross-cutting editing since The Great Train Robbery never happened.
posted by octothorpe at 7:45 AM on August 6, 2018 [6 favorites]


I recently saw someone complain that the 5 minute countdown in Mission Impossible: Fallout takes longer than five minutes runtime

I hope they never watched 24.
posted by Foosnark at 7:51 AM on August 6, 2018 [4 favorites]


I'm less than ten minutes in; I haven't watched the live remake of BatB, and don't like these overly long YT critiques of films generally, but I think I'm hooked.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:58 AM on August 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


Regarding CinemaSins, Shaun has an entertaining playlist of videos about them. I'm usually not at all interested in listening to people argue with each other on YouTube, but his delivery is just hilarious.

I agree, Lindsay Ellis's video on Rent is amazing. She manages to put into words a lot of the discomfort I had about that movie.

All of her video essays are interesting though. Her dissection of Schumacher's Phantom of the Opera is just pretty funny.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:07 AM on August 6, 2018 [9 favorites]


God, I love Lindsay Ellis. She's also currently doing a survey of various film criticism theories based entirely around Michael Bay's Transformers series. It's pretty great.
on review: Kybard beat me to it, but it's worth plugging again!
posted by es_de_bah at 8:08 AM on August 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


Oh, that Rent video is goooooooooood. I’m so glad she took the time to give it the thorough political deconstruction it deserves. I’m a little sad she didn’t get into how much most of the music in it is terrible too though.
posted by lunasol at 8:10 AM on August 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


I will tolerate no besmirching of Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la Bête...
posted by jim in austin at 8:57 AM on August 6, 2018 [4 favorites]


Thanks. I saw parts of it between the headrests on a plane and I couldn't get past the fact that EVERY scene had a moving camera. It made me feel anxious.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:12 AM on August 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


It's kinda funny, I used to learn about good music by discovering a nice incestuous scene like Saddle Creek or the WA/Canada border (Modest Mouse/New Pornographers/Arcade Fire/Wolf Parade/Unicorns...etc)

Nice to see it still plays out on youtube: Extra Credits, Moviebob, LINDSAY ELLIS, Movies with Mikey, HAWP.

I get bummed about procedurally curated content, but good content is good content.
posted by es_de_bah at 9:28 AM on August 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


I didn't get much out of her BatB critique, but YouTube then gave me her Guardians of the Galaxy 2 post and, well, I might be sobbing in my cube.
posted by hanov3r at 11:35 AM on August 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


I only watched the first 5 minutes (will come back I promise) but one of her first claims is that the invention plot was put there to appease Youtube pedants. I know that Emma Watson says it was her idea because my 11 year old daughter told me this.
posted by feckless at 11:57 AM on August 6, 2018


I wrote my honours thesis on the animated version, and was kind of shocked at how bad the real life version was.

One thing she didn't mention is the insane overuse of the auto tune. Emma Watson sounded like T Pain for half the movie.
posted by smoke at 2:09 PM on August 6, 2018 [4 favorites]


I didn't want to editorialise in my own post but I just love that she brings her formidable smarts to, among other things, the 2 things in the world I love geeking out about above all others - Disney movies, and Broadway musicals. I discovered her fairly recently and have been mainlining her work with delight.
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:43 PM on August 6, 2018 [4 favorites]


YA recommendation for "The Whole Plate." How good is it? I:
a) Have never seen any of the Transformers movies
b) Have no particular interest in any of the franchises
c) Didn't really grow up with Transformers as a child
d) Don't enjoy Michael Bay


And I find The Whole Plate fascinating. Seriously, you learn so much, and it doesn't matter if you're familiar with what she's talking about.

FWIW, my introduction to Lindsay Ellis was her (phenomenal) video about The Producers, "You Are Not Mel Brooks."
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 6:58 PM on August 6, 2018 [6 favorites]


I was daunted by the runtime, and then got sidetracked into her videos on Pirates of the Caribbean and Mad Max, which I loved enough to go back and watch this.

What I particularly loved was her noticing that the *point* of so many fairy tales, fantasy, and [whatever the hell Mad Max is] is continuity of story and character, not plot. You do not need to explain why there are wasteful V8s in a resource-poor wasteland; there just are--it fits with the characters and culture, if not classical economics. Why are the staff punished? Because enchantresses are capricious. That's just the way magic people work.
posted by pykrete jungle at 9:05 PM on August 6, 2018 [3 favorites]



I didn't get much out of her BatB critique, but YouTube then gave me her Guardians of the Galaxy 2 post and, well, I might be sobbing in my cube.


as someone who has like, the exact same dad issues as that movie ....that video did a lot to explain why I was going NO I'M NOT CRYING YOU'RE CRYING at a 300 million marvel trifle.
posted by The Whelk at 11:46 PM on August 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


The "Thanks, I hate it" gimmick in this video wore on me fairly quick but I then found myself enthralled by the rest of her essays that I watched about 5 hours of them yesterday while working. I love that she manages to tie together Disney history into each video to make it feel like one cohesive essay. That's rare and appreciated.
posted by Young Kullervo at 6:06 AM on August 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


as someone who has like, the exact same dad issues as that movie ....that video did a lot to explain why I was going NO I'M NOT CRYING YOU'RE CRYING at a 300 million marvel trifle.

I have never identified more with an anthropomorphic raccoon than I did at "...even though he was mean, and yelled at them, and stole batteries he didn't need".

*choked sob*

This week's therapy session is going to be... interesting.
posted by hanov3r at 8:22 AM on August 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


I recently discovered Ellis's YT channel, and I like it a lot.
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:12 AM on August 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Thanks, I love it.

(IMO, this wasn't one of her best videos, but it's still better than 95% of all the other YouTube film crit content out there.)
posted by tobascodagama at 9:20 AM on August 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Disney movies, and Broadway musicals.

Her The Case For Disney's The Hunchback Of Notre Dame has reshaped my understanding of this movie.

Thanks for this post.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:03 PM on August 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


Also, even though she includes that exact movie clip in every video multiple times, I still only realized in the last video or two why the Transformers series is called "The Whole Plate"
posted by ckape at 9:30 PM on August 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


This is a good video marred by the bit at 27:30 where she decided it was a good idea to represent trans people with a gorilla in drag. What the hell is that transphobic nonsense
posted by vibratory manner of working at 4:29 PM on August 9, 2018


The gorilla in drag is Terkina from Tarzan. Terk has been identified as a Disney representation of the trans* community, while not a very good one at that, but has been embraced by some for being "ambiguously queer":
Terk, voiced by out and proud Rosie O'Donnell, is the quintessential tomboy, the ultimate lesbian-coded trope. She just clearly comes off as a butch lesbian-- so butch that a lot of people mistake her for a boy. In fact, when the movie was adapted for Broadway, Terk's character was re-written as an older man. Implication that by the time she grows up, Terk will have transitioned? Maybe. Or maybe Terk is genderfluid, or gender neutral. The queer possibilities are endless!
In that particular scene, Tarzan begs Terk to get dressed up in women's clothes to distract the head gorilla Kerchak and Terk hates it. It's played for a laugh for kids (a tomboy in a dress, har-har!), but you can read a lot more into it especially given Terk's characterization.

In the context of the Lindsay Ellis video, she's pointing out how lousy Disney is at LGBTQ representation both historically and with the live-action Beauty and the Beast's LeFou. She's not representing Terk as an example of trans people, she's saying that Terk is likely Disney's idea of how to represent a trans person. Any transphobic nonsense is solely the product of the Walt Disney Company.
posted by peeedro at 5:39 PM on August 9, 2018 [3 favorites]


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