Daily Archives: March 6, 2006

Well wasn’t that special?

To quote the ineffable Cintra Wilson

“Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any more wrist-slashingly boring, the boringness collapsed in on itself and became a deadly howling void of terrible sucking from which the light of no star could escape. These Oscars were so hideously uptight, they got pulled down a worm-hole and traveled light-years, on and on, forever, until they finally ended up in the darkest, airless regions of some fat, ultraconservative’s welded-on undershorts.”

And that’s not to mention Bill Conti and his underwater orchestra playing right though everyone’s acceptance speech. What was THAT about? “The Bum’s Rush in Melody,” as Rosalind Russell quipped in The Women.

Kenny Turan was remarkable calm about the whole ugly thing.

“Sometimes you win by losing, and nothing has proved what a powerful, taboo-breaking, necessary film Brokeback Mountain was more than its loss Sunday night to Crash in the Oscar best picture category.”

Which would be true if it were a powerful, taboo-breaking film like Mysterious Skin or The Dying Gaul or Crash. Instead it was the world’s first R-rated Afterschool Special.

“Despite all the magazine covers it graced, despite all the red-state theaters it made good money in, despite (or maybe because of) all the jokes late-night talk show hosts made about it, you could not take the pulse of the industry without realizing that this film made a number of people distinctly uncomfortable.”

Well it certainly made Mickey Kaus uncomfortable. He’s been carrying on about the damned thing for months — terrified of seeing it (lest he give in to all those strange twilight urges) and insistent that it wasn’t going to make any money (and in no way nonplused when it did.) His final Oscar verdict? “Fear of the audience–specifically, fear that the mainstream American audience will conclude you are a bunch of out-of-touch coastal liberal elitists–may in fact be the most pervasive fear in all of media.” Yeah right. Tell me again how you don’t long to marry George Clooney, Mickey.

Meanwhile the ineffable Nikki Finke opines on her brand new blog that “Hollywood showed tonight it isn’t the liberal bastion it once was.”

Yeah, like back in 1951 when Joe Losey had to turn down High Noon and get the hell out of Dodge lest he be called before HUAC. Considering he went on to a european career encompassing such masterpiece as The Servant, Accident Modesty Blaise, The Assassination of Trotsky and Monsieur Klein, Joe got a good deal.

But Nikki doesn’t know about that. She and Mickey are far more interested in reconnecting with the “heartland.” Maybe they could start up a bowling team.

But back to Kenny —

“More than any other of the nominated films, “Brokeback Mountain” was the one people told me they really didn’t feel like seeing, didn’t really get, didn’t understand the fuss over. Did I really like it, they wanted to know. Yes, I really did.”

Very Sally Field.

“In the privacy of the voting booth, as many political candidates who’ve led in polls only to lose elections have found out, people are free to act out the unspoken fears and unconscious prejudices that they would never breathe to another soul, or, likely, acknowledge to themselves. And at least this year, that acting out doomed Brokeback Mountain.”

Kind of like a confessional — but without Father Flotsky eyeing you lustfully through the grate.

For Hollywood, as a whole laundry list of people announced from the podium Sunday night and a lengthy montage of clips tried to emphasize, is a liberal place, a place that prides itself on its progressive agenda. If this were a year when voters had no other palatable options, they might have taken a deep breath and voted for Brokeback. This year, however, Crash was poised to be the spoiler.”

Oh not really. Instead of fake anti-homopbia film they went for a fake anti-racism film.

“I do not for one minute question the sincerity and integrity of the people who made Crash,

Well I sure as hell do. They have all the integrity of the producers of a Herschell Gordon Lewis grind house shocker crossed with a Kroger Babb tent show.

and I do not question their commitment to wanting a more equal society.

A just society would mean they couldn’t exploit ambivalence.

