Monday, February 25, 2013

By the way...

...I decided to forego watching the Oscar broadcast this year when I found out that Seth MacFarlane would host. So tell me: How bad was it? I stopped watching that guy's cartoon shows when they degenerated into puerile cum-and-poop wallows.

Added note: Okay, I just read a blistering review of Mr. Puerility's performance. Johnny Carson once said that he wouldn't do any jokes about the Lincoln assassination on the grounds that it was too soon. Apparently, MacFarlane proved Johnny right. 
Comments:
I used to watch Fox's 'Animation Sunday' every week - until they started with all the MacFarlane shows. They ruined the whole night for me and I left the entire endeavor.
 
I watched the whole 4 hours and wasn't bored - first time ever!
I though Seth MacFarlane did a good job, struck the right notes to both prick the inflated bubble of the self-satisfied Hollywood crowd, yet still appear respectful of the award winners and other performers on the show.

I'm not a fan of Family Guy now, though in its early days it was much better. I hated "Ted" the movie, but suspect that MacFarlane has yet to find the exact right fit for his many talents. He's a work in progress.


 
The host was certainly offensively sexist, but had I even known MacFarlane was the Family Guy creator I would've expected worse. I had no clue who he was, and judging from the show, I concluded he must be some Broadway guy because the entire show was peppered with soft shoe and musical numbers. Seriously. I nearly spit when they rolled out a Chicago number for the "10th anniversary" of the movie. Like, so what? For that they cut the thank yous short? They brought in Shatner early on to help the host, but I lmao when later the camera caught him fast asleep in his seat!

The worst thing, especially given the endless musical numbers, was that they piped in a live orchestra and whoever was doing the sound mixing had them so loud you could not hear the vocals over them. Horrible sound mixing.


 
Zero Dark Thirty must have pissed someone off, Joseph.

Just like the 1941 Oscars where, IMO, Citizen Kane was rebuffed with but one Oscar (Mankiewicz script) for being unkind to Hearst, ZDT got an honorable mention.

Any ideas why such a financial success, was dissed? Certainly not for revisionism; as Argo got ;more credit from the Academy with the same warts.

Ben
 
btw, Joseph, I was a little creeped out by the two "terrorist" movies getting so much attention, especially when they brought in the White House to announce the big winner. After reading two reviews on how misleading the Argo movie was, by portraying "nonviolent" success in freeing the American hostages from the Iranian extremists, without putting into context how the majority of Iranians at that time were appalled by the hostage-taking and their entire government resigned in protest, I'm even more queasy about the confluence of the Academy, Hollywood, and sequined First Lady direct from the White House. These are the "progressive" film-makers, and I'm hoping the focus on this work won't be used to mislead the public and justify any future non-nonviolent "solutions" for any Iran-problem.
 
Ben, I don't think the Academy voters feel very comfortable with a movie about torture.
 
Reuters has an interesting story today on how the congressional probe into Zero Dark Thirty has now been dropped and how the probe may have affected the film's standing.

Bigelow defended her depiction of torture thusly:

The political fallout prompted Bigelow to write in an op-ed piece: "Those of us who work in the arts know that depiction is not endorsement. If it was, no artist would be able to paint inhumane practices, no author could write about them, and no filmmaker could delve into the thorny subjects of our time."

 
Ben,

My opinion (next to worthless) is that ZDT is the very definition of a propaganda piece. Sponsored by the CIA. Tells direct lies. Serves the authorities purposes.

I think that quite a few people know this. I read somewhere that this was not Bigelows first propoganda movie. Im in no authority, but who wants to be seen glorifying propaganda as art?

Harry
 
Zee, in part, Bigelow is right. Depiction is not endorsement. That's one reason why some historical films don't get made that ought to be made -- because some idiot out there will presume that depiction is endorsement. There was, for example, a brouhaha along those lines when a film about Hitler's early days in Munich was shown on television.

But let's face it -- torture committed by Americans is, for many of us, an infuriating subject. It's a hot button issue, recent stuff, raw nerve stuff. So you can't just depict. You have to take a stand -- endorse or condemn.

If Bigelow thought she could avoid that, she failed.
 
Bigelow didn't avoid endorsing torture since there is no other way to interpret the film. The torture scene yields information absolutely crucial to the eventual assassination of Bin Laden. Of course, in reality, torture was not a factor at all in capturing him, by the governments own admission. So why depict it that way if you are being neutral about it? No, it's clearly a propaganda piece, put together just the way the CIA wanted it.
 
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