Why modern movies suck - they teach us awful lessons

I think the big idea is to not use the term Mary Sue.
I'm not for censoring. I prefer honest debate and ironing out different perspectives even if unpopular. Many people have died for this type of freedom.

From my count on this board, this terms has been applied to arguably 2 or 3 characters in total. It is also only applied to heavily fan-based characters/genres (Superheroes, Star Wars and Star Trek).
 
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BookTenTiger

He / Him
I'm not for censoring. I prefer honest debate and ironing out different perspectives even if unpopular. Many people have died for this type of freedom.

From my count on this board, this terms has been applied to arguably 2 or 3 characters in total. It is also only applied to heavily fan-based characters/genres (Superheroes, Star Wars and Star Trek).
Ha ha, what??? At no point has this become a debate about censorship!

I was asked why I don't take a critic who uses the term "Mary Sue" seriously. I explained why. Folks can use whatever terms they want, and I am free to form my own opinions of them based on how they present their language.

I honor and respect all those people who died so this YouTuber has the freedom to use the misogynist dog whistle "Mary Sue."

I also honor and respect my own freedom to say that if someone these days uses the term "Mary Sue" I will not take them seriously as a critic.
 

What I don't get is why Directors write scripts instead of actual professional writers.


I saw this the other day in my feed. He made some interesting points, but for me the reason I think I don't connect with a lot of newer movies is they just don't move me the way earlier films did. I am not sure why that is, but I don't think it has a lot to do with the lessons they teach. Some of my favorite films were ones that didn't teach lessons but were more like character studies.
 

These days? Because it's a dogwhistle. It's a clear red flag, and almost exclusively used by people with questionable views on diversity.

I think the term is way overused and often a sign of someone trying to use a rhetorical bludgeon to get you to agree with their negative view of a film. But I really don't think this term is a dog whistle. I've seen it used for male and for female characters. Again it is overused. But it has a kernel of validity to it. In some instances it is a valid critique. The real problem is its an automatic go-to criticism, and it isn't one you can apply to every genre equally (it makes a lot less sense applying Mary Sue to star wars for example than star trek).
 

Yeah its apparent people care more politics than good movies or stories or characters.

There definitely seems to be a lot of that in the culture right now (on both sides of the aisle liking a movie, appears to often boil down to 'does it agree with my worldview'). There is certainly a place for movies that express a political worldview, and sometimes reflecting the politics of the moment can enhance a movie if it gets at something deep. Those aren't the only thing, or the most important thing about movies for me. But I have noticed I am a lot less interested in a lot of modern media because it seems so tied to the conversation of the moment (which is often over in two to three months). So I have taken to watching movies and shows about 6 months to a year after they come out. That helps because a lot of the conversation in the air around the film has died down, a lot of the cultural topics the film may have been trying to connect to have died down, and I feel like i can give the film a more honest and fair viewing.
 



Every time I hear "Gary Stu", I think of Drizz't

I like Drizz't. But I do think there is something to be said for the critique mary sue is meant to capture, which is the author kind of inserting themselves into the story, only it is an idealized version of the author, living out a fantasy. Sometimes that isn't so bad, if it comes from an interesting place. Conan is basically that kind of a character. But I think in the case of Conan it probably stemmed from a place of emotional pain and longing on Howard's part and that did seem to give the character a little more emotional heft (and he wasn't perfect, as a character he had flaws). In a lot of other genres there are characters who are great out of the gate. I think for me, the criticism is more about how strongly I can sense the presence of the author in the character, and if they aren't able to separate their own personality from the character enough for the story to work. I don't think someone identifying a character as a mary sue though automatically makes a story bad, nor does it automatically make the character bad.
 


It bothers you that people care more about real people than fictional people?

That isn't what he is saying, he is saying, I believe, he is bothered that politics are becoming the priority of storytelling, rather than the characters or the story itself. A person could care a great deal about a particular political cause or the people afflicted by political events, while at the same time not wanting to ruin a story by inserting that particular issue into a novel where it doesn't fit.
 


Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Hyper competent characters have been a thing since at least Sherlock Holmes. In some genres they were practically mandatory
It's not that he's hyper-competent, it's that you know he will always make it out in the end, brooding the whole way, and everyone else saying how awesome he is. For the record I don't blame Salvatore for this; I think that's been pretty much dictated to him since Drizz't became super popular
 


And politics is what can help or harm real people. "Storytelling and Character" is bread and circuses to keep the masses from asking awkward questions.

The point is a person can be engaged politically and care more about people than literary characters, but not think that politics should be the priority of art. Obviously there is a place for political art. But I think a lot of artists and creative people are wary of it when it becomes too ubiquitous because it can also turn art into political propaganda.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
That isn't what he is saying, he is saying, I believe, he is bothered that politics are becoming the priority of storytelling, rather than the characters or the story itself.
Politics is often the driver of stories, Animal Farm is pretty political so is most of Dickens. That said, I pretty much find Dickens unreadable but that is more the number of words not the actual story or the politics. I can watch the movies or TV adaptations.

The politics ruins stories is more where there is not enough care in the story telling or characterisation. A classic example in my opinion is the Charlie Chaplin film "The Great Dictator". It ends with this big speech that really takes the wind out of the movie.

The speech does not really say anything that the movie has not already said and it is a pretty good speech as speeches go but the movie would have been a lot better without it.
 

Politics is often the driver of stories, Animal Farm is pretty political so is most of Dickens. That said, I pretty much find Dickens unreadable but that is more the number of words not the actual story or the politics. I can watch the movies or TV adaptations.

I am not saying it can't be. I like Orwell and I used to love to read a lot of social fiction like Brave New World. But the point is, not all art, music or novels are political. And might be present to different degrees in much art, but it isn't always the priority. I think you need there to be room for art to express a lot of different things, not just political viewpoints.
 


UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
The point is a person can be engaged politically and care more about people than literary characters, but not think that politics should be the priority of art. Obviously there is a place for political art. But I think a lot of artists and creative people are wary of it when it becomes too ubiquitous because it can also turn art into political propaganda.
I dunno all art has politics embedded in it.
 


The politics ruins stories is more where there is not enough care in the story telling or characterisation. A classic example in my opinion is the Charlie Chaplin film "The Great Dictator". It ends with this big speech that really takes the wind out of the movie.

The speech does not really say anything that the movie has not already said and it is a pretty good speech as speeches go but the movie would have been a lot better without it.

I actually like that movie and don't have a problem with the speech at the end. But I think the issue with politics in art gets more thorny when it is so ever-present, or when there is an orthodoxy that must be adhered to in the art community. And while political movies can be great, especially if they are well crafted and strike the right emotional resonance, they can also be preachy, overly simplistic and propagandistic.
 

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