William Mapother

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The Award for Best Award goes to…

Posted on: March 7th, 2010 by wmapother 2 Comments

Friday night I inched downtown in typical L.A. traffic to attend the 25th Annual Spirit Awards, the Oscars for independent films.  The winners and some videos are here.

The outlines of the evening were fun:  I ran into old friends, enjoyed Eddie Izzard’s opening, and got swag to pass out to my sisters and agent.  My difficulty is with the stuff in between.  
Watching endless clips of good work makes me want to get work, like, immediately.  It falls somewhere between a challenge and an inspiration.  It doesn’t diminish my happiness for them or appreciation of their work, but I end up feeling like a player hopping on the sidelines, waiting for his squad to take the field.
My other thorn is the usual lament about award shows in general.  Not only comparing, but ranking, films (or books, music, etc.) reminds me of the quote sometimes attributed to Elvis Costello:  Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.  
I’m not demonizing such awards.  Objectifying the voters’ subjective responses doesn’t cause poverty or warfare.  But it does contribute to Americans’ discomfort with a lack of certainty and having to figure things out for ourselves — and those things are just what’s required from audience.  
Movies aren’t NCAA teams.  And the awards voters don’t have clear, or even agreed-upon, standards they use for voting.  Our accepting their collective messy, individual responses as having value for anyone but them makes it that much harder for us to have our our own messy, individual responses to the movies.  And isn’t that why we watch them?
P.S.  Colin Firth is remarkable in A Single Man.

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2 Responses

  1. Helen says:

    I Twisted for 'Precious' 🙂

  2. Brit says:

    I know what you mean. I'm an aspiring musician and American Idol(please dont get me started on that mess) and the Grammys kill me inside a little bit. Music is art; its expression, not a competition. I imagine its the same with acting.

    Oh, and small rant about the Oscars: Why was Miley Cyrus there?!? I kinda understand the Twilight kids being there, but Miley Cyrus? Really?!

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