For Your Consideration

I think the only outcome that would have made me completely happy were if The White Ribbon won every category – not even foreign language!? The pleasing results were too predictable to warrant a yelp of glee.  Waltz winning Best Supporting Actor, and Up winning Best Animated were the only outcomes to provoke a smile.  But no more than a smile.  As deserving as they were, predictability robbed them of cheer.  For me anyway.  I needed to search for Oscar joy, which I found in people funnier than me taking it down a notch.  Cue “laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh.  Catchphrase…”

Despite having not seen either Avatar or The Hurt Locker, I can’t properly commend or slant them.  There’s something about James Cameron that unnerves me though.  I still haven’t integrated 3D into my head, and prefer to remain petrified of it.  So here’s some kneejerk reactions to him and his crusade.  1) he always reminds me of the Michael Bay appearance in South Park’s Imaginationland episode, where special effects and plot are inseperable…

And here’s a warning video of how becoming so dependant on special effects can harm one’s life and perception of it…

I hadn’t really followed the build up to the Oscars, trying to shelter myself from most of the boredom that it exhumes.  I tell myself I don’t care and that they’re overblown and gratuitously self-affirming and that the results don’t matter, and neither, really, do the nominations.  I get up on my repugnant pedestal (in my head) when seeing or hearing any opinions I feel are ill-informed, or worse, contradictory to my own.  But the arguments for and against the Oscars are always so mundane- its criticisms and defence always the same, only with a different selection of films.  This year it was 10 of them.  That did little to change anything.

For it was always only between two.  And the debate hardly centred around their merits, focusing more on their conditions of production.

Yet I avidly scoured the internet last night for results and commentaries.  The F5 ‘refresh’ button on my keyboard ended up slightly askew, like a Dutch angle in a student horror film.  And as I did so, to my suprise, a very specific excitement bubbled away in me.

I say specific because it evokes the same anxiety, frustration, elation and involuntary half-smile that only the Oscars can.  It shares a kinship with other, similar, events; the World Cup or European finals, the Olympics, the Dr. Who Christmas Special – all pointless in the long run, but who demand entire weeks of build up in national discourse.  Although the obvious examples are sports orientated, the Oscars are unique in their own, well, unique way.

With their glitz and glamour and schmaltz and schmuck, they give the industry’s shallows a much needed surface cover.  No thicker than silver foil, but shiny enough to keep all amply distracted FOR A WHOLE YEAR?  It gets its little top ups with grand film premieres, but the Oscars stretch its cover for the year’s entirety.  That’s why the best, Waitrose-purchased, 50m aluminium roll is needed.

Maybe that’s why those in attendance get so self-righteous and rowdy whenever depth is sought by some.  Michael Moore’s acceptance speech for Bowling for Columbine (2003) garnered such a cacophony of jeers – and these are meant to be left leaning people?  Stereotypically, anyway.  One must only look at Sting for the incredible contradictions celebrity can embody…

(go near the end for the good stuff, the pleb)

If it hasn’t become apparent, I’ve only just discovered how to embed videos in posts.  And here I am condemning the film industry for its excess.  But if one considers its current success, hypocrisy is cool.

“Laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh…”

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3 responses to “For Your Consideration

  1. “Michael Moore’s acceptance speech for Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) garnered such a cacophony of jeers – and these are meant to be left leaning people?”

    Moore didn’t win for Fahrenheit 9/11 (wasn’t eligible) – he won for Bowling For Columbine in 2003.

    And I always thought that people jeered him, if they did, for bringing politics into a non-political event.

    As someone who considers themselves left leaning, I have a huge issue with Michael Moore being described that way. Sight & Sound were right when they pointed out the snide and racist moments of Fahrenheit 9/11, and his inconsistent politics (pointed out by Christopher Hitchens in his masterful destruction of the film here: http://www.slate.com/id/2102723/) seem to come more from the isolationist right than the internationalist left.

    Oh, and “Despite having not seen either Avatar or The Hurt Locker, I can’t properly commend or slant them.” Don’t you mean because you haven’t seen them, not despite?

    Just sayin’.

    • A victim of my own haste, not using the best evidence for my point (especially it being factually wrong too). I’ll correct the mistake. As much as I get swept away in the Oscars fun, they always leave a bad taste in my mouth. Well, maybe not a bad taste, but a stagnant one like during waking up. I was trying to find a possible reason for it, and stumbled upon the half baked idea of an absence of depth. I’ll read the rest of that article tonight at work.

  2. I thought he won in 2004 too, but I checked and saw he didn’t.

    I’m only so pedantic because I want a job in the fact checking department of The New Yorker.

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