Thatboyd

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    The Marvel Trajectory: Cinematic Potential or a Downward Spiral?

    In light of the relatively recent comments on Marvel films made by the likes of Scorsese and Coppola, does the superhero film have a place as an artistic work? Is it a modern reiteration of older genres of filmmaking (the Western, the gangster film, etc.) replete with popular cultural furnishings? Or, as the New Hollywood filmmakers suggest, does Marvel’s cinematic universe mark a downward spiral in quality for the cinema of America (and likely the world at large)?

    • The most important part of writing on this topic is establishing what is a "good" and "bad" film. While Scorsese and Coppola are considered great film maker's, their opinion on films at times are subjective. And while they've have been praised throughout the years, we have to acknowledge that they have bias on what they believe is "good" and "bad". Most people will simply let their comments go without actually questioning them, because they've established themselves as an authority on film through their successful career. But by that same metric we could say people Micheal Bay and Seth Rogen are great film makers, as they have had successful films. Meaning simply finding someone in film that believe superhero movies are "good" would be enough to counter the opposing opinion. What makes a quality film can vary from person to person. Good example of this is many people felt Star War's the last Jedi was a good movie. Though when you look at critical and fan opinion the feeling were split. So, I would recommend using your early paragraphs to establish how you will be measuring a films quality and then apply that to modern Superhero films and the films that Coppola and Scorsese believe are "good". I find this topic really interesting, albeit a difficult one to discuss. This is mainly because people use personal enjoyment to decide if a film is "good" or "bad" when that is entirely subjective and can vary from person to person, as how we may react to an experience can vary greatly. My last bit of advice is there are people out there who get pleasure from pain "masochist". And people who can enjoy eating shit. Pleasure is always subject to the individual. It is the same when discussing the quality of a film. – Blackcat130 2 weeks ago
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    • As with any form of media, trends come and go. The initiation of the MCU encouraged a lot of failed imitations of the "cinematic universe formula" (see universal's Dark Universe, the DCEU, and the limping corpse of Sony's Spider-Man universe). However, I would argue that such criticisms from Scorsese etc are indicative of the wider blockbuster "genre", the commodification of individual films into franchises owned by huge conglomerates, and the frequency with which blockbuster films are now produced. As Warner Bros, Universal, and especially Disney continue to churn out more and more productions, it's almost inevitable that the quality will begin to decline. We're now looking at several tv series and 3 or 4 MCU movies per year, as opposed to waiting three years between each Star Wars film, as it was in the 70s. The commodification of franchise cinema has a lot to answer for, and the MCU's consistency in terms of quality can likely be attributed to the singular vision of Feige, so at least everything is consistent. The lack of this same vision is the same reason that the new Star Wars films have felt so dissonant from one another and have been suitably lambasted. So yes, I think a case could be made for the MCU signalling the end of "quality" blockbusters, but less mainstream art pictures, smaller studio productions, and independent films will likely remain unaffected. However, the precedents set by the MCU have bled into other blockbuster franchises who all want the same financial returns; so I'd argue for blockbuster cinema their concerns are valid. – NathanialEker 3 days ago
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    Latest Comments

    This is a very interesting point; I think perhaps the biggest detriment of tutorials is that they interrupt the flow of gameplay, and are often required to proceed to what players want to do in the first place.
    The thing is, there’s plenty of designs that allot tutorials to play out without this interruption, indeed they function as actively nodal forms. For example, when introducing a mechanic one needs to incorporate in a boss fight, this mechanic could be introduced via a smaller enemy fight without being transported to a separate stage. Games are essentially effective systems with which they teach players easily digestible patterns; the content of the tutorial is not the issue, but rather the mode in which it is delivered to the player. Some of these examples you provided were also effective tutorials without gameplay interruption.

    Video Games And—Wait, Another Darn Tutorial?

    Beautiful article with really unique selections I wasn’t even privy to!
    I picked up La Peste by Albert Camus a couple months before the COVID-19 pandemic, and I found he’s an author with a more profound understanding of the human condition than most. As the real plague progressed, I kept finding similarities between fiction and reality with the novel’s townspeople going to the café to try and revisit a semblance of old life, with the Californians around me doing much the same at the time. And in the political administration we were in, Camus’s absurdist philosophy certainly provided an effective framework to deal with everything happening.

    Books to Discover French Literature

    Very insightful article! I remember reading that ‘Strange Case’ was the result of a nightmare Stevenson had, one he recorded upon awaking. After allowing his wife to read, she remarked how horrible it seemed, causing him to throw it in the furnace. Later she said she wished he hadn’t done that, causing him to essentially rewrite what we know today as the final product.
    This vignette makes me wonder if Stevenson was just as shocked as Jekyll that such abominable concepts can be born beneath his subconscious. Just as perhaps everyone tries to bury the monster they don’t identify with. Again when studying Jungian psychology, one can find that, as you said, and likely as Stevenson understood, that the solution doesn’t have to operate under dichotomies. We can acclimate ourselves to the existence of our shadow; not let it go unnoticed nor let it spiral out of control. With practice and with no judgement to ourselves in the process, we can resolve the Hyde’s within us all and not let them destroy us in the process.

    The Persistent Allure of Victorian Literature