siskel ebert simon

I watched this youtube clip with a discussion between well know critics who had different points of view on Empire strikes back when it was released.

Its very interesting to leap back in time to get an idea of what critics thought about early vfx films. Its interesting to see that in the early stages of computer generated effects, critics were clashing in discussions about the effects that films with lots of vfx have on us. In this clip the opposing critic ( John Simon) towards Empire strikes back explains how films with high visual effects dehumanize us and he also states that these films are for children only and not for adult minds. He goes on to explain how fantasy and sci fi deprives children learning anything from a film that contains these visual elements. As an artist interested in visual effects I think that effects in film enhance the imagination of a child as much as it can with an adult but in slightly different ways. Simon also asks that what is the point in creating visual effects in films when all of this can be done with animation alone, but I think this is where the word medium comes into play and that films become a piece of art work rather than just simply a story and different mediums are being mixed to create an enhanced cinematic experience. I agree that there are lots of films out there that rely on visual effects alone and I agree that this shouldn’t be the aim of any film. But as a way of story telling visual effects can be used to bring a story to life, as with my own projects I believe a good concept or story is always required to make them work whether its film or animation. I think that if people would rather rely on there own imaginations then books are the way to go. Finally I don’t believe visual effects degrade a story or audience, I think that visual effects deepen and make the impossible more believable when done properly.


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