The problem of historical or fictional figures and Critical Bias

2 Aug

As a statement, it should be easy to translate a work of nonfiction into a translatable film or series. Wrong. There are three works that have always eluded the entertainment industry. Don Quixote (and Salman Rushdies Quichotte was bad enough not to even own), and two historical figures people, Alexander the Great and Napoleon. All have been tried to put into film, but have never been successful. Terry Gilliam’s “The Man who killed Don Quixote” was a spectacular failure that had many production problems and a lack of visuals that could help the movie become what it was. Even Orson Welles failed in his attempt to make Don Quixote into a feasible film. Filmmakers have always wanted to film the unfilmable book or person’s life. Stanley Kubrick was obsessed with Napoleon, and like all ambitious men, didn’t know how ot make it work. Probably with the failure of Barry Lyndon (now a cult classic) didn’t help his chances at making Napoleon. 

Filmmakers have to use real people and probably as a video game, these men could have seen there vision come to life. Amibtious men, who are limited in there time, are never alone. What makes ambitious men pursue these dreams is that they want such history to become real on screen. Don Quixote, for Terry Gilliam is no exception. To put the epic into a screen adaptation is what made films harder in there lifetime. Unless they are Christopher Nolan where he gets a golden pass every time he makes a film, but does the business reflect the nature of men who rarely see what a vision is before they put it on screen? 

With Alexander the Great, Oliver Stone had ambition, but it was through a wrecked first cut that was destroyed in customs, that proved harder for the ambition to be seen. With such a problematic filming, it only made the film more insane than it was. In Entertainment Weekly they even covered it (back when ET magazine was a thing and I was less jaded by the world.) I don’t knock the ambition to try and create. That’s not what I was put on earth for. If someone has something to say, negative or positive, that never really matters. Yes, it does piss everyone off who tries and fails, but the weird quality of having people harass you for your failures is only a 2000’s concept that keeps rising since Social Media’s birth. 

What people don’t understand the disappointment is when someone fails the press is extremely vicious and they can end your careers. Now people can do it on there own, as if they take such pride in destroying people’s opinions and there thoughts. Bullying people for the sake of Social Justice. What films represent is the antimatter and the novels are the subsurface dwarf star that moves through the world, and video games are there to pass the time, or as a treat for a hard days work accomplished. To destroy art takes someone with the ability to hate themselves and the world that birthed them. It’s a millennial concept, and must end. The reality of men who do try should not be punished for what they want to do in life. 

Criticism has become a dangerous game of chicken whether it means you risk your entire career and someone can misread or see a film’s intentions. Critics are there to be paid to give advice on there opinion, not facts. But the reality is far better films don’t get the praise they actually deserve. What the advantage of a world where “everyone gets to say what they want” is that people can think they are saying the right thing when they are lost in there own opinions. Even I know my opinions don’t mean a fucking thing, but I do value them, and it’s my right. Not everyone has to care. 

What makes the disadvantage of a film like Alexander by Oliver Stone is not the intention of making a bad film, but the destruction of the original print, which can destroy much of a narrative already filmed. A broken film doesn’t have to be edited down in order to be bad, but if it’s lost, then the filmmaker has no field of advantage to better understand where to edit. There is nothing to cut out, and nothing to film. What the deception of a bad film is when people don’t see the same thing. What makes the failure of Alexander by Oliver Stone is that he did it and failed (to the public and critics) while Stanley Kubrick failed before he even tried to do it. A missed opportunity is worse in hindsight, but still a story is better when it’s put to print in a book or film. A missed opportunity, for all ambitious men, is a lifetime of regret.

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