Friday, January 13, 2006

Fuck Oscar Season

I hate Oscar season and the prestige movies that come with it. Before I went to film-school I used to think that these were the good movies, sophisticated works of art that I was unable to appreciate do to an overabundance of stupid lowbrow drivel, but the more I learnt about film, the less the luster of this high brow cinema impressed me. While it’s true that most blockbuster films are terribly unoriginal wastes of celluloid, an objective look at the Oscar contenders reveals them to be hardly better; the only difference is that insufferable melodrama is easier for graying boomers to swallow than brain cell killing explosions in Dolby digital. An appropriate metaphor would be the Grammies: while War of the Worlds, Stealth and Fantastic 4 are in the running for Heavy Metal album of the year, Memoirs of a Geisha, Munich and Capote are just the pop album/adult contemporary equivalent. It should be noted that neither of these categories encourages new exciting, innovative music. Now to the filmmakers credit, those last three 2 films actually look to be dependable, quality, middle of the road movies that escape their melodramatic trappings through their respective gay/Jewish/ angles…but has society become so stagnant that this is the kind of art we want to encourage? I’ll see all three of those films eventually but I could have done without them hogging up the theaters all at once. Here’s a novel idea Hollywood: how about putting out some of those films in the summer when we’re all desperate for a respite from the blockbusters. On the other hand I’ll probably be at a film festival where I can escape the sordid mess that has become mainstream American cinema.

Meanwhile, the 2 films I actually want to see, Matchpoint and The New World haven’t been released here yet. Hopefully they come through soon because otherwise I’m probably going to have to settle for Gay Cowboys and you know that I won’t make it through the screening without busting out a Southpark joke no matter how emotionally affecting the film is. I guess I just can’t get excited about Ang Lee bringing depth and emotion to ANOTHER genre that really didn’t need it. Wasn’t Wuxia and comics enough? Don’t get me wrong, the gay angle doesn’t bother me in the slightest: in fact it’s probably the film’s sole innovative/intriguing element. But my point is I have no real predilection towards cowboy romance in the first place so why am I suddenly supposed to appreciate it because it’s two dudes? Let’s face it: the movie would have been gay even had it been straight.

And that’s the word.


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