Saturday, March 11, 2006

Roger Ebert Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth.

"The fury of the 'Crash'-lash" BY ROGER EBERT.


LOS ANGELES -- One of the mysteries of the 2006 Oscar season is the virulence with which lovers of "Brokeback Mountain" savaged "Crash." When the film about racism actually won the Oscar for best picture Sunday, there was no grace in their response. As someone who felt "Brokeback" was a great film but "Crash" a greater one, I would have been pleased if either had won.


Yes, and more than one critic described "Crash" as "the worst film of the year," which is as extreme as saying John Kerry was a coward in Vietnam. It means you'll say anything to help your campaign.

What is intriguing about these writers is that they never mention the other three best picture nominees: "Capote," "Good Night, and Good Luck" and "Munich." Their silence on these films reveals their agenda: They wanted "Brokeback Mountain" to win, saw "Crash" as the spoiler, and attacked "Crash." If "Munich" had been the spoiler, they might not have focused on "Crash." When they said those who voted for "Crash" were homophobes who were using a liberal movie to mask their hatred of homosexuals, they might have said the same thing about "Munich."


It is not a "safe harbor," but a film that takes the discussion of racism in America in a direction it has not gone before in the movies, directing attention at those who congratulate themselves on not being racist, including liberals and/or minority group members. It is a movie of raw confrontation about the complexity of our motives, about how racism works not only top down but sideways, and how in different situations, we are all capable of behaving shamefully.

"Good Night, and Good Luck," "Capote" and "Munich" were also risky pictures -- none more so, from a personal point of view, than "Munich," which afforded Steven Spielberg the unique experience of being denounced as anti-Semitic. "Good Night, and Good Luck" was surely a "safe harbor" for liberals, with its attack at a safe distance on McCarthyism -- although it carried an inescapable reference to McCarthyism as practiced by the Bush administration, which equates its critics with supporters of terrorism.


It is noticeable how many writers on "Hollywood's homophobia" were able to sidestep "Capote," which was a hard subject to miss, being right there on the same list of best picture nominees. Were supporters of "Brokeback" homophobic in championing the cowboys over what Oscarcast host Jon Stewart called the "effete New York intellectual"?

Of course not. "Brokeback Mountain" was simply a better movie than "Capote." And "Crash" was better than "Brokeback Mountain," although they were both among the best films of the year. That is a matter of opinion. But I was not "discomfited" by "Brokeback Mountain." Read my original review. I chose "Crash" as the best film of the year not because it promoted one agenda and not another, but because it was a better film.

The nature of the attacks on "Crash" by the supporters of "Brokeback Mountain" seem to proceed from the other position: "Brokeback" is better not only because of its artistry but because of its subject matter, and those who disagree hate homosexuals. Its supporters 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 "Crash" had to offer.



OMG. That was close. I think I might cry of happiness.

Kent State 71, Toledo 66.

The last time we went to the Big Dance (and made it to the Elite Eight, at that!), I was a senior in high school. Now I'm a senior in college. I think my graduation time is a good luck charm for the Flashes. Just my opinion. ; )


I'm happy about who won Best Picture. I was a Crash fan long before I was a Brokeback Mountain fan.

But of course we have to have the whiners who are all "Brokeback Mountain only lost because it's a gay romance."

Actually, no, it would have only won because it was a gay romance. If this film was the exact same quality but was about something less "controversial," no one would be throwing a fuss. I'm glad that people didn't vote just to make a statement, for once. I liked the movie, but it wasn't the brilliance that everyone thought it was. It was beautiful visually, but it had some big flaws. Overhyping hurt it, frankly. People expected way more than what they got. But everyone had to come out and say they liked it or else they're "homophobic." Dude, please. I know some gay men and women who hated that movie like whoah. I hate that kind of rampant liberal attitude where just because something is different or progressive we have to cheer it, even if it's not the best quality. Like my Women's Lit professor giving me flack for not kissing Ursula Le Guin's ass for writing about an androgynous society. Sorry, but The Left Hand of Darkness is flawed, and its society ain't so androgynous. She can't handle people disagreeing with her, but another professor is trying to get me to submit the paper to journals and conferences. I'm not sorry I'm not a conservative or liberal sheep, and there are just as many of both. And you can still criticize something and still like it. People don't get that either. I liked the short story, and the movie, but I think both just expected us to buy into this story without giving us any real motivation or reasoning on the part of the characters, we had to accept everything just because it said to, and also I think Ang Lee had an agenda with the movie that perverted the story a bit (not in the sexual sense).

I don't know that Crash was the best movie this year, although I liked it more between the two and it affected me more, but I do know that Brokeback Mountain definitely was not. To name two better ones, The Constant Gardner and Good Night and Good Luck.

Anyway, I dislike it on principle now because most everyone involved in it are sore losers. After Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger didn't win at the Golden Globes, they pouted at the after parties. When Crash won Best Picture, Ang Lee walked away. God. Get over it. Pout in private if you want, but don't be so damn rude and disrespectful. Those aren't the only ones who were sore losers, either. Many people involved (except Linda Cardellini, it seems) went out of their way to complain about Crash winning and cry conspiracy. I can't stand people with that big of an ego and self-importance.

Now everyone who likes Brokeback Mountain comes out and says they hate Crash when, sorry, Crash is a great movie. If it hadn't beat their precious Brokeback Mountain they'd probably be saying it was a great movie. Sour grapes all.

This from Annie Proulx: "And rumour has it that Lions Gate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of Trash - excuse me - Crash a few weeks before the ballot deadline."

Be ashamed. I've lost respect for anyone associated with that movie.

Also? What a dumb bitch. Movies shouldn't be rewarded just because they're controversial. Awards are given because of quality, not subject matter. Also she completely missed the point of Crash. Yes, there are films on racism. White on black racism. This movie shows how everyone can behave shamefully and in a racist manner, even people who like to go around pretending otherwise (i.e., liberals and minority groups). It's not a safe movie. But again, like all liberals, she sees herself on a higher plane than everyone else.

An "atmosphere of insufferable self-importance" at the Oscars? Funny, I just got the same feeling from her childish letter. Pretentious, pretentious.

Would she be saying the same thing about the Oscars if she had won? Would the Oscars still have an "atmosphere of insufferable self-importance"? Would the Academy still be "conservative heffalump academy voters"? Would Jon Stewart's jokes be "too witty, too quick, too eastern perhaps for the somewhat dim LA crowd"? No. If she doesn't like the Oscars, she shouldn't have shown up. Christ, even Marlon Brando gave his award back as an "eff you" to them. But she wanted that award, though, even if she disdains the institution that gave it to her. She's not "brave" for saying how she's upset Brokeback Mountain didn't win. Why not? Because she doesn't state why Brokeback Mountain should have won. She doesn't talk about its merits as a film. She just tears down everything else. And that's just being a childish, sore loser. And she's not being "honest." Honest to her own principles and opinions would have been to not show up at the Oscars at all if she really thought they were a bunch of idiots. She whored out her principles to win an Oscar, and I don't respect that. She didn't care about what the Academy was like when she thought she was going to win.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006



KSU 78, OU 58. Booyah. Prepare to have your asses kicked on Saturday, Akron, when we demolish all of your dreams of sharing the title, suckas. Oh, basketball, you are the only source of joy in my life these past two weeks. The world must be ending.