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Smug the (Hollywood) dragon.


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Apparently our actors have learned nothing from the South Park 'Smug' episode so I'm gonna let loose a few rants that have been building up in me for a week since the 2009 Oscars.

 

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First, the president of the Film Actors Guild, Mr. Sean Penn:

 

Dear Mr. Penn,

 

The strange thing is I agree with you - The grandchildren of those who voted against Prop 8 will indeed look back with shame.

 

Why, though, is this something that needed to be said on the Oscar's stage? And why do you think that your own organization is free from GREAT SHAME of its own?

 

Don;t believe me? Lemme ask you a few questions...

 

Is there a separate category at the awards for Best performance by a black actor? How about best performance by an Italian actor? Best performance by a short actor?

 

Well, of course not, you say. What does blackness, italian-ness or shortness have to do with acting ability? Those people all compete in the same category because they're equals.

 

Hmm, so am I to assume then that the reason Kate Winslet wasn't competing in the same category as you, Mr. Penn, is that she doesn't have the same acting skill?

 

Or maybe its a separation of responsibility? Maybe the female actor doesn't have as great a challenge as the male actor, the same way the supporting actors don't have the same challenge as the lead actor?

 

I have an experiment to propose: Let women and men compete in the same acting categories next year. Me, I'd be amazed if any woman besides Meryl Streep even gets nominated.

 

Now, I can already hear you thinking: but the separation of the male and female acting categories isn't bigotry, its just that women and men have different roles in society and, besides, people like the idea of a male-female pairing, like with the prom king and prom queen.

 

Really? So I guess then the BEST thing you can say about Hollywood's treatment of women is that they're reinforcing the traditional patriarchal societal prejudices of what women are supposed to be? Lemme tell you something - At the very base, there is no difference in philosophy between having gender-segregated categories in Hollywood and having gender-segregated schools in Afghanistan.

 

And that's not even to get started on how homophobic it all is. The idea that there needs to be a male/ female pairing is heterosexist. Yeah, 'heterosexist' is a word. I hear it a lot up here in Canada. So Mr. Penn, I guess gays can get married, but Hollywood still needs to preach the idea that males play opposite females?

 

I guess what I'm saying can be summed up this way... If Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt play lovers they get nominated in separate acting categories, but if Jack Nicholson was to play lovers with you, Mr. Penn, then you'd have to compete against each other (and you'd lose). Now explain to me why this should be so.

 

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Next, to the organisers of the Academy awards show:

 

I don't know if you realize this but most of the people in your tv audience haven't seen HALF the movies and performances that have been nominated. And even those who saw them still would like some reminders if what's up for honors. So here's a little friendly advice:

 

SHOW SOME FUCKING CLIPS!

 

Why is it that I have to hear someone describe the way Meryl Streep's character bends and observes a student in her movie? Why is it that I have to hear Adrien Brody tell me about how many films some guy I've never heard about was in. LET ME SEE THIS PERSON IN ACTION for myself.

 

And why do I need to hear Robert DeNiro compliment his 'friend' Sean Penn on his social conscience? How is that relevant to the topic of the presentation, which is Penn's performance in Milk? Look, start up the clip of him smiling and kissing other guys, don't bullshit me about how wife-beater Sean Penn is a good person.

 

This was a horrible idea and amounted to a literal circle jerk.

 

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Beyonce, please give up singing.

 

you're a decent singer, don't get me wrong. But you'll never be great.

 

I think you have the potential to be a mesmeric and explosive actor, however. Make the world a much better place and switch careers.

 

 

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There, I don't think I sounded as angry as I wanted, because soon after starting that post I took a warm soak in the tub and came out much too relaxed.

 

*For those of you who don't get the thread title reference, go read some fucking Tolkien, you cultural retards.

 

 

hmm, maybe not that relaxed after all...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jumbie
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soak in the tub... hope you showered after :kotter:

 

I have always found it silly with the whole "my friend so and so" I always want to respond to something like that with a brutal and quick "Fuck you!"

 

 

"When I blah blah with my great friend Anne Hathaway" eh...FUCK YOU!

 

 

Same when someone is all "my 2nd cousin once removed is the backup drummer for Creed" eh... my dad played blackjack with Kenny Rogers once... exactly, who gives a fuck!?

Edited by Signal08
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...this is about Hollywood being smug?

 

The AMPAS is made up entirely of filmmakers, so the Academy Awards is supposed to be one big industry circle jerk. The entire point of the ceremony is for film industry professionals to honor their peers and coworkers. And come on, man, the nomination list comes out, what, a month before the awards are handed out? If you didn't care enough during that month to at least pirate a film or two and check out some of the nominees, why do they need to fill you in with 10 second clips? I was glad I didn't have to watch more redundant clips in an already clip-heavy show this year.

