#10 Film as an Ulterior Motive

Today, in light of the current status and controversy surrounding the international political climate and US election debates, we find it quite apt to debate the use of film as an ulterior motive. More importantly, the importance of reasonable and fair judgement of film, not only in promoting the voice of you, our audience, but also understanding the true importance of the experienced film critic. Let’s discuss Clint Eastwood’s 2014 financial success, American Sniper.

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The Dissolve shines quite a bright light on the often overlooked ability of film to either consciously or subconsciously interact with social and cultural events in modern day society. In discussing American Sniper, and Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of Chris Kyle in the memoir about his Iraq War service, we must think back to how much of the conversation surrounding the film was an opinionated political mess. It was used with ulterior motive, where people began to justify their views with motives evoked from the film’s themes and setting. The Dissolve recalls how Michael Moore tweeted discussing snipers as cowards, Seth Rogen likened the film to a piece of Nazi Propaganda, and harsh words from Sarah Palin examined Eastwood’s film as an “occasion to attack Hollywood leftists.” The Dissolve in summation rounded out the confusing conversation perfectly, stating that:

“Depending on who’s doing the talking, American Sniper is a piece of right-wing propaganda that only bloodthirsty racist warmongers could love, or it’s a movie that honours the sacrifices of American soldiers so well that anyone who found fault in it for any reason doesn’t love America.”

For the most part, it is obvious how American Sniper‘s artistic and cinematic value quickly became overshadowed by a platform by which people could voice their political or personal opinion. Here is where the importance of accurate artistic criticism must take place, where the importance of your filmic opinion and the opinion of our critical professionals cannot go underestimated. Unfortunately, the cinematic brilliance of American Sniper was at a loss for the political climate, but fortunately the many film critic’s and rising audience opinion were eligible to save the film’s cinematic value, as a conglomeration of artistic opinion as opposed to political stance landed the film at a successful 72% on Rotten Tomatoes. As it is inherently obvious, a collective opinion from professional critics and audience alike were able to wade through the drowning pool of political views in order to give the cinematic value of the film a successful financial and artistic outcome. Due to many opinions being lost in the mess of rising themes radiating from the film, it is even more evident of the importance of your opinion of film in the modern day, as otherwise, without a large amount of opinion to average, some film’s would be swallowed in their own thematic discussions. As we would never discourage the significant abilities of professional film critics here at Band Wagon, Glenn Kenny’s review at RogerEbert.com is a perfect example of the importance of professional review in the cinematic world, as it doesn’t purely discuss the relevant themes within American Sniper, but goes a step further, to analyse how such significant themes are shown artistically and visually, and their value in the cinematic industry. It would be a shame for such a thought-provoking and thematically strong film to lose its cinematic value purely through its ability to generate discussion, so it is important for you to not be overshadowed or discouraged by the often popular discussions surrounding film, because it is your opinion that also matters, professional or not. Film’s have a magical ability of storytelling, where visual representations of real life evoke thematic emotions within the audience. We encourage you to voice these emotions!

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