Thursday, March 09, 2006

Get Closure. Here's How.

As you may have noticed, though clearly disappointed, I'm trying to get on with business as usual post-Oscars. I have my "history ofs..." to write, my countdown to do, etc... But I'm still getting lots of mail from people mortified and angry about the Brokeback Mountain's loss on "Black Sunday" (Oscar Night). I can't answer all these e-mails personally so I'll suggest two things for those who are still seething or sad. (And then we all really must leave the Mountain behind us --though it certainly stays in our hearts --since there's a new film year to enjoy just kicking off).

1. You can donate to a great campaign [click here to see] --which is an advertisement set to run in Daily Variety tomorrow. Dave Cullen's site has already collected thousands of dollars from devastated fans. The ad thanks Ang Lee and everyone involved. It also details a laundry list of Brokeback's unprecedented awards success (up until March 5th that is). It's very pointed and telling without being disrespectful. If you can make a donation, you might feel better at having done something outside of just crying / throwing things / complaining.

2. Don't keep it to yourself when you see/hear/read homophobic remarks, legislation, media players, etc... Get active politically, verbally, socially. We all, straight gay whatever, put up with way too much. Call people on their shit. Just as with other civil rights struggles, you don't win any fight by kicking back and pretending it isn't a struggle.

3. Think on this: Yesterday while thinking about Crash I started thinking about the Academy's response to frequent charges of 'racism' over the years and this bitter salve entered my head. The last time they went for a movie dealing with race relations was in 1989 when Driving Miss Daisy won the Oscar. Just remind yourself that Spike Lee's brilliant and critically heralded Do The Right Thing wasn't even nominated in that very same year. You'll feel a little better. In other words --though it's easy to forget when you get caught up in the annual glamorama-- They've always been significantly behind the times. They always will be. Maybe the first best picture winner about gay people will have to be something set in the 80s and arrive in theaters some 20 years after they've found a cure for AIDS? It's just something to think about. They're just not a progressive bunch ---the idealized beauty of George Clooney's speech aside.

p.s. i wrote and published this post without even realizing it was "get over it, day" -fancy that!


Shawn said...

GREAT advice Nathaniel.

It is especially in a place where homophobia is running wild, like here, but I will NEVER let comments that offend me as a human being persist in discussion. The men here are so disgustingly homophobic. The ladies are better of course, but still. Ugh. We can't be silent. We must get our voices out. I think that may be one of the only good things of all of this: people to listen even more carefully to their homophobic comments and agendas because of the discussion going on regarding Brokeback losing.

Anonymous said...

You know what else can be done? Go watch Brokeback Mountain in sign of protest! Take your friends, your family, your acquaintances and go out and see the film. Make Brokeback Mountain the biggest box office Best Picture success ever! That's what I'm planning to do anyway...

Anonymous said...

Correcting the post above: Make Brokeback Mountain the biggest post-Best Picture loser box office success ever!

Anonymous said...

"And then we all really must leave the Mountain behind us..."

That was a tad harsh.

It needed to be said yes… but I'd would feel better if it were confirmed that the spirit of Brokeback Mountain will live on through the years here at The Film Experience- and just as vibrantly as past FB winner's Far From Heaven and Moulin Rouge.


oh of course. i'm not saying don't love it. we should never stop loving the films we love.

we just need to talk about other things.


i made a slight edit to the post. i don't mean "forget about the film!" ;) just move on to the new film year.

Anonymous said...

"though it certainly stays in our hearts"

Thanks for that. It always will. You've been such an immense comfort over the last few days and I really wanted to read a line like that (from you) before I started to move on.

chofer said...

