Posted in My Views On The Real World

Why The Oscars Don’t Matter, To Me.

oscarOkay the #Oscars So White is a big deal to a lot of people.  Claiming it is a symptom of a larger problem,  maybe it is but I think the overall question is why do the Oscars really matter at all.  It is a bunch of industry insiders, an business that is oversexualized and  hung up on the outward trappings of wealth and power.

Movies can be magical, movies can elevate you to heights you never knew existed.  Films can introduce you to new people, places and ideas that you never cared about and invite you care.  The silver screen can act as transportation to magical and incredible places or sometimes just let you take a few steps in another person’s shoes.

The big screen has the ability to change you both in good and bad ways.  Horror flicks can make you insensitive to others pain and suffering.  Watching westerns sometimes creates an idealistic and/or naive view of American history.  Romantic comedies fabricate an unrealistic view of relationships and sex. Too many science fiction movies can make you unattractive to the opposite sex .  (Kidding of course, it usually comes from a combination of poor hygiene, lack of confidence and the inability to have intelligent conversations without making an obscure pop culture reference which the opposite sex doesn’t get.)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes on a yearly basis performances by actors, the direction given to those actors, the technical and artistic aspects expended to realize those performances into a coherent product and the writers who dreamed up the entire story.  But the Academy Awards do not truly recognize what a movie means to a person.

One of my favorite movies The Karate Kid, was not anywhere near  a nomination for an Academy Award the year it came out.  (Terms of Endearment won in 1984, with the other films nominated being The Big Chill, The Dresser, The Right Stuff and Tender Mercies.)   The Karate Kid story touches me on so many levels mainly because where I was in my life I was clueless about life and girls (basically the same thing to a teenage boy),  I had studied karate at the time so I could see myself in the movie, and everyone at that age feels like they don’t fit in. karate-kid2

Now the training stuff in that movie was outright crap, you do not learn to block a kick or punch by  waxing a car or painting a fence.  Those chores may increase your muscular strength and endurance but they do not teach you to place you hand in the right place at the right time to stop a blow from landing.  But the heart of good martial arts is there; only use martial arts for  defense, balance, focus, concentration and learning to walk before you fly. karate-kidThe Karate Kid taught me that you can learn something from anyone, whether it is a skill, history or what is important in life.  That friendship has nothing to do with age, background or race but about who stood by your side when you are going thru crap.  That skill and knowledge have nothing to do with the clothes (or belt) you are wearing.  Later on in life I have looked at the same movie and realized that everyone has a backstory:  Mr. Miyagi with the loss of a wife, Aliee not wanting to live up to her parents expectations at their country club, even Johnny trying to change is life by turning down a joint when you first see him then rolling one in the bathroom later on.  Any movie that lasts with you for thirty some years is truly a masterpiece, even if it only means that much to one person.

Another filmmaker that will probably never get an Academy Award is Kevin Smith, his movies are full of juvenile jokes,  childish sight gags and  way too much trivia, but at the heart of his movies is a celebration of friendship, love and life.

clerks  The black and white film Clerks may be about working a minimum wage job but it is also about finding and knowing what is important in life and that there are lot of beautiful girls in the world but not all of them will bring you lasagna.  Dogma may have a crap monster, a sanctified golf club, and the late great Alan Rickman, sans genitilia,  but it is also about believing in yourself and raising questioning about faith, god and religion in irreverent but smart fashion.

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An Angel Is Ill-equipped

My favorite filmmaker will probably not be recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.  I love Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Chasing Army, Red State and even Jersey Girl.  I enjoy his movies, I have laughed and seen things a little bit differently, and in seeing things differently I have changed as a person.   Isn’t that what the movies, and art in general, are truly about?   Art is about the important things in life, not how many awards you do on do not win.   We need more art in this world, art that brings us closer together, art that helps us rage against injustices, art that keeps our sense of wonder alive and movies that display love in all its different shapes and forms.

 

Posted in Quotes

Self-Help

AFI FEST 2007 Presented By Audi: Portrait Sessions - Day 2

 

Any book is a self-help guide if you can take something from it.   Kevin Smith

Kevin Patrick Smith (born August 2, 1970) is an American screenwriter, actor, film producer, speaker and director, as well as a popular comic book writer, author, comedian/raconteur, and podcaster.  He came to prominence with the low-budget comedy Clerks (1994), which he wrote, directed, co-produced, and acted in as the character Silent Bob. Smith’s first several films were mostly set in his home state of New Jersey, and while not strictly sequential, they frequently feature crossover plot elements, character references, and a shared canon described by fans as the “View Askewniverse“, named after his production company View Askew Productions, which he co-founded with Scott Mosier.

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Posted in Movie Speeches

Best Friend – Speech (Language Warning)

randall and dante

From Clerks 2by the great writer and movie maker Kevin Smith.

A calamity at Dante and Randall’s shops sends them looking for new horizons – but they ultimately settle at Mooby’s, a fictional fast-food restaurant. Free from his dead-end job (and lodged in a new one), Dante begins to break free of his rut, planning to move away with his clingy fiancé. Dante is ready to leave the horrors of minimum-wage New Jersey behind, but Randal – always the more hostile of the two – starts to become overwhelmed by his own rancor.

This is not the full speech, sorry, this is the best I can do.

Randal Graves: Why because I enjoyed what I did? I got to watch movies, fuck with assholes, and hang out with my best friend all day, can you think of a better way to make a living? Yeah maybe it wasn’t what everyone does but it was pretty fucking good.

Randal Graves: Man, you must love this fucking guy, ’cause he’s the biggest pussy I ever met, the dude who lives his life according to everyone else’s standards. “I have to go down to Florida and get married because that what’s expected of me.” And the fucking insane part is, he ain’t even crazy about the chick he’s marrying or Florida, never mind the fact that he’s got a perfectly good chick right here in Jersey who he’s nuts about, and even Anne fucking Frank could see she’s nuts about him too. And she likes you for who you are, man. She ain’t trying to stuff you into a box you’ll never fit into, not to mention that she’s carrying your hideous fucking chud of a kid.  Jesus, if you had any sense whatsoever, you’d fucking stop trying to bray it up with the rest of the sheep and live your life the way it makes sense to you, you fucking ass.

Randal Graves: [to Dante] You’re my best friend, and I love you… In a totally heterosexual way.

 

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I cant wait to see how the story ends with Clerks 3.