Skip to main content

And The Oscar Goes To?

I used to care. I don't really anymore. Old age setting in? Credit Crunch? The Obama Factor (real change more exciting than the fictive kind)? More and more, awards seem built for other people, established at a level where awards don't seem relevant, or real - I refer mainly to rock stars and millionaire actors. Now and again, of course, a genuine, unsung talent is permitted to step forward (one thinks of Borgnine winning).

Underdogs, too, though, are part of the Hollywood myth - and this year has several. Heath Ledger, of course, as dead, is the ultimate underdog, and will likely win for his weird and flexible performance - and that seems fair. Mickey Rourke, half-dead and barely recognizable after years of tough love and uneasy living, seems likely, too, to win - which is a sort of small miracle. Finally, small British movie Slumdog Millionaire, literally about the rise of the underclass and the underdog, seems destined to triumph. Slumdog is a curious tour-de-force - at once slick and empty, and yet, at times, subtly disturbing, even ugly.

It seems like lucky timing (or was it written?) that the film - a plucky outsider - should arrive at a new Depression-era-moment - with its emphasis on the Horatio Alger story, and Angels With Dirty Faces type of Thirties Gangster flick plotting. Despite what anyone might tell you, these and other Oscar wins - if they happen -are not truly multicultural, international, or British, so much as magnetically American - just as cinema itself has been and continues to be - the ultimate story being how everything and everyone gets drawn (like Underdog's symbol, the giant U) like iron filings to Los Angeles, to live, and, of course, to die. That's the pulling power of Hollywood's Dream. And that's what they give the statues to - those who keep it going.
3 comments

Popular posts from this blog

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

SEXTON SHORTLIST!

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:


THE BARBAROUS CENTURY, Leah Umansky
HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
GIMME THAT. DON’T SMITE ME, Steve Kronen
SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER REDEPLOYMENTS, David McAleavey
AN AMERICAN PURGATORY, Rebecca Gayle Howell
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!