Episode 53: Bad Art! No Cookie!

0053 ArtThis week, dear listeners, we talk about art vs. entertainment! Do movies fall on a scale between the two, or is it all just a Venn diagram of awesome? We drink a lot of wine and try to find out!

Speaking of drinking, if you would like to join us in our wine-haze, we recommend Foghead Red Wine. Nothin’ fancy for our erudite discussions here, people!

Show notes behind the cut!

Movies mentioned:
Batman Begins
The Dark Knight
Star Wars
The Prestige
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present
An American in Paris
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
The Great Ecstasy of the Woodcarver Steiner
How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck?
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Bad Lieutenant
The Fifth Element
Logan’s Run
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Singin’ in the Rain
National Treasure
Blow Out
Groundhog Day
Stranger than Fiction
Once Upon a Time in the West
Seven Samurai
War Horse
Saving Private Ryan
The Color Purple
Pulp Fiction

People mentioned:
Marina Abramovic
David Lynch
Johnny Depp
Werner Herzog
Nicolas Cage
Val Kilmer
Alfred Hitchcock
Michelangelo Antonioni
Brian De Palma
Akira Kurosawa
Steven Spielberg
John Ford
Quentin Tarantino

1 comment

  1. I spent most of January slogging through “The Story Of Cinema: An Odyssey.” (Which is, in its own way, an art film project.) I learned a lot, but I also gained an appreciation for folks who can make movies which balance the art and the entertainment aspects well. If you want me to think, make sure you haven’t lulled my brain to sleep or I won’t be ABLE to think… and if you want me to have fun, try to engage my brain at some level.

    Also, wowie zowie but I think at some point cinema passed a point of “experimenting with the form to broaden its language” and has fallen straight into “weird mainly for the sake of being something nobody’s seen before.” The more modern eras covered in “The Story Of Cinema” elicited more eyerolling, where the earlier eras kept me nodding my head, going, “OH, so THAT’s why they do that, THAT’s where that came from!”


    There seems to be a certain amount of public perception coloring what category we lump some movies into. Right at the start, “Batman Begins = entertainment, The Dark Knight = art.” But how much of our perception of TDK as art comes from the legend surrounding Heath Ledger’s life, death, and (stunning) performance? I won’t say all of it, but I suspect there’s a significant measure. “Singing In The Rain,” which as you suggested was an entertainment film first and foremost, has become an acknowledged classic and thus is filed under “art” partly because of that.

    That’s enough inexpert rambling from ME for tonight, I think… 🙂

    At any rate, the podcast this week: I was entertained, and I learned stuff. Thank you!

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