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grant hutchison
2017-Dec-17, 05:40 PM
I've never been bothered one way or another about spoilers. Sometimes they actually seem to improve my enjoyment. And, of course, we all have favourite books and movies that we go back to again and again, without feeling that the first reading has spoiled subsequent enjoyment. (Maybe changed the nature of the enjoyment, but not removed it.)
I was reminded of this when I ran into what might be considered a serious spoiler for Season 1 of Westworld, which I'm about halfway through watching and finding pretty tedious going so far. The spoiler actually perked me up and made me feel I might watch a bit more of a programme I was otherwise losing interest in.

Grant Hutchison

WaxRubiks
2017-Dec-17, 06:15 PM
yes, a spoiler would spoil a work of fiction for me, if it was an important part of the plot. A good piece of fiction shouldn't need a spoiler to keep someone reading/watching, IMO.

Someone told me they sometimes read the end of a book first...I don't quite understand that.

You can sort of suspend memory of a story with a good piece of fiction, when rereading/watching...like for me with the Hitchhiker's Guide books...the series which I have read several times, years ago...couldn't read it again now though.

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-17, 06:26 PM
A good piece of fiction shouldn't need a spoiler to keep someone reading/watching, IMO.I don't think I understand what you mean by this.

Grant Hutchison

WaxRubiks
2017-Dec-17, 06:35 PM
I don't think I understand what you mean by this.

Grant Hutchison

I was just going by your comment about Westworld.


I was reminded of this when I ran into what might be considered a serious spoiler for Season 1 of Westworld, which I'm about halfway through watching and finding pretty tedious going so far. The spoiler actually perked me up and made me feel I might watch a bit more of a programme I was otherwise losing interest in.


you were finding it pretty tedious going, and the spoiler made you feel like you might watch some more.

I don't know how you came across the spoiler, but it seemed it might have kept you watching.

I have no idea whether Westworld is a decent series...is it based on the old movie of the same name?

The Backroad Astronomer
2017-Dec-17, 06:46 PM
Spoilers do not ruin anything for me but there others who do not like it so I try to honor their wishes. Some people want to be surprise when they experience something for the first time. Me it kind of wets the juices like the smell of a meal being cooked, you get the gist of what is happening but you do not get the detail of what is happening.

pzkpfw
2017-Dec-17, 07:03 PM
Spoilers do bug me a lot; the first time I see/read something, I want to learn things from the source. Surprises should be surprises; even the mundane details - I don't want to know beforehand.

I was thinking about this just last night, I was watching the last few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation; and I'd learned from another thread that Q is involved. I was annoyed, I'd rather that had been a surprise.

But then, there in the title sequence was: 'Special Guest John de Lancie as "Q"'.

So of course I spent the rest of the episode thinking "oh, 'Q' is doing this". And it was a bit spoiled, because the reveal of "Q" had much less impact. But the programme had spoiled itself.

Trebuchet
2017-Dec-17, 07:37 PM
Considering how often I re-read or re-watch old favorites, I suppose not. I'd still not rather have them the first time through.

WaxRubiks
2017-Dec-17, 07:44 PM
I used to watch The Matrix over and over, and I had my favourite scenes like the pill scene etc....it's like listening to a song you like, you can still enjoy it after many hearings.

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-17, 08:19 PM
I was just going by your comment about Westworld.

you were finding it pretty tedious going, and the spoiler made you feel like you might watch some more.Ah, I see.
I don't think Westworld needed a spoiler - it needed a kick up the bottom, IMO. It just happened that the spoiler made me think, "Well, I wonder how they'll work that in." It piqued my curiosity, rather than enhanced my waning enjoyment.


I have no idea whether Westworld is a decent series...is it based on the old movie of the same name?It is. And there's an interesting premise in there, arising from the old film, but I don't think they're carrying it off at all well.

Grant Hutchison

slang
2017-Dec-17, 09:40 PM
Yes, they do for me (but maybe not always). Also I don't want to watch some scene that others have already over-analyzed before I can form my own opinion. "That scene where Captain Urgleblork gets killed was acted really badly, and besides there was a 21st century contrail in the sky and they didn't use those anymore". While I've been watching 6 episodes, slowly building a viewer-sympathy connection with the good captain, the director put a lot of work in building up to that death scene, it being a pivotal point in the story and all that, and now I watch that episode thoroughly annoyed because I know "my" guy is going to die, and I just keep watching the blue sky for that darn half-second of contrail.

Especially shows that I expect to watch later, I'll stay away from threads on its topic here. Spoilers or not. I've not opened any Star Trek thread recently, since I'm 4 or 5 episodes behind in watching.

But sometimes seeing a spoiler, or some story detail on Wikipedia might just cause me to reverse my decision to not watch or read something.

DonM435
2017-Dec-17, 10:21 PM
No. I usually watch a movie because I've read a thorough description of the plot somewhere and it sounds interesting enough. I've rarely seen a surprise that was worth the trouble.

Glom
2017-Dec-17, 10:28 PM
It can be very mixed.

On the one hand, I wouldn't have liked to have been spoiled about a certain thing you all know in The Force Awakens. There was tension for me not knowing what was going to happen. I can imagine it would be the same for Empire too, though I wouldn't know since it predates me and was already cultural knowledge before I first saw the film.

A number of twists in Battlestar Galactica were great what with them being twists the unfolded as I watched them. I wouldn't have wanting the awakening of the four to have been spoiled for me.

On the other hand, I can think of a few times when knowing ahead of time amped things up.

One example is 24. I watched the seasons out of order. I saw season 2 first as part of a drinking game. My friends told me that Penny Johnson's character was evil based on events from the first season. When we later did season 1, the character starting all innocent, it added something seeing the character develop into the evil character I had learned about.

Another is Elementary. I saw the later episodes with Irene Adler before the initial ones so when I watched them, the tension was greater. The scene where Sherlock and Joan were searching the house where they find Irene oozed tension because I suspected this was Irene's entrance, knowing she wasn't dead. And of course knowing who she really was added menace to all the scenes before the Big Reveal. That being said, I'm not sure of the Big Reveal would have been better had I not known. I got a kick out of the dramatic irony as Sherlock found out.

Then there's Harry Potter 6, which I only saw after Harry Potter 7. The film is pretty awful, what with Harry being on drugs both on and off screen. But the one redeeming feature was the flashback scenes with Tom Riddle. The actor turned in a genuinely Lecterish performance. When he first mentioned horcruxes, I got a little chill knowing the significance they would have later. Had I watched the films in order, horcrux would just have been some silly made up term that meant nothing when it was first uttered.

Spacedude
2017-Dec-17, 10:30 PM
It varies for me as there movies where I want to know the ending and there are others that are best left in a shroud of mystery.

Solfe
2017-Dec-17, 10:45 PM
I hate spoilers, I try to avoid them at all costs.

