Sunday, March 05, 2006

Party Crashed

Defamer's reaction to Crash winning the Best Picture Oscar pretty well mirrors our own view:

"God help us all. The sky has opened, Beezlebub has dumped his infernal payload of obvious evil on an unsuspecting Earth. Life as we know it is over. Drive to the desert and start a new civilization, hoping that our horrible, horrible mistakes will not be repeated. This is the end, friends. See you in Hell."

While I liked Crash more than that, I will concede there is something to the critique of MSNBC commentator Erik Lundegaard, who wrote this prior to the Academy Awards:

"What is the big problem with race in the Los Angeles of Crash? That everyone enunciates every racial thought they have. So the Asian woman complains that 'Mexicans' don’t know how to drive and the 'Mexican' mocks the Asian woman’s pronunciation ('blake' for 'break'), and the white gun store owner calls the Persian man 'Osama' and blames him for 9/11 and the white cop mocks the black woman’s name ('Shaniqua. Big f---ing surprise') and the black cop calls his girlfriend 'Mexican,' as the Asian woman did, even though — she informs him — her mother is from Puerto Rico and her father is from El Salvador, to which the black cop makes it up to her by asking her why all of her people park their cars on their lawns.

Crash is saying 'How horrible that we're all this way' when most of us are not only not this way but the exact opposite of this way. We may think these thoughts but we rarely enunciate them. Sure, racism still exists, but at its most potent it's usually silent. It's opaque. It makes you wonder 'Is this happening because of race?' You suspect but you have no evidence. Crash not only gives us evidence it manipulates the evidence."

All that said, at least the Crash upset provided a spark of interest in what otherwise was one of the most mind-numbingly dull Oscar shows in recent history -- and that's saying a lot. Jon Stewart, a favorite of CTTC, did the perhaps classy thing by staying away from political humor -- but his tame jokes did him no favors. The film clip collages were visual Ambien. Reese Witherspoon's acceptance speech had everything but the ghost of her dead grandmother from Tennessee blowing on a milk jug. When Jessica Alba, even a clothed Jessica Alba, is among the highlights, you know you've got trouble.


At 8:19 AM, Anonymous C.M.Chase said...

I am, for one, thrilled that Crash won for Best Picture - it deserved it. Sure, not everyone in the world is so outspokenly racist, but some people are and those are the ones portrayed. The humanity of the story (and, oh, the acting!) was what won for me.

While Brokeback was a beautiful, stunning love story shot in the most breathtaking way, to me, it wasn't all that different of a story. A gay couple living in a time/place where they can't confess their love for one another and one gets killed for being gay? Yeah, heard it. I live it (minus the killing thing).

I applaud the Academy for making what I think is the better choice. :)

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Conrad Spencer said...

"Crash" was not the best picture of the year, but then I've seen the Best Picture Oscar go to the likes of "Titanic" and "Gladiator," so this isn't quite the end of the world.

At 11:14 AM, Anonymous turtleboi said...

Doesn't everyone complain that "this year was the most boring Oscars in many years" every single year? Anyway, I thought the film clip collage showing the homoerotic overtones from old westerns was pretty darn funny. Of course I was pretty darn drunk by that time too. Just like I am every year. And you know what? It makes the telecast much more entertaining!

At 9:48 AM, Blogger MDC said...

Fitting in the self-congratulatory fit where "we in the movie industry are so great because we make movies that address pressing issues" was pounded home almost as much as "DVDs are evil" was, that a movie that drives its point down your throat with the subltey of a speeding semi-truck blaring its horn is picked for Best Picture. While parts of crash were intense and moving, I cringed throughout because some of the dialogue was atrocious. Can someone please finally tell me why Brendan Fraiser needed to repair his image with black voters after he was car-jacked? The best moment came after the montage of "movies that address difficult issues" when Jon Stewart announced "and none of those issues was ever a problem again".


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