You finished your discussion of "The Crown" by stating "..it's trying to create THE emotional truth." ".... THE ecstatic truth" (emphasis is mine.) I emphasize the article THE in your remarks because "the" indicates a number and that number is one. You must be quite expert on the subject of the "truth" about the Windsors if you can identify the Netflix series as being the purveyor of that one truth. Had you spoken of "AN" emotional truth and "AN" ecstatic truth, I probably would have thought that you knew something about the relationship between stories and truth.
Hi Cameron. You appreciated how the authors of The Crown, made their subjects "seem very human" while exposing their weaknesses. I don't think this is something to be appreciated. The problem I see with that assessment is that, since we're talking about a piece of historical fiction, we don't know whether and to what extent the authors "exposed" "exaggerated" and/or "fabricated" their pictures of the characters' alleged weakness.
Here's one piece of evidence that the filmmakers' account skews away from reality: If you look at footage of Prince Charles from around the time of his courtship and marriage to Diana, you'll see a man with generally good posture. The Netflix series has him constantly slouching. Why would they get this elementary fact wrong? (The fake Charles left me with the impression of a man lacking confidence. But since I know that every thing about movies can be fake, I can't help but wondering if this slouching was an artistic choice made for the purpose of supporting a pre-conceived notion about the real Charles maybe lacking confidence? They treated Margaret Thatcher similarly. Again, compare real Thatcher footage to the fake.)
I remember when "Saving Private Ryan," came out and its gory beginning had people praising its "reality." There was a letter in the LA Times from a moviegoer who had actually been at Normandy. He said that he wasn't impressed by the movies' claims to be "real." He said something like, if the movie wanted to be real, they would have needed to have someone behind the screen, shooting live bullets at the audience.
Storytelling is a powerful thing, and its back and forth with "reality" would be a very interesting subject to explore. I think that sometimes stories are consolidations of an author's recollection of real world experience; sometimes they are poetic fabrications of ways the world could be; sometimes (as in fables) they are easy to remember devices for imbedding practical advice in children; sometimes they are re-fabrications of a variety of contemporary accounts collected and re-compiled by the author (which is what The Crown seems to be.) At any rate, one should be aware of the hazards of making unflattering portraits of living people for the purpose of making a movie (think of poor Richard Jewell and the injustice he needlessly suffered.) Every movie maker will decide for themselves if they really want to risk the kind of villainy that is the ruining of a living person's life for the purpose of making a buck.
I guess we can all think of films (and music and books, etc.) that were critical flops and financial successes. We can also think of things that critics loved but didn't get much traction with the public. I think Cleese, whose work will surely be more long-lived and loved more than will the work of any critics, might be overstating the case when he writes that critics are "put in judgement over people," as though critics' judgements matter much. Fact is, taste is taste; people, including critics, like what they like. Unfortunately, some people believe that critics are smarter than audiences, and take critics' words as being worth more than they actually are. I also think it's important to note that there is a whole range of criticism, from people posting their opinions on Rotten Tomatoes to serious academic film historians. Some critics just don't matter. Others are worth considering. None has the final word.
Sorry to be a drag, but "M" was Lang's first talkie, and it is set in Berlin. I agree that it is a wonderful movie!
Thanks for sharing this. I'll certainly take a look. (You might want to fix your second headline. Nobody "posthumously sees" anything. )
A short film, less 6 than minutes, is going to be able to offer nearly nothing by way of insight into any very complex topic. Further, being creative and having the intellectual chops to explain creativity are two very different things. Little films like this do no harm. When I was in graduate school, I found a great deal of value in a thorough philosophical explication of creativity called "The Act of Creation," by a brilliant writer named Arthur Koestler. https://www.amazon.com/Act-Creation-Arthur-Koestler/dp/1939438985/ref=cm... No one asked my advice, but here it is: do your homework