KaiYeves
2017-Dec-17, 11:18 PM
I don't know about "spoil" as in "ruin", but I do feel a bit disappointed if a moment meant to be surprising isn't a surprise to me and I don't get the full emotional impact. For example, when I was reading Derek Lundy's Godforsaken Sea, about the 1996-97 Vendée Globe, I didn't look up the names of any of the sailors as they were mentioned, because I wanted the same suspense about who won, who finished, who dropped out of the race, and if anyone might not survive that people had watching it unfold in real time.

pzkpfw
2017-Dec-18, 01:41 AM
There's a reason Homer Simpson walking out of a theatre, past a long line waiting to get in to see "The Empire Strikes Back", talking about a certain family relationship, was a thing.

(I hold the existence of that Simpsons' scene as proof that more people would be annoyed by that spoiler than not.)

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-18, 02:00 AM
I guess this reflects a difference between people who are interested in how the story is told and what the story contains. I'm very much in the former camp, and I don't feel particularly gratified by surprises per se - I'm interested in why the surprise is where it is, and how (if at all) the audience was prepared for it.

Grant Hutchison

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-18, 02:04 AM
(I hold the existence of that Simpsons' scene as proof that more people would be annoyed by that spoiler than not.)Well, it certainly suggests that more people who write for "The Simpsons" would be annoyed. Or perhaps that people who write for "The Simpsons" think that more people who watch "The Simpsons" would be annoyed. Or perhaps that people who write for "The Simpsons" think that more people who watch "The Simpsons" will recognize the trope.

Grant Hutchison

Jens
2017-Dec-18, 03:23 AM
They don't ruin things for me either. I really enjoyed Gandhi, even though I knew how it was going to end.

WaxRubiks
2017-Dec-18, 03:31 AM
knowing the twist in An Inspector Calls made seeing it on the stage really boring.

DonM435
2017-Dec-18, 04:46 AM
When I was growing up, we didn't check theater schedules, if indeed there were such things. We went when we were ready, and got there when we got there. It was usually a double (or triple) feature. You'd watch the end of some movie, then the other movie, then sit through the next showing of the first one up until it got familiar, whereupon you usually left. It was a challenge to deduce how the unfolding story fit into what you'd already seen. If either or both films were good, you might go back and see it again (no home video, and it wouldn't play on TV for some time). (Spoilers? Hah! I spit on your spoilers. Now, go away or I shall taunt you a second time!)

i hate to think how many films I saw in that disjointed fashion. Those were the days.

Heid the Ba'
2017-Dec-18, 12:14 PM
They don't ruin things for me either. I really enjoyed Gandhi, even though I knew how it was going to end.

He gets the girl?

jamesabrown
2017-Dec-18, 02:26 PM
Sometimes spoilers annoy me, sometimes not. I think it depends on how much I have invested in the characters.

Ironically, I accidentally came across the big twist in The Sixth Sense before I saw the movie. I saw it anyway because everyone kept talking about it. The thing is, I still was surprised by the twist. Just not very observant, I suppose.

I've also noticed that spoilers can be given by the chapter titles in books. Years ago I was reading a young reader's chapter book to my son when he was around seven or eight years old. The story took place in colonial America, and a chapter ended with a young boy being captured by a British squadron. I said something like, "Oh, I hope he'll be okay," mostly to get my son thinking about the plot. He said, "Yeah, he will," and he pointed to the chapter title on the next page. The title was "A Daring Escape!" which really let out the dramatic tension set up by the previous chapter.

But it can also work in an ironic effect. Another book my son and I read was one of the Captain Underpants series. The two mischievous protagonists had just performed some prank on their principal, and one of them worried that they would get caught. The chapter ends with the other kid reassuring his partner-in-crime, "There's no way we're going to get busted!" Then you turn the page to read, "Chapter Seven: Busted!"

My son and I had a good belly laugh about that one.

DonM435
2017-Dec-18, 03:28 PM
I once read a very short movie description in a newspaper's TV listings, for the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho. It read "A man disguises himself as his mother and commits murders."

That is a bit much, to torpedo a classic in "ten words or less."

Maybe that's why another's summary went something like "A boy and his mother operate a lonely motel."

Trebuchet
2017-Dec-18, 03:55 PM
I find self-spoilers kind of annoying. The reveal of the dalek in the Ninth Doctor episode "Dalek" would have been much more shocking if the episode had had a different title.

Gillianren
2017-Dec-18, 04:56 PM
I once wrote a review of Soylent Green without spoilers as an intellectual exercise. I wrote a review of The Crying Game with no spoilers because I believe "the surprise" isn't as vital to the story as its hype has indicated it is.

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-18, 05:08 PM
I once wrote a review of Soylent Green without spoilers as an intellectual exercise. I wrote a review of The Crying Game with no spoilers because I believe "the surprise" isn't as vital to the story as its hype has indicated it is.Ah, The Crying Game provided me with a rare "I-told-you-so" moment.
When my wife and I watched it at the cinema, I identified the nature of the character played by Jaye Davidson immediately, and remarked on it to my wife. She is one of the few people in the world who can say "Pshaw!" convincingly, and that's what she said in response to my observation. I've rarely been vindicated quite so convincingly as I was shortly afterwards.

Grant Hutchison

profloater
2017-Dec-18, 05:26 PM
Ah, The Crying Game provided me with a rare "I-told-you-so" moment.
When my wife and I watched it at the cinema, I identified the nature of the character played by Jaye Davidson immediately, and remarked on it to my wife. She is one of the few people in the world who can say "Pshaw!" convincingly, and that's what she said in response to my observation. I've rarely been vindicated quite so convincingly as I was shortly afterwards.

Grant Hutchison

agree about the crying game, my that seems a long time ago. I remember being quite shocked in the original alien film and not at all shocked in all subsequent versions, so forewarned was forewarned and to some degree spoiled. Thus I found the remade Bladerunner a disappointment but I should have read the books as advised afterwards. I did read Dune trilogy and thus found the film very lacking. However I find I do not read reviews much, they are often spoilers and today's reviewers do not seem to chime with my choices.

pzkpfw
2017-Dec-18, 06:08 PM
... However I find I do not read reviews much, they are often spoilers ...

I try not to even watch the trailers, as they give away too much.

(Let alone "comedies" where you find every funny bit was already seen in the trailer ...)

profloater
2017-Dec-18, 07:53 PM
I try not to even watch the trailers, as they give away too much.

(Let alone "comedies" where you find every funny bit was already seen in the trailer ...)

I'm a sucker for art house films so I avoid most reviews and am rarely disappointed with films from all over the place with subtitles. I much prefer those to dubbing. there are some great art movies from the new York school for example and the only spoiler is to say they are worth watching if you like that kind of thing.