“But I do question the film they’ve made. It may be true, as producer Cathy Schulman said in accepting the Oscar for best picture, that this was “one of the most breathtaking and stunning maverick years in American history,” but Crash is not an example of that. I don’t care how much trouble Crash had getting financing or getting people on board, the reality of this film, the reason it won the best picture Oscar, is that it is, at its core, a standard Hollywood movie, as manipulative and unrealistic as the day is long. And something more.

For Crash’s biggest asset is its ability to give people a carload of those standard Hollywood satisfactions but make them think they are seeing something groundbreaking and daring. It is, in some ways, a feel-good film about racism, a film you could see and feel like a better person, a film that could make you believe that you had done your moral duty and examined your soul when in fact you were just getting your buttons pushed and your preconceptions reconfirmed.”

Indeed!

“So for people who were discomfited by Brokeback Mountain but wanted to be able to look themselves in the mirror and feel like they were good, productive liberals, Crash provided the perfect safe harbor. They could vote for it in good conscience, vote for it and feel they had made a progressive move, vote for it and not feel that there was any stain on their liberal credentials for shunning what “Brokeback” had to offer. And that’s exactly what they did.”

But what did Brokeback have to offer, other than the spectacle of a straight “acting-out” of pseudo-guilt for homophobia by means of astory that totally subsumes actual gay history in a sea of bathos? Consequently it was most appropriate in acepting his “Best Direction” Oscar Ang Lee thanked “two people who don’t exist — Ennis and Jack.” No they don’t exist. Not now. Not ever — except in the minds of the straights who created them

a fortitori, as the exceptionally wise Don Roos points out, “It’s the kind of movie that makes you glad to be straight. . .It’s an anti-gay film!”

Can I get a SING OUT LOUISE!!!! ?

Meanwhile everyone’s wondering “what will happen next”? with la vie gay in Tinseltown. leave it to The National Enquirer to supply the dialogue of the next Big Gay Movie that some”brave” straight should should consider this touching telephone call scene:

Clay: Are you interested in me at all?
Hustler: Isn’t every gay man in america?
C: I dunno. I’m only asking you now
H: That seems a bit self explanatory otherwise I wouldn’t be chatting. . . hehe. . . you’re gorgeous
C: ME?!?!?
H: You’ve never posed shirtless?????
C: Just need to be a little careful
H: Really? How come?
C: No one wants to see this — its boring and white
H: And sexy and smooth and lickable
C: Well you may feel that way but the only way youll see it is in personI dont have what you have to show off
H: I’m just another piece of meat to a celebrity with a new boy in every town
C: But why was it that you wanted to meet me HA HAif you think i have a new boy in everytown !!!HA HAHA thats rich
H: Come on
C: But I wont be able to convince you otherwise of that either
H: You don’t manhunt yourself a new guy on each tour date?
C: I am a skinny white guy I will admit that I try often when I have a day off
H: hahahahaha
C: But I RARELY find an attractive guy my age when I do
H: You must have high standards
C: 80% of them dont believe me 15% of them dont like me
H: and I’m the other 5% ?????
C: And 3% I chicken out on. I have meet ONE guy off of here this year
H: hahahahahaha WIMP!
C: It was on my summer tour in indy
H: oh?
C: Very nice guy
H: He cute?
C: We stay in touch. Well.. despite the fact that you have set me up for dissapointment tonight you do seem like a pretty nice guy
H: And a potential enjoyable wednesday night
C: I won’t deny that the initial attraction is the looks
H: Of course it is
C: But you have been pretty cool since we’ve been talking
H: well thanks I like beeing “cool”
C: You’re obviously a little disturbed because you think i am attractive!
H: welllllllll
C: But.. we can work through that
H: My glamourized hollywood image of you…..
C: Oh.. so now that youve seen the real me…not as attractive anymore?
H: You’re cute.

What a telephone scene! Not since Dog Day Afternoon.

Or maybe The Great Ziegfield .

Just keep it the hell away from Joel Schumacher.