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All Styled Up With Nothing To Say February 22, 2008

Posted by Jim Berkin in Blogroll, Movies.
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On Oscar Eve as I contemplate how I think No Country For Old Men will sweep a bunch of the awards despite my lukewarm response to it, I found this kindred soul brother’s fine essay on the essential empty-suit-yet-it’s-an-Armani-suit quality of it all over at the very worthwhile The House Next Door blog.

Go read it all now, I’ll wait. Yeah, yeah, I know…. there’s all that early stuff about Susan Sontag to get through, but slug through it to where he starts talking about the movie. Yeah, there you go!

All done? Cool! Let’s continue…

Funny how I found that link the same day I watched a student film that featured everything I’ve come to expect from student films these days in the age of digital handicams & iMovie HD: impressive camera work, intricate & fast cross-cutting, technically proficient use of montage, sound and music dubbing…. and content unfortunately consisting solely of people swearing at each other with plenty of gunplay connoting gangsta struggles in the ‘hood via the perceptions of the pampered white boy with a camera.

Now granted, I’m witnessing a generation of would-be film makers who have been breast fed from birth at the cinematic teats of Tarantino & The Wachowskis (Hmmm… that’s 3 teats! Hot!) filtered through an unhealthy dose of hip-hop bullshit, but it all illustrates the sorts of things Zachary Wigon writes about in his essay – there are way too many people out there with amazing technical abilities who have absolutely nothing new to say, oftentimes nothing to say at all, and a lot of them keep getting multimillion dollar deals and most likely by the end of Oscarfest 2008, a shelf of statues.

I’d like to think that the students making the films I’m seeing have enough time to bulk up on literature, classic films, philosophy, and (cue CRANKY OLD MAN response) life experience so that one day they’d actually create some sort of story that they had passion for telling, something they actually believed in as Wigon describes, stories actually worth telling, rather than pump out more technically impressive emptiness.

Unfortunately, Sunday night’s awards will most likely only reinforce how a particular brand of technically impressive emptiness with pretensions of grandeur causes critics and Academies to do unjustified backflips.

Bah.

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