Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar Recap

Playing on the iPod: "Doctor Who", third season soundtrack
Meters swum today: 1900 (Halle Berry twice!)

Okay, look, I hate the Oscars. Well, maybe hate is too strong a word. Dislike intensely? Nice, but that misses the firm Anglo-Saxonness of the word "Hate." Anyway, watching the Oscars, not my favorite pastime, enough said? Something about the whole glittery excess rubs me the wrong way. And don't get me started on all the dish about who's wearing what. (I do it too, of course. What was the deal with the Tang-colored dress worn by whatshername? Geez, I needed sunglasses.) Musical numbers: Can't stand 'em. Witty between-award banter: If it's not Billy Crystal, don't even bother.

So why do I watch them at all, you may well ask. Actually I don't watch them. Joan watches them. I sort of hang around while they're on and try to limit myself to two snarky remarks per hour while doing something else. Anything else. Last night, sending out query letters - yes, that is slightly worse than watching the Oscars. It's a fine point, though.

Still, every so often you actually see something worthwhile. The guy who accepted the Oscar for best cinematography (I think) had a longish speech about a discussion with his guidance counselor when he was in junior high school. "So what do you want to do with your life?" asked the man. "Make movies," said the kid. "Okay, what if you can't make movies?" asked the man. "I'd have to find a way to make movies," said the kid. "Okay, what if we pretend for a second that there's no such thing as movies?" said the man. "Then I'd invent them," said the kid. And on it went. The conversation, not the speech; they started the music at some point.

I just can't help but wonder how many kids, faced with this same conversation, would say, "I guess I'll be a hairdresser" or something after the second or third question. I mean, kids want to make adults happy. It's an inbred survival mechanism, sometimes quite literal ("Shut up, kid, or no food for you") and sometimes just a question of getting what you want ("Borrow the car? You want to borrow the car? Well, you better by God bring your grades up"). I gotta admire any kid who would be willing to sit there and give an adult the "wrong" answer over and over again. That took guts. And love. I gotta wonder if I'd have broken into the writing biz twenty years ago if I hadn't caved at some point and said, "Okay, I'll to go law school." (Thank God I didn't actually do it.) Course I'm a much better writer now than I was then, not so much for ongoing practice (though that certainly helps) but more for just getting knocked around, watching people live and laugh and cry and screw up and fix things and succeed and fail and so on.

It's an awesome world. Om mani padme hum.

Top ten reasons why Javier Bardim should play Roland in the screen version of Mindbender:
10. We'll get him a better haircut. We promise.
9. We'll get the Coen brothers to direct. They'd be great at it. Anyway, David Cronenberg is busy these days.
8. Oscar!
7. He can use his real accent.
6. Oscar!
5. He's proven he can play a psychotic killer who has occasional nice moments. Javier, meet Roland. Roland, meet Javier.
4. Did I mention Oscar?
3. He's good looking but not pretty. You can admire his face and forget it five seconds later. Javier, meet Roland. Roland, meet Javier.
2. Big star name never hurts in drawing in the box office bucks. Hey, Coen brothers, you listening?
And (drum roll please) the number one reason why Javier Bardim should play Roland in the screen version of Mindbender:
1. Jose Ferrar is dead. Oh well.

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