Welcome to A Dream of Opinions
“An artist can have an intention, but the viewer has their own subjective experience.” – Robert Longo
This website serves to present reviews of contemporary TV and Film, while also providing longer, analytical opinion pieces. Find out more about the intentions of A Dream of Opinions on the ‘About’ page.
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Featured Article: One year on: Batman V Superman, film criticism and bloggers
The media reaction to Batman V Superman:
Whether you absolutely loved Batman V Superman, or felt it was a critical dud, there is little denying the film was among the most talked about films of 2016. BvS became symbolic of the war between bloggers and professional film critics, as the relevance of Rotten Tomatoes was scrutinised and the word ‘fun’ became the centre of much debate. The media soon pulled BvS to pieces, debating its coherency, its depiction of character and narrative, while also pulling in the clicks.
The level of aggression and ferocity that critics went after BvS with can be debated, but it should be noted that critics have a responsibility (and a right) to provide their own views on films. Whether they go against the tide and give a critically acclaimed film a negative review, or they have similar thoughts to their colleagues, there is power in thought and opinion.
But what I detest, is group-think. The internet works with the concept of group-think in interesting ways (many of which I will not bore you with). But the overall argument is that while forums like Twitter and Reddit can create discussion and bring ideas together to form a relevant thesis, they also often lack credibility and suffer form homogeneity. Staying within your bubble you only see what you want to see and many people do not broaden their scope to take account of other opinions or the idea that maybe, just maybe, a film you hated is actually perceived differently by others. This creates a uniformity that is promoted as the norm, even when many would oppose such conclusions.
Something emphasised during our contemporary era of fake news, alternative facts and the reality that the internet is infested with lies, is that bloggers and fanboys often lack credibility, creating rumours and misinformed statements to steer the conversation in a different direction. Bloggers may pick up one minor detail, or a small points of semantics and use this for the premise of their argument. In doing so, others jump on the bandwagon, developing a storm out of nothing.
This happens often with reviews, for example with the argument that Batman V Superman is too ‘dark’. One small word is taken and blown into something massive. It then becomes analysed and examined, but without proper debate from different perspectives. All of a sudden, these forums (like Rotten Tomatoes) become dominated by stigmas, where to like a specific film is absurd. This examination occurs within echo chambers of uniformity where only people who agree with the original statement are allowed a voice while others are pointed out as having a lack of taste or understanding. Similar developments often happen when a critics will criticise something, then others will tear them a part, saying that the source material allows for it and that the critics should be more aware of the history of something. Really, a film should stand for itself, but in saying that, so should the critic’s opinion. It shouldn’t compare without concrete reasoning and it shouldn’t be ignorant of different tastes. The power of the public sphere as a democratic forum is destroyed when an idea is raised as the ultimate truth. Any opposition to this statement is met with disdain because it goes against the norm. As more bloggers and critics pile into this forum of group-think, there is little original thought and films are forever influenced and perceived differently because of it.