Friday, 27 March 2009

Shallowness of Youth

"The movie is in black and white."
"It's old."
"The movie isn't in English."

My Art Appreciation class (a non-majors course) recently watched a 1960s landmark movie, "Yojimbo" (The Bodyguard), and when we were asked what we liked or disliked about the movie, there were a lot of students who disliked it. Alright, fair enough. However, their reasons are nothing short of appalling, and the three worst are mentioned above.

When an art form, be it a painting, a choreography, a musical piece, or a film is criticized, one would expect the criticism to have a valid and intellectual 'why'. Alas, the obviously deficient critical thinking and intellectual capacities of a lot of my classmates are made apparent when they use reasons such as those mentioned above. A landmark movie disliked because it is in black and white?? That is just so disgustingly dumb that I had to say the following in class:

"I think that when a critic - be it a student or a scholar - criticizes an art form based solely on its superficial and cosmetic characteristics, that said critic proudly displays his arrogance in his lack of information and knowledge. I also think that such a response lacks in basic critical thinking skills, and showcases the wasted education this university has been trying to impart on said critic. In other words, said critic is ignorant and possibly possessing an IQ of just two digits."

After the rather awkward silence, my point was - thankfully - further supported by several of my classmates and the lecturer.

This brings me to a food-for-thought: Are movies nowadays that dumb? I am inclined to nod at that statement. Many movies nowadays are shown and produced for mere financial reasons. Gone are the culturally and socially inspiring films that made movies such as Casablanca and The Godfather legends. Now, we are bombarded with ape-intelligence level movies, like the spoofs that seem to come out every year. Seriously, bring back the awesome films that are actually worth watching.

I have to admit, I am a movie buff. I watch at least 1-5 movies a week (in the cinema when I have extra money, or at home. God bless the Internet), and when I read reviews, I just really wonder, do people really rate movies this way? A lot of people nowadays just rate a movie whether 'it was okay', or 'it was interesting'. But WHY did they say those? The answer escapes me. Are the thought capabilities of today's generation relegated to 'okay' answers? Where has all the intellect gone to? This is a sad case, and I for one refuse to fall into this pit of dire stupidity.

The youths and young men and women who feed on movies need to move away from the shallowness. All of us need to THINK. To think critically, and engage knowledge to enhance our experiences of anything, not just art forms.

I am inspired now to write better movie reviews, with focus on WHY I liked or disliked a certain movie. Watching Yojimbo has really opened up my eyes as to what makes a movie great (or not). I promise to make my future reviews as detailed as possible, and engage as much of my brain as possible, because you, my reader, deserves that much.



  1. you said that in front of the class? how brave of you. :)
    have you watched the Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa? i liked it but i don't know if that classic film is your type though.

  2. I am far too blunt for my own good sometimes. :P

    No, I have not, but I heard it was also another landmark film. Hard to find classics online. :(

  3. Yes, too much blunt, but I do quite agree with your sentiments..

  4. Perhaps in the future I'll find a 'softer method'. :) Thank you for visiting my blog.

  5. Yeah, the movies of today are crap. They don't even give enough basic entertainment sometimes =P but there are a few gems.

    Have you seen 'Slumdog Millionaire' already??

  6. A few indeed. Very sad.

    No I haven't. A lot of people have been asking me why I haven't. Perhaps later this week, I'll borrow a DVD or something. :P

  7. Lol yeah! Go watch it already! I know all the hype you're getting from other people on it won't be good on the whole expectations front, but dammit it's good! Plus I really like the music in it.

    'Shattered Glass' is good too.

  8. Haha, I still haven't seen it. I watched Wolverine instead. Haha..

    "Jai-HO!" LOL.