GREEN CINE Already a member? login
 Your cart
Help
Advanced Search
- Genres
+ Action
+ Adult
+ Adventure
+ Animation
+ Anime
+ Classics
+ Comedies
+ Comic Books
+ Crime
  Criterion Collection
+ Cult
+ Documentary
+ Drama
+ Erotica
+ Espionage
  Experimental/Avant-Garde
+ Fantasy
+ Film Noir
+ Foreign
+ Gay & Lesbian
  HD (High Def)
+ Horror
+ Independent
+ Kids
+ Martial Arts
+ Music
+ Musicals
  Pre-Code
+ Quest
+ Science Fiction
  Serials
+ Silent
+ Sports
+ Suspense/Thriller
  Sword & Sandal
+ Television
+ War
+ Westerns


Public Discussions

topics
GreenCine General
GreenCine Article Discussion
A place for you to post comments on our articles.
74

Video/Game: DareDevil article
Topic by: dpowers
Posted: March 4, 2003 - 10:06 AM PST
Last Reply: March 8, 2003 - 2:32 AM PST

author topic: Video/Game: DareDevil article
dpowers
post #1  on March 4, 2003 - 10:06 AM PST  
ray cole has written an article thinking about the relationship between movies, comic books, music videos and video games. it's very interesting. i met ray yesterday, while finishing touches were being applied to the article. (pretty images!)

can we talk about the article a little?

i think we can safely say that comic books in the early years were intended to be immersive, right? i mean, the kids who read them, they were supposed to really get into it, to be able later to imagine themselves doing those things.

and the movies were always like that. the thrill of the gunshot at the audience in the great train robbery in 1903. (ohmygod that photograph is going to kill me!) (wow! that's 100 years ago. okay, adjustment over.)

when i listen to people talking about video games now i hear the same tones of voice about cheats and levels and new scenarios that i heard my comic book fan friends talk about missing issues and forgotten story arcs and spin-offs. secret knowledge, special possessions, total commitment, aren't these the hallmarks of the powerful kid, year in, year out?

dp.
oldkingcole
post #2  on March 4, 2003 - 3:14 PM PST  
> On March 4, 2003 - 10:06 AM PST dpowers wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> ray cole has written an article thinking about the relationship between movies, comic books, music videos and video games. it's very interesting.

Thanks for the feedback, DPOWERS (I just realized you have a very comic-book appropriate handle!). I owe you thanks on two counts actually, since not only did your original post in the UGNA! thread provide the seed that got me thinking about this topic, but when I met you yesterday, you made a PPPoE suggestion which seems to have solved my Internet connectivity woes. Thanks!

>
> can we talk about the article a little?
>
> i think we can safely say that comic books in the early years were intended to be immersive, right? i mean, the kids who read them, they were supposed to really get into it, to be able later to imagine themselves doing those things.

Intent, in this context, is hard to establish. I'm not sure if the Golden Age comic book creators were thinking about their art in such sophisticated terms. One exception might be Dr. William Moultan Marston, the psychologist who invented the lie-detector. Under the pseudonym of Charles Moulton, he was the creator and sole writer of Wonder Woman comics from her first appearance in All Star Comics No. 8 (December 1941 - January 1942) until his death (from lung cancer) in 1947. He had a very specific feminist agenda that he was trying to push through the Wonder Woman stories.

But other early comic book creators? I don't know. Shuster and Siegel, the creators of Superman, were really just young kids enamored of the sci-fi and action films of their day: Flash Gordon serials and Douglas Fairbanks adventure films. They don't seem to have had a conscious design motivating their decisions. For example, Les Daniels reports, in his book, Superman: The Complete History, that when asked why they made Superman an alien, rather than a human being, Siegel said "it just happened that way." Shuster said "We just thought it was a good idea." Not much in the way of sophisticated intent revealed there!

But regardless of their creators' intentions, were these comics received by their readers as an immersive medium? Again, I'm not sure.

Most traditional drama works because we live vicariously through the characters. But is that the same kind of immersiveness we get when we play a video game? I don't think so. I guess this raises the question of what, exactly, makes something "immersive"?

>
> and the movies were always like that. the thrill of the gunshot at the audience in the great train robbery in 1903. (ohmygod that photograph is going to kill me!) (wow! that's 100 years ago. okay, adjustment over.)

Can we make a distinction between living vacariously through the characters in a film, and an immersive film in which the immersion is something more than this? I'm thinking we can, and it relates to what I was trying to get at in the Daredevil article. Maybe immersive films, or immersive sequences in films, require a different way of watching than traditional live-vicariously-through-the-characters films and sequences.

Like, a lot of people had a hard time with 2001: A Space Odyssey because, from a traditional story-telling perspective, it's lacking in compelling characters that we can live vicariously through. Dramatically, it doesn't always work. But instead of putting us in space through a viewpoint character, 2001 just puts us in space as us, without the intermediating intervention of another character's psychology. Viewed that way, it is a striking accomplishment.