Solfe
2017-Dec-18, 11:34 PM
My sister in law asked me if I saw The Last Jedi and when I said "No," she started to tell me all about it. I said: "If spoil it you will, on fire I will set you."

I don't mind that other people want to know what is going to happen, but I generally want to see the movie/tv show and get the whole effect. I will watch anything to see all the twists and turns, I like those parts. Even when I create "spoiler threads", I generally won't post spoilers myself for a few weeks or months. Not everyone gets to go to the movies right away.

One of my most magical days was going to see Rogue One on opening day. Someone promoting it at my school gave me a voucher for a large popcorn, a pop and a free ticket. I have never been so pleased. I went with about 8 of my classmates. We just sat there going "OMG-OMG-OMG!*" like school children during the fight scenes at the end. When I got home, I immediately served dinner, told my kids that I saw it, then took them to go see it. It had the same effect on them.

*Via text. Some how I got separated from my friends and ended up in the next theater, with my film running about 60 seconds ahead of theirs. That was weird.

Heid the Ba'
2017-Dec-19, 10:26 AM
Spoilers have saved me hours and prevented me from watching the end of some bad films. If I'm watching something at home and it isn't good I'll check what happens later in the film to see if it is worth sticking with. Usually it isn't.

cosmocrazy
2017-Dec-19, 12:34 PM
I guess this reflects a difference between people who are interested in how the story is told and what the story contains. I'm very much in the former camp, and I don't feel particularly gratified by surprises per se - I'm interested in why the surprise is where it is, and how (if at all) the audience was prepared for it.

Grant Hutchison
I'm in the same camp, I enjoy how well a story is told much more than its content. I've never been a fan of surprises so spoilers generally don't bother me. It's a bit like when I'm watching a recording of a sporting contest after it has already finished, I don't mind knowing the result prior to seeing it unfold. In fact it often affects my decision whether or not to watch it in detail, flick through it or even bother to watch it at all. I find knowing, often is less annoying because it can save you the time you would have wasted in disappointment.

bknight
2017-Dec-19, 01:08 PM
I've never been bothered one way or another about spoilers. Sometimes they actually seem to improve my enjoyment. And, of course, we all have favourite books and movies that we go back to again and again, without feeling that the first reading has spoiled subsequent enjoyment. (Maybe changed the nature of the enjoyment, but not removed it.)
I was reminded of this when I ran into what might be considered a serious spoiler for Season 1 of Westworld, which I'm about halfway through watching and finding pretty tedious going so far. The spoiler actually perked me up and made me feel I might watch a bit more of a programme I was otherwise losing interest in.

Grant Hutchison
Like you I am not bothered to learn certain features of a film, some of which I won't watch and some that I will enjoy whether or not I "know" the outcome prior to viewing it.

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-19, 01:41 PM
I'm in the same camp, I enjoy how well a story is told much more than its content. I've never been a fan of surprises so spoilers generally don't bother me. It's a bit like when I'm watching a recording of a sporting contest after it has already finished, I don't mind knowing the result prior to seeing it unfold.Coincidentally, just the other night one of our local news programmes reported the result of a significant football match that was to be broadcast later. The anchor said, "If you don't want to know the result, look away now." The result flashed on the screen, and then she read it out. And then a reporter described the match in detail. I can only assume there was some last-minute adjustment to the content of the broadcast - but, since no-one in our house cares one way or another about football, we laughed immoderately.

Grant Hutchison

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-19, 01:43 PM
Spoilers have saved me hours and prevented me from watching the end of some bad films. If I'm watching something at home and it isn't good I'll check what happens later in the film to see if it is worth sticking with. Usually it isn't.Trailers work the same way. I trust the ability of trailer-makers to stuff the trailer with all their best shots, to hook in their target audience. When I can't wait for the trailer to end, I know the film isn't for me.

Grant Hutchison

DonM435
2017-Dec-19, 01:55 PM
It would bother me to learn the outcome of a game that I'd planned on watching in a delayed situation.

There was a time (1980s-90s) when, to avoid staying up until 1 a.m., I'd watch the Sunday night NFL game on a VCR on Monday at a reasonable time, like right after dinner. All the while my other machine was recording the Monday night game for Tuesday viewing at a better hour. As you could re-use the tapes, it didn't really cost you anything. Sometimes I'd watch in real time, but if I got bored I could fast forward to the good parts, if indeed there were any.

However, in those days, it wasn't easy to avoid hearing about the games, as the newspapers put the result on the front page, and people at the office would always be talking about it.

Today, I wouldn't watch if the teams offered to play the game in my back yard. And, as I rarely hear those morning discussions, many former fans must agree with me.




Edited to add:
Found an old piece that might be relevant ...
https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthread.php?136120-Really-trivial-stuff-that-bugs-you&p=2176203#post2176203

cosmocrazy
2017-Dec-19, 06:22 PM
Trailers work the same way. I trust the ability of trailer-makers to stuff the trailer with all their best shots, to hook in their target audience. When I can't wait for the trailer to end, I know the film isn't for me.

Grant Hutchison
I remember watching a trailer for a film (Assassins Creed) not long back thinking this film is going to be great! Turned out the trailer clip was the only decent part the film had to offer.

cosmocrazy
2017-Dec-19, 06:26 PM
It would bother me to learn the outcome of a game that I'd planned on watching in a delayed situation.

There was a time (1980s-90s) when, to avoid staying up until 1 a.m., I'd watch the Sunday night NFL game on a VCR on Monday at a reasonable time, like right after dinner. All the while my other machine was recording the Monday night game for Tuesday viewing at a better hour. As you could re-use the tapes, it didn't really cost you anything. Sometimes I'd watch in real time, but if I got bored I could fast forward to the good parts, if indeed there were any.

However, in those days, it wasn't easy to avoid hearing about the games, as the newspapers put the result on the front page, and people at the office would always be talking about it.

Today, I wouldn't watch if the teams offered to play the game in my back yard. And, as I rarely hear those morning discussions, many former fans must agree with me.




Edited to add:
Found an old piece that might be relevant ...
https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthread.php?136120-Really-trivial-stuff-that-bugs-you&p=2176203#post2176203

Yes its handy to record things to watch at a later time so you can fast forward all the boring bits. I play more sport than I watch but the small amount I do watch I always record rather than watch live for this very reason. Golf & cricket tournaments are classic examples.

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-19, 07:14 PM
I remember watching a trailer for a film (Assassins Creed) not long back thinking this film is going to be great! Turned out the trailer clip was the only decent part the film had to offer.Yes, you can't judge from trailers in the positive direction, since the trailer director has used a lot of experience and marketing research to assemble all the bits that are judged to appeal to the target audience - the bits of the film excluded from the trailer may yet disappoint.
But if that carefully judged "best bits" compilation simply annihilates your soul with its tedium (looking at you, Avatar), then it's a safe bet that the movie itself can only entertain you by accident.

