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Thread: "But what have they done recently?"

  1. #1

    Default "But what have they done recently?"

    You hear this criticism fairly often I think. Big name does some cool stuff - whether it's writing a book, acting in a movie, directing a movie, etc. - and then they do a lot of (supposedly) less cool stuff. Shyamalan is probably the most extreme example I can think of. He did some stuff a lot of people adored and thn proceeded to do a bunch of trout people hated.

    But apart from huge cases like that, do you feel this is a real criticism? A couple of my fave directors are Tim Burton and Paul Verhoeven. Two men who made some classic and beloved works then did some stinkers. I see Burton especially getting a lot of trout. Like, even if you concede that everything they made after [insert their supposedly last good work] is trash, they still made great stuff. Those works can never be undermined or taken away from them.

    When a creator "falls" or fails to produce quality of the standard you expect from them, do you hold them in less esteem? Maybe dub their older work a fluke?

  2. #2
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    Regression to the mean dictates that people will almost always disappoint after a huge success. I don't think that tarnishes the work they've already done.

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    Untalented Game Designer FFNut's Avatar
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    I agree with Del that people give them impossible goals once successful. I really am not the type to swoon over a celebrity but I can appreciate them when they do something I enjoy.

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    Sh♥tposter Extraordinaire Jinx's Avatar
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    She's done that one book, and a couple of books under a pseudonym, but J.K. Rowling has more or less done trout since the last HP book came out.
    mfw you post

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     Master of the Fork Cid's Knight Freya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx View Post
    She's done that one book, and a couple of books under a pseudonym, but J.K. Rowling has more or less done trout since the last HP book came out.
    Well she was the screenwriter for the fantastic beast movies.

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    Sh♥tposter Extraordinaire Jinx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freya View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx View Post
    She's done that one book, and a couple of books under a pseudonym, but J.K. Rowling has more or less done trout since the last HP book came out.
    Well she was the screenwriter for the fantastic beast movies.
    Yean, but she still hasn't really been present.

    And for what it's worth, kind of like what was touched on above: I think that's okay. Every artist/creator will have their magnum opus, and with the world-building and life dedication she put into HP, I'm pretty sure that's it. Even if she expands on the world and creates more stories, HP will be what she's known for.

    I'm kind of curious on what people of GRRM, though. Each book coming out slower and slower, realistically will die before he finishes the series (which apparently it pisses him off when people say that but /o\). Something he's written about is that he wishes people would talk about or ask him questions about ANYTHING he's done other than ASoIaF. So basically, I just wonder what people's opinions are on forcing a magnum opus on a creator. Perhaps he felt at one point he had something more interesting to give the world, but we won't let him, etc.
    mfw you post

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    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    She's been pretty biting on Twitter though.

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    Let's get ready to bumble Vincent, Thunder God's Avatar
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    I was reading Bill Bruford's blog recently and a similar topic kind of came up - he was arguing that people should be judged on their entire body of work rather than just their most successful works. I have to disagree in that I think each work should be judged on its merit alone. Just because you aren't actively creating something or have created something that people subjectively dislike, doesn't mean that your previous good work should be ignored or valued less. And when it comes to some authors for example, like Harper Lee or J. D. Salinger, who wrote one successful book and then were hounded to write more, I believe that if you have contributed something of value to the public canon, you should be left alone if you no longer want to contribute further. Furthermore I often see a tendency for critics to praise one work (i.e. Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five) and then pan subsequent works (such as his follow-up novel Breakfast of Champions, which I actually enjoyed more personally). So it's a no-win scenario - write something good, don't write more - why aren't you writing? write something else - not up to par.

    So yeah, the "why aren't they doing more" question I don't really agree with. I think it comes from a place of entitlement - we as the audience want more to consume. The person creating the media should be respected to create at their own pace.

  9. #9

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    I'm of 2 minds on this. I want to say every works stands on it's own but experience has taught me that more content from an artist really can taint an earlier work.

    Seeing more content, especially flawed content, dispels a lot of the rose colored glasses effect people tend to have.

    Sometimes an aspect of a future work reveals the author's true meaning in a previous work. A true meaning that ruins the whole damn thing.

    Sometimes the author is outright self destructive and uses his future work as an outright "Screw You" to fans for whatever reason and does everything to ruin his own product.

    And of course sometimes it was always pure crap, you just didnt realize till you were drowning in it.

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