Oscar Reflections

 

Miss me, Ricochet? I’ve been busy trying to place my reflections on American-prestige-at-the-movies in various venues, trying to tell conservative America: Pay attention, at least a little attention, at least during awards season! The ugly truth is, it’s really hard to get people to care, but very easy to get them angry and contemptuous at Hollywood out-of-touch-elitism, so I’m busy trying to avoid all the dark passions. But while people still make lovely movies worth the praise, I will try to show you what they’re about and how to navigate through the sophisticated concerns that give poetry its great dignity.

So here’s my list of Awards movies conservatives should support, nay cherish. They’re all but one featured at the Oscars. I picked three all-American stories, two of which are true stories such that the movies actually understate the miracles they depict. They’ve all been remarkably successful at European art-movie festivals, even at the highest level. They’ve not been too successful in America, but they’re doing ok mostly, and getting another chance at prestige in awards season. This is the sort of stuff conservatives should support, both because it is poetry worth supporting and because it supports the conservative case for American goodness and greatness.

  1. Hacksaw Ridge. The best show of Christian America at war I can think of — so naturally, the conservative press ignores it altogether. A war picture, a remarkable technical achievement, independently financed and produced with great savvy — and then it gets lots of Oscar nominations, including the first for Mr. Mel Gibson in perhaps 20 years. Shock after shock. I think we should be bipartisan about this and do at least as much as Hollywood liberals have done, so I’m doing my part!
  2. Kubo and the Two Strings. This is the most beautiful surprise of 2016. A film almost entirely free of the sordid, which tells a broken-family story Americans should love, while at the same time doing the sophisticate poetic work of analyzing grief in terms of the grief song, threnody, and trying to show where poetry stands in-between the city and the moon.
  3. Hell or High Water. This was the anguished manliness movie of the year. I’ve written about it at length on my website, but those are notes for a very limited audience. I’ve also produced a popular essay, but I’ve not found someone willing to publish it yet…
  4. Loving. This is the most surprising sort of civil rights picture you’re going to see. It’s a respectful and very American portrayal of the moral virtues that make private life a joy, a shelter, and a benefit to the country as a whole at the same time. It’s one those true stories that makes so many of us wonder at the ways in which Americans are blessed and innocent.

Then there are movies really worth the attention of conservatives who care about the culture, but they are not really lovable and I cannot recommend them. I suppose I don’t need to, either, as they’ve been plenty successful:

  1. Deadpool. This is the most striking success of the year and heralds a new departure in individualism. If you wanted to make filthy stuff a thing of pride for middle-class Americans who shudder to think of themselves as middle-aged, this is it.
  2. Arrival. This is a super-feminist story, in ways I’ve not seen anyone even talk about, so I’ve done it myself.

I’ve not found homes for my essays on the other three movies, so no link, sorry. I’m still trying, so I’ll update this post if I find conservative editors interested in telling America at least as much about good movies as liberal America is doing.

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There are 41 comments.

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  1. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    I missed last night’s hoopla (on purpose) – watched Down and Out In Beverly Hills instead – apparently it was a fiasco!

    • #31
  2. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    So I’ve written up Arrival. Here, @valiuth, take a gander.

    • #32
  3. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    BD1 (View Comment):
    I’m sorry that Mel Gibson is the one making quality films that portray Christians in a positive light. He is a turbo-creep.

    Have you seen “The Apostle”? Can Christians who are less than perfect be used by God?

    If you say no then you will only get poorly produced passionless drivel, I’m afraid.

    • #33
  4. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Larry Koler (View Comment):

    BD1 (View Comment):
    I’m sorry that Mel Gibson is the one making quality films that portray Christians in a positive light. He is a turbo-creep.

    Have you seen “The Apostle”? Can Christians who are less than perfect be used by God?

    If you say no then you will only get poorly produced passionless drivel, I’m afraid.

    I also rather dislike turbo-creep. But it’s fairly obvious he’s a very angry guy with a wrongheaded sense of his own weakness. But he is at the same time serious about how corporeal & painful Christianity is in a crisis. I’m not saying he should be Mr. Hollywood or anything of the kind. But sometimes, that’s the guy you need. He’s literally doing what no one else will do!

     

    • #34
  5. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Has anyone an opinion of Scorcese’s “Silence”?  Endo’s books rather miss the point, often, but I’d like to support Adam Driver here, if I can. :-D

    • #35
  6. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    Has anyone an opinion of Scorcese’s “Silence”? Endo’s books rather miss the point, often, but I’d like to support Adam Driver here, if I can. ?

    My Catholic academic friends are for it! I have not had the opportunity myself. I’ll also add, if you like, there’s a really good essay by a Japanese priest on Endo, on the political fights in  Japan around the turn of the sixteenth century, & the issue with Christianity in Japan.

    • #36
  7. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Titus Techera (View Comment):

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    Has anyone an opinion of Scorcese’s “Silence”? Endo’s books rather miss the point, often, but I’d like to support Adam Driver here, if I can. ?

    My Catholic academic friends are for it! I have not had the opportunity myself. I’ll also add, if you like, there’s a really good essay by a Japanese priest on Endo, on the political fights in Japan around the turn of the sixteenth century, & the issue with Christianity in Japan.

    Many thanks, TT!

    • #37
  8. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    My pleasure!

    • #38
  9. kylez Member
    kylez
    @kylez

    Dude, I was totally thinking about threnody when I saw Kubo.

     

    • #39
  10. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    kylez (View Comment):
    Dude, I was totally thinking about threnody when I saw Kubo.

    Glad to hear it!

    • #40
  11. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Friends, my new essay on Hell or high water, or manliness neglected, is up on Ricochet. Read it, vote for it, publish it, I beseech you!

    • #41
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