Saturday, February 25, 2012

Praire Harsh Companion - yet another rant

You know what? Fuck "Prairie Home Companion".

There is a scene in "Harsh Times" (it's a throw-away that doesn't ruin anything to tell it) where Bale's character is drinking beer with two of his friends and he talks about wanting to mow down villagers with the door-gun of a chopper. He wants to kill them, their children, their animals, pets. It's fucked up. And yet is it over-the-top ham-fisted screen-writing as Ayer is being accused of by movie critics? No it isn't. It is honest. I've been in conversations with guys that are that fucked up, and worse.

But these reviewers who have been eulogizing Robert Altman all day and night lambast Ayer for exposing such ugliness. Just because it is an ugly truth doesn't make it less true. Where is the dedication to art these days? Honest, brutal art. I can understand not recommending it to those with weaker stomachs, but to tear the movie down is just wrong.

Meanwhile these same reviewers talk about how genius Altman was in MASH when he "proved a Korean War field hospital could make us laugh" (NBC World News).

I don't know what is more disgusting. Bale openly discussing the murder of villagers, or NBC News reminding us how funny the Korean War was.

Maybe it comes down to different strokes for different folks. Maybe some people don't want to know how fucked our culture is and would rather pull the warm, fuzzy blanket of "Prairie Home Companion" over their eyes.

Of course all of these Altman loving 'sophisticates' probably think they are great patrons of the arts for loving "Godsford Park" and 'getting' "The Player" but in reality these movies are merely distraction and don't really expose anything or inspire any thought at all.

Escapism has its place. I mean hell, look whose talking here - Mike "Diehard" Darpino. But art has its place too, and it pisses me off when it gets over-looked and even more so when there is open hostility towards it - such as in the case of "Harsh Times".

Hollywood really gave itself a big pat on the back last year for recognizing "Crash" at the Oscars but it is sad to me that less than a year later they are abandoning movies like "Harsh Times", a movie that examines the dichotomies of society even further than "Crash" did.

Sure escapism has its place, but escapism is a dime a dozen at the cinema. Art is few and far between these days and should be celebrated rather than attacked. But then I guess America is in attack mode in every arena these days.

Originally posted on November 22, 2006 on Myspace.

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