Nathaniel, I was about to post yesterday on Academy always getting laid, excuse me, getting late (no pun intended!!) with conflictive "nowadays" issues.
I started to write but then I get pissed off at my own broken english.
I need to go back to my English classes. Dammit!!
Now that you sort of read my mind with your comments, I'll try to summarize the feeling.
It is no good, you know. Actually my vision now is blur and very cynical.
I have the impression no movie has a chance on winning BP when it comes to deal with those kind of issues unless...
Unless they deal with World War II or Holocaust.
Maybe CRASH will run as some sort of "witness case" from now on, and racism is SUDDENLY a welcome discussion within the institution. Who knows.
But I really think the only "quick reflexes" they have now is when concerning the themes I mentioned above.
Off course, they always WILL support PERIOD PIECES, CRIME THRILLERS (and this year they are the IT thing), BIOPICS and BEN-HUR (by the way, what kind of genre is this?)
Forget about FAMILIAR DRAMAS (unless is a TEAR-JERKER and your name is Robert Redford or James L.Brooks), GAY-THEMED PICTURES, SCI-FI, POLITICAL THRILLERS (they have support, but not LOVE)and so on...(fill in the blank)
SO, being their scope so narrowed-minded and limited (I need to say not only BBM suffered their "shortcomings" this year, but MUNICH as well -whether you like it or not-), being themselves scared as shit to shake the establishment, money-oriented, and being painfully outdated, WHY PUT SUCH EXPECTATIONS NEXT YEAR?
They surely will cheat us; tease us with some movie which will surely deserve all the accolades and then...back to their predictable "tastes".
So, Nathaniel, why put such an effort on reading their minds (if they had any)?
I know IT IS A GAME. But, isn't it is one that we -more often than not- will lose?
I mean, they'll never recognize such talents as Robert Altman (when working, morons!!)David Lynch, or even new ones like Wes Anderson or Alexander Payne (forget about Sideways, won't ever happen again -he's TOO sour)
Don't ever think of Wong kar-Wai, and I will never think of my countrywoman Lucrecia Martel)
So why do we?
I'm just asking...

chofer said...

Oh yeah, in the FAMILIAR DRAMAS department I forgot to mention Sam Mendes' AMERICAN BEAUTY. I hoped I could forget that, but I don't:)

Anonymous said...

See this Movie review over on MSN for a movie coming out this next weekend? (interesting back story by the by) But what caught my eye is the quote at the end of a long article. People this sh#@ has legs:

"“Ask the Dust” will play a short while before disappearing to DVD (maybe there’s even a Director’s Cut version in its future) but if you’re in need of a beautiful story and you’re still in a state of shock that a cliché piece of L.A. trash like “Crash” can win a best movie Oscar than see this movie; it’s a real L.A. story, one that is dirty and dusty with characters that yearn for redemption."

adam k. said...

BEN-HUR = sword-and-sandals epic... like Gladiator.

Upgrayedd said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Upgrayedd said...

While I won't ignore/discount that there probably were Academy voters who decided not to vote for "Brokeback Mountain" because they had issues with its sexual orientation, I think "Crash" pulled the ridiculous upset moreso for other reasons.

One, the DVD was already out and they were able to ship out a ton of them without having to deal with arranging individual screener copies to avoid piracy.

Two, the marketing/media push to propel "Crash" back into the public arena.

And three, I think the voters feel that by voting for "Crash", they were saying: 'Racism is bad. We're not racist. We're just showing that everyone else is.'

ANY other film on the list was a more qualified candidate and I only wish I could be more surprised that the Oscars continue to award the biggest award to films that don't deserve it, almost as if they are trying to spread the awards around.

I point back to the year "Chicago" topped "The Pianist". Before being robbed of the top prize, "The Pianist" took away best screenplay, actor and director. Now what elements go into making films again?

I rest my case.

"Brokeback" should have won. It took away almost every other best picture award. Just because it had been so successful at other wards show is no reason to all of a sudden take a wrong turn and "Crash" into stupidity.

Anyone who agrees with me can see other thoughts I had about the Oscars here.

Ramification said...

Hungry Hank, I think the feeling is that Crash was the 'safe alternative to the gay movie', and it lost out to a film that did not get much notice from the critics or any other groups until Oscar night itself. As Nathaniel and others have pointed out this is unprecendeted, its like if Schindler's List lost out to something like The Piano in 1994, people would have suspected anti-semitism and rightly so.

