Ahh Hollywood the glitz, the glamour, the scandal, the dresses, the guys, the dolls. Hooray indeed for Hollywood and it’s annual backslapping contest The Oscars. Well thank god that’s over for another year.
A contest where the academy made up of white 60 somethings judge to see which film they liked the best. Do they not know it’s a democracy now, we the people demand to vote on an industry award. We also demand that the awards be voted for from a diverse field of individuals.
Who would have thought that an awards ceremony for people talented in filmmaking would need diversity rules. Shouldn’t any contest be judged based upon the merits of the art produced not the ethnic origins or sexual orientation of those who made it. If you have a movie nominated for best picture purely because the director meets the correct race or gender quota doesn’t that devalue their nomination.
“It’s just not fair” people exclaim. White men judging movies made by other white men to give awards to white men. Life isn’t fair you know, since when have you been under that illusion. One man’s injustice is another mans moral victory. As it is, as it forever will be.
People of all types win Oscars and recognition from their peers and the public. How do they do it? By being good. Do people from certain groups have to try harder to be deemed “good” yeah of course they do. Is that fair? No probably not, but it’s an arts competition, judged on opinion, so like life can never be “fair”
Where do we stop in the pursuit of fair? “A black actor isn’t nominated” “A woman from Virginia Beach has never won” “No nominations for anyone over 90 years old” “No nominations for disabled people” “No nominations for one armed orphans named Archibald” Think of your own catchy hashtag for that one.
Wanna win an award? Be exemplary
Think the competition is biased against you, 1. Make a good product make them notice or 2. Excuse yourself by pulling whatever minority card you have, it wasn’t your inability to make good enough thing to turn people around. They hated you anyway.
3. Don’t do things to win awards. Do things you are proud of. If industry awards come great. If not you still did something you love.
The Breakfast Club
This is Spinal Tap
10 classic films, each masterpieces of cinematic story telling. Even if you personally are not fond of any of the above titles you cannot deny that each title has a clear narrative and characters that are memorable. Some of these films made the careers of their stars and directors others killed them.
Now cast your mind back 10 years. Is there more than 3 Hollywood films that could be added to the classic list. I’m not a great film buff but other than the animated features of Pixar I cannot think of one.
Why is that? Well I have always thought that modern directors substitute a gripping storyline for the wow factor of CGI. But once you have seen one action hero jumping away from a burning building you have seen them all. It’s old. I am a fan of a humorous film. I know comedy is subjective but compare now to my 80’s childhood, going down the local Ritz Video Club. National Lampoons Vacation, Trains Planes and Automobiles, The Three Amigos. OK not exactly in the same league as The Godfather, but memorable.
Now all Hollywood film comedy can be split into two types (excluding animation) Rom-com boy meets girl, variations upon a theme. Or gross out comedy American Pie / Something About Mary re-made again and again… often without the funny bits. Shock value.
I have been a fan of european cinema for some time. German in particular (no not porn) films like Run Lola Run and Goodbye Lenin had low budgets but utilised them expertly, with excellent performances and stories. It’s not just me turning away from Hollywood with the north american box office taking a great slump this weekend. Yes I know there are other factors involved, the recession, the weather, the Olympics/Paralymics but still. A slump is a slump.
I know also that it’s not just the quality of the films. Most people have HD TV’s now attached to Blu-Ray drives or Apple TV’s. The current number one movie in iTunes right now is “The Hunger Games” this is available to rent in HD for £4.49 for just about £9 extra you can own it to watch again and again. You can watch instantly, on your 50” screen with surround sound and your own reasonably priced refreshment. You can watch naked if you want to, why would you want to go and sit in a uncomfortable chair with other people, not naked, and eat over priced food, and watered down drinks. It makes no sense.
The advice of a film fan (selective one at that) Get Netflix, Avoid recent Hollywood. Go european. And most importantly get naked.