Grant Hutchison

pzkpfw
2017-Dec-19, 07:15 PM
I'm in the same camp, I enjoy how well a story is told much more than its content. ...

This is the bit I don't understand. To me, the pacing and order of how information is revealed isn't just "content", it's part of how the story is told. The writer and director decided that the viewer would find out something in a particular order and way - they are telling the story. Appreciating how well a story is told, when changing the way the story is learned (e.g. spoilers before even watching the movie), seems to be making appreciation of the story into a meta exercise, or something.

It seems (to me, subjectively, trying to look into other peoples' heads) like looking at a great work of art, and not being moved by the emotion the artist is trying to portray, but instead dispassionately studying the mechanics of the brush strokes. The tear on the face of the subject is just "content", but look how nicely that dab of white made the tear glisten. Or something. (Struggling to express.)

TL;DR: I don't understand separation of content from how the story is told. To me, the content is part of how the story is told.

----

My Mother used to read the last page of a book first. If it had a sad ending, she didn't want to read the book.

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-19, 07:54 PM
This is the bit I don't understand. To me, the pacing and order of how information is revealed isn't just "content", it's part of how the story is told. The writer and director decided that the viewer would find out something in a particular order and way - they are telling the story. Appreciating how well a story is told, when changing the way the story is learned (e.g. spoilers before even watching the movie), seems to be making appreciation of the story into a meta exercise, or something.

It seems (to me, subjectively, trying to look into other peoples' heads) like looking at a great work of art, and not being moved by the emotion the artist is trying to portray, but instead dispassionately studying the mechanics of the brush strokes. The tear on the face of the subject is just "content", but look how nicely that dab of white made the tear glisten. Or something. (Struggling to express.)One's emotional reaction to a movie is to a large extent separate from the structure of the narrative though, isn't it? Exactly the same story can be narrated in exactly the same order, but told in such a way that it leaves one emotionally detached, or told in a way that is completely immersive. (And what I find immersive may leave you cold, or vice versa.) A structural summary of the plot of your favourite film is unlikely to move anyone in the way the film itself did, so the film must be doing a lot more than delivering plot in a particular order.

To me the building blocks of the plot are of mild interest, but what I want to see, the thing that I value (or otherwise), is how they are delivered.

Grant Hutchison

profloater
2017-Dec-19, 08:25 PM
The way the film delivers is very dependent on the editor, sometimes that's the director but not usually. A good/bad editor can make/ruin a film and the sound editor is important too. I feel they go unsung compared with the actors and directors and there is not the equivalent in reading a book, (although book editors are important too). It's because the exact timing of cuts is vital to the flow and to the emphasis transmitted.

SkepticJ
2017-Dec-19, 08:46 PM
Yes, you can't judge from trailers in the positive direction, since the trailer director has used a lot of experience and marketing research to assemble all the bits that are judged to appeal to the target audience - the bits of the film excluded from the trailer may yet disappoint.
But if that carefully judged "best bits" compilation simply annihilates your soul with its tedium (looking at you, Avatar), then it's a safe bet that the movie itself can only entertain you by accident.

It doesn't happen often, but great movies can have trailers that make them look bad. When I saw the first trailer for District 9 I had zero interest in seeing the movie. It wasn't until the glowing critical reviews that I thought I'd give it a chance, and loved it.

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-19, 08:53 PM
The way the film delivers is very dependent on the editor, sometimes that's the director but not usually. A good/bad editor can make/ruin a film and the sound editor is important too. I feel they go unsung compared with the actors and directors and there is not the equivalent in reading a book, (although book editors are important too). It's because the exact timing of cuts is vital to the flow and to the emphasis transmitted.Yes - Top Gun is a movie that was essentially saved because it was completely rebuilt by its editors. (I realize that perception depends on whether you think Top Gun in its present form has any merit at all.)

Grant Hutchison

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-19, 09:00 PM
It doesn't happen often, but great movies can have trailers that make them look bad. When I saw the first trailer for District 9 I had zero interest in seeing the movie. It wasn't until the glowing critical reviews that I thought I'd give it a chance, and loved it.That's interesting. I was luke-warm about the trailer, the critical reviews put me off seeing it in the cinema, and I eventually watched it on TV a few years later to find I was luke-warm about the movie, too.

Grant Hutchison

pzkpfw
2017-Dec-19, 11:43 PM
One's emotional reaction to a movie is to a large extent separate from the structure of the narrative though, isn't it?

The effect of structure is different to the effect of foreknowledge.

Say a characters beloved parent dies. The overall structure could vary a lot - flashback, regular sequential order, whatever - but if the director (and writer, actor, ...) is good, I'll feel their emotion. But foreknowledge of that death will, for me, reduce the emotion felt.

(Edit: it does depend. We all know Batmans' parents are killed. Seeing a well made/acted Batman movie we may still feel the emotional impact of that, even with the foreknowledge. But that won't apply to all movies; there are some where the death (or whatever other plot point) is intended to be unknown. Pan's Labyrinth would have had far less impact on me if I'd been aware the whole time that Ofelia dies at the end.)


Exactly the same story can be narrated in exactly the same order, but told in such a way that it leaves one emotionally detached, or told in a way that is completely immersive. (And what I find immersive may leave you cold, or vice versa.) A structural summary of the plot of your favourite film is unlikely to move anyone in the way the film itself did, so the film must be doing a lot more than delivering plot in a particular order.

To me the building blocks of the plot are of mild interest, but what I want to see, the thing that I value (or otherwise), is how they are delivered.

Grant Hutchison

Maybe we have a different view of what a spoiler is?

To me it means more than structure, it's about specific plot details.

I still don't see how the "how" in "... but what I want to see, the thing that I value (or otherwise), is how they are delivered" doesn't include learning details of the plot in the order intended by the makers.

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-20, 12:04 AM
The effect of structure is different to the effect of foreknowledge.

Say a characters beloved parent dies. The overall structure could vary a lot - flashback, regular sequential order, whatever - but if the director (and writer, actor, ...) is good, I'll feel their emotion.Yes, me too. Though of course we may differ in what we find particularly moving, for all sorts of reasons.


Foreknowledge of that death will, for me, reduce the emotion felt.Not me. Hence this thread, really. Are you saying that you don't find a favourite film just as moving on the third viewing as you did on the first? Are you less moved by films with well-known historical outcomes than you are by those with new fictional plots?


Maybe we have a different view of what a spoiler is?

To me it means more than structure, it's about specific plot details.Well, that's exactly what I meant by structure - the nuts and bolts of the plot. "He dies in the end" is a bit of a spoiler; "He sustains a head injury while playing football with his son, ends up in intensive care, appears to recover, then dies of overwhelming sepsis, and then we find out the infection came from the hands of his weeping wife who had wiped her nose while shedding tears of joy over his initial recovery" is a bit more of a spoiler. Or so it seems to me. I'm not bothered by either of those.

