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Re: TBWP--what was it?

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  • scofield@filmjunkies.net
    I wholeheartedly disagree with your opinion of BWP. But that doesn t mean much of anything, because the film is very much about experience. I saw the film in
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 4, 2001
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      I wholeheartedly disagree with your opinion of BWP. But that doesn't
      mean much of anything, because the film is very much about experience.

      I saw the film in a small arthouse theatre - long before the hype or
      commercials and it was one of the most chilling movie experiences I
      had had in a very long time. I knew nothing about the film when I
      went in to it. I and everyone I was with really enjoyed it.

      In a lot of ways the premise is everything. But BWP is successful at
      a lot of what it does. It frightens you with what you can't see,
      with the potential of what is hiding out behind that tree in the
      dark. We live in a pop culture where we're trained to see everything
      and to wait for the "big scream" moments. we want to be shocked and
      grossed out and surprised. when you claim that "i thought i was
      going to see a horror move" ... that's just showing how trained to
      see hollywood horror films you are. In a way, BW isn't a horror
      movie. But it's still horrific.

      Blair Witch only works if you're willing to completely suspend your
      disbelief... to jump into those characters. It only works if you've
      spent time in the woods at night alone and heard freaky noises. It
      only works if you allow your imagination to wander. It might only
      work on a bigger screen with good sound and certainly uninterupted by
      commercials.

      BW got a lot of critical praise from a lot of places (roger ebert
      gave it 4 stars... and has a good review
      http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/ebert_reviews/1999/07/071603.html)
      Blair Witch is a psychological thriller that requires you to remember
      what it's like to look through a video camera and what it feels like
      to be alone in the woods. For me, i didn't have to work at all... it
      completely recreated that for me. For others with different life
      experience, i can see why it wouldn't do that. Blair witch isn't a
      great film by any means.... but i found it to be a unique, fresh idea
      and incredibly effective... a fantastic way to utilize bare bones
      filmmaking. its sequel, however, is something quite different.
      also, the film is a lot better when detached from all the media and
      hype around it. i like it a lot better as a freaky little thing not
      too many people have heard of. ah well.

      brian
    • Angela Havel
      ... I agree that the film was fresh and original when it first came out. My viewing of it suffered from the hype surrouding it. But I must disagree with your
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 4, 2001
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        --- scofield@... wrote:
        > I wholeheartedly disagree with your opinion of BWP.
        > But that doesn't
        > mean much of anything, because the film is very much
        > about experience.
        >
        > I saw the film in a small arthouse theatre - long
        > before the hype or
        > commercials and it was one of the most chilling
        > movie experiences I
        > had had in a very long time. I knew nothing about
        > the film when I
        > went in to it. I and everyone I was with really
        > enjoyed it.
        >
        > In a lot of ways the premise is everything. But BWP
        > is successful at
        > a lot of what it does. It frightens you with what
        > you can't see,
        > with the potential of what is hiding out behind that
        > tree in the
        > dark. We live in a pop culture where we're trained
        > to see everything
        > and to wait for the "big scream" moments. we want
        > to be shocked and
        > grossed out and surprised. when you claim that "i
        > thought i was
        > going to see a horror move" ... that's just showing
        > how trained to
        > see hollywood horror films you are.

        I agree that the film was fresh and original when it
        first came out. My viewing of it suffered from the
        hype surrouding it. But I must disagree with your last
        comment above...I *so* don't like Hollywood horror
        films, and don't consider myself "trained" to expect
        Hollywood-formula horror! (I guess you haven't read my
        posts about hardly ever going to Hollywood films).

        I found some effective horror filmmaking in *The Texas
        Chainsaw Massacre*, *Carnival of Souls*, the original
        *Night of the Living Dead* and Hitchcock's *Psycho*
        because they had that independent spirit to them and
        were horrific in a non-slasher type way (there was
        never any blood in three of the four films named
        above). You may consider these films typical "horror"
        films, but I wouldn't say they are--in fact, each was
        similar to BWP, in that they were completely original
        at the time they were released, and for the most part
        relied more on the audience's imagination to supply
        the horror than presenting graphic violence or horror
        (NotLD would be the exception).

        I'm an independent-minded film buff all the way
        (otherwise why would I be at the Malick board?). It's
        just that the events presented as being chilling in
        BWP didn't chill me...and I'll explain why I think
        that is...(see below).

        In a way, BW
        > isn't a horror
        > movie. But it's still horrific.
        >
        > Blair Witch only works if you're willing to
        > completely suspend your
        > disbelief... to jump into those characters. It only
        > works if you've
        > spent time in the woods at night alone and heard
        > freaky noises.

        This could be the problem...because I'm around the
        "woods" at night all the time and have heard too many
        "freaky" noises to be disturbed by them any more. (I
        live in a secluded rural area in Kansas). Just
        tonight, I heard this catalogue of noises outside my
        front door: a hoot owl, a pack of coyotes (howling and
        yipping like there's no tomorrow!), a flock of wild
        turkeys (and at some point the coyotes were obviously
        in pursuit of the turkeys, although I could only hear
        this, not see it), and assorted whipporwills,
        nightbirds, crunching leaves from small animals
        (probably rabbits or opossums), creaky windmills that
        sound like banshees moaning, etc. You get the
        picture. By the way, I like camping and think night is
        the best time when camping. And when I'm at home, I
        think nothing of walking a mile or two at night near
        my house with my dog (on a night with a full moon you
        can see the road well enough to not even bring a
        flashlight). Maybe I'm just lucky that I've never
        really met with anything spooky in person out
        here...so I have little reason to think there's things
        out in the night waiting to "get" us. (And I didn't
        buy that the Blair Witch or the spirit of evil she
        generated was waiting out there in the dark for the
        three hapless filmmakers, which I think you had to buy
        into to be spooked by this film). I do have a vivid
        imagination, believe me, but BWP didn't inspire it to
        go anywhere. I think this had something to do with the
        three "characters" in the film. I didn't really get to
        know them as people, although I did see each of them
        blow up or break down, but somehow it didn't pay off
        for me. Again, I think it was because I was in on the
        "secret" of the film when I saw it. Also, maybe if I'd
        seen the crumbling, abandoned house sooner--that was
        the part that intrigued me the most, and it came right
        at the end, and kind of went nowhere.

        I missed the first three minutes of the film, too, and
        another three minutes somewhere in the middle, so
        maybe that affected my viewing of it. If I hadn't
        known the "hoax" I'm sure it would have scared me
        more. Plus as you say the film would have looked
        better on the big screen and without commercial
        interruption.

        I will check out the review link you provided,
        though...I'm interested to hear what Ebert had to say.
        I usually agree with him.

        Thanks for the comments...

        Angela

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      • William Boodell
        Brian, Apparently a film called -The Last Broadcast- came out a while before -BW- that has a similar premise. I don t know if it s any good, but I thought you
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 5, 2001
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          Brian,

          Apparently a film called -The Last Broadcast- came out
          a while before -BW- that has a similar premise. I
          don't know if it's any good, but I thought you might
          like to check it out. Some people say -BW- borrowed
          significantly from that film. Like I said, I haven't
          seen it. Has anyone here seen this film?

          Bill


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