Deep, or just pretentiously meaningless?
Today I was running errands, and I was in a store and the radio was on, and the announcer said something about this being "the-day-the-music-died weekend". I knew, of course, that he was referring to the anniversary of the death of Buddy Holly, et. al., but because he said "weekend" I didn't know if it was today or yesterday. So I looked it up, and it's today. In fact, next year will be the 50th anniversary of that particular tragedy. I never knew anything but the outline of that story, so I never fully appreciated how tragic it was. I didn't realize how young Buddy Holly was; he was just twenty-two, and had been married for less than a year. Ironically, while I know and enjoy his music, the song I most associate with Buddy Holly is not any of the songs that he performed, but rather "American Pie", by Don McLean, which commemorates his death.
Now, naturally any discussion of tragic and untimely death of beloved artists is going to lead me back to the subject of Heath Ledger. I don't mean to draw any sort of comparison between the two, but as I read the lyrics to "American Pie" again, some of them have deeper resonance for me now than they did before.
I didn't realize until after he died that Heath Ledger was in I'm Not There. Now I really want to see it. I kind of wanted to see it before, mostly because of the Cate-Blanchett-playing-a-man factor, but not particularly because I'm not a particular fan of Bob Dylan. As a result, I don't remember when it was playing and where. Based on its release date, I'm guessing that I missed it in the discount theater. But then again, it might not have come to the discount theater at all. I can't remember. But I think I missed it. Darn.
On a vaguely related note, Academy Award nominations are out now. As per usual, I haven't seen many of the films nominated, which is partly because they tend to nominate heavy fare, whereas I usually prefer to see lighter movies, and also because I live in South Dakota, and am poor, so I haven't had access to many of the films yet. USA Today has this neat interactive thingie where you can vote for the nominee of your choice by whatever criteria you wish, and it also allows you to view clips (in most cases trailers) for the films. I find this enormously convenient because of course all these trailers are also available on IMDb, but here they're all gathered together.
Based on the trailers, while all the nominees for best picture would be worth seeing, the only ones I really have any interest in seeing are Atonement and Juno. So I guess I hope one of them wins, but I can't choose between them based on the trailers.
I imagine that it goes without saying that I hope Johnny Depp wins Best Actor for Sweeney Todd. But...while I feel he's deserved all three of his Academy Award nominations, I'm beginning to think that the Academy doesn't really deserve him. While it would be nice if Johnny Depp won for Best Actor, I will only be truly disappointed if he loses out to Tommy Lee Jones, who is nominated for something called In the Valley of Elah, (of which I had never even heard before). This is nothing against Tommy Lee Jones, whom I'm sure did an admirable job; but because this is another film written and directed by Paul Haggis (and to which Clint Eastwood acted as guardian angel), and I'm sick of watching that man's films win awards. Thankfully, Tommy Lee Jones' acting nomination was the only Academy Award nomination it garnered, so perhaps the Academy is wising up to the fact that Paul Haggis is a hack and/or they're feeling guilty about the whole Crash debaucle. Now, maybe it's not fair of me to call Paul Haggis a hack; I haven't seen this Elah film, so maybe it's really good. But I saw an IMDb user comment in which the commenter rhetorically asked, "Why do most critics attack this film for being heavy-handed?" to which I sarcastically replied, "Heavy-handedness? In a Paul Haggis film? Why, I can't imagine how anyone could make such an accusation!" Again, I feel kind of bad for being so harsh, because, heavy-handed or not, the film is apparently a criticism of the war in Iraq, and therefore I would be in complete sympathy with its theme, but...whatever.
Is there any such thing as movie awards specifically for comedy movies? Because I kind of think there should be, because even when they do get nominated for awards alongside serious movies, they usually don't win. And I don't think that's entirely fair, because I don't think it's a fair comparison. Then again, that could lead to endless bickering over the definition of "comedy". With regard to the Academy Awards, it's interesting to me that four of the five nominees for the best original screenplay are comedies.
I guess I don't have anything more to say on this subject, except that Javier Bardem is a strikingly handsome man.
On an entirely random note, can someone explain to me the appeal of "Indiana" as a baby name? Casey Affleck and Summer Phoenix have a son named Indiana, which is not too surprising given the Phoenix family tradition of giving unusual names, but then Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter reportedly named their new daughter Indiana Rose (now, that report has not been confirmed by any reliable source, and I got it from IMDb, which tends to be behind the times, especially on the weekend when it doesn't update its news sections, so that must be taken into account). While I admit that "Indiana" has a pleasingly mellifluous sound to it, it doesn't technically mean anything. I mean, the word itself doesn't really mean anything, but it may signify different things for different people, like if they felt a particular fondness for the state or were particular fans of Indiana Jones. I mean...the fact that people may tease your child about their name isn't necessarily a good reason for not giving them a certain name, because if people are really bound and determined to tease you, they will find something to tease you about, even if it's not actually making fun of your name as such, but saying your name in a mocking tone. Still, I can't hear "Indiana" as a person's name without hearing Sean Connery in my head saying, "We named the DOG Indiana!"
In other news, I've begun to tag my LiveJournal entries. I didn't do so initially because I didn't know about tagging, but having since found it to be a useful feature in other people's journals, I've long considered adding them. It's difficult, though, because I sometimes have difficulty categorizing what I write. Like this entry, for example: does my brief commemoration of the death of Buddy Holly warrent an "in memoriam" tag? What about when I mentioned the death of Jerry Falwell? Because that phrase connotes and kind of honor, and I don't want to honor his memory. I have a tag for "films", but do certain genres or even certain titles merit their own tags? And then there's the fact that tags don't serve much purpose unless you go back and tag ALL your entries, but I don't like going back and reading my old entries; sometimes it's painful and/or embarrassing. And plus, that takes an awful lot of time, and I have a day job AND graduate studies, the latter of which I sense will become more intensive and time-consuming as the semester wears on, but I'm trying to stay on top of it and possibly get a little ahead of things.