Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The films that divide us

Jeff at the Shape of Days links to a post at John Hughes' blog Hughes for America.

Read Jeff's post, it's a good inictment of the politics behind Hughes comments. While I don't agree with the political agenda-driven parts of Hughes' post, I do tend to agree with the central thesis of his argument.

After this years Academy Awards, there was a backlash among TV and radio commenters who were attempting to reach out to their base. They asked questions like: "Why wasn't the Wedding Crashers nominated? Wasn't that a good film?"

The simple answer is that, while highly entertaining, no, it's not "good film." That is, it's not good in the way the Academy awards good (or is supposed to award good). It's not art. Movies like The Wedding Crashers and The 40-Year-Old Virgin are the bublegum pop of film. They are very fun to watch, they are highly entertaining, and we reward them by pouring huge sums of money into those movie-makers' coffers.

If you stripped politics from Hughes' argument, you'd have a great piece on the state of film and the Academy. The average movie-goer doesn't dump a lot of money into the kinds of films that the Academy rewards because, a lot of times, it takes a refined taste to enjoy those movies.

That said, I think it's a sad state that folks out there, right and left, take something as silly as movie awards and turn it into political fare. It illustrates how hard we're fighting to divide ourselves. How sad.

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