If a film like Good Night and Good Luck had won Best Picture I think I would have been ok, because at least GNAGL is a film that I can see winning Best Picture in any other year had BBM not come along. But Crash is a very flawed and derivative film. This is very much a slap in the face to all gay people who still struggle with homophobia each and every day. That said, I'm getting over it, I don't need the Academy to tell me its the best picture of the year, because for me it is and that should be good enough.

Anonymous said...

Here is why I would do a "ha ha ha!!! BM lost!!!!" to some people....The fanboy behaviour this film created. I have never seen an Oscar race where the fanboys of whatever category where so sure of the win, so sure of themselves and they constantly ridiculed those who disagreed. If you didn't like the film, it was "Why? How could you not? You're an idiot. Your opinion means shit!" etc. Then claiming Jake as the front runner because he won the BAFTA, etc. Of course, not everyone did this, but many. See, I wouldn't rub it in your face Nat that BM lost, because you never came across as an asshole about it. Many did though, like Erikdean. And add to that that he we all knew BM would be his number one movie of 2005 when this film was in pre-production, it's seems fair to rub it in his face. Many BM did the same to fans of other films or those who disliked BM (or just didn't want it to win.)

It happens all the time. When Cold Mountain was snubbed, the haters of that film threw it in the fans faces over and over.

Ramification said...

Sean, this is so very different from Cold Mountain, the themes and social impact of Brokeback Mountain cannot be ignored. People loved this film because it showed something on screen in a major hollywood film that has never been seen before, I think Nathaniel compared it to Guess Who's Coming To Dinner in being viewed as a landmark 20 years from now, I didn't see anyone 'ridiculing' others for not thinking its the best; people were just compassionate about a film that hit home, a film that addressed issues many gay people have had to deal with in their own lives, probably during the most difficult period in their life. I can only imagine what it was like living in that time and place where the option of coming out and being accepted was not even on the table. People loved this film out of a true passion, not out of a hatred/ dislike / higher than thou attitude towards other films or people who championed them.

Anonymous said...

Or just put things in perspective: Look at the fates fo five films from five years ago.

Anonymous said...

- - - - -
"Sean said...
The fanboy behaviour this film created. I have never seen an Oscar race where the fanboys of whatever category where so sure of the win, so sure of themselves and they constantly ridiculed those who disagreed.
- - - - -

Then you must have forgotten about the Oscar race two years ago when just whispering: "I wasn't happy with Return of the King" could result in death threats!

Anonymous said...

Hundreds of great movies never win and most never even get nominated. So don't sweat it. And Oscar win isn't the be all and end all.

chofer said...


I agree with you. But the letdown of this for me is that -like it or not- many people of foreign countries (like my own) run to see movies nominated because, let's face it, Oscar Marketing Machine STILL rules.
What the heck, HOLLYWOOD MM STILL rules!!
That's why we keep talking about it.
If people still CAN BE SOLD on this, better they see a movie I TRULY BELIEVE can make a difference like BBM.
A Best Picture award would attract more people -even to rent the DVD- who still is hesitant about it.
It is childish, I know. But it works this way.

chofer said...

One more thing:

A Best Picture award would persuade screenwriters, actors and directors WITHIN the industry to move a step further and don't be so hesitant about this kind of issues (remember many actors rejected the roles of the two main protagonists!! -nothing to do with HOMOBHOBIA, huh, huh)
And Oscar helps SELLING in terms of distribution.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kids, not that I'd ever advise OTHERS to do something dishonest, but I achieved closure over the Brokeback injustice the other day when I went to my multi-plex to see a trashy new Hollywood film that really didn't need my money, but that I couldn't resist seeing. (I won't say which one but it had "Hills" and "Eyes" in the title.) Anyway, the thought of my money going to support that film, rather than Brokeback--which I just DON'T need to see one more time right now--seemed sad, so I bought my ticket (and my boyfriend's ticket) for Brokeback Mountain at the box office. (At this particular theater, like most these days, once you're in the big door there's nobody at the door to the individual auditoriums to make sure you're going into the film you've bought your ticket for.)

Anyway, I got to see the new trash for free and 17 bucks went to support my favorite movie.