 

If you want to watch an awards show with films and performances that the majority of the American public is more familiar with, watch the People's Choice Awards.

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Not that easy. Both Gran Torino and the Wrestler opened up and were gone within 2 weeks here. Still haven't seen them. And I haven't seen any sign of the Reader anywhere.

 

And I have a deep opposition to watching theatre-pirated movies because they're usually shitty on image and sound quality.

 

You're saying you didn't find the spoken descriptions tedious and unhelpful?

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You mean the intros for the acting categories? Actually, I found them classy and in some cases, genuinely touching. But then I also knew who all the actors were at least, even if I didn't see every performance.

 

I mean, what would clips have told you, exactly? "Angelina Jolie cries in this movie, and it has something to do with her son!" Does a 10 second clip really give you any more insight into an actor's performance if you haven't seen the rest of the film?

Edited by Silent Bob
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Well, the only actor I didn't know was the guy Brody introduced and I think that's understandable. Cuz I got the impression Brody didn't know him either. "If you google his name you get 80 hits" or something was his line.

 

I've already mentioned that I found the a acting intros tedious and unhelpful, but there is one other aspect to it that bothered me:.

 

I was being editorialized to. I mean, these people were offering one opinion on the performance like it was truth, gatekeeping the evaluation. THat's why I really felt like I wanted raw footage at that point, so that the performance stood on its own.

Edited by Jumbie
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First of all, it's not exactly one person's opinion. The awards are voted on. Adrien Brody wasn't the only guy there who thought Richard Jenkins deserved his nomination. And even if it was editorializing, is choosing 10 seconds out of a two hour film not?

 

Again, the ceremony by its very nature is inter-industry. I liked seeing actors showing their own heart-felt (in most cases anyway, it seemed) appreciation for other actors. I liked that this format made it more about honoring the nominees and less about catering to those watching tv. I liked seeing some of those actors show their human side for once on that show, instead of simply reading canned jokes, looking directly at the camera instead of the audience, and having the most important thing they have to say handed to them in an envelope.

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No, I didn't mean it in such a general sense.

 

I certainly didn't mean to imply that Jenkins didn't deserve his nomination or even the win for that matter.

 

No, to give an example of what I mean by 'one person's opinion', lets suppose that one of the presenters said, 'Your performance was very honest' or 'you have a wonderful singing voice' I felt right away imposed on. I'd rather have a clip of Anne Hathaway singing or being honest.

 

And yes, the 10 second clip is also editorializing, because there is selection bias, but at least I'm part of creating an opinion for myself, even if I am being steered. At least I'm not being force-fed.

 

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To change gears a little bit, I am interested in what you think about desegregating the acting categories. I only mentioned it to point out what I felt was the shaky ground that Sean Penn stood on when he condemned the Prop 8 opposition from the stage, but I'm more and more curious about whether it would ever be a practical idea.

Edited by Jumbie
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Eh, it was Sean Penn, he was bound to say something. At least this time he admitted that his own actions probably make it hard to like him sometimes, and at least what he ranted on had a connection to the role that he won for this year.

 

As for desegregating the categories - not a chance. Certainly not for a great many years. As you said, if they did that Meryl Streep would likely be the only woman getting consistent nominations. But that isn't the fault of the Academy. The number of great parts written and produced for men is staggeringly higher than those for women. But that isn't even the fault of the studios. The truth is, male-centric films still make the most money. When movie goers are more often willing to put down big money to see films with great roles for actresses, then we can start talking about desegregating categories. Right now, it just wouldn't work.

 

By the way, Ann Hathaway sang during the show's opening number, so that's where the "wonderful singing voice" comment came from.

Edited by Silent Bob
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...this is about Hollywood being smug?

 

The AMPAS is made up entirely of filmmakers, so the Academy Awards is supposed to be one big industry circle jerk. The entire point of the ceremony is for film industry professionals to honor their peers and coworkers. And come on, man, the nomination list comes out, what, a month before the awards are handed out? If you didn't care enough during that month to at least pirate a film or two and check out some of the nominees, why do they need to fill you in with 10 second clips? I was glad I didn't have to watch more redundant clips in an already clip-heavy show this year.

 

If you want to watch an awards show with films and performances that the majority of the American public is more familiar with, watch the People's Choice Awards.

Couldn't have put it any better myself. The whole Oscars awards show is one big pretentious pat on the back for the film industry, but it's still fun to watch & (as is evidenced by this thread) sometimes makes for lively conversation/debate. :cheers:

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