« on: November 27, 2004, 01:21 PM »
I don't think so; on the contrary, I think that storytelling has been sacrificed for the sake of "surprises."
I've read the Lord of the Rings books two times each, each of the Harry Potter books at least twice (some three or four times), and seen the Star Wars Original Trilogy nearly a hundred times.
Yeah, I know what's going to happen each time I encounter or revisit the stories, but that doesn't diminish the quality of the storytelling in the slightest.
If a storyteller--regardless of whether he or she chooses film, literature, or some other medium--is good at the craft of weaving compelling narrative with something important to say, then "surprises" are simply a part of the story.
Something like "The Sixth Sense," on the other hand, comes off as just gimmicky. Sure some people were "shocked" at first (how so many people couldn't have seen that ending coming from miles and miles away is beyond me, but I digress...), and had a good time watching it the second time to spot the "Oh!" moments ("Oh! Look, he's sitting at dinner with her but she never really converses with him! Oh!"), but who in the hell would want to sit through that crap a third time? The gimmick works once for the shock, and again for the "Oh!" moments, but after that...nothing.
With timeless tales such as Lord of the Rings or even the Star Wars saga, however, you can revisit them again and again and again, because it isn't just about the destination; it's about the journey.
Who can honestly say that Empire Strikes Back sucks just because now you know that Vader is Luke's dad?