Movie, shows, albums, etc. that suffer from "Kane-ism"

Oh, I think so too! I never get tired of it. But most people I’ve forced to watch it – people in their 20s – are underwhelmed. Their loss.

Absolutely. I did watch it for the first time in my 20s, and the only other person I’ve forced to watch it was in her 20s too. We both love the hell out of it.

These were the two things that popped into mind when I read the OP. If you weren’t there in the Reagan 80’s it doesn’t always translate the subtext of the cold war with the USSR.

For movies I want to put into consideration Blade Runner. The archtype of post apocalyptic movies.

A little off from the art to the medium, but the idea of HBO in the 70’s (before my time) uncut, commercial free, full length movies in your house is stunning.

Not post-apocalypse (they were done in the 50s), but rather, the archetype of cyberpunk.

a few “classics” that i found underwhelming:

Duck Soup

The Exorcist

streetcar named desire

Indeed. It’s very rare to see a futuristic cityscape that doesn’t owe a LOT to Bladerunner.

This thread is giving too much attention to movies & fantasy. Let me change the focus.

The perfect Citizen Kane of musical theater is Oklahoma. It seems trite and silly now, but it was revolutionary in its day for having a score that drove the plot of the show. Before then, bouncy songs were just plopped into – and plucked out of – a show’s storyline willy-nilly. If you can unplug yourself from those memories of bad grade school versions, and see the show anew, it remains marvelous, especially Dick Rodger’s music.

It is pretty well agreed that musical theater took another quantum leap with the emergence of Stephen Sondheim, whose lyrics ressembled real-life speech while still adhering to traditional song patterns. (The fact that they were also devilishly clever, was a cherry on the sundae.) Unfortunately, for the sake of this thread it is hard to point to one specific Sondheim show, like an Oklahoma, that made everything before it seem markedly dated, though some would argue that Company qualifies, because it is also considered the first real “bookless” musical.

[quiote]Not post-apocalypse (they were done in the 50s), but rather, the archetype of cyberpunk.

Without denying that cyberpunk owes much to Blade Runner, the movie itself had no cyber and very little punk. It was more notable as a fusion of Noir and hard Sci-Fi than anything to do with Cyberpunk, except that Cyberpunk is also a fusion of Noir and (less hard) Sci-Fi.

I don’t know if I would go that far, but I do find it curious that Spielberg, who usually has such compassion for his characters, would make such a cold and dispassionate film. I think that he was so worried about appearing overwrought that he toned the emotion down to a whisper. The use of the girl in the red coat was typical Spielberg device, and may have been more effective than much of the rest of the film. I appreciate that he was demonstrating that even one person can make a difference, but I think almost any page from Anne Frank’s diary can make me more emotional than Schindler’s List.

I’d expand this to include almost all of Hitchcock’s work. He did start out as a workmanlike director, but rapidly found delight in innovation. His films now may appear to be gimmicky and overdone, but they were truly original at the time.

That’s the myth, but it’s not quite true. The model existed before Oklahoma! – there’s a least one book that discusses it – and about the only new thing added was the ballet (and that was presaged by On Your Toes.

For example, Show Boat is very much the same model. Porgy and Bess also works that way, though Gershwin was using opera as a model. Then there’s Of Thee I Sing and Lady in the Dark

Not that Oklahoma! isn’t a great musical (as is Show Boat), but it’s not quite as innovative as it’s claimed to be.

Well, a leap backwards, perhaps, mostly because Sondheim can’t write a decent tune to save his life. And his lyrics are too clever by half; he’s too busy making clever lyrics that they lose any subtlety or emotional content. What you have are people giving well-written pretentiously self-aware monologues with everything handed to the listener on a silver platter with a giant neon sign saying “These are matters of consequence!!!” And audiences believe it.

He is influential, though. The problem is that Emperor Steve wears no clothes and, judging by the recent revival of Follies, people are beginning to catch on. It is one case where those who followed him produced better work, since they were generally better songwriters and would occasionally allow the characters to show their emotions instead on incessantly telling the audience about them.

