Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #218: 2 Thoughts


And folks are wondering just how Sundance lost its cachet as the barometer of all things wonderful in independent film. Let us cast our eyes upon the guest list at this year's Sundance festival. Let's see, there's a guy who made billions exploiting drunk teenage girls, some sort of trashy reality TV "star," the daughter of a former studio boss famous for sleeping with women more famous than her and then acting crazy about it in public, and a sex-tape starring "socialite" who proceeds to clean out the festival's gift house with something like 30 bags of corporate swag. (I won't give their names because that's what they want.)

Now you might be wondering, why are these people at Sundance. None of them appear to be in or involved with any of the independent films being screened there.

Well the answer is simple.

It's because Sundance really isn't about independent films anymore. It's about being seen by Hollywood as one of the cool kids. One absolute truth about Hollywood is that everyone craves the kind of attention having the appearance of "integrity" can bring. And since Hollywood is populated with pampered poodles and those who coddle them before ultimately betraying them, there is no real integrity to be had. So they have make themselves look like they're "outsiders" and "rebels" and the best way to do that is to make it look like they give a rodent's rear end about independent film.

You know Robert, I think it's time to close up shop. 25 years was a good run, but you transformed Park City from an indie film hub, to a big fat fame-whore magnet where you can find your way to the latest documentary about preserving mother earth by following the trail of carelessly discarded non-biodegradable plastic water bottles.

I think you should let someone else set up an independent film festival, one so out of the way from mainstream Hollywood, that only those actually interested in independent film would make the effort to go there.


Workers and supporters of the endangered Motion Picture Home are organizing a rally to protest the closure of the Hollywood institution.

Now while having a protest is all well and good, I love me some free speech, I think a fundraiser would be more appropriate. The home is closing because the money that once supported it is not there anymore. If the money's not there, no amount of protesting will ever bring it back.

So I'm offering my advice to all the interested parties in a way to save this essential institution and the services it provides.


For the love of Xenu, the town is crawling with people who get paid two times the MPH's annual budget shortfall to do a movie and then complain that they had to take a pay cut. Maybe get some A-Listers to get off their duffs and do something for the greater good, perhaps reminding them that they're one or two bad movies, a terrible accident, or a Bernie Madoff away from needing the home themselves.

It wasn't always like this. Golden Age Hollywood used to follow a tradition from vaudeville and music hall of doing benefit shows to raise money for things like hospitals, orphans, or feeding the hungry. Sure, it didn't completely solve those problems, but remember, stars back then made a hell of a lot less money than their modern counterparts, and didn't have networks with the deep corporate pockets to buy such a star-spangled show.

Hell, NBC will probably buy it for more than $10 million, they're desperate and will buy anything these days. (Just tell them it's a reality show you ripped off from Europe.)

It sort of reminds of a lot of those celebrity "charitable" foundations they love to give each other prizes for. When you look at most of them though, a lot of them aren't about solving the problems they were founded over, but about promoting "
awareness." Basically, setting up a web-site about the problem, while some poor bastard in the Third World wonders why he didn't get any food after having his picture taken with the white person in the Armani safari gear who was wearing make-up for the cameras. The foundation isn't going to feed that guy, but they're going to make sure anyone who stumbles on the website after Googling "[Celebrity-Name] Naked" will certainly be "aware" of his hunger.

The means of saving the home are out there, but you're not going to find them by just complaining about it. How about trying to shame some of the A-list into coughing up something for the less fortunate.

Of course, if the had any shame, the probably wouldn't be on the A-List, so I may have just suggested a pointless undertaking.

1 comment:

  1. PS OT
    San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival (SAICFF)

    What Christians Watch