Grant Hutchison

pzkpfw
2017-Dec-20, 12:16 AM
... Not me. Hence this thread, really. Are you saying that you don't find a favourite film just as moving on the third viewing as you did on the first? Are you less moved by films with well-known historical outcomes than you are by those with new fictional plots? ...

For me, it can certainly have less (can't quantify that, especially not in a blanket way for all movies) impact. And some of the impact it has is remembered from the first viewing. Something historical can have impact partly from the details learned, or seldom seen (to just speak of plot points).

I do agree somewhat that how well something is built-up and portrayed means it can have impact without being "secret". I've watched "Apollo 13" more than once, and knew the outcome before the first time, and the outcome still makes me swell. But not all movies are the same, or have the same intent.


... I'm not bothered by either of those.

Grant Hutchison

I really find that unfathomable.

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-20, 12:30 AM
I really find that unfathomable.As I've said, I'm primarily interested in how those events are delivered - they could be heart-wrenching if done well, but they could be inadvertently mirth-provoking if done badly.

My feelings are essentially a corollary to something J.R. Moehringer wrote in The Tender Bar:
He leaned sideways to see the book I was reading. "A Fan's Notes?" he said. "What's that about?"
[...]
I let fly at Jimbo. "I hate that question," I said. "I hate when people ask what a book is about. People who read for plot, people who suck out the story like the cream filling in an Oreo, should stick to comic strips and soap operas. What's it about? Every book worth a damn is about emotions and love and death and pain. It's about words. It's about a man dealing with life. Okay?"
Grant Hutchison

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-20, 01:47 AM
I still don't see how the "how" in "... but what I want to see, the thing that I value (or otherwise), is how they are delivered" doesn't include learning details of the plot in the order intended by the makers.I think you maybe added this line after I started replying - I certainly didn't notice it when I wrote my reply.

The "how" is what the film-makers do to deliver the plot elements - the dialogue, the acting, the direction, the cinematography, the locations, the editing - how we are (we hope) grabbed by the scruff of the neck and made to see and identify with the "emotions and love and death and pain". The plot is the framework all the emotionally engaging stuff is built on.

It's a common observation from writers that plots are easy, but writing is difficult - making the reader actually see real people in real situations, rather than just marionettes going through the plot motions, can be a desperately hard thing to do.

Grant Hutchison

DonM435
2017-Dec-20, 03:56 AM
I still watch a new version of, say, Dracula or Hound of the Baskervilles or, oh even Hamlet when one comes up, not to be surprised by plot twists, but rather to see how they've presented the show.

pzkpfw
2017-Dec-20, 03:57 AM
I find that quote from (a character written by) J.R. Moehringer a bit off. First it again draws too much (in my opinion) distinction between "plot" and what a thing is "about". They are linked, as in my comments about the "how" including the pace and structure of plot reveals. Also, it's a bit over the top in dismissal of some peoples' attitude to "plot". For example, good science fiction is absolutely driven by "emotions and love and death and pain", and just happens to be set in a situation with spaceships or whatever. But there are people who just don't "like" or "get" those spaceships or whatever, and maybe they'd more appreciate the same story with the same "emotions and love and death and pain" with a western setting (see "Star Wars"). So if someone asks what a story is "about" I see no need for anger.


... The "how" is what the film-makers do to deliver the plot elements - the dialogue, the acting, the direction, the cinematography, the locations, the editing - how we are (we hope) grabbed by the scruff of the neck and made to see and identify with the "emotions and love and death and pain". The plot is the framework all the emotionally engaging stuff is built on.

"Editing"? "deliver the plot elements"? I still can't see how order and pacing of the plot reveals isn't part of that. Having the plot elements delivered the day before you see the movie changes how how the plot elements were intended to be delivered, by the writer/director/editor.


It's a common observation from writers that plots are easy, but writing is difficult - making the reader actually see real people in real situations, rather than just marionettes going through the plot motions, can be a desperately hard thing to do.

Understood, but I still them as linked.

Say Luke finds out that Vader is his Father. The better Mark Hamill is at acting (and all the other elements of the scene - like the writing), the more we'll feel the emotions his character is feeling. But one of the drivers of his emotions is the shock at the revelation. One of the things that helps us me understand that is that it's a revelation to us me too. If the writers/director had stuck in a scene earlier where Vader discusses with the Emperer "hey, I'm going to tell that kid I'm his Father", then I'm pretty sure most of the audience would have found the revelation to Luke a much less impacting scene, ceteris paribus. A spoiler is, to me, like a bad writer/director/editor messing up the movie.

(And yes, I can watch that movie again and still enjoy it even though I now know the big reveal, but that scene may have less impact.)

KaiYeves
2017-Dec-20, 04:10 AM
I find that quote from (a character written by) J.R. Moehringer a bit off. First it again draws too much (in my opinion) distinction between "plot" and what a thing is "about". They are linked, as in my comments about the "how" including the pace and structure of plot reveals. Also, it's a bit over the top in dismissal of some peoples' attitude to "plot". For example, good science fiction is absolutely driven by "emotions and love and death and pain", and just happens to be set in a situation with spaceships or whatever. But there are people who just don't "like" or "get" those spaceships or whatever, and maybe they'd more appreciate the same story with the same "emotions and love and death and pain" with a western setting (see "Star Wars"). So if someone asks what a story is "about" I see no need for anger.



Exactly. We don't label the entire library the "Emotions and Love and Death and Pain Section" and call it a day.

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-20, 09:06 AM
I find that quote from (a character written by) J.R. Moehringer a bit off.Actually a quote from Moehringer - The Tender Bar is a memoir. It reflects his own feelings about plot, not an attempt to write feelings for another. His anger arises from a number of sources, but not least his own aspirations to be a writer.

Grant Hutchison

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-20, 09:09 AM
Exactly. We don't label the entire library the "Emotions and Love and Death and Pain Section" and call it a day.We did in my public library when I was a kid - non-fiction was classified into quite minute subsections, and on the other side of the hall was "fiction". (Oh, tell a lie - there was a shelf near the counter marked "newly acquired fiction".)

Grant Hutchison

cosmocrazy
2017-Dec-20, 09:35 AM
I find that quote from (a character written by) J.R. Moehringer a bit off. First it again draws too much (in my opinion) distinction between "plot" and what a thing is "about". They are linked, as in my comments about the "how" including the pace and structure of plot reveals. Also, it's a bit over the top in dismissal of some peoples' attitude to "plot". For example, good science fiction is absolutely driven by "emotions and love and death and pain", and just happens to be set in a situation with spaceships or whatever. But there are people who just don't "like" or "get" those spaceships or whatever, and maybe they'd more appreciate the same story with the same "emotions and love and death and pain" with a western setting (see "Star Wars"). So if someone asks what a story is "about" I see no need for anger.



