• Shut up about The Artist. Okay, it’s not the best movie ever made but it’s not the worst movie to win the Oscar. It’s not Crash or Driving Miss Daisy. It’s a million times better than Extremely Loud. It’s slight, but there are far far worse sins within the Oscar world. It was a cleverly made, well intentioned film. It was a tribute to film not in that it was a capital H history less, but in its delight at using little seen tools of the film medium. It does no one any harm. My friend Oscar pundit Tom O’Neil made a point that Oscar voters like movies that “take them on a journey” which may sound like it’s every movie but it isn’t quite. It means they feel transported with some sort of out of the ordinary experience, whether that’s grand epic sweep (Ghandi, LOTR) or a costume picture or some great moral drama or just using tools that they don’t see every day. When Chicago came along there hadn’t been a big musical for a while. And it’s all got to be unambiguous and direct. That’s it and there are better ways to look for great films, but there also are a lot worse. I mean, for crying out loud, a silent film is going to win. That’s not a terrible precedent.
• Shut up about The Help. Again, not my favorite movie of the idea. But for Hollywood to produce mainstream grown up stories with uplifting positive messages, even if those messages are simplistic, and even if they blur a lot of history, is pretty much what Hollywood was invented to do and almost never does anymore. Apres The Help, all that is left in mainstream filmmaking is Battleship. It’s a middlebrow story, but an unpretentious. One with an almost entirely female cast. And for what it is, not badly made. It’s not so awful that there should be a few of these now and then.
• Don’t shut up about Midnight In Paris. If there is an outrage tomorrow night it will be that Midnight in Paris is likely to win best script. This is an actual disgrace. It’s the opposite of The Artist which is a good hearted film, well made. Midnight is a dead-hearted film, poorly made. You can’t even call this a script, it’s a greeting care. Really, re-direct your anger about The Artist towards Midnight where it belongs.
• The proper people to root for in the acting are Oldman, McCarthy and Nolte, all of whom are going to lose. There is no one to vote for in Best Actress. They should all lose. I guess we can support Viola just by default.
• Remember Kiki and Lars. Remember Cody/Reitman. This night should have been theirs.
I’ll have more thoughts as they arrive to my head.
I really appreciate Richard Rushfield’s take on things.
A weeklong investigation to discover who created the Twitter account that spits out “context-free nonsense” and in doing so has now amassed more than 40,000 followers and a devoted fanbase:
The feed’s strangely poetic stream has been embraced like a life-preserver by internet users drowning in a sea of painfully literal SEO headlines and hack Twitter comedians. Since it appeared in August 2010, word of Horse_ebooks has spread steadily, propelled by blog posts and Twitter chatter by internet obsessives. But unlike many internet culture phenomenons, it never truly went viral. Horse_Ebooks is too weird, too much of an acquired taste to break into exponential growth.
But these same qualities that have relegated Horse_ebooks to relative obscurity have inspired a passionate Twitter fanbase rivaled only by Beliebers. Followers have fashioned an elaborate fandom based on Horse_ebooks, comics, fan-fiction, merchandise, and inside-jokes. A browser plug-in that turned the text of any website into Horse_ebook-isms was the latest craze among fans. A characteristic Horse_ebook superfan boast is: ‘I unfollowed Horse_ebooks, because my friends retweet all its tweets anyway.’ We’re so deep into Horse_ebooks, you couldn’t escape it if you tried.
This is a photo that my friend Karen took of me telling a story at The Moth last night. I have terrible stage fright, and my heart races when people give me attention, but sometimes I like to do things to prove to myself that I am better than I think I am.
Also, everyone was very kind and gave me nice compliments after the show which made me blush and run away.
Cashier at Clothing Store: And did anyone help you out today?
Guy Just Trying to Buy a Couple of T-Shirts: Um, nope?
Cashier at Clothing Store: Oh, I’m sorry about that!
Guy Just Trying to Buy a Couple of T-Shirts: [suddenly wracked with guilt over basic retail independence] Really, it’s OK, I found the t-shirt wall on my own. Sorry!
He pays for the t-shirts and leaves, somewhat shaken.
The cashier doesn’t want to have to ask you that, trust. And he’s not sorry that no one helped you; he watched you pick out the shirt, and he knows how much help you required (none). But it’s part of his job to ask you that (and to ask for your zipcode, and for your email, and to invite you to apply for a credit card). They’re all dumb questions — there have to be better ways to collect this data — but it’s also important to note that if someone HAD helped you, they would have walked you to the cash wrap themselves to make sure they got credit for that sale. There is no direct monetary incentive (customers don’t like it when people are working on commission), but good sales might lead to more hours on the schedule, and when you’re making what they’re making, every hour counts.
Jon Stewart makes a joke. You know that right away, Jon realizes that what he’s said isn’t exactly what he meant. Then you wonder, “Is Letterman gonna address it?” and of course he does. Jon then calls out the whole thing.
Bar scene - great scene! Makes the viewer want to fall in love, which is the very best thing a scene about falling in love can do. A+
Make the whole rest of the movie just like this scene
So, with the lead’s memory intact and the couple happily in love, the conflict is now: her estrangement from her family. Let’s fix this. But why? His parents are dead, he wants some family. Plus he has regrets about his parents! MAYBE HE WAS ESTRANGED FROM THEM. He encourages her not to keep her bridges burnt. Okay, she agrees.
Reconciliation with the fam! (Figure out the whys and wherefores of this later)
But here’s how it ends: Jessica Lange can still give her speech, fine. But later she has to show up at their door with a suitcase. Her freespirited independent daughter inspired her to leave the bastard. She has her own reawakening! Maybe she becomes a lesbian painter! Whatever! Details. However it ends, it’s happily ever after for all involved, FIN.
Hey look! It’s the third episode of our web series Hitchin’ a Ride. In this episode, John Murray picks up Improv Everywhere founder Charlie Todd and drags him up to Times Square. Because he has to bring some random tourists he picked up to Mama Mia, naturally.
THESE ARE SO GREAT. i was worried they were going to mean to the tourists, but they weren’t THANK G. well done.