March 05, 2006

WHERE'S OSCAR-MANIA?

I'll be watching the Oscars for the first time in years tonight. I've never been a fan of the show and can't comprehend Oscar-mania. Personally, I don't need an awards ceremony to tell me which movie is worth seeing and hate Americans' obsession with competiton. In this country, it's not good enough to shoot a well-made film, it has to be # 1. And I can see the noteworthy gowns summed up in short segments on tomorrow's newscasts. But this year I feel I have a small stake in the Oscars because of the prevalence of gay/trans subject matter in the nominated pix. And because I think Jon Stewart is funny and "on my side" politically. (Though I still can't bear the fact that shows like THE DAILY SHOW and POLITICALLY INCORRECT are considered comedy when they are actually open, if funny, discussions of the news which you won't find on any of our blasted news channels.) The very fact that he's chosen to host is giving the mic to "one of us", or at least someone who regularly calls the Bush administration on it's bullshit. So I'm eager to see how much politics and gay humor he injects into the proceedings and how it plays in the media tomorrow. With Brad Pitt's people reportedly looking for a gay role for him, victories tonight may create more gay programming--to star straight actors. Maybe after a few years of gay roles played by top male stars we might be ready for--GASP--gay actors playing gay roles and maybe Sean Hayes (the flamboyant Jack from WILL AND GRACE) can come out the fucking closet.

Normally, I turn off the TV a few weeks prior to the events because I get so sick of Oscar-mania. But I haven't noticed it this year and was surprised to discover that the show was tonight--there's been much less of the nauseating profiling of the designers, descriptions of after-parties, etc. than any year in my memory. I wonder if that's because of the gay subject matter. Have the powers that be ordered that networks ease off of this year's coverage because it will distress religious types? Or is my memory just slipping? Has anyone else noticed this "let's-sweep this-year-under-the-rug" amount of coverage?

I did see a CNN piece on the US's geographical center Lebanon, Kansas, which interviewed a group of white-haired church ladies in a bell choir. They hadn't seen CAPOTE, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, or TRANSAMERICA and felt that these movies didn't speak to them. "What happened to THE SOUND OF MUSIC?", one asked. Well, darlings, maybe you could step outside of your dull, traditional world and open your narrow minds to something different, mind-opening and critically acclaimed. I don't think think a movie about your lives--getting married, perfecting your bundt cake recipe, learning to Beadazzle TM your holiday sweaters and never having an orgasm--offers much in the way of dramatic conflict. There isn't even a cinema in Lebanon, but the neighboring town had one and it's proprietor claimed that he hadn't screened any of those gay flicks because "Children's pictures do well here." And apparently, others in the biz are moaning that the gay-themed nominees do not represent box office smashes. CNN cut to someone from Entertainment Weekly who said (to parapharase) "The Oscars are not about ticket sales, they're about quality film-making." Today, CNN's email question was "Are the Oscars out of touch with mainstream America?". I sure hope so, because mainstream America is out of touch with reality and extremely narrow-minded.

I know that there all all kinds of shenanigans involved in "buying nominations", smear campaigns for nominees and timing releases to better their chances of winning Oscar gold, and I still don't need an awards ceremony to tell me which films to see. But if the gay films win and Jon Stewart makes politcs palatable to morons who only care about who wears what with his humor, it may be a small step towards restoring reason in this country. OK, so I'm being uncharacteristically optimistic for once! GOOD LUCK, HOMOS!

UPDATE: There goes my brief moment of hope. I've just seen conservative radio personality Michael Medved on CNN claiming that gay films are shoving politics down the country's throat. Politics? Really? In the tale of a sex change finding her son on a road in trip like TRANSAMERICA? Or a film about a gossipy, queeny writer (CAPOTE)? Or a grand, tragic homo love affair between two sheepherders? I mean, one of BROKEBACK characters gets killed, but where's the politics? Is BROKEBACK an example of liberal Hollywood subtly infusing America's straight male youths with the idea that they shouldn't bash us to death by depicting a fatal fag-bashing? How radical! How novel! How daring! Or since gays are out of favor with this administration, is it being overly political to dignify gays/trannies with any starring roles, even if the plots don't involve politics at all? Baffling!

94 Comments:

Blogger Quinn Callicott said...

Personally, I will be logged onto Salon.com at 4:30 to hear Camille Paglia's running commentary this year. I bet she can dress it up with a slew of literary allusions and five dollar words like nobody's business - go on, bulldagga!

http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/2006/03/02/oscar_simulcast/

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Blogger c slaw said...

Here, here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That post made me laugh out loud. Hail Bunny! (Who needs Paglia? Huh?)

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Blogger Raci and Eddi said...

Luv Bun, did the feds shut your site down again? I swear I went into some kind of withdrawals the last couple of days. The lack of filth and politics during my after-dinner martini sent me into a twirl of some kind. Glad you're back. Now give me some filth and politics, please.

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, i have not yet seen BROKEBACK, but thanks to you, I now know it involves a fatal bashing. I'll skip it..the surprise has been ruined.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another great post, Bunny! I, too, am glad to see you've escaped the temporary crash of the blog with your wig still on.

10:34 PM  
Blogger MargOH! Channing said...

Hi Bunny,

Just a fun note to this great post.

I went to see an interview with John Vaccaro at the Pioneer theatre.

He talked about how America was obsessed with Celebrity and how we are fed these ridiculous award shows.
He added that it's just an excuse to give these hideous actresses like Reese Witherspoon an award.

He also said, I'm sorry but I think she is an ugly beast.

Kisses,

MargOH!

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1:59 AM  

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