What is wrong with contemporary films.

Predictable story and predictable plot development. Predictable characters, especially the antagonists. Unbelievable actions or stunts. Unbelievable gadgets. No suspense or drama, action only. Too much time spent on action and technology. Complete inability to dramatise non action scenes. Any scenes which do not contain any action fail to create drama and develop the characters.

Most stunts appear impossible to perform by an ordinary human being, therefore audiences are forced to shift their attention from the story to thinking about the nature and quality of the actions (and technologies). Because any physical action performed by an actor which disobeys every day laws of physics will seem as unnatural because we are all familiar with what a human body is capable of doing.

 If actions and gadgets were plausible audiences would be able to stay within the story world because they would not have to assess their validity. Unfortunately there are so many action scenes and so many technologies and gadgets whose validity has to be questioned that audiences are left with brief moments of believable story telling. Audiences’ natural perceptions, instincts and intelligence are what is forcing them to question what they are seeing and to assess its viability. Audiences can subconsciously predict distances and assess if a jump is possible or not, or they can assess if it is impossible for a car to come to stop within certain distances and within certain time frames or if a person can perform certain movements under certain conditions. Any person is capable of making this assessment, indeed all viewers have to conduct this assessment because it is an intellectual process whose source can be found in our instinct and which has to take place simply because they are observing a number of actions and processes whose outcome they can anticipate based on their knowledge of the basic laws of physics which dictate our every day behaviour. In other words it is impossible to observe the world (and this includes films) without assessing them at the same time. This is what makes us intelligent beings. Audiences are performing an ongoing subconscious assessment of a large number of elements. They do so in order to confirm, subconsciously, that what they are witnessing is real. However when this subconscious validation process fails they have to rebel and leave the story world in order to wonder and determine why the actions had to disobey the predictable and instinctive laws of physics. And when there is no answer within the story, the dissatisfaction becomes conscious. The question is why directors, special effects designers, stunt supervisors and producers allow themselves to exceed their internal sense of reality, which determines what is plausible, by so much.

Audiences’ intelligence does not decrease when they enter a cinema, on the contrary, they focus on the task, their intelligence increases and they compare the reality of the film to the reality of their everyday world, and the result of their comparison is directly related to how satisfied they are going to be with the world of the film.

 

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