A horrible way to begin a discussion February 23, 2004 5:19 PM   Subscribe

IMHO, this is a horrible way to begin a discussion of a controversial film.
posted by subgenius to Etiquette/Policy at 5:19 PM (39 comments total)

Why, exactly? Denby's a great writer, a reasonably authoritative critic, and that is probably the central line of his piece.
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:22 PM on February 23, 2004


Even pretending, for a second, that a movie review is "the best and most interesting of the web," why pick one that's so one-sided? Have we used up all the JesusFilter FPPs, or does someone get to post another FPP to a positive review, so they can have equal time?
posted by subgenius at 5:22 PM on February 23, 2004


Go ahead and try it, subg, just to find out.
posted by mischief at 5:24 PM on February 23, 2004


I think you should give us some slack. Any review of this film was going to take a side and be controversial.
posted by rcade at 5:37 PM on February 23, 2004


That's crazy talk, rcade. Everyone knows critics shouldn't have opinions.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:43 PM on February 23, 2004


I didn't even know the New Yorker posted current print stuff online, so AFAIC, it *is* the best and most interesting of the Web. Sorry.
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:43 PM on February 23, 2004


An FPP could link to multiple reviews so the discussion is based on multiple opinions. According to Rotten Tomatoes there have only been 9 reviews, and they're running 50-50. That would have been more even-handed, no?

Better yet, the FPP could have been posted after more some MeFites (and more critics) have had an opportunity to see the film. As it stands, it's a weird debate over a review of a film none of us have had a chance to see. Obviously, I don't think this is a good way to frame a discussion, because it puts one side at a disadvantage. But also, from an "etiquette/policy" perspective, my concern is that it either (1) opens the door to tit-for-tat movie review FPPs; or (2) effectively short-circuits a second discussion, that could take place in a few days.
posted by subgenius at 5:48 PM on February 23, 2004


So...wait. All discussion must be balanced so that one side isn't at a disadvantage? That's fucking stupid.

No...wait. It's smart. Very smart.

No. Stupid. No. Smart.
posted by ColdChef at 5:59 PM on February 23, 2004


Sorry. I'm easily confused.
posted by ColdChef at 6:08 PM on February 23, 2004


If the point of the discussion was about it's merits, then yes, a link to RottenTomatoes or MetaCritic would have been better than a link to one of the finest critics in the country.

However, this is not the point of the link. It appears from the headline, that the discussion should have been along the lines of 'when is violence in film acceptable', 'when is it too much', 'the hypocrisy of religious organizations supporting one violent film while denouncing other violent films' or any of a number of other topics. The statement that the film is violent is a rather universal and well-known comment about the film by this time, so it's worthy of discussion, like the sex in The Dreamers is worthy of a discussion, even for those who haven't seen it.

It seems that the worst aspect is that A. Shanks didn't elaborate on the headline or try and steer the discussion. Hardly the type of failure that deserves a Metatalk discussion.

Reading through the comments, you can see that I made a rather smart ass and worthless comment, and this isn't to defend that comment (i still find it amusing to myself), but my ire for posting this is senseless Metatalks.

If you have a problem with the topic or discussion, try and move the discussion in a different direction.
posted by graventy at 6:08 PM on February 23, 2004


there was a discussion ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:41 PM on February 23, 2004


It seems that the worst aspect is that A. Shanks didn't elaborate on the headline or try and steer the discussion.

You're right. I had written more, but on preview it sounded flippant and unnecessary, so I deleted it.

I give the New Yorker credit for being generally thoughtful enough that it doesn't need "balance" to be worth discussing, and since they don't put much of the magazine on the web, I assumed most people wouldn't know it was there.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:48 PM on February 23, 2004


I think it was a good discussion and an even better article.
posted by vito90 at 8:16 PM on February 23, 2004


I shudder thinking of the time when a link to starwars.com was posted at 3 AM on the morning of the first screening of Episode I, with the accompanying text "So, what did you all think! Jar Jar sucked!"

This was much better. Provocative commentary elecits provocative responses, and the discussion benefits.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:27 PM on February 23, 2004


me 2 vito90. i don't understand why every post has to be perfectly 'balanced' when the material is so... how shall i say... enlightening, progressive? plz, correct me if i'm wrong.
posted by poopy at 8:27 PM on February 23, 2004


IMHO, this is a horrible way to begin a discussion of a controversial film.

InsipidFilter
posted by bright cold day at 8:57 PM on February 23, 2004


You folks all seem to be concentrating on the link and the discussion, indicating that it's okay for someone to post a new FPP based on a different ("[p]rovocative," "enlightening, progressive") review of the same movie. I wouldn't have guessed that was the case, but I guess that takes my balance concern out of the equation. Rock on.
posted by subgenius at 9:30 PM on February 23, 2004


I think it's kind of silly that we still act like the particular form of the FPP matters in a case where we all knew we were going to talk about the subject anyway.
posted by callmejay at 9:41 PM on February 23, 2004


Any FPP where an ASCII baphomet blends in with the surroundings is just fine for metafilter.
posted by angry modem at 9:51 PM on February 23, 2004


So did y'all hear that Chandler and Monica are moving out? Yeah I'm so upset over it. But at least Carrie Bradshaw ends up with Mister Big. And oh yeah, Jesus Christ is coming out with yet another movie. Have you seen it yet? Can we belittle and commercialize Christianity any further? Is it possible? Shroud bath towels and tea cozys shaped like a crucifix. I'm sure they're out there. Mooby loves you.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:24 PM on February 23, 2004


subgenius - You want FPPs to be balanced? Please.

