Earlier today, I posted (on my other blog) How Not To Critique A Film (The Chronicles of Narnia). It was one of those posts that I've been debating on doing for the past week.
I've been in the blogging habit for a few months now – slowly getting my feet wet at first and then jumping in full blast. I enjoy reading other people's blogs, and hope everyone enjoys reading what I have to say.
Usually, I believe in speaking from the heart, saying whatever it is the way I see it – or putting some information out there and letting everyone make their own decisions on its relevance or importance. But, today was something else all together.
Today's Post on Noli Nothis Permittere Te Terere – a movie review on last year's The Chronicles of Narnia movie that just came out on DVD – contained a lot of opinions that I don't agree with. They're actually nothing but a flaming heaping pile of bullshit. So, why did I post it? Because I was trying to make a point.
As a big movie buff, I occasionally like to listen to the critics. I don't necessarily take their advice (I can make my own opinions as to what movies I think are good) but I do like to listen to what other people are saying. Some of my favorite movies of all times were trashed by the critics, sometimes for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the film. (We didn't like it because Barbra Streisand played a hooker, again … We're sick and tired of watching movies based on comic books … We just don't like movies where the main character's first name is Bob.) And sometimes I am just reminded of the old saying, "Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and sometimes they're full of shit."
(Pardon my french.)
After renting The Chronicles of Narnia, I decided to see what people were saying about it on the Internet before I actually saw it. Most people liked the film and had pretty good things to say about it. But then I read in someone's blog (sorry I don't remember who'se) about how they were disappointed in how "a good christian film" like Narnia didn't receive nearly as many Oscar nods as that gay cowboy movie, Brokeback Mountain.
Now, I have yet to see Brokeback Mountain, but nearly everyone I have discussed the film all stated the acting was phenomenal, the film was very well made, and that it more than deserved the Oscar attention. Now, Narnia I have seen. I found it was an Ok movie, the acting was fairly good, the computer effects were really the only thing that really impressed me, although there were a ton of them and I think they could have been better.
Award Shows, such as the Oscars, the Golden Globes, and the rest are supposed to be about, or so I like to think, about the quality of the film, the excellence of the actors, how well the music and the effects helped set the scene… and not necessairily about the issues the film raised.
Now, granted – there is nothing stopping you from doing your own award show, if you think that films should be judged by other criteria. Lord knows, there's been a lot of that lately. And I am all for that. The Nickelodeon Channel has had great success with their kids-based awards show, BET has done the same for African American media… so yeah, if you have the time (and resources) … go for it!
I've also read so many blog posts about Brokeback Mountain that I got tired of reading about it. (Maybe that's part of the reason that even though I bought the movie when it came out, I still haven't seen it – LOL) I swear, either people love it or they hate it. And may of those who posted about hating the movie raised so many issues in so many different ways – nitpicking each and ever little thing – taking things out of context and justifying it with some wild thing, masking it with something like "good values"… URGH! It's enough to drive anyone absolutely batty.
So, when Lucy runs off with Mr. Tumnus, who wasn't wearing any pants, a spark was born. So, when I was talking with one of my friends a little later, I made some comment about how if Narnia was a gay movie, some critic would point this out as part of the reason the movie was total trash…
And thus, after some internal debate, I decided to post a critique of Narnia. Maybe it'll get people people thinking about the way we relate with the critics – or maybe it won't. But … that's what it is – the way I see it.
When I first started blogging again after a several month vacation, there was a lot of talk in the blogsphere about Brokeback Mountain. I swear, there were only two camps – those who thought that it was the best (or the most important) movie ever, and those who felt that it was total trash (or the worst) movie ever. I refused at first to post anything about it because I had never seen the film (I still haven't although I plan to here shortly). How can I comment on a movie when I've yet to see it?
My first reaction to all the hoopla was that I got tired of hearing how about it as if it were the first gay film ever made. (So, I posted about a few of my favorite "gay" films … and even went back to add an additional nod to a few gay cowboy films.)
There is still a part of me that just isn't sure what the heck all the fuss is about. There've been gay films before, there will be gay films in the future. And that was just the point of this article which points out that there just may be a paradigm shift when it comes to gay Hollywood movies. And I do believe that this is a very valid point.
Personally, I think all this talk is good – no matter if it's pro-Brokeback or anti-Brokeback, because it's getting people to think about this, hopefully for themselves. (And I like anything that gets people to think.)
It's the same thing with The Da Vinci Code – the greater the "controversy" … or, the more people that try to ban the film (or the book) the better the sales tend to be. I've never really believed that bad publicity is better than no publicity at all, but…
Makes ya think, hunh?
Naming a blog can be a horrifying thing.
I swear, all the good names for a blog are taken by someone, somewhere already. I would have had this blog up and running a week ago had I been able to figure out a name or something that made sense. I didn't just want to name the blog after myself … Besides, I tried different cutesy combinations of my name for so long, Blogger gave me an error message saying, "You've tried everything else, aren't you going to give up anytime soon?" — Just kidding.
So, why did I settle for User 175? That's not really cutesy, exactly…
I guess this was simply my way of trying to reclaim a little gay history. Paragraph 175 was a provision of the German Criminal Code adopted in 1871 that criminalized homosexual acts. Adolph Hitler later expanded this – and used it as his legal justification to give gay people one-way-tickets to concentration camps.
And maybe, this blog can be, in part, a tribute to those people. May we never live in those times again!