Monday, February 28, 2005

The Academy Awards are for the Rich and the Stupid

I know what you're wondering: Did Superblog!! stay up all night watching the Academy Awards? (Because of the time difference, it started at 3:00 a.m. here in Sweden. I don't know when it started in Brazil, but it doesn't matter because Superblog!!'s Brazilian outpost has failed miserably in its mission.)

The answer? Fuck no! The Oscars are completely devoid of interest to anyone who a) doesn't have an economical stake in the outcome, or b) isn't a total moron. Just take a look at recent "Best Picture" winners.

Titanic? Gladiator? A Beautiful Mind? All three fall in the category of fairly well-crafted Hollywood entertainment. Each of them rate about three Michael Keatons in the Superblog!! rating system. They are, in a word, mediocre. Which is exactly what characterizes Oscar winners. A five-Keaton-movie could never win Best Picture. The truly great films have always been overlooked, and there's no reason to think that will change in the future. As Citizen Kane lost to How Green Was My Valley, so Mulholland Drive lost to A Beautiful Mind.

There are a few exceptions (The Godfather movies won, even if only because Hollywood is controlled by the Mafia), but on the whole, that's the way it is.

Did Dr Strangelove win Best Picture? Did 2001? Paths of Glory? A Clockwork Orange? Of course not. In fact, Stanley Kubrick (the director of all those movies, and generally recognized as one of the greatest directors of all time... also my favorite director, but that's TOTALLY coincidental...) never once won the Best Director Oscar.

Neither did Orson Welles. So far, neither has Robert Altman or Martin Scorsese (he was again passed over last night, in favor of Clint Eastwood. Here's the complete winners list). And obviously foreigners like Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa can't compare to the likes of Best Director winners James Cameron, Ron "the Grinch" Howard, and Schmaltzy Steven Spielberg.

Why is that? It's because the jury consists of stupid old actors and cinematographers who have spent their lives creating James Bond movies. There's nothing wrong with that, but it hardly makes them qualified to judge Art. To a certain extent, it's even understandable that the Academy ignores the very best movies, since those generally are ahead of their time. It takes a few years for people to catch up. But that doesn't explain why the Academy consistently fails to recognize Superior Entertainment as well. Add Alfred Hitchcock to the list of people who never won Best Director. In fact, add just about anyone who comes to mind.

The Academy Awards have very little to do with rewarding greatness. Their purpose is two-fold: making rich people richer, and making stupid people stupider.

Superblog!! will destroy anyone who says otherwise.


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