The Dark Side

My sense of duty is as well developed as that of the next critic (let's not go there), but I couldn't bring myself to watch the whole Academy Awards last evening. I enjoy watching film clips and preening stars as much as anyone, but I couldn't abide the ads.

I don't mean the commercials, which would have served as a great plague on Pharoah, if only the Lord had thought of it. No, I mean the ads congratulating the Academy for being so wonderful and putting on all those wonderful awards shows of the past. I know there's been a writers' strike, but did they have to show all those replays of funny, touching, uplifting bits, when everyone knows that this year's nominees are sorely lacking in all three qualities?

The coverage focused on the "dark" mood of Hollywood, which according to some reporters is out of date now that a Democrat might get elected. But the darkness in American films has been building up for a long time now, especially in those precincts of the movie colony where people are just as cynical about politics as they are about everything else. To my knowledge, the only candidate who has said anything about the sick violence now pervading mainstream films is Barack Obama. So go figure.

This stylish, apolitical darkness dominates all the nominated films, with the exception of Juno - as host Jon Stewart put it, "Thank God for teenage pregnancy." Even the kerzillion-dollar blockbusters that keep Hollywood going feel obliged to get progressively "darker" with each sequel or lose their franchise.

So get ready for the sequel, Ratatouille Twouille , which will feature a demon rat voiced by Johnny Depp, who tears American tourists apart with his long yellow fangs, then drops the pieces into a savory boeuf bourguignon, which his pal Rémy will then feed to other American tourists. Maybe then the Academy will take notice ...

February 25, 2008 8:58 AM |



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The best part of him will never leave the building ...

Beyond Country 

Like all chart categories, "country" is an arbitrary heading under which one finds the ridiculous, the sublime, and everything in between. On the sublime end, a track that I have been listening to over and over for the last six months: Wynnona Judd's version of "She Is His Only Need." The way she sings it, irony is not a color or even a set of contrasting colors; it is iridescence.

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Does Miles Davis belong in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame? Here's my take on his career ...

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Here's my best shot at taking Scorcese down a few pegs ...

Henri Rousseau Revisited 

"Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris" appeared at the National Gallery of Art in Washington this fall ...

Paul Klee's Art 

Paul Klee was not childish, despite frequent comparisons between his art and that of children...

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Rent my "Dadioguide" tour of the Dada show (before it moves to MoMA) ...

more picks


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Serious Popcorn published on February 25, 2008 8:58 AM.

Betrayed by IMDB was the previous entry in this blog.

Confession is the next entry in this blog.

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