Thursday, January 3, 2008

Big Fucking Deal

As I may have mentioned before, I get around to doing things a little slowly. Like consuming certain highly-touted pop cultural artifacts. Although I was once painfully aware of much of the latest huff-and-puff in the music business, I have now slid to the other extreme, and, unlike most humans, have little idea of what's really Happening. I have never heard hyphy music. Never seen a full episode of Desperate Housewives. Who the fuck is Criss Angel? I don't know, I tells ya.

This being my circumstance, I only just last night got around to seeing Crash. Not the Cronenberg adaption of JG Ballard, which I loved and everyone else hated, but paul Haggis' 2004 film about racism in LA. The one that won Best Picture. Yeah. I just saw it. Last night.

What a fucking rip-off, man. And I didn't even pay for it.

An amazing cast of actors reduced to that laziest of Hollywood Methods wherein actors express intensity by SHOUTING. A LOT. AT EVERYONE. And scriptwriters convey their "worldview" by assigning every character a quota of nasty lines. hey, I don't like Los Angeles much at all, but even I will admit that the place isn't as chock full of profound assholes as this film. Eeegah!

And this overheated, forced spew-a-thon beat out Brokeback Mountain? Damn. Brokeback Mountain was amazing. Two very sweet though sorta tragic homo cowboys fucking each other in a landscape that is a living, breathing Character in Itself, beat out by a movie that manages to take something as ingrained in American life as racism and make it feel unbelievable? No. That shit is wrong.

The thing about racism in America is that it's often as deep and complicated as it is ugly and stoopid. Racism in the US is often surprising. And unlike in the movies, it's not only assholes who say racist, hateful things. Very nice people say casually racist things all the time. That's just one of the things that makes it really awful.

And can I just say, what's with Hollywood films where all the white people get to be pure assholes and the only sympathetic characters are black or Latino? This also seems so false and liberal patronizing mamby pamby ooky dooky Bullshit to me. Last I knew, assholes (and heroes) came in all colors.

Come to think of it, there's not too many Hollywood directors who get racism right (Spike Lee being the one notable exception.) maybe it's too complex for most of them. Or maybe most directors (most of them white males) just aren't very interested in making thoughtful movies dealing with this particular American problem.

And maybe it's time for me to go to bed. So?

But, really. Best Picture?

Man.


(whoa, hey. this is my one hundredth post. for someone who spends most of his days in the Cave of Procrastination, that's something like a phenomenon. hey.)

7 comments:

lettershometoyou said...

Congratulations on your 100th post! Past that milestone about a month ago.
Your Crash / Brokeback Mountain comparison is bang on, but unfortunately years late. Sometimes it takes a bit of distance to realise that a book, a movie, a trend that seemed so right at the time was in reality just shite.

I loved BB mountain, but then again, I'm a huge Annie Proulx fan. Not gay, not a cowboy am I, but a Canadian - it wasn't shot in the States, btw, but in Alberta.

pat said...

Hee he, yeah, like four years too late! I'm okay with that. I was just sorta pissed off about it--you know you sit down to what's supposed to be a good movie, and then just find yourself thinking,'Too much!'
Alberta?! No way. Coulda sworn it was Montana. Beautiful land, though, and a very accomplished cinematographer, who really made the mountains seem so alive.
Thanks for dropping by, Letters . Hope to read you again soon!

Ed Ward said...

I've now been over here so long that I'm culturally illiterate for the most part myself. People say "That was a real Seinfeld moment," and I don't have the ghost of a clue what they're talking about. Bands? No idea any more. And you know what? None of it bothers me. Well, except for missing the Simpsons movie on a large screen. When that was around I needed some cheering up, but I couldn't afford the six euros.

But there's a lotta stuff out there you just don't need.

SUS said...

I won't quit you, Pat! (Even if you're a pop-culture black hole.)

I had a similar blog spew about "Crash" when we saw it about a year ago (after many glowing recommendations). Really? This won an Oscar over "Munich"?

And Steven and I aren't culturally up-to-date ourselves. A few years back (before Lucy), Steven and I went to Luke and Kathy's annual Oscar-viewing party. I proudly announced that we actually just saw a movie on the nomination list, "Hotel Rwanda". Kathy sheepishly told me, "Uh Susan, that came out LAST YEAR."

pat said...

Ed: Hello again. Yeah, it's actually kind of nice to realize you don't really know or care what Angelina Jolie or Conor Oberst is doing at the moment.
SUS: Hey, you! How are you!? Yeah, see, I love Love LOVE Don Cheadle. He's as huggable as George Clooney, but possibly a better actor. And I thought Hotel Rwanda was pretty good. But man Crash just wasted his talents.
was Munich good?

David C. Fox said...

ok, i made it thru [& thoroughly enjoyed except all the clicking & scrolling necessary to read in chron. order] 2007.
no signs of any vanilla puddying of my brain [probly cause it's already totally banana puddyed out] or other parts.
still wish i'd known you better in Austin.
may have to move to Vienna.

pat said...

Damn, David. Thanks for reading my blog. You definitely get a gold star and a lifetime subscription. I guess I should go back and read more of these old posts myself....