Hey, the Oscars are tomorrow! A pseudo-philosophical and nonsensical reflection on pictures in motion

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.

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Me, pretending to be Mickey The Director’s Muse in 2015

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! ;)

18 thoughts on “Hey, the Oscars are tomorrow! A pseudo-philosophical and nonsensical reflection on pictures in motion”

  1. Ok full disclosure here. Anything romance related is not my cup of tea: books, movies, TV shows, or anything else. So my opinion on La La Land (which incorporates two things I don’t get Romance and Musicals) is heavily biased. Titanic always puts me to sleep within 20 minutes or so, also is it wrong I actually laughed out loud at the end when Leo is drowning?? I never understood how that is remotely romantic. There is no way I am freezing and drowning in the name of love when there is a perfectly good wooden panel that we could get on alternately until help shows up. NOPE, I just don’t get romance at all. I heard good things about La La Land and I totally understand its appeal. In the present climate people want something light-hearted, and positive, rather than dark and gloomy.

    Last night I saw Get Out which is more horror/thriller, and while I’m not a horror flick fan (other than 80s slasher movies), I actually loved it. It was just the right amount of spooky and comedy, with a whole lot of social and political commentary without it being too ham-fisted. No gore, no zombies, no supernatural ghosty stuff (I can’t stand those, some of us would like to be able to sleep peacefully in their beds again, thank you very much), just the horrors of being a human dealing with other human beings.

    Also, anytime you wish to delve in the wonderful world of 80s movies again let me know. I will gladly be the Yoda to your Luke Skywalker….loool….Sorry I just couldn’t help myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I love this comment. So let me start off by saying that I am also not a fan of romance – I can take it in small doses in film, but not in books. Romance novels – NEVER! However, I am a HUGE fan of musicals and I see La La Land as a musical primarily, so that is why I like it. I have not seen Titanic and I have no inclination to whatsoever. 4 hours of Leo & Kate falling in love with each other and then Celine Dion’s overplayed “My Heart Will Go On?” Please kill me now! I’ve heard “Get Out” is good. I’m amazed that Jordan Peele, who is known for his comedy, made a horror flick that also addresses race. Like, I wish I had his level of genius! I’m interested, but I can’t do horror. But I am glad to hear that it doesn’t have any of those typical horror film elements. I think I might check it out, as long as I can find someone to go with me. I’m not averse to going to the movies by myself, but because this a horror film still, I’d be afraid to. Oh and girl, I’m down for an 80s party anytime. I still have the theme to Beverly Hills Cop stuck in my head. What is your favorite 80s flick?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are so many 80s movies I love, but if I must chose one it would be Big Trouble in Little China. It’s completely bananas and so very cheesy. It has no pretensions of being a good movie or even remotely serious, and yet this is exactly what makes it amazing. You just need to lay back and enjoy the crazy ride.

        The Burbs is another gem and the best commentary on life in the suburbs (which also explains my irrational fear of suburbs). Tom Hank’s best work in my humble opinion loool.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey, so I watched Get Out today. Totally unplanned, but a friend of mine who came to my book club was like, “my husband wants to see it, do you wanna come with?” And I’m like, “yes, I was just talking about this yesterday with an online friend.” I pretty much repeated this comment thread. I loved it so much and the theater we went to was in a predominantly African American area of the city. Everytime the audience oh noed or cheered toward the end, I was laughing along with them. It just added to the catharsis for me. It was so brilliant, I feel like I probably missed a lot. I’ll be spending a few hours reading the reviews to make sense of it all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Looool, there is nothing like a great audience to make the experience that more interesting. My favourite character was The TSA friend, he basically was the voice of the audience. There’s a lot of discussions about this movie right now. Honestly it is multi-layered and there are many aspects of this critique of Liberals and their relationship with POC that resonated with me. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The whole bit about voting for Obama for the third time if they could. I loved that part, because it happens, and people think that it takes them off the hook. On one hand, I do think it’s unfair for an entire generation to have to make reparations for their past. But on the other end, an entire race has suffered and continues to suffer because people of their race were once considered 3/5 of a person, in this country at least. It’s not something that you can erase with a law hundreds of years later. I really, really liked the movie. I’m so glad you brought it up, but it was on my mind and then when a friend mentioned it, I really thought to myself, “SubhanAllah.” I know it’s over a movie, but it still.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Arttm, in general, is something that people can’t rationalize. Most of the time, you react to it on an emotional level, not a logical one. I’ve had people tell me that there is a movie/show/book that they will know that I will love, but when I experience it for myself…. it’s a 50/50 shot.

    Glad you enjoyed ‘La La Land’! During a time when there are more “important” things to be focusing on, I think it’s good and maybe even necessary to take a break from the disheartening news and the protests and just have an enjoyable experience.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I realize whenever anyone tells me something is good, I go in having such high expectations that I am never pleased. I do think that I have too many expectations, not necessarily of people, but works of art, or supposed works of art. Like, if you have all that money to release the thing and promote and whatnot, it should be worthy of my time. I sound like such a diva, don’t I? Haha. Thank you for taking the time to go through all my past posts and commenting on them Laura! It’s always such a joy to get the WP pings from my dear old pal, Laura! :)

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      1. I think you sound like a logical person, not a diva! There are countless examples of blockbuster flops and indie movie successes.

        Aw, it’s my pleasure! I’m just sorry that I can’t comment on your blog posts in a more timely manner. I have … no real excuse. *bashfully stares at floor*

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “If you take yourself all that seriously, what are you doing reading a blog called Cake & Cows?” :-)

    My cat is playing with the mouse as I type so if you get a nonsensical comment – please disregard. I better not comment on the movies as living in KSA you know my choices of watching a movie. I can share in private chats :-D I did read that FB status I am like – I am definelty not from this era.. :-D I love comedy, romcom, and any based on true stories, etc. I cannot stand any of Harry Potter kinda movies.. lol. I always felt watching such fantasy world or even reading them is a waste of time! – are you gonna unfriend me? lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Does your cat think the computer mouse is a real mouse? I’d love to see a video of that! Which status are you referring to? Don’t worry. I’m actually not a fantasy fan. I only really like The Lord of the Rings. I couldn’t really get into anything else. But you have to watch LOTR, such a good story!

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