Quotes: Magnum Opus Dissonance


The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.

I've made hundreds of legendary records that people talk about that didn't sell.
Jerry Wexler

Readers choose which books and stories they'll care about most and remember best, and if I am remembered only for a novel I wrote in 1984, and not for the better books I wrote after that, I'm not going to complain: Writers are lucky if readers care about and remember any of their works, and a writer is a fool if he criticizes his readers for liking the wrong book.

QT: It usually has to do with one film. I mean, like, you see them growing, or building, or whatever, and they do one film, and usually it's a film that they're very personal about, that they care a lot about, and not only does it not do well, it's not recognized. Okay, now maybe they did a bad job with it, or maybe they did a terrific job with it, all right? But they get nothing for it. They get slapped in the face for it. And you could tell that the film had a real personal feeling to them.
Rose: Yeah. They really had put it out on the table.
QT: They really put it out on the table. And then, from that point on, you can just see all of a sudden they started doing star vehicles.
Charlie Rose, 1996 interview with Quentin Tarantino

There are indeed. And the game that comes most to mind when I say that is Shadow Hearts Covenant... I think it was released alongside a Final Fantasy, and you literally couldn't have timed the thing worse if you wanted to. So yeah, I wish fans could have seen that one. And it got good reviews — everyone said it was great, one magazine said it was the best RPG of the year or something. It was critically acclaimed. It was by a real dark horse Japanese company too, some company called Sacanoth did it. And I know those guys worked their brains off too. This represented so much, it had so much effort. That's the remarkable thing about games — the good ones, the creators put so much effort, so much of their hearts into it, and they're not recognised. The industry is so rife with irony, the whole situation.
Jeremy Blaustein, on whether there are games besides Metal Gear Solid he'd rather be known for

The worse it is, the better it sells.
Lou Reed, attributed.

Milo: If they're so great, how come they're not tearing up the charts, babe?
Rex: Because you never play them, babe. You suck.


In Hollywood, The Color Purple was widely seen, rightly or wrongly as Spielberg's bid for a different kind of acclaim. He deliberately set out (you can hear people say) to buy an important novel such as The Color Purple and make it into an important film, and show that he had political and social convictions to go along with his storytelling skills.

Hollywood gets perverse about situations like that. It understands very well why a man might spend a year making a movie that a 13-year-old would disdain as trash. But if a man blessed with great success tries to do something really wonderful, there is a tendency to slap him down. It is just too much of an affront to all the compromises and little ethical deaths that happen every day all over town.

As a result of demands placed on him by the BBC as well as his own desperate attempt at both salvaging the series and being able to retire comfortably, (John) Nathan-Turner purged the entire Doctor Who production staff in 1987 and took a chance on a bunch of brash young upstarts led by new script editor Andrew Cartmel: A person who, when asked what he thought the purpose of Doctor Who was, gave the absolutely delightful answer 'to bring down the government'... the Cartmel era saw an attempt to restore a sense of mystery to the character of The Doctor, and, under Sylvester McCoy he became increasingly dark, unpredictable and manipulative. This era also saw magic and the power of myths and symbols examined with the most complexity and power they'd ever been. What this all meant though was the show finally had something to prove again, and with an absolutely killer main cast comprising of Sylvester McCoy, Bonnie Langford and Sophie Aldred, Doctor Who became, in my opinion at least, the most intelligent, tight and exciting it had ever been. A shame nobody watched it: The Cartmel/McCoy era ended after only three years when the Classic Series was finally officially canceled in 1989.
Soda Pop Art, "An Introduction to Classic Doctor Who"

It all comes back to Metal Gear Solid 2, of course. MGS2 was a naive attempt to break away from his fate (of being stuck between serving fans and churning out predictable, 'safe' sequels for his employer) in one big, controversial riddle. Ironically, the backlash only bound him even more closely to that fate... When I imagine being in his position, I think of years of my life being consumed by one massive, demanding project after another, each with enormous pressure both financially and critically, with his name/reputation under the gun constantly. These projects are his life, and their reputation is his legacy. MGS2 had raised a very troubling question about whether Kojima was a fraud intellectual who 'doesn’t know what people want', and he still feels that deep sting of mockery to this day.
Terry Wolf, "Only For Revenge"

There are many indie platformers more well known than Eternal Daughter — and that's a real shame because there aren't many indie platformers as good as Eternal Daughter. Despite its relative popularity in the early 2000s (a few years before independently made games caught the attention of mainstream audiences), the game is mostly forgotten nowadays. What could have been the American equivalent of Cave Story (in fact, Eternal Daughter shares a few similarities with Studio Pixel's masterpiece) has instead faded into obscurity. While one of its creators, Derek Yu, later went on to make Aquaria and Spelunky, his best game remains severely underappreciated.