Sunday, February 27, 2005


Middlebrow Moviemaking

Tonight is our official annual coronation of mainstream taste in movies. It's called the Oscars, and it consists of Hollywood giving awards to itself. What's usually awarded is a hodgepodge: some good films, some forgettable ones (literally, in that they will be forgotten--the awards have been going on for long enough that we know this from experience), and, in some cases, what amount to awards for tireless schmoozing and self-promotion on the part of the awardee.

I'm not too interested in movies, because I'm a writer, and writers are the Untouchable caste in Hollywood. We are usually treated not only like dirt, but like dirt in a latrine. Writers primarily invent and structure stories, meaning that they are one-third of the creative triumverate of moviemaking--writer, director/cinematographer, and cast--despite which, writers regularly go uncredited, or have their stories taken from them or changed against their will, and worse.

But I digress.

When I'm crowned King of the World (curiously, the older I get, the further away that event seems to recede), besides for decreeing the teaching of logic and civics in all the schools, everyone will be taught to recognize certain qualities of art, in the hopes that they'll stop tolerating them:

And so forth. I'd have moviegoers taught to distinguish "character-driven" action from deus ex machina. Most of all, I'd outlaw "Hollywood endings": the great big slam-bam blow-'em-up effects-fest at the end of most Hollywood movies that resolves everything, after which peace is restored and the credits roll.

The Quotidian Meander

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