An era’s great flops serve countless functions in pushing the art and industry of filmmaking forward. They introduce technological innovations. They help filmmakers and actors — those that manage to work again, at least — learn how to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. And for the people involved in them, flops are something more than a wake-up call: They can even rescue a career. Historic successes and colossal failure are often fueled by the same impulses: ambition, audacity, passion, and a burning desire to comment meaningfully on the world around us.