As a reviewer of movies and content creator, I get a lot of comments like “Don’t hate me…” or “Don’t come after me for this…” because people are seemingly afraid I or others will disagree with them or go after them for their opinions.
I’m not going to go after anyone for having a different take on a film or art than me. In fact I truly love that with art in general, not everything is for everyone.
It makes for great discussions and revelations, when two people don’t see art the same way. We all like different things and that’s what makes art and pop culture so great.
If we all loved the exact same films or fandoms, it would be dull to talk about.
Think about this. How many times have you and a friend both loved the exact the same things about a film? Did you go on and on about it or did you both say, “liked that part” or they just agree and the conversation kind of ended?
This has happened to me countless times, especially when watching comedies or films with simplistic plots. This seems to happen less when the plot is more complex or the topic is more than surface deep.
Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t enjoy the simplicity of those types of films, but unless there is disagreement, the back and fourth ends quickly in my experience.
Some of the longest and most fulfilling discussions I’ve had about film, were when there were descenting voices in the conversation and we didn’t all see things the same way.
The problem I see most often with film and art is people make it a part of their personality or they think that other peoples views will impact how they feel about the film, song, show or whatever is being critiqued.
This means if you say you don’t like something or would have changed something it’s taken as a personal attack. Viewers and critics alike need to take a step back and realize art is subjective and the closest person to match your film preferences will not be an exact match and that is a beautiful thing.
How I view a film will always be dependent on my mood, the day I’ve had, who I’m watching with, the reviews or spoilers I’ve heard, other movies I’ve seen as well as many more factors.
I assume from my experiences and watching people throughout my life this is true for everyone. We are social creatures that are influenced by the world around us and no one is watching movies in a vacuum.
This means there is no set standard for taste. This is why remembering the subjectivity of art is so important.
I think Roger Ebert said it best when he said “In my reviews, I feel it’s good to make it clear that I’m not proposing objective truth, but subjective reactions; a review should reflect the immediate experience.”
I’d like to think I take this approach, on my podcast or doing TikTok film reviews as well as in my approach to talking about art overall.
We need more discourse and far more nuanced discussions. We need less of people thinking art is objective or can be defined by specific people or groups. We need to help people understand why art is subjective and help bring more people into the discussion.
At the end of the day, each of us is going to feel what we feel. I am going to love the art I love and I don’t care if people hate it. I hope everyone can do the same.