"Editing"? "deliver the plot elements"? I still can't see how order and pacing of the plot reveals isn't part of that. Having the plot elements delivered the day before you see the movie changes how how the plot elements were intended to be delivered, by the writer/director/editor.



Understood, but I still them as linked.

Say Luke finds out that Vader is his Father. The better Mark Hamill is at acting (and all the other elements of the scene - like the writing), the more we'll feel the emotions his character is feeling. But one of the drivers of his emotions is the shock at the revelation. One of the things that helps us me understand that is that it's a revelation to us me too. If the writers/director had stuck in a scene earlier where Vader discusses with the Emperer "hey, I'm going to tell that kid I'm his Father", then I'm pretty sure most of the audience would have found the revelation to Luke a much less impacting scene, ceteris paribus. A spoiler is, to me, like a bad writer/director/editor messing up the movie.

(And yes, I can watch that movie again and still enjoy it even though I now know the big reveal, but that scene may have less impact.)

In the Star Wars saga the audience were given hints throughout right up until the reveal that Vader was Luke's father. This aside I understand your point but I think it also depends on the genre of the movie.
I, like Grant feel that how well a story is written/told has more impact than how good the content is. The point being spoilers have less effect than one might expect on the impact that a well told story has on emotions. For example I have watched the spaghetti westerns featuring Clint Eastwood many times over. My favourite being "The Good The Bad & The Ugly" which I have watched no fewer than 4 times and to this day it still has an impact on me and I still enjoy each moment even though I can almost recite the script word for word.

I remember watching the movie "On Golden Pond" (Henry Fonda, featuring his daughter Jane) a well written, well told story that is quite predictable yet still draws on your emotions. If someone asked you what the content was, what the story was about, my guess is most would likely to be uninterested in watching it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Golden_Pond_(1981_film)

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-20, 09:47 AM
What I'm getting from pzkpfw and KaiYeves is that they are tolerant of "plot revelations" to the extent of genre and setting, at least. Even if it's only a look at the back of the dustjacket or an exposure to a movie trailer, everyone uses some aspect of plot revelation to decide if they want to try the book/film or not. So isn't it unsurprising that there's a continuum, with some of us more tolerant of (or even seeking out) plot revelations that others feel are too much information? Doesn't everyone draw the line between "useful information" and "spoiler" at a different point?

Grant Hutchison

profloater
2017-Dec-20, 10:49 AM
We did in my public library when I was a kid - non-fiction was classified into quite minute subsections, and on the other side of the hall was "fiction". (Oh, tell a lie - there was a shelf near the counter marked "newly acquired fiction".)

Grant Hutchison

this reminds me of my favourite cartoon from Punch (maybe, long time ago). Showed a library with two sections each with a book on a display stand. On the left was the "Popular Psychology" section and the book was called "it's your mother's fault". On the right was the "Unpopular psychology" section and the book was "It's your fault"

Jim
2017-Dec-20, 01:09 PM
... Say Luke finds out that Vader is his Father. The better Mark Hamill is at acting (and all the other elements of the scene - like the writing), the more we'll feel the emotions his character is feeling. But one of the drivers of his emotions is the shock at the revelation. ... (And yes, I can watch that movie again and still enjoy it even though I now know the big reveal, but that scene may have less impact.)

You can watch the movie again and the Big Reveal will have a similar impact because you draw on the memory of its first revelation. Had you known about it before you saw it the first time, you would not have that memory and the impact would be less.

It can also make the preceding scenes more interesting on subsequent viewing, as you look for the subtle clues about the Big Reveal.


We did in my public library when I was a kid - non-fiction was classified into quite minute subsections, and on the other side of the hall was "fiction". (Oh, tell a lie - there was a shelf near the counter marked "newly acquired fiction".)

Grant Hutchison

The local city-county library here separates fiction by genre ... mystery, western, science fiction, historical, etc. In fact, I'm not sure I've seen a US library that didn't separate fiction somehow or other.


What I'm getting from pzkpfw and KaiYeves is that they are tolerant of "plot revelations" to the extent of genre and setting, at least. Even if it's only a look at the back of the dustjacket or an exposure to a movie trailer, everyone uses some aspect of plot revelation to decide if they want to try the book/film or not. So isn't it unsurprising that there's a continuum, with some of us more tolerant of (or even seeking out) plot revelations that others feel are too much information? Doesn't everyone draw the line between "useful information" and "spoiler" at a different point?

Grant Hutchison

Continuum, yes. Some "spoilers" can actually help while others can ruin what the director/writer(s) had in mind.

The TV show This Is Us skips around in its chronology, interleaving past and present events. One of the major characters is seen very much alive in the past, but is known to be dead in the present. That would seem a BIG spoiler, but the audience for the show watches to find out HOW and WHEN he dies.

The show The Good Place ended its first season with a really Big Reveal. There had been some speculation - because they dropped subtle clues - but it was the surprise that made it especially enjoyable. And you can now watch the first season in rerun looking for those clues. (See "Vader, Darth, aka Luke's Father.")

Historical dramas can be successful even when you know the history if they concentrate on the human element. (Otherwise they become history lectures.) And you may not know how that element plays out. (Well, okay, movies about the Alamo and Thermopylae are exceptions, but it's still the human drama that can make them enjoyable.)

SeanF
2017-Dec-20, 01:28 PM
Doesn't everyone draw the line between "useful information" and "spoiler" at a different point?
That's a fair point, but it does almost seem like you don't draw that line anywhere. Is there an example of what you would consider to be a "spoiler"?

DonM435
2017-Dec-20, 01:39 PM
We did in my public library when I was a kid - non-fiction was classified into quite minute subsections, and on the other side of the hall was "fiction". (Oh, tell a lie - there was a shelf near the counter marked "newly acquired fiction".)

Grant Hutchison


There's a used-paperback store near here which I checked out. Once.

I was amazed to find that the stock was pretty much wall-to-wall "gothic romance" books. However, they were classified as to recency, series, author, and maybe general topic. When the old gal who ran the place asked me what I was looking for, I inquired as to whether they had any non-fiction.

She directed me to the closest thing she had, namely "True Crime."


Rather the opposite situation!

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-20, 02:42 PM
That's a fair point, but it does almost seem like you don't draw that line anywhere. Is there an example of what you would consider to be a "spoiler"?Well, I started the thread by saying that spoilers don't bother me, so it's correspondingly difficult for me to give an example of something that would be a spoiler for me, never having actually encountered one. Reading a significant chunk of the screenplay before seeing a movie, maybe.
(But ... now I've written that, I'm actually quite attracted by the idea, so we can score that one off, too.)

