Saturday, February 24, 2018
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Film Snobbery: Why It’s Killing The Modern Film Fan

Being a film lover should be one of the more unique experiences you have in life. As audience members, we should be able to watch, enjoy and talk about movies without the fear of being scrutinized. So, when I see the average film fan (mostly on reddit the internet) being berated for saying something like "Fury Road was just okay," or "I really don't

Being a film lover should be one of the more unique experiences you have in life. As audience members, we should be able to watch, enjoy and talk about movies without the fear of being scrutinized. So, when I see the average film fan (mostly on reddit the internet) being berated for saying something like “Fury Road was just okay,” or “I really don’t like Christopher Nolan’s movies,” it’s pretty disheartening. Films should be able to bring people together. What it shouldn’t be is a cutthroat battle of wits to see if you can convince the other person that their opinion is wrong, thus suffocating a healthy discussion about the movie – and film snobbery seems to be the main cause of that.

You see, this isn’t an article on film trolls, no – those are just hapless losers who have nothing constructive to add to conversation, so they stir the pot saying absurd things that knowingly upset the public. No, this is about the hardcore film snobs who are unabashedly unapologetic about their opinions. They are the ones who begin to ridicule you if you dare have an opinion other than theirs. They almost always have something to say about a movie, and when they do it’s in a critical sense, never giving themselves a chance to enjoy what they just watched. Film trolls are tolerable; film snobs, on the other hand, are nerf herders.

source: Life Magazine

source: Life Magazine

Envision what a film snob might look like. Usually, it’s this abstract idea that there’s a man/woman wearing a beret, with a glass of white wine in hand, smoking a cigarette, complaining about how blockbusters are killing the art of filmmaking. In modern times, we have the internet, and because of that it’s much easier to have a destructive hive mind about certain films, actors, or directors. I believe that it’s killing the ‘art’ (if you will) of being a true fan. Being able to a enjoy a film that isn’t necessarily Oscar caliber (or ‘bait’ as it’s called nowadays) is something that should be celebrated, not mocked. Enjoy films for what they are, not for what the critics say.

Accepting Different Opinions

When initially watching a film you learn to reserve judgement until the very end. That being said, when you have completed your viewing experience, naturally, you want to speak to someone about it. It only starts to turn toxic when 1/2 of the party that saw the film rejects any opinion that isn’t their own.

lost in translation snobbery

Lost In Translation (2003) – source: Focus Features

Take Lost In Translation for example. This movie seems to get an inordinate amount of both praise and hate. Pretentious movie fans will defend this film to the death – with its stylish setting and Academy Award nominated acting performances it’s certainly easy to see why. But, on the flip side you have the ‘level-headed’ fans who will openly say that this movie is a tad bit overrated.

Here’s where civil conversations should arise, but with the modern day film snob, civil comes few and far between. It’s a one-sided argument, with most of the time the louder, more argumentative film snobs trying to tell you that the film was perfect. On the opposing side, you hopelessly try to tell them to stop seeing this so-called ‘perfect’ movie through rose tinted glasses, but to no avail. The result of this causes one side to whimper away helplessly thinking that their opinions are useless, while the other walks away with bigger, inflated egos – try and guess which one belongs to who.

Not Watching Certain Genres

You may have a preference for a specific genre of film, whether that’s action, comedy, or even an action-comedy – and that’s perfectly normal. What isn’t very ‘normal’ (or polite for that matter) is assuming that just because it’s a big budget action film or a smaller art film, that it isn’t worth your time. Doing this is making blanket assumptions about a film you may or may not like just because it’s a certain genre or because a particular actor/director put their artistic footprint on it.

Mission Impossible snobbery

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015) – source: Paramount Pictures

I know a person who only watches big budget action flicks, their reason being that with these larger films it’s easier to see the clear intentions of the plot, theme, et cetera. Take the recent Mission Impossible film; from the beginning you get what you get. Ethan Hunt is a spy, and he does whatever your typical spy does. This is pretty much the formula the franchise goes through – and it works. These movies incessantly rake in millions and millions of dollars in revenue. People enjoy them because of what they offer on screen, and I don’t judge them for it.

Sure, these movies don’t win Academy Awards, but you watch them because you’re interested, and because you enjoy them. You want to know more about these characters and the world they live in. Perhaps, the more ‘mature’ film viewer may scoff at the idea of even watching action movies, while never realizing that they’re shutting off an entire avenue of movies. They always say never judge a book by its cover – you can surely say the same for movies.

Just Enjoy It

In the end, movies are made purely for entertainment purposes. How many times has a movie that wasn’t necessarily a critical or commercial success got the better side of your emotions? I, for one, love Looney Tunes: Back in Action. It isn’t the perfect movie, but it reduces me to hysterical laughter every time it’s playing on television. I didn’t worry about the deeper meaning the movie might have had, or the fact that it stars Jenna Elfman and Brendan Fraser – the film still holds a special place in my heart. This is what watching and discussing film should be about: no fluff, no pretension, just pure enjoyment.

What is the biggest gripe you have with film snobbery? Let me know in the comments!

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Opinions expressed in our articles are those of the authors and not of the Film Inquiry magazine.

Alexzandria is a college student who has an unhealthy obsession with classic films. She believes in order for a movie to be a true 'classic', it has to have been released before the year 1993. Living in Miami, Florida, she spends most of her time listening to BTS, and purging the world of communists.

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