Music films vs. musicals

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iconogassed
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Music films vs. musicals

Post by iconogassed »

Three Ramones documentaries I submitted have just been accepted to the site. Two of them now have both "musical" and "music" listed as genres. I only specified "music" in my submissions, and IMDb does not classify any of them as "musicals".

I submitted corrections for those two, but there are over a thousand titles that include both "documentary" and "musical", almost all completely erroneously, as in both i) clearly just a band/singer/concert documentary (and not some genre-straddling experiment); ii) classified as "music" on IMDb and not "musical".

This is quite misleading and unhelpful in trying to find actual musicals, no reasonable definition of which includes straight music documentaries. There are certainly valid debates about the nature of film musicals, but they centre on whether, say, Nashville is a musical (Criticker sez no), and not whether Arctic Monkeys at the Apollo is a musical (Criticker sez yes!).

I realize many of the offending entries may have been from a time when we didn't have a "music" genre (I don't know for sure), but now that we do, there is no reason to keep muddying the waters.

And yes, I think it would be well worth going through and fixing them all. If 'trusted' users were able to over-write genres like we are filmmakers, I would do so smilingly... :D

djross
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Re: Music films vs. musicals

Post by djross »

There are also 1124 entries that are classified as both Documentary and Drama. Perhaps there are a few that can legitimately be classed as both, but the number would be very few, I think (an interesting case is Close-Up, which is indeed hard to decide about, though, despite everything, I would really be reluctant to call it a documentary).

mpowell
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Re: Music films vs. musicals

Post by mpowell »

Thanks for reporting this... we'll take a look into what might be happening here, if it's a programmatic mistake or other. And we'll take a look into cleaning up the existing data.

Thanks again!

CosmicMonkey
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Re: Music films vs. musicals

Post by CosmicMonkey »

Might I suggest adding "Concert/Stand-up" as a new genre? (or perhaps 2 new genres?)

There are a lot of stand-up comedy specials that are classified as "comedy" & "documentary", because that's the closest way to describe them, even though it's not really either of those things.

Likewise, there's a lot of mess around concert films, and they tend to be some combination of documentary, music and musical. While some concert films are certainly documentarian in nature, does a camera pointed at a stage with no other interviews or features count as documentary?

And how do we classify pro-shots of Broadway plays? If a Stand-up special is a documentary than is Hamilton as well? I think an added genre would allow for more consistency and less confusion.

iconogassed
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Re: Music films vs. musicals

Post by iconogassed »

I agree a "performance" category of some kind is overdue.

djross wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 12:43 am
There are also 1124 entries that are classified as both Documentary and Drama. Perhaps there are a few that can legitimately be classed as both, but the number would be very few, I think (an interesting case is Close-Up, which is indeed hard to decide about, though, despite everything, I would really be reluctant to call it a documentary).
Indeed. Like how "docudrama" has come to mean anything from a documentary with a few re-enactments to dramatic feature based on real events.

Four of those 1124 are films I've submitted. I stand by two of them I've seen (The Kid Who Couldn't Miss and Animal Magnetism) and one I haven't (Not a Pretty Picture) but I definitely didn't add "drama" when submitting Ben's Vortex. I suspect that was because its IMDb entry lists "drama", which is how most of those 1124 probably happened (either admins filling in, or submitter just copying IMDb). Hoop Dreams is just silly.

Interestingly, none of Errol Morris's documentaries are classified as "drama" though several are also classified as "mystery". I would say Wormwood is the only one for which a case could be made for including subgenres of fiction.

iconogassed
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Re: Music films vs. musicals

Post by iconogassed »

I just submitted the rare title I believe properly qualifies as both "documentary" and "comedy": 50 Greatest Magic Tricks, which features real interviews with magicians etc. alongside scripted routines by/starring the British comedy duo Joe and Adam as they count down the list. I know such "countdown specials" may not be the highest form of documentary, but I wouldn't exclude them for these purposes.

However, as "comedies" they should be distinguished from documentaries that merely happen to have a lot of funny people in them, like Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead (which is also listed under both documentary and comedy), or a countdown special with no scripted routines, and just "real" interviews and commentary on the subject(s).

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