Another followup to my posting on why people believe movies. Read the previous posting first if you want to know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're all set, let's continue with the demolition of writer Russell Bates.
Good vs. bad fantasies
Russ keeps arguing that (he thinks) the debate is between cinematic fantasy and historical reality. He was wrong the last few times he offered this inane argument and he's still wrong. The actual debate is between good cinematic fantasies and bad ones. Between those that are authentic and those that aren't.
We can define "good" as any factor that contributes to verisimilitude and encourages suspension of disbelief. Historical accuracy is one such factor, which is why every filmmaker (except the occasional Terry Gilliam) seeks it. Realism is a huge selling point for audiences, critics, parents, and educators--not to mention the Academy voters who hand out the Oscars.
Again, this is a point Russ can't or won't address, as we saw in the King Lollipop in Comanche Moon thread. He has no explanation for why filmmakers film on location, develop elaborate sets and costumes, or hire culture and language experts. Based on his "logic," none of this expensive effort is worth it.
Incredibly, Russ comes up with a formula for the number of times a filmmaker can "lie" (i.e., take fictional license). Three times, says Russ. So what's his excuse when critics point out five, 10, or 20 fictional flaws in a movie like Apocalypto? According to his own formula, that's more than enough mistakes to ruin a movie.
If he understood what he was saying, he'd agree with me whenever a filmmaker exceeds the limits of good filmmaking--the limits he just defined. But you won't see him admitting this. He's too much of an intellectual coward to explain or justify his nonsense.
No, he'd much rather denigrate criticism than debate it. It's as if he's paid by the word to carp and complain. Would you like some cheese with that whine, crybaby?
Russ the Hollywood hack
As we've seen before, Russ's philosophy is: If you can't attack the message, attack the messenger. One has to wonder why. Here's my theory:
It's clear Russ has never met a critique he liked. As regular readers know, he usually rushes to defend Hollywood filmmakers. Not coincidentally, these are the people who pay his bills.
So Russ has a blatant conflict of interest. No wonder he serves as unofficial spokesman for the white establishment. He's too afraid to bite the hand that feeds him. If he criticizes, say, the Kennedy-Marshall people who pay him to keep his Anasazi script off the screen, they may kick him off the gravy train. He may lose the checks he "earns" for sitting on his butt doing nothing.
As I've said before, Russ doesn't know criticism. That's why I've spent so much time educating Russ about criticism. Even if he never gets the point, which seems the likely outcome, please enjoy my popping of his hot-air balloons.
For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies and Why Does Rob Keep Criticizing?
Below: One of dozens of historical flaws in Mel Gibson's Apocalypto.