Grant Hutchison

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-20, 02:47 PM
The local city-county library here separates fiction by genre ... mystery, western, science fiction, historical, etc. In fact, I'm not sure I've seen a US library that didn't separate fiction somehow or other.I'm sure it's a thing, nowadays - but none of the several public libraries I used in my youth did it. In retrospect, I'm grateful for that - it would have been all too easy for my young-teenage self to simply set up camp in the science fiction section. As it was, I had to wander the shelves, and my reading experience was broader because of that.

Grant Hutchison

Grey
2017-Dec-20, 04:32 PM
I find that I'm in grant's camp with this one. For a well-written (and well-acted, if applicable) story, I don't feel that my enjoyment is particularly reduced by knowing some (or even all) of the details of the plot ahead of time. (For a poorly written story, I'm not likely to be all that entertained regardless of what clever twist the author tries to throw at me...)

Gillianren
2017-Dec-20, 04:45 PM
In the Star Wars saga the audience were given hints throughout right up until the reveal that Vader was Luke's father.

Even though Lucas didn't know yet when writing the first one?

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-20, 05:18 PM
Even though Lucas didn't know yet when writing the first one?He has subsequently claimed he did know, and there are of course a couple of things in Episode IV that have been interpreted/adopted as hints in that direction, while there are things in early script drafts that are clearly inconsistent with Vader being Luke's father.
So is Lucas a fabulist, retconning his own life? Or did it all firm up at some time during the filming of the first movie? Or was there a protracted mental flip-flop in which Lucas had multiple ideas about where the plot would go?

Grant Hutchison

Gillianren
2017-Dec-20, 05:35 PM
I think the evidence is clear that Lucas tells the story about his life that is most convenient for him at the time.

pzkpfw
2017-Dec-20, 07:02 PM
Dunno about Lucas, but Mark Hamill didn't know until right at the last minute, and others not until much later. The reason I used that example yesterday was a fail blog delivered clip (I saw yesterday) of Mark Hamill being interviewed on the Graheme Norton show.

https://youtu.be/OsSKFlk8oEo

(I'm at work and can't verify the accuracy of that URL. Sorry if it's wrong. I'll re-check when home tonight.)

The effort of maintaining the secret (avoiding the spoiler) was large.

SeanF
2017-Dec-20, 08:33 PM
There were scenes filmed for the original movie in which another rebel officer, at the base on Yavin IV, speaks to Luke about his father. They added the scene back in for the Special Edition, but had to put an awkward edit in it to remove the references to Daddy Skywalker, so Lucas' conceptualization regarding Luke's father has, at the very least, "evolved".

Glom
2017-Dec-20, 11:53 PM
I feel this requires a mention for Sfdebris, who has been making a wonderful series on the Lucas's journey in making Star Wars. Only today, another part went up.

http://sfdebris.com/index.php

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-21, 01:01 AM
I find that I'm in grant's camp with this one. For a well-written (and well-acted, if applicable) story, I don't feel that my enjoyment is particularly reduced by knowing some (or even all) of the details of the plot ahead of time. (For a poorly written story, I'm not likely to be all that entertained regardless of what clever twist the author tries to throw at me...)My impression is that there are actually a lot of us about, but we seem to be essentially invisible to the "No spoilers!" mainstream.

Grant Hutchison

pzkpfw
2017-Dec-21, 01:52 AM
My impression is that there are actually a lot of us about, but we seem to be essentially invisible to the "No spoilers!" mainstream.

Grant Hutchison

If we get a spoiler,
that can't be un-done,
you don't get a spoiler,
no harm done.

grant hutchison
2017-Dec-21, 02:06 AM
If we get a spoiler,
that can't be un-done,
you don't get a spoiler,
no harm done.Except in the sense that we constantly have to defer to your sensibilities, and experience invisibility as our reward.

Ooooh. I can feel a civil liberties march coming on:
"What do we want?"
"Complete plot summaries!"
"When do we want them?"
"Before release!"

Grant Hutchison

cosmocrazy
2017-Dec-21, 08:30 AM
There were scenes filmed for the original movie in which another rebel officer, at the base on Yavin IV, speaks to Luke about his father. They added the scene back in for the Special Edition, but had to put an awkward edit in it to remove the references to Daddy Skywalker, so Lucas' conceptualization regarding Luke's father has, at the very least, "evolved".
Many parts & characters of the story evolved constantly throughout, Lucas admits this especially so when other writers were involved. He had a hard time getting someone to fund the film and get it on the big screen so had to make quite a lot of changes and compromises to his original ideas.

cosmocrazy
2017-Dec-21, 08:39 AM
I find that I'm in grant's camp with this one. For a well-written (and well-acted, if applicable) story, I don't feel that my enjoyment is particularly reduced by knowing some (or even all) of the details of the plot ahead of time. (For a poorly written story, I'm not likely to be all that entertained regardless of what clever twist the author tries to throw at me...)

I think, as Grant has mentioned that there are quite a few people who feel this way. Quite possibly in the minority, but not as uncommon as people might think. Also someone mentioned earlier in the thread about how sometimes you re-watch a movie only to find you completely missed some really good moments. By this I mean, when something clicks in your mind/emotions that was... well maybe subtle the first time around, but you realised the importance of the moment on the second viewing. A well written well told story will often leave you pondering it long after you watched/read it and stir your emotions when you may not expect it.

SkepticJ
2017-Dec-21, 04:59 PM
"Spoil" as in completely destroy my desire to experience the story? No, not usually. But diminish the experience? Yes.

Today I got treated to a whopper of a movie spoiler on NPR, right when I turned the car engine on. I was not amused.

Spacedude
2018-Jan-05, 07:12 PM
We just watched a film where I'm glad that I did not know how it ended. "Life"

Plot : Astronauts (Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds) aboard the International Space Station are on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars.

grant hutchison
2018-Jan-05, 07:28 PM
We just watched a film where I'm glad that I did not know how it ended. "Life"

Plot : Astronauts (Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds) aboard the International Space Station are on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars.If I'd known the ending, it would have put me off going to see the film, certainly. But only because the nature of the ending would have told me what to expect from the rest of the flim, which I didn't find interesting or entertaining.

Grant Hutchison

Spacedude
2018-Jan-05, 08:18 PM
I'm glad that we waited for "Life" to come on tv.

cosmocrazy
2018-Jan-05, 10:02 PM
We just watched a film where I'm glad that I did not know how it ended. "Life"

Plot : Astronauts (Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds) aboard the International Space Station are on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars.

Again I'd side with Grant on this one. The ending was unsurprising and rather predictable.

closetgeek
2018-Jan-06, 02:42 AM
I tend to get more offended when one person spoils a movie for another. If the entire value of the movie is in the plot twist or big reveal, then I am probably not going to like it anyway. If it is a series, I would rather know my favorite character survives. Most of the time I will ask around to try and find out. If there is some clues available, I will spoil it myself.

swampyankee
2018-Jan-06, 03:34 AM
I've never been bothered one way or another about spoilers. Sometimes they actually seem to improve my enjoyment. And, of course, we all have favourite books and movies that we go back to again and again, without feeling that the first reading has spoiled subsequent enjoyment. (Maybe changed the nature of the enjoyment, but not removed it.)
I was reminded of this when I ran into what might be considered a serious spoiler for Season 1 of Westworld, which I'm about halfway through watching and finding pretty tedious going so far. The spoiler actually perked me up and made me feel I might watch a bit more of a programme I was otherwise losing interest in.

