An Octennial Supply of Dirt

And boy, are my fingernails dirty!

Eight years! I can scarcely believe it. And eight is a special number. It is a power of two (two cubed, in case you were wondering), it is the number of folds in the Buddhist path to enlightenment, and it’s the number of years I’ve been writing this column! Though only 18 months under my own name.

In that time, we’ve seen Louisiana push its way into the smoke-filled room where Hollywood deals are struck. We’ve seen storytelling in movies and television hit unprecedented highs and lows. And we’ve seen a despicable rise in both reality television ratings and emphasis on 3-D movies.

Well, we here at Red Shtick have been around for eight years, commenting on politics, cultural events, and productions of the creative arts. With “Reel Dirt” in particular, I hope you have been entertained and at least a little bit informed. My hope this last octet of sidereal turns is that my column has at least been worth the few minutes you spend with it every month. And if that’s not the case, then my only wish is that you don’t sue me, kill me, harass me, or in any way cause harm or suffering to come into my life.

[pullquote]Does that make me like someone clinging to the dying embers of the fire that is the silent movie? Well, that wouldn’t make for a very compelling story, would it?[/pullquote]

What’s the big news? Oscar time! We already know the nominees, and the ceremony will be in late February, so what do I predict?

Lots and lots of disappointment. That’s one advantage to opening up the pool of nominees to 10. (Actually, it’s nine this year, which makes me think they feel that each of the nominees deserves to be there. But as Will Munny in Unforgiven can tell you, “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”) That means that instead of lifting the hopes of only four other film teams and crushing them to the ground like rotten eggshells, they do that to twice as many people. You ever hear people say it’s an honor just to be nominated? That’s horse hockey.

Personally, I like watching the “In Memoriam” segment at the Oscars. It’s usually when I find out that a bunch of those people have died. Sure, I keep up with entertainment news, but sometimes you miss the story that the Oscars might help you catch up on, which avoids some awkward moments at the office water cooler down the line.

I mean, sure, I knew Corey Haim and Dennis Hopper had died, but that guy who played Otho in Beetlejuice? Missed that one entirely. That’s what I’d like to thank the Academy for.

It’s like in that early draft of Hamlet when Shakespeare had him utter the dialogue: “Holy crap, it’s Yorick! Yorick died? When the frick did that happen?”

One film that won’t be thanking the Academy is one shot right here in the capital city. It is unfortunate that they overlooked the Louisiana-set film The Ledge, which should have gotten some appreciation from the Academy based solely on Liv Tyler’s being trés sexy in it.

It should be noted that only one of the films nominated for Best Picture was shown in 3-D. I would say something, but if Hugo does wind up going home with the little gold man, then I will have eaten a sizable quantity of foot.

Seriously, though. 3-D: Tired of it.

‘Cause It’s Cold

Well, that movie with the whales being obstructed from completing their migration because of excessive ice in the Arctic is coming out this month. Big Miracle, I think it’s called. I’ll bet you anything there are no black people in that movie. I have absolutely no problem with that.

Well, in conclusion, ladies and jellyspoons, the hour is ripe for big change in Hollywood. We could get a silent film winning a Best Picture Oscar for the first time since 1929! And the first Best Picture to feature a quicksand scene since Lawrence of Arabia back in 1963! I’m not sure which I’m more stoked about! The Artist is the likely candidate of which I speak in both scenarios, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

If Hugo wins, that means another argument in favor of 3-D films, so I’m hoping against Scorsese’s masterpiece for that reason alone. Maybe I’m just being stubborn about the medium advancing into strange and unknown territory. Does that make me like someone clinging to the dying embers of the fire that is the silent movie? Well, that wouldn’t make for a very compelling story, would it?

See you next issue!

About James Brown

James Brown
James Brown is not related, affiliated, or representative to or of the estate of the Godfather of Soul. Any similarity is purely coincidental.

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