Movies, Oscars, my Brokeback toon, etc.
I don't generally watch the Oscars, but I'm making an exception tonight because of Jon Stewart. And since most folks seem to expect 'Brokeback Mountain' to walk away with the Best Picture award, I figured I'd remind y'all about my 'Brokeback Mountain' cartoon, "Did you hear the one about the gay cowboys?"
Speaking of movies, go see Dave Chappelle's Block Party concert/comedy film right now (from 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' director Michel Gondry, no less). You'll enjoy it a lot more if, like me, you're already a fan of Mos Def and Dead Prez and the Fugees, but even Chappelle's off-the-cuff comedy bits and just random happiness and silliness are enough to make it damned worthwhile. I haven't felt that good and upbeat leaving a movie in a long time, although that could be because I have a tendency to watch depressing movies like, say, 'Brokeback Mountain'.
Update: Not that the Oscars matter that much, but... Jon Stewart managed to be totally unfunny, the dresses were by turns hideous and boring (yes, I do actually care, I like to sew and I love analyzing fashion), the nominees kept congratulating Hollywood for being some kind of force for good and progressive change (oh PLEASE) and CRASH won? I found a good description of why the latter was sad in the L.A. Times wrap-up:
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.Yeah, pretty much. But then I remembered that Chicago won for best picture not so long ago, so it wasn't like I had faith in the Academy's taste to begin with.
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.
P.S. I haven't had a chance to see Hustle and Flow. I've heard it's a great film. But I couldn't help thinking the obvious while watching the over-the-top performance of the film's Oscar-winning song, "It's Hard Out There For a Pimp," which is "I'm supposed to feel sorry for the PIMP who's 'working hard to pay the rent'"?! Last time I checked, it was the sex workers in said pimp's employ who did all the hard work, no?