The 30/007Hz First Watch 2015 Hertzie Nominations
Movie awards season just kinda gets me down. A bunch of films created to win awards win awards. A bunch of actors that took roles with the purpose of winning awards win awards. Sometimes a movie stumbles into fame and fortune — although most likely that fame is fleeing and that fortune is minimal. We all still talk about The Artist constantly, right? (For the record, I do really like The Artist.)
Sometimes I care