The community has been consistently against editorializing on the front page, but using a quote from the piece is totally fair game.
posted by bshort at 10:27 PM on February 23, 2004


Can we belittle and commercialize Christianity any further? Is it possible?

Oh ye of little faith.
posted by homunculus at 11:21 PM on February 23, 2004


Geee... you're right. This fine piece of cinema deserves better than such cheap editorializing. And right in the FPP!!!

Okay, bad FPP, but even worse MeTa callout.

WWMHD, people.
posted by scarabic at 11:35 PM on February 23, 2004


They sell jewelry. In the shape of nails. To promote the movie. WHAT THE FUCK?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:54 PM on February 23, 2004


†In a startling move, Jesus Christ, who only a few short months ago ordered that Jim Caviezel be struck with a lightning bolt while filming The Passion Of Christ, made an abrupt about-face and now fully supports a 2005 Oscar nod for both the film and its Roman Catholic lead. Jesus is not expected to attend the ceremony, however, as he will be too busy blessing various athletes and nascar drivers.†
posted by The God Complex at 12:42 AM on February 24, 2004


EqualTimeFilter?
bah.
anyway,

Will "Passion" have a negative effect on society?
Might it promote anti-Jewish violence? I think it well might. Long cultural habits die hard. Debate around the film has already occasioned ugly anti-Semitic slurs.

what I think we all can agree on is that one cannot wait to admire the new gem from the master of the art of cinema who gave us Braveheart and The Patriot.
you know, the good Fetus Folk from Christian America will probably help this movie outgross even the Starsky & Hutch remake.
posted by matteo at 3:12 AM on February 24, 2004


Will "Passion" have a negative effect on society?

I remember reading the same hype-tripe when Natural Born Killers was released, and then again when it was put into cable rotation. The sky remains unfallen.
posted by crunchland at 3:50 AM on February 24, 2004


Subgenius: Just for yuks, find a balanced review of The Passion of the Christ and show us how you would have pitched it on the MetaFilter front page. I think that attempts at even-handedness are generally boring, but I'd like to see an attempt.
posted by rcade at 6:05 AM on February 24, 2004


i can't wait for someone to ask me if i saw the mel gibson epic. "i musta been left behind..."
posted by quonsar at 6:07 AM on February 24, 2004


konolia made some excellent comments.
posted by hama7 at 6:50 AM on February 24, 2004


subgenius - You want FPPs to be balanced? Please.

No, what I really, really want is a whole series of tit-for-tat JesusFilter FPPs. See, I tricked you with the old "reverse psychology," because I actually think MetaFilter is really, really good at discussing sensitive personal and political topics, and I believe a one-sided movie review from a print magazine is "The Best of the Web" and a great way to start a discussion -- especially when hardly any critics have weighed in, and none of us have had a chance to see the movie -- because that way our reasoned, enlighted analyses won't actually be based on the films themselves but on whatever review is posted and, of course, our reasoned, enlightened opinions. Personally, I hope there are lots of upcoming movies about Iraq, Israel, fat airline passengers who are charged to use more than one seat, Iraq, bicyclists, John Ashcroft, Ralph Nader, George W. Bush, and Iraq, because MeFi may reach such a level of understanding that we may transcend the physical plane and become a community weblog of peace and light.

you know, the good Fetus Folk from Christian America will probably help this movie outgross even the Starsky & Hutch remake.

Exactly.
posted by subgenius at 7:43 AM on February 24, 2004


++hama7. I am as rabid a christian-baiter as anyone, but I gotta say (again), konolia is the first one to earn my respect for her well-reasoned comments (and her brass balls ;-P ).
posted by mischief at 8:09 AM on February 24, 2004


subgenius, you've made your point five times, trying different approaches: brevity, wordiness, sarcasm, everything you can think of. Nobody's buying it. Might as well cut your losses and retreat with dignity. It may not have been the greatest post in the history of MetaFilter, but it was OK, and a lot better than it might have been if some people I can think of had decided to make a Passion post. Move along.

Agree about konolia. A classy dame and a credit to the blue.
posted by languagehat at 8:36 AM on February 24, 2004


"i musta been left behind..."

WWMDD?
posted by y2karl at 10:35 AM on February 24, 2004


subgenius, please do not take the opinions of some in this thread to mean you have permission to counter perceived bias in the cited MeFi post, or in Denby's review, by posting a new link to the main page of MetaFilter. Unless your aim is to grab the most eyeballs - rather than to right wrongs, or counter arguments, or steer the conversation, etc - why not post a link to the thread we are talking about here (I mean here)?

That is supported by precedent, by etiquette - and commom sense.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:49 AM on February 24, 2004


WWMDD?

What would weapons of mass destruction do?
posted by namespan at 11:30 AM on February 24, 2004


Who's giving him permission to do that, Dash? My suggestion was for him to post a balanced link in this thread.
posted by rcade at 1:03 PM on February 24, 2004


Even pretending, for a second, that a movie review is "the best and most interesting of the web," why pick one that's so one-sided? Have we used up all the JesusFilter FPPs, or does someone get to post another FPP to a positive review, so they can have equal time?
posted by subgenius at 5:22 PM PST on February 23


Go ahead and try it, subg, just to find out.
posted by mischief at 5:24 PM PST on February 23

That's kinda what I was worried about.

I suggest he does post a link here, if he wishes, or there . But not here.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:53 PM on February 24, 2004


Are you the bouncer here now, languagehat? Why don't you "move on," yourself?
posted by squirrel at 11:20 PM on February 29, 2004


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