Monday, March 06, 2006
Well, the Academy Awards are over, and the big news is Crash's win of "Best Picture". While I did think the movie has its merits (it's bold, if inelegant, confrontation of the topic of race in American society), I also have some reservations about the places where the movie falls short - namely in its failure to portray Asian Americans in anything BUT stereotypical roles.
I won't go into the details, as Xian has written an excellent critique of Crash right here. Jenn of reappropriate also wrote some brief, but on-point commentary right here. Anybody interested in the movie should read them. Really.
you know it's hard out here for a pimp... or a hitman
Anybody else shocked that 3-6 Mafia now has an Oscar and Martin Scorcese still has zero? I guess you have to admit "It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp" is pretty damn catchy.
Terrance Howard's character was one of the few I sympathized with in Crash and I was impressed with his performance, but I didn't realize the range of his ability as an actor until I saw the movie Hustle and Flow shortly after I had watched Crash. Howard's performance as a pimp named DJay was memorable for me not because I'm intimately acquainted with the ancient art of pimp-age (haha), but because in my own life, my heart has felt that same dissatisfaction with the hand dealt to me. There's a fierceness that grows in the soul of a man when he realizes that out of his broken dreams, he has to struggle to forge something new. While Hustle and Flow is movie set in a poverty-stricken neighborhood of Memphis, its theme of desperately chasing a dream should be familiar to anybody.
Strangely enough, some of the same themes were in another indie flick that got slept on, The Matador. The anti-hero of The Matador, Pierce Brosnan's compulsive liar / outrageously rude hitman Julian Noble shares the same dissatisfaction with life that DJay does from Hustle and Flow. The difference here is that while DJay channels his anger and frustration into making hip-hop music, Brosnan's Noble finds that the weight of his personal baggage has caused his psyche to crack and made him unable to perform his job as "facilitator of fatalities" - he can't find the will to kill people anymore.
Oddly enough, it's perfectly conceivable that despite their wildly divergent subject matters, Hustle and Flow and The Matador could fit in a group of movies including Sideways and Shall We Dance? (original Japanese) as movies about men who experience the angst that comes with the sudden realization that you're living a meaningless life. That sort of movie theme of course resonates especially with men in a mid-life crisis... or in my case, a quarter life crisis.
Fortunately for all us men, the four movies all provide a way for self-therapy:
1) Make hip-hop music and pimp-slap anybody who gets in the way.
2) Drink margaritas and scotch. Make friends with normal people who will help you kill people. Travel to exotic world locales. Drink more margaritas and scotch.
3) Drink wine. Help your friend get married. Meet a beautiful woman, write a book and get rejected in both endeavors. Drink more wine.
4) See a beautiful woman. Take up dancing lessons. Dance with previously seen beautiful woman.
Movies are funny, aren't they?
GRATEFUL TODAY FOR: Blue skies, and cool breezes.
yeah that three six mafia thing is tragically hilarious, its technically hip hop's first oscar, i think. there's been a lot of debate over that too.Post a Comment