Entertainment, escapism, and a whole lot of sitting on the couch (aka, the Academy Awards 2014)

March 2nd, 2014, 10pm

It was 10.6°C with scattered clouds. There was moderate breeze.

When I first found this site, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I am always a fan of finding new writing spaces, but I often find my own writing cup empty after a day at the office writing dozens of emails—my creative words get pulled out of me into the mundane minutiae of my nine-to-five paycheck generator. It was thus a real opportunity when I found myself on this site, right as I chose to embark on one of the more asinine yet exciting projects I’ve undertaken in the past years: to see as many of the Oscar movies as I could.

For six weeks, my roommate tolerated every manner of movie on the TV or my computer screen. We worked through the Best Picture nominees, and picked off the few other nominees in the big categories. We endured The Croods and sang along to Frozen. I even spent the Saturday before the Oscars running a four-movie sprint through several I had left off until the end.

Needless to say, the six hour debacle that was the Red Carpet + Oscars ceremony last night was a little underwhelming. Yep, it was spectacular to get all of the jokes in the monologue. It was great to see all of these actors I know put countless hours into their craft, never mind all of the other nominees—in categories like sound, animation, costume, hair and makeup, production design, and so on…—, and feel familiar with them. It was really nice to be right on seven of my seventeen Oscar picks, because it means I’m moderately respectable at watching movies and having no idea what I talked about.

Mostly, it made me realize that the process of recognizing success in film, like in all art forms, is more or less completely arbitrary (and in the case of the Academy, often heavily influenced by both internal and external politics). Some of the awards were hugely deserved, and some were simply a matter of needing a ‘sweep.’ Many of those who didn’t win performed flawlessly at their role or task, but apparently not flawlessly enough (is that even possible?). Nonetheless I am pleased to have taken the time to watch so many high quality films, to put my thoughts in one place, and to be so well-received by the community. There’s plenty of room to grow and develop my craft, and who knows, maybe some day my votes will actually count.

Adrian and Christine said thanks.

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Valerie Stimac

Constraints create lots of great things, diamonds and creativity among them.

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