Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Chase's choice

"...originality partly means letting yourself be influenced by new and different kinds of reality as the way to make art. In 19th century fiction, that meant making non-aristocratic human beings the heroes of fiction. In the great era of modernist narrative, that meant exploring the structure of consciousness as the motive for metaphor. In the case of Hitchcock, and now in the case of David Chase, two masters of popular visual film narrative, the very sociology of tv and film's popularity itself, our attachment to issues like the star system, and our expectation of easy narrative closure, become problematic zones that inspire a confrontation and questioning of form."

- excerpt from Larry Gross, writer for Movie City News Voices

You can read the amazing article here

I think this is an interesting assertion on the form that Chase and Hitchcock (and many others - PT Anderson, Alexander Payne, etc.) have taken on, creating ideas that challenge the basic relationship that the viewer has with the art. Gross mentions Hitchcock because he likens the end of the series to the shower scene from PSYCHO in terms of audience expectations being tossed out the window. I had a jolt of excitement when the show ended with something I NEVER EXPECTED! And that is the point - Chase was able to entertain me by once again challenging my relationship with the show and the art form he had created!

That entire concept is very exciting to me... maybe not so for others. It seems that the public outcry relates to viewers who absolutely needed a structurally classic form of an ending... and I can't imagine one that would properly capture the series.


Kern said...

I totally agree with your assessment, and I've long argued that the participant's relationship to the art is as important or moreso than the actual piece itself, which is one reason why I feel like so much of modern art gets a bad rap. Obviously there are things that seem to exist just to bait people, but if art isn't about drawing reactions in many forms, why does it exist?

Kern said...

Oh, and the article was chock full of brilliant. I about had to pick my jaw up off the desk when I read his Psycho analogy where he clearly lays out the difference between choices being made for structural and formal reasons as opposed to being character driven.


Ain't Right said...

You're wrong Jed, I didn't need or want a structurally classic ending. I wanted something new or ground-breaking. I wanted something representative of the show that I enjoyed so much. This was none of that. It was a cliffhanger at best. It was too hard to think of an ending so he wrote a tension filled scene like dozens of other ones throughout the series and just quit writing. I do not consider that genius, I consider that lazy. The worst part is that there were 6 great seasons and due to five minutes of pure BS at the end I'll probably never watch them again.