The extent of my energy for politics after waking up and reading that America “needs to win wars again” is nil. This is about the art of cinematic storytelling.
I love a good movie. A solid script with the right cast as seen through an innovative director’s eye. And I want to believe in Hollywood, even with all the bullshit capitalism that has leeched on to the artform. I want to believe that the movie industry still puts the story first, even as it continues to bog us all down with hellish, under-written, re-hashed ideas.1
I want to believe that because of the industry side of the movie industry, some member of the Academy2 found themselves sitting around last week watching the news and realizing that nothing is as surreal as reality right now, and that the best way to give America the cathartic, completely unpredictable and absolutely perfect moment of escape would be to switch the cards on Warren Beatty.
What happened last night at the Oscars was a piece of art inadvertently taking place. The entire bullshit side of making films: the gilded statues, the diamond necklaces. The press, the entertainment press. Every aspect of industry that has capitalized for decades off a creative center, all on display. And there, in their most perfect moment, the fuck-up of forever; a sudden swipe under the leg for the industry-favorite, simple-and-easier-times La La Land in favor of the artistic and weighted tale of being black and gay, Moonlight, as announced by two icons of the exact generation whose legacy institutions are in the way of the future.
More than likely, an intern, inevitably fired by now, just grabbed the wrong envelope in some back-stage fiasco. Wouldn’t it be great, though, if some unnamed film industry hero decided to give America a surprise ending it could get behind, and for the briefest period of time, we could all forget about the world around us and escape to Hollywood.