I’m not sure if I would ever be considered an “Artist” by most people I know. For one, my older sister is The Artist of the family (see cow header above, drawn by her) and so whatever I attempt to make will always pale in comparison. But I see writing as an art, which I’m sure others consider as well. And even though I don’t make music of my own (other than the smash hit that never was, “Chairs, chairs, wonderful chairs” written and performed by yours truly over 20 years ago), I see myself as very musical. In any case, I do possess artistic proclivities and thus feel I have a stake when art comes my way.
I suppose because I view art as more than just entertainment, I’m often found in the position of being a critic (my AIM screen name for a time was Critic Ruffs). I’m told quite frequently that I can never just enjoy a thing – I always have to dissect it down to its core. To that I say: well, perhaps I’m not as much of a pushover as people assume me to be! If I don’t like a movie or an artist, I have no qualms in admitting that. Hmmm!
But I do think that because I pseudo-philosophize EVERYTHING, I imbue more meaning to art than perhaps should be.
I’ve been thinking of ~art~ a lot lately. It is also coincidentally the weekend of the Academy Awards, which I am very much excited about, because my favorite late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel is hosting. More on that later.
Just this morning I posted something on Facebook, which I usually am loathe to do because my updates are always so out of tune with the rest of the world, about my surprise over not being as impressed with a movie as its original audience was. To those who read my Facebook post and didn’t see the comments section, I was referring to Beverly Hills Cop particularly. But as is my wont, I turned it into a general pseudo-philosophical reflection with a reference to The Lord of the Rings. Of course.
Okay, fine. I’ll just post what I wrote:
I realize that when you watch a film that was released over 35 years ago for the first time all these years later and you are not as impressed as its original audience, it may be because we live in a day and age where literally everything has been seen and done. Any sense of wonder we once had, I feel, is slowly eroding. Is this what kids two decades from now will think of The Lord of the Rings? It’s a sad thought
I’m sure there are people who would read this post and say, “Girl, this is what is keeping you up at night? It’s a comedy movie! There are serious things going on in the world. Get over yourself!” And you would be right in your assessment. But I would retort: “If you take yourself all that seriously, what are you doing reading a blog called Cake & Cows?”
I was quite dismayed to not find Beverly Hills Cop very funny, actually. I feel like a part of me was shattered. I’ve been wanting to get into classic cinema of late, but what if I don’t think Casablanca is all that wonderful? Oh non, quelle horreur! Okay, I’m being half-serious here. But I was really hoping for some laugh-out-loud moments and then to be able to later proclaim to all (three of) my friends, “Man, they don’t make them comedy movies like they used to!” I realize that in 1984 when movie-goers were first introduced to Eddie Murphy, his comedy was something new. I grew up in an era where Murphy was considered one of the greats. So it wasn’t new to me, watching for the first time over 30 years later. I didn’t have those laugh-out-loud moments I was hoping for.
Comedy is one thing that you can’t rationalize. It’s so visceral and unconscious, which is why some see it as threatening. I’m a very nostalgic person and I make no amends for it. But there are certain parts of my nostalgia that I just cannot control. This is one example.
And that got me thinking about the whole “uproar” about La La Land and why it should not win Best Picture, as it is expected to tomorrow. Well, I haven’t seen most of the other films, but I can say that La La Land is probably the only “light” film nominated. The others deal with very heavy subjects. And that is why some people feel that La La Land should not win. There are other reasons of course, but this post is long enough.
I finally saw La La Land a few weeks back and absolutely loved it. It’s very rare for me to see a movie or a show or eat a meal and then RAVE for days on end, but I’m still singing “City of Stars” all day. I think I might be slightly obsessed with the film. Yes, everyone is white and skinny and jazz is neutered down to being all happy-go-lucky, but I still loved it despite that. The music and dance sequences were very reminiscent of a long-gone era. It was a musical – I love musicals – with an actual story that I could resonate with: two struggling artists trying to make a living, while still being true to themselves in a world of auto-tune and gratuitousness. It was like, “Ah, I’m not the only one who gets it!”
I guess La La Land is not current; it’s not relevant in our current political climate. But then again, neither am I.
I realize I am contradicting myself in my assessment of the two films mentioned in this post: one in which I am very much a product of the times (i.e. what was funny back in the day is no longer funny today) and the other in which I wish to go back to another time (i.e. I am not upset that La La Land is fantastical; in fact, that is why I love it). Then again, I am also a contradiction, in additional to being irrelevant.
Oh, how artsy of me! ;)