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FFC #79 - Audience, Critics, and Blade Runner

I can't remember a whole lot about Blade Runner, but I know I want a story where I like the protagonist and want him to win, and if the movie doesn't deliver on that, it's probably lost me (aka, Ocean's 11). I also don't like dark and depressing atmospheres (aka Blade Runner) unless that dark depression is the thing being fought against (aka Book of Eli) - and even then it's a long shot. Some people seem to like dark grittiness; I don't.

In the end being a writer or director is all about finding that balance between making what you personally like, and making something that other people will consume so that they'll see what you have to say.

Something else I've noticed is that people watch movies for different reasons. My friend watches them to analyze them. He doesn't seem to care what he watches, only how it was made/done. My mother, on the other hand, watches to relax after the day. If the movie doesn't transport her to a world where she can do that, she generally doesn't like the movie. I myself am a mix of the two. I generally like movies which make me feel better or stimulate my imagination, but if I analyze a movie and gain a new respect for it, I'll rewatch it over and over, even if it's not something I'd normally like (aka, Fight Club, Terminator 2).

Trying to balance all of these factors is not something I think most people can do. All you can do is write the story you want, and tweak it just enough so that it doesn't actively turn off the majority of your target audience. And for heaven's sake give us a reason to like the protagonist.

Posted October 18th, 2021 at 02:42 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend The Grim Reaper's Friend is offline
TheAverageFan's Avatar

FFC #79 - Audience, Critics, and Blade Runner

As someone who loves Blade Runner, I'd be interested in hearing what about it was so terrible. I find it relatively quaint compared to other R-rated films. Most people I know who dislike it do so because of the confusing and difficult to grasp themes which aren't often apparent on a first viewing. I mean it is an R-rated grimy noire film so there is a lot of filth inherent in the world it presents. I wonder if it would work as a PG film since its uglier content isn't necessarily mandatory to its source materiel the way Alien or A Clockwork Orange is for their own themes.

I guess some things are just meant for the MPAA rating they earn. I still think Star Wars films should be PG and not PG-13, with Episode 3 being the only one where the difference feels earned. But then I also feel that some works that are forced into the more mass-appeal of a PG-13 would work better as an R rated film.

And then there are of course biases that can't be helped. I don't really like thrillers even if they are good (only S-tier ones like Seven and Zodiac are really good to me). You don't like the look of anime even if they might be really good. And if you aim for average you'll have lots of people like me saying this needs to go further in X direction.

You'll always have people like Rian wanting divisiveness or deliberate alienating of viewers because of the spotlight it brings to a work. But as for me as an artist I can only make what I'd wanna read, and everyone excluded from that is an unfortunate casualty but a necessary one for the quality of the work. I was sad that you didn't want to read Moon Has Wings due to the content you knew would be in it, but if I didn't write it the way I did it wouldn't have worked.

Blade Runner is excellent, but it's also not for everyone, as apparent when it bombed horribly at the box office. The Thing is also excellent, and it wouldn't be if it weren't so sick, disgusting, repulsive, and horrifying. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Posted October 18th, 2021 at 03:09 AM by TheAverageFan TheAverageFan is offline

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