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What I watched this Sunday night and encourage anyone and all else to watch, too:

BD21298.gifHOLLYWOOD GOES TO WAR,” from WAR STORIES hosted by Oliver North

Viewing Oliver North’s hour-long broadcast about a Hollywood-now-gone-to-legacy leaves me wondering where the heroes have gone since. What we have today from Hollywood is the anti-hero (it’s no longer an interesting genre or typecasting, in my view) “going to” the issues of tribulations and inner turmoil without resolution of homosexuality, irreverant couplings or uncouplings and self destruction for the sake of (Hollywood’s favorite funded plot) permanent lack of self worth and defiling legacy.

Which leads to the conclusion for the reasonable as to audience that no resolution is available onscreen and thus, reasonable viewers become weary of and from the tribulations and inner turmoils without resolution, if even a ticket buyer at all for the very same deterrants. And, the plot points involved in that are often the betrayal of country and commitment in this counter-perspective of undoing and being undone for the sake of statement. Films have become vehicles for the antithesis of the anti-heroic — except that they don’t result by that in the anticipated heroic but in desolation of character. Fine and well enough for art-for-art’s-sake but desolation is the lack of resolution. And many today in Hollywood think that’s rewarding in and of itself for the sake of statement alone, an interesting use of a very large amount of dollars per title.

So it’s no surprise many among us as audience wonder what the point is, why many pointless-to-dreadful films are ground into the public discourse by way of blitzkrieging publicity departments on press release overheat (Universal’s giant pepper-mill grinding on about BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN comes to mind here, resulting in wire service copy’n’pastes of Universal’s daily searing by way of marketing copy statements about art showing up nearly everywhere, words galore about a film that, meanwhile, almost everyone had little-to-no interest in even seeing [and still does not] — all that industry applied [sorry, all that applied art] and the result was that the predictable two percent of the film-attending audience populaton saw the film and would have seen it without the deluge from Universal’s overheated publicity crew — which, by the way, did not improve the film’s content, screenplay nor purpose). In this sense, are film distributors promoters of causes and issues (many among talent claim that’s so) or are they for-profit business organizations (many lay claim to that, too, certainly by what huge amounts of money is demanded by “talent” and required by distrubutors to even complete a product the work of art), but, obviously, they are both. It’s an elaborate business practice that can stand to lose write-off many, many millions of dollars for many, many years while there is such luxuriating otherwise. At some point, the luxury is waste and Hollywood is represented by it. And that belittles the purpose of art and cinematic art, too.

And, moreso, I found the score from BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, as I also did the original material from whence the film’s screenplay was adapted, to be infectious and numbing. As in, redundant, dumbed down and repetitive to the point of madness — I’d describe the whole work as banal and mundane but I’ve already done that. But, perhaps that was the point, that it represents a work of madness, of the crass and mundane elevated to “love “art” while everyone else sees it for what it is: crass, mundane, dumbed down to the point of repetitive madness: obsession by compulsion gone insane, never aware that it is any. Awarding that, however, makes no sense. Or, put a bracelet on a toad and claim it’s “art” but otherwise, all this reduces the awards process to something beneath smashed Easter eggs.

No wonder Hollywood has to dress up for all that because without the dress up, there’s only disappointment. Not defined by nor limited to the ex-patriot, just undone but with a lot of publicity. I can’t be the first person to wonder if the losses involved are intentional, but the concept of loss in industry has now become the overall focus of theme that the industry produces so it’s now a problem of loss of audience by design when the dots are connected and many of us do connect the dots.

BD21298.gif Congratulations to actor Philip Seymour Hoffman for his Academy Award for Best Actor (well deserved for his legacy of work, with the exception of a few misses), and to “Wallace & Gromit: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT” for their Award for Best Animated Feature and to MARCH OF THE PENGUINS for Best Documentary, but did the rest of us have to wade through all this fake mud and false guts to see these few appreciable moments? No, most of us didn’t watch the 2006 Academy Awards broadcast.

As to the nominees this year, if not already: at least CRASH is not the mundane and banal accomplishment that is BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, but then, is CRASH (which won the Best Picture Award this year) really — really — a “best picture” work of “art”? BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN certainly is not, but, by comparison otherwise, look over those nominees for ‘Best Picture.” They represent a group of nominations that bespeak of a drowning pool so I wonder where, based upon that standard — such as it is — I wonder where DAWN OF THE DEAD was. That’s “art,” after all. As artful as are the rest on that list of nominees and some regard it as far more entertaining, if not believable, than what’s there in that pool.

BD21298.gif Hollywood today defends elevating and promoting heightened offensiveness as “art” (so that’s ohkay, some say), but is it really something to promote and broadcast in larger venues than at someone’s cocktail party or private screening? Perhaps a hired hall, some private venue otherwise, but beyond that, some that is “art” to a few becomes intrusion upon the sensibilities of the greater population — worse, when the intrusion is profane, as with this year, because BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN was just that, “art” becomes a lie.

Consider SIN CITY (which was inexplicably not even on the Awards radar although Director Robert Rodriguez renounced his membership in the Directors Guild of America, which may explain the Awards-Avenue Freeze-out of Rodriguez and his film) — if we are to accept for the sake of argument that that is the standard of today’s Hollywood hyperbole (“‘art’ is ohkaay, irregardless of content“) — as an example here, then, SIN CITY is a far superior production, directiorial and performance accomplishments as also much more substantial achievement of writing, even adapted from far more remarkable original material than was, in all regards, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, despite the obvious creepiness of content in both. But, at least SIN CITY does not mouse-mince words and dress up a cat and call that a circus.



4 C O M M E N T S

  1. -S- says:

    Yes, I do remember. I’d never compare the two titles, however. I’ve always been exceedingly fond of Wallace & Gromit, while Peter Jackson’s KING KONG is moreorless a parade of CGI ability combined with beautiful posing by Natalie Watts. My fascination with Peter Jackson’s KING KONG is mostly from a technical point of view, if not entirely. The Awards (Best Visual Effects, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing) are sensible and make good sense, in this regard, this year.

    Wallace & Gromit are just superb, however, as animated entertainment, constantly fresh and new. These are some of this year’s Awards that are well deserved (as is Best Actress for Reese Witherspoon).

    I’m just stupified by the bay of “Best Picture” nominations. Surely they don’t reflect the best pictures but mere best hyperbole.

  2. epador says:

    Remember when I was voting for Wallace over King Kong… ?

  3. Donnah says:

    I love “Dawn of the Dead”! George Romero was robbed!

  4. -S- says:

    Sorry, Donnah, to respond a day late (been busy, to state the obvious)…but, in the case of DAWN OF THE DEAD, I think George Romero received a wonderful (uhhh) ‘HOMAGE’ — although I wish there was a more comfortable term for it than that — because the film does Romero proud, in my view.

    I, too, really like DAWN OF THE DEAD — It’s one of the few, “new” zombie films I’ve purchased on DVD. Very well done, deserved far more to be included in the Awards process than did BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. DAWN OF THE DEAD has that fabulous score that, at least when compared with BM, does not put anyone into a trance or drive them into numbing zombie-zone otherwise.