New episode of Critics!

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23 comments

  1. The bull film fell apart halfway through – as soon as it started playing sad tear jerking music over the images of the dead bulls it was clearly a manipulative piece, not a documentary. The other problem was statistics without perspective; saying “10-40 thousand bulls die a year in the ring” means nothing without telling us how many die outside the ring from other causes. That perspective dictates how we perceive the statistic of 10-40k in the ring. Without it the film-maker is just trying to shock us with big numbers. If it was going to be a manipulative piece it shouldn’t have dressed itself up as a balanced documentary with token quotes from “the other side” in the first half.
    Documentaries are hard to get right in that way, to be fair, because there’s always a counter-counter statistic, always another side.

  2. Wow. Great choices in this episode. The last one was disturbing as hell. I agree though that the narrator needed to sound less apathetic in his delivery. Animal cruelty is a tragedy that unfortunately is not just limited to bull fighting. Disgusting though.

  3. Excellent episodes.
    I loved all three clips.

    I would take issue with the espoused hard and fast rule that all documentaries need to be balanced. It enslaves the maker. Some sides of an argument are so ridicules that one needs to insult the intelligence of the viewer, I would submit an attempt to justify a genocide or wanton killing of civilians as case in points.

    Having said that I do feel Blood on the Sands was balanced, maybe not in a clear verbal way, but how the bull fighting was introduce, with the glamour and elegance of matadors it was persuasive – I was seduced -, then slowly that elegance turned into a torture of a tormented animal and final pathetic incompetent slaying more horrible than I imagined. Very powerful, especially the still imagery as a contrast in motion and in driving home a reflective moments.
    I would agree the stills with sub-titles could be improved.
    Overall very powerful stuff. I grew up on a farm so I not sentimental at all at the killing on animals, but it seems bull fighting, like gladiators need to be lost to history.

    1. Thanks Michael,
      I think you really understood the meaning of the contrast deeply present in bullfighting.
      Statistics aren’t an argument, the point is another: bullfighting has a strong fascination, it has a (lost) strong sacred origin, but at the end is torture.
      Sometimes there is art, passion, even beauty, but it’s torture.
      And there aren’t justifications.
      We tried to show what’s the reality of bullfighting, that’s all, the art, the beauty and the torture, and I think we shot the target because at the end we received critics from both sides, pro and against bullfighting!

  4. Fantastic episode, such great content – stunning FX is SS, uplifting comedy and then that last video. Damn, I’m really desensitised to violence, but that Bullfighting really knotted up my stomach. Looking forward to the next episode – hope you guys keep mixing it up and find more gems.

  5. Hi Philip. Great talent showcase. May I make one comment? I feel a sense of discomfort at how physically close you both seem to be to each other in the shots… Otherwise its very enjoyable and valuable commentary. Thanks

  6. Another great episode.

    The voice-over and stills, in my opinion worked beautifully in Blood in the Sand. The very deadpan voice countered the shocking and vivid imagery. If it had been too emotional or more forceful I think it would have taken something away from the movie.

    It wasn’t an objective piece but put over the anti bull fighting argument very well.

    So many very creative people here…can we ever hope to match them?

    🙂

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