Thursday, March 4, 2010
And the Oscars
People ask me about American cinema all the time. Usually these folks are pushing shopping carts filled with naked decapitated dolls, hub caps and stray shoes picked from roadsides, and oh yeah, lots of aluminum cans. But they ask me about movies, so that makes me an expert!
I've never watched more than two minutes of an awards show or beauty contest in my adult life. Don't accept the legitimacy of either really, but that's just me. Still, I know some stuff on the Oscars.
First Oscar winning film was "Wings" which featured first ever movie male to male kiss. Naw it wasn't homosexual; the cat was dying. It's a very moving scene. All about WWI fighter pilots and a love triangle. Clara Bow was the hypoteneuse in that triangle. Guess I've never decided which female film star had saddest life. But among those who had really sad lives, Clara Bow was hands down the prettiest.
I'm not sure really when the Oscars started favoring stupid, unpopular movies. GWTW took home LOTS of little statues. "Ben Hur" won 11 Academy awards. But somewhere along the line they started giving little statues to horrible films. Why didn't "Jaws" win an Oscar? That movie is amazing.
So now we get to what is the absolutely worst thing you can do if you want an Oscar... behave like you want an Oscar. Yep, incongruous as it may seem. This "Hurt Locker" flick is latest example of cardinal sin.
In 1960 Chill Wills was up for a best supporting actor statue. He went after it like a wanton, narcissistic whore, which of course most Hollywood types are, but they don't like it when you drop the mask. Now Chill Wills was the voice of Francis the talking mule in a series of films, but that's not what the nomination was for. Also, Clint Eastwood's first screen role was in "Francis joins the Navy" but that's not what I'm talking about.
So this "Hurt Locker" producer sent out hundreds of e-mails trying to call in past favors for votes. In response, he's been barred from attending the awards ceremony. Dang! I thought they'd let cannibals attend! That's how bad this guy is seen by his tribe.
Actually, I'm certain "Blind Side" wins one Oscar, and I suspect two. "Hurt Locker" well? It portrays US soldiers as walking time bombs, so it'll win something, right? Nobody but movie critics and UCLA film students have seen it probably, but it's disrespective of soldiers just trying to get home alive, so it'll win something.
But will be done in a way that shames the wanton narcissistic whorish "Hurt Locker" producer, you can count on that. And there is a fork in the road. Clara never got the respect she deserved as an actress. She was considered trash by the Hollywood crowd. Yep, guess by most standards she was. I'd walk on Catherine Zeta Jones and Demi Moore to hug Clara Bow. The things she went through as a child. And this "Hurt Locker" thing, so stupid. Out there, one has to behave like they don't want what they want.
Oscars were once given to people who made rousing, successful films, by people who loved film. Now, there's not many in Hollywood who love film. Mostly, they love being people who make films. It's a crucial distinction.
I love Clara Bow. I love Clara Bow. I love Clara Bow. Not because she was gloriously beautiful (which she was) but for her burdens, and the desire to find acceptance, feel safe somewhere.