Leon Thomas Blog

Word Funk: Tetris Metrics — Leon, Austin and Johnny discuss Battlestar Galactica, the new Tetris movie, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure 3, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, the ineffectual Captain Picard, socialist cyborgs and the black market for personal massagers.



Shang’s journey to self discovery as told by me

This. This is important to me.

What are some movies that you think best exemplify pretentiousness, and would you ever do episodes on them discussing such?

If there is one word I dislike and believe is overused and misused, it’s “pretentious” for sure.

Nine times out of ten, when someone says a film is pretentious, I think “No, that is simply thoughtful and ambitious.” Pretentious literally means attempting to impress people by claiming more importance and intelligence than is actually possessed. If a movie is smart and meaningful, it is not pretentious. It is approximately as smart and meaningful as its creators think it is. Also, even the ATTEMPT to make something smart and meaningful is not something to be derided, even if it falls short of it.

Also, I always find the word to be presumptive. When we say that a film is pretentious, we are actually referring to the filmmaker more than the film. A film is a thing. It doesn’t think. We are referring to the filmmaker believing his/her film is more important than it actually is. How can we truly gauge what a filmmaker is thinking? Aren’t we assuming a lot here? Analyzing film for authorial intent is one thing, but assuming the filmmaker thinks more highly of himself/herself than he/she should is a bit much.

Maybe there are examples of films that deserve that label, but we misuse the term more often than use it properly. I just Googled the phrase “pretentious film” and received such results as The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Citizen Kane, Solaris, Eraserhead, and an entry labeled “Anything by Ingmar Bergman” tucked in there. Really? ANYTHING by one of the most respected filmmakers of all time? There is NOTHING in there but false intelligence? Good God.

Ok I read 20 pages of questions and did not see mine so here goes. Are there any films that you think would make a great episode but you just refused to do? bonus question is why and can be ignored if you don't want to say which movie.

I can’t think of anything.

Do you think the movie Magnolia (1999) is a pretentious film?

No. Thanks for asking.


Art by: Mistrel-Fox on DA
I really fell in love with that song you played at the end of Mulholland Drive part 2 "Good Intentions Paving Company" so thank you for that! Also loving the series cuz god knows I wasn't getting anywhere on my own with that film.

Glad you liked both the song and the video. Joanna Newsom is an absolutely wonderful musician.

Renegade Cut: Mulholland Drive - Part 2 — The analysis continues with more about Betty and Rita’s relationship and color symbolism in the film.

Word Funk: Dead Holograms - The gang discusses A Goofy Movie, the Michael Jackson hologram, Blizzard’s doomed MMO, True Detective casting news, Wasteland 2 and Final Fantasy XV.

Do you think Avatar (2009) directed by James Cameron is overrated?

I think it’s shit.