When I was a much more unsophisticated film consumer, I watched films because of their premises, they were adaptations of certain source materials and they were sequels of films that I liked. I was not star struck by the actors.
As a teen, I started taking more heed of of my sexual attractions and I did find some actors more attractive than the others. But, I still didn’t watch films because of the actors. Still wasn’t star struck by them.
When I was around 19, I started exploring cinema beyond the mainstream Hollywood. Apart from the aforementioned ones, I also added a new reason for me to watch a film: the director. Nowadays, I already have three personal favourites.
And this was when I started to bewildered by the concept of a “movie star”.
You are watching a film and yet, instead of focusing on the story and maybe on how its execution, you choose to focus on your favourite actors, even though they are supposed to be the characters they are depicting instead of being themselves; that’s literally what actors are hired for.
Yes, I do know some actors perform better than the others; I have certainly caught myself fawning over their sublime performances. But, it still does not make me star struck for multiple reasons.
Good acting skills aren’t unique to specific actors, the most acclaimed actors don’t always give their best performances and, most importantly, the most popular actors aren’t always the best performers.
It should also be noted that some actors are famous for portraying characters with similar traits, over and over and over again.
I don’t think this is necessarily bad. If they are actors who always perform characters specifically made for them and cannot be performed by anyone else, then I can see why people watch films just for them. I am thinking of the likes of Rowan Atkinson, Jackie Chan and Charlie Chaplin, whom we never expect to have a wide acting range (even though they may have it).
But, most actors aren’t like that. We expect most of them to have an actually wide range instead of simply performing their public personas.
Okay, if you love them solely for their public personas, then why bother watching their films? I mean, you can simply tune in to any of their media appearances, including their interviews and any shows they guest star in.
Heck, we are in 2023. I am certain some of your favourite movie stars have become Youtubers as well. You can definitely watch their videos.
My point is people love to bash MCU for supposedly showcasing filmmaking at its shallowest… and yet, they often have nothing but the shallowest arguments.
First, Martin Scorcese – supposedly one of the most acclaimed directors of all time – argued MCU films are not cinema; he made his own definition of the word “cinema” and act like it is the most objective one. Basically, if I didn’t know who uttered the words, I would assume they were uttered by a snot-nosed and self-righteous teenager.
Then, we also have Quentin Tarantino – another supposedly acclaimed director – who thinks MCU films are bad because they kill the movie stars.
I mean, there are lots to criticise about MCU films. The extreme commercialisation, the lack of risk-taking and the excessive amount of jokes. But, he criticises them because they kill celebrity worship, something that actually deserves to be killed off?
He is a fucking film director. He should be focused on the stories and how they are executed. But, for some reasons, he thinks upholding celebrity worship – something of no value – is just as important. Are you fucking kidding me?
I don’t know if they are desperate with their criticisms or they genuinely believe they are onto something.
But, one thing is certain: their simps will take their words like the gospel, regardless of the profundity or lack thereof. Because status trumps everything.
Oh, and there are times when I actually watch films solely for their actors.
Those films are called porn.
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