The opening half-hour or so of Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan also to me to be fundamentally different from the usual sort of immersion-through-character filmmaking. The astonishing Omaha Beach landing sequence comes almost at the very beginning of the film, before we even get to know any of the characters. This could be deadly if the sequence were aiming for traditional dramatics, because if we don't know who the characters are, we have nothing invested in whether they live or die. But Spielberg seems to have been after something else. It's not about the characters; it's about putting us in the squad and immersing us as fully as possible in the nightmarish situation. He adaciously drags the scene out long past the length that would be needed in a traditional film, where a sequence like this would be used to just set the scene or establish some basic plot points. And that length is part of what tips us off that we aren't supposed to be viewing the sequence in a traditional way. We start to think, after about 10 minutes, "wow, I really don't want to be here," which is exactly the point of the immersive experience: to let us know how the characters feel directly rather than through an audience-stand-in character.

Ok, I'm thinking aloud here. Is this making any sense?

So I guess I'm suggesting that early comic books might have had some immersive qualities, but I don't know thatI think they were intended to be immersive in the same sense that video games, or the Omaha Beach sequence from Saving Private Ryan are intended to be.

>
> when i listen to people talking about video games now i hear the same tones of voice about cheats and levels and new scenarios that i heard my comic book fan friends talk about missing issues and forgotten story arcs and spin-offs. secret knowledge, special possessions, total commitment, aren't these the hallmarks of the powerful kid, year in, year out?

That's interesting. You might be on to some of what makes art immersive here. The Lord of the Rings movies have been earning widespread popular and critical kudos. Could part of their power be that the details of the fantasy universe they construct are rich enough to help us experience that universe as if it was a real place? Then, in our imaginations at least, we can immerse ourselves in the Tolkienesque world by ourselves, without needing to get there "through" Bilbo or Frodo or whoever. But there is still an awful lot of traditional dramatics in these movies too, so I think immersion in the pure sense, if it's there, is only one component of several that make these films work.

What do you think?
dpowers
post #3  on March 5, 2003 - 10:04 PM PST  
[working on the reply to this... prolly tomorrow...]
dpowers
post #4  on March 5, 2003 - 10:07 PM PST  
in the meantime, what if this just fits into that "narrative" and "spectacle" entertainment calculation, what if an epidemic of over-analysis is happening? (anybody jumps in and says, "you said it, brother," better be ready to say why this specific case is over-thought, or be gone wi'ye)
Gambit
post #5  on March 7, 2003 - 7:59 PM PST  
Ray, that was another excellent article! I think part of the reason I don't find the actual movie experience as immersing nowadays is the studios seem to be advertising more of a movie's content (plot, special effects) in trailers than in the past (not to mention an overall increase in trailer frequency).

As for comic or book adaptations to movies, I think it's a tougher sell mainly because we already know the story. Barring exceptional performances from the actors or some interesting point of view twists from the director, I usually walk out of the theater feeling flat.
oldkingcole
post #6  on March 8, 2003 - 2:32 AM PST  
> On March 7, 2003 - 7:59 PM PST Gambit wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Ray, that was another excellent article!

Thanks!

>I think part of the reason I don't find the actual movie experience as immersing nowadays is the studios seem to be advertising more of a movie's content (plot, special effects) in trailers than in the past (not to mention an overall increase in trailer frequency).

This is a problem, sure. But I actually like watching trailers. Many of them seem to be pretty good about not giving away more than the setup. Some, of course, do give away too much, but I don't think that happens quite as much as the trailer-phobic among us seem to think. Am I in the minority on this? By the way, I'm thinking primarily of trailers shown in theaters. I'm watching so little commercial TV these days that I'm really not seeing any TV-ad trailers.

>
> As for comic or book adaptations to movies, I think it's a tougher sell mainly because we already know the story. Barring exceptional performances from the actors or some interesting point of view twists from the director, I usually walk out of the theater feeling flat.

It's definitely a tough job, because when making a movie based on a book or comic, fans of the original often equate literal accuracy to the text with "goodness" and devations from the text with "evil". I've maintained for a while that, contrary to this popular view, the best adaptations are actually unfaithful to the source. Think about good films that are loosely based on books: Blade Runner or the classic 1968 Planet of the Apes. These films take huge liberties with their source material, and yet they succeed brilliantly. On the other hand, films that are more literal translations from their sources sometimes seem to be lacking the spark of life (see, for example, 1984). But that's not to say that any old random deviations will improve a film adaptation of a book or comic book. Filmmakers still have to think hard and be creative about how they adapt their films. Sometimes they are, and, unfortunately, sometimes they're not.

about greencine · donations · refer a friend · support · help · genres
contact us · press room · privacy policy · terms · sitemap · affiliates · advertise

Copyright © 2005 GreenCine LLC. All rights reserved.
© 2006 All Media Guide, LLC. Portions of content provided by All Movie Guide®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.