Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crying for Our Attention: Documentaries and the Oscars

Wanna feel bad about yourself/society for a couple hours? Check out pretty much any critically-acclaimed documentary ever made. They almost universally have the same bottom line: people are fucking up some aspect of the world for the long term (true), and people are too goddamn lazy to do anything about it (also true). Hell, as long as you have something to bitch about and a shred of film-editing ability, you too can make a documentary. Whether the subject matter is our ever-growing "carbon footprint" or the incompetence of the public school system, just make sure to follow these five steps:

1) Detail only one side of a specific sob story describing the perceived struggles of the oppressed.
2) Point the finger at anyone/everyone with money and/or power.
3) Make the viewer KNOW that they're only adding to the problem, and it must be fixed (and by default, downplaying the fact that there's, ya know, a shitload of other problems that "we" apparently need to fix right away).
4) Fail to truly acknowledge that you're part of the problem...albeit one who happens to have a camera and apparently the free time to make a documentary.
5) Pepper in some touching irony (actual or contrived, it doesn't really matter) that can somehow be passed off as "artistic."

That's it, you're gold. Hooray, you'll be nominated for an Oscar. And don't worry about how you'll look on TV one watches those parts of the show anyway.

While we're on the subject...yeah, we're a few weeks late in addressing it...let's talk about this gaudy self-indulgent mass of glitterati passing themselves off as far more important than they are. Hey, we love the shit outta movies, and we find the Oscar shows entertaining at times. That said, who the fuck is this "academy" anyway? Oh...the peers of the people receiving the awards...oh, okay. So why do we care about watching self-congratulatory nitwits parading around onstage in ridiculous clothes sucking each other off every chance they get? (Before you answer, it's a rhetorical question, smartass.) Well, we'll tell you why anyway...for the same reason your fat ass is sittin there reading/drooling over this majestic blog...cause it entertains you (theoretically). Now, that's nothing earth-shattering, but when you pair this thought with what we were saying earlier about documentaries, it's revealing. We simply don't give a shit about all the bellyaching that documentaries are trying to throw at us for the most part...we just wanna watch beautiful people smile and act like their shit don't stink (besides these assholes). I mean, damn, anything's better than having some too-ugly-to-be-in-front-of-the-camera idealist call us out for some bullshit we don't even wanna be bothered with, right? Amateurs.

Let us wrap this up by just saying to you aspiring "hard-hitting" (borefest) documentary filmmakers that we'll certainly let your message in one ear...toss it around in our heads with some real genuine "I'm gonna make some changes"-type thoughts...and then promptly flick that message right out the other ear as soon as the credits roll. Hey, it's not that we don't care or that we're not intelligent enough to see where you're coming from...we all just got our own more immediate stuff to take care of, and that ain't gonna change. And if we do want to feel something while taking in a movie...don't worry, we'll just pop something in from our moving yet comfortable world of fiction. Sorry, documentarians...people suck...but you already knew that of course. Just let us sit back, watch our shiny award shows, and go take a piss while you're getting your heavily-slanted recognition.