“The Graduate.” While still a pretty good movie, I don’t think it’s aged well, and I doubt anyone seeing it for the first time nowadays sees what a big deal it was.

I don’t see how anyone can say that. The film left me so emotionally drained that I’ve never been able bring myself to watch it a second time.

That said, I don’t see how it qualifies for consideration in this thread.

I Love Lucy comes to mind, though I’ll admit that it owed a lot to certain radio comedies. If you watch it now, it seems filled with cliched plot devices - but in 1958, they weren’t cliches yet.

Oh, Chuck, I need to drag you into the Pit and give you a whuppin’ with an unsheathed LP of the Cast Recording of *Pacific Overtures * that’s been snapped in half to render its jagged edge as sharp as the lyrics to “Please Hello”! [insert smiley here] But, sadly, real life beckons and I do not have the time right now, except to address one item before I burst.

SS does not write songs that are “self-aware monologues with everything handed to the listener on a silver platter.” He writes songs that reveal emotion through thoughts or actions, never emotions outright.

To illustrate, R&H (well, I guess just H actually) has Nellie, in South Pacific, sing, “I’m as corny as Kansas in August…yada, yada…I’m in love with a wonderful guy!”

SS, on the other hand, has a lovesick woman in Follies sing, “The sun comes up. I think agout you. The coffee cup. I think about you…”

In other words, SS’s songs do not tell you, they show you.

In closing, I refuse to even entertain with a rebuttal your claim that SS can’t write good music! Except for Passion, which even I can’t choke down on a good day.

I know this isn’t exactly what’s being looked for here, but I’d like to throw in “Peter’s Friends”. Spoiler follows.

At the end, Peter reveals that he has ‘the disease that causes AIDS’

When this movie came out, such a thing was a bombshell, and a death sentance, because of the lack of knowledge. It was a huge moment for the film. Watch it now? Eh. Big deal. Why is everyone being so morbid?

Dude, you were wrong about *Showgirls * and you were wrong about Starship Troopers, but you argue well about them, but you are so wrong about Schindler’s List that it defies human comprehension and logic

Oh, please. Just one example - Wiseguy, which debuted in 1987, seven years before Babylon 5, was all about the story arc. There was nothing new about B5, except to demonstrate that a badly-written series could in fact last five years.


People seem to be missing the (very interesting) point of the OP. I see a lot of posts along the lines of “people say this classic film is a masterpiece but it’s really crap!”

The idea is to come up with works of art that were groundbreaking when they were first released but have since been rendered mundane by the wholesale adaptation by the mainstream of whatever it was that made them special in the first place.

It’s not just stuff that hasn’t aged well. It’s stuff that hasn’t aged well because it’s own influence was so profound that it changed the rules that people judge quality by.

An example is classic Star Trek. People complain about how cheesy it is, but if you compare it to television (and most movie) science fiction that came before it you can see how revolutionary it was. Star Wars would never have happened if Star Trek hadn’t blazed the trail.

Another example is the early Mickey Mouse cartoons from the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Disney and his team of animators invented techniques and gags that Chuck Jones was still milking almost 40 years later. Yeah, Bugs Bunny is funny, but most Warner Bros. cartoons are just riffs on earlier Disney shorts.

I loved the concept of the five year long planned plot as well as the subject though. The acting and writing was pretty damn bad though. This is why I hope that in 20 years they will do a Battlestar Galactica to it.

I gotta second Tolkien here. I adore the current crop of epic fantasies (GRR Martin and (ignoring books 6-10) Robert Jordan). And I was totally underwhelmed by Lord of the Rings. The concepts he pioneered may have been groundbreaking at the time, but they’ve been taken SO much further and better since…
I’ll also add Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It may have been seminal in the genre, but it doesn’t hold up well compared to the better high school romp comedies of today. (And there are a few good ones…)