Grant Hutchison

If it's good, the spoilers won't matter.

If it's crap, the spoilers won't matter.

If mediocre, they might.

BigDon
2018-Jan-10, 12:55 AM
Oh nonsense Swampy.

Okay, so last week the movie The Book Of Eli came on television and as a couple of years have passed since the last time I'd seen it I'd thought I'd watch it again.

Just before it started the announcer voice came on and said,

"Stay tuned as a blind wanderer travels the wastelands with a braille bible in...The Book Of Eli"

If I had not seen it already, or had been wanting to watch it with a friend who hadn't, that would have been very disappointing.

grant hutchison
2018-Jan-10, 01:27 AM
Just before it started the announcer voice came on and said,

"Stay tuned as a blind wanderer travels the wastelands with a braille bible in...The Book Of Eli"

If I had not seen it already, or had been wanting to watch it with a friend who hadn't, that would have been very disappointing.It was very disappointing, anyway. A braille bible runs to eighteen to twenty stonking great volumes (http://holynessbiblesfortheblind.org/wp-content/uploads/18-volume-braille-bible.jpg). Guy would have needed a wheelbarrow.

Grant Hutchison

Jim
2018-Jan-10, 02:52 AM
... Okay, so last week the movie The Book Of Eli ... "Stay tuned as a blind wanderer travels the wastelands with a braille bible in...The Book Of Eli" ...

They spoiled the twist and they got it wrong; he wasn't blind (which was part of the twist ... a sighted guy with a Braille Bible, twisty. A blind guy with one? Yeah, so?)


It was very disappointing, anyway. A braille bible runs to eighteen to twenty stonking great volumes (http://holynessbiblesfortheblind.org/wp-content/uploads/18-volume-braille-bible.jpg). Guy would have needed a wheelbarrow.

Grant Hutchison

Cliff Notes version? Shorthand Braille? Extra thin paper or very small print? Plot device?

pzkpfw
2018-Jan-10, 11:36 AM
Haven't seen that movie yet, so as soon as I read the name I had to quickly scan past. Hopefully didn't retain information.

swampyankee
2018-Jan-10, 12:09 PM
Oh nonsense Swampy.

Okay, so last week the movie The Book Of Eli came on television and as a couple of years have passed since the last time I'd seen it I'd thought I'd watch it again.

Just before it started the announcer voice came on and said,

"Stay tuned as a blind wanderer travels the wastelands with a braille bible in...The Book Of Eli"

If I had not seen it already, or had been wanting to watch it with a friend who hadn't, that would have been very disappointing.

I will watch Macbeth, Casablanca, or read Moby Dick many times; the pleasures of these makes the journey more important than the destination. Telling me how the clue movie ends wouldn’t ruin the pleasure, as there was none. It’s the vast middle where it matters. Macbeth dies, Rick finds his moral compass, the whale defeats Ahab, and it’s not spoiled to those thousnds people who return again and again. Spoilers are only a problem for movies, books, and plays not worth rewatching or rereading. .

Jim
2018-Jan-10, 12:55 PM
I will watch Macbeth, Casablanca, or read Moby Dick many times ... Spoilers are only a problem for movies, books, and plays not worth rewatching or rereading. .

Boy, do I disagree!

Part of the joy of experiencing a good story the first time is not knowing how it ends. You live it real time, as intended. (If that wasn't the intent, then Moby Dick would have a Foreword, "Ahab dies, the whale lives, enjoy the story.") This can make even a mediocre story one worth experiencing.

Once you know the ending, if the story is good / well-presented, you can enjoy it again and again. In fact, you may chose a particular retelling not for the story but for the presentation. (Did you ever see that remake of Casablanca? Yeah, once was more than enough.)

I think it comes down to this: If spoilers don't bother you, fine. But don't spoil the story for others for whom they do make a difference.

grant hutchison
2018-Jan-10, 03:56 PM
I think it comes down to this: If spoilers don't bother you, fine. But don't spoil the story for others for whom they do make a difference.Paradoxically, I think you're less likely to get a spoiler from someone who doesn't care about spoilers than you are from someone who does.
I have a friend who cares as little about spoilers as I do, and we'd often chat at lunchtime about movies we'd both seen. We never had a spoiler complaint from our dining companions - more commonly, they'd protest that we'd talked for twenty minutes and they still didn't know what the movie was about. Because we talk mainly about acting and dialogue and cinematography and music and editing.
Whereas (some) people who care about spoilers have a tendency to blurt out exciting plot elements, because that's the most important bit for them. (We got an example earlier in this thread.) The best I've witness was two colleagues waiting for the coffee pot to boil one morning.
Colleague 1: "So, have you seen The Sixth Sense?
Colleague 2: "Yes! Briliiant! What an ending! [Spoiler]! I didn't see that coming at all! Did you?"
Colleague 1: "No. I haven't seen it. Maybe won't bother now."

If he'd asked me, I would have talked in general terms about the aspects of the film I cared about, which was the simultaneous prefiguring and concealment of That Ending, and the performance of Haley Joel Osment. It frankly never would have occurred to me to talk about the ending itself.

Grant Hutchison

KaiYeves
2018-Jan-10, 05:08 PM
Boy, do I disagree!

Part of the joy of experiencing a good story the first time is not knowing how it ends. You live it real time, as intended. (If that wasn't the intent, then Moby Dick would have a Foreword, "Ahab dies, the whale lives, enjoy the story.") This can make even a mediocre story one worth experiencing.

Once you know the ending, if the story is good / well-presented, you can enjoy it again and again. In fact, you may chose a particular retelling not for the story but for the presentation. (Did you ever see that remake of Casablanca? Yeah, once was more than enough.)

I think it comes down to this: If spoilers don't bother you, fine. But don't spoil the story for others for whom they do make a difference.

Of course, many modern reprints of classics do come with scholarly forewords that sometimes contain such spoilers-- I think the version of Jane Eyre we read in High School had a foreword that spoiled who the heroine would eventually marry.

grant hutchison
2018-Jan-11, 11:06 AM
My brother-in-law gave me a copy of Jonathan Ross's The Incredibly Strange Film Book: An Alternative History Of Cinema (1993), which I've just finished reading.
It's 290 pages of spoilers - Ross describes the plot of pretty much every film he reviews, often giving the ending if he thinks the ending is interesting. Now that would be a nightmare gift for the spoiler-sensitive!

Grant Hutchison