Funny Games (2007): What We Talk About When We Call A Film Pretentious

by robinhardwick

The Unwatchables


The word “pretentious” is often a descriptor used when discussing a non-mainstream film. I propose that it is a word that is less describing the film and more about our relationship to us. It’s rarely used in a positive manner and often used to describe a film that is constructed in a non-traditional way; there is no chronological narrative, the dialogue is inflated, there’s more of an experimental element to the film than simply showing us a story. We believe it to be pretentious because we think the filmmaker is using these bizarre techniques just to be cool and edgy for being cool and edgy’s sake. [This is often the same argument used in anyone doing a take-down of so-called “hipsters”.]

For many of the films we consider pretentious, I’m sure that the filmmaker was just trying to make his vision happen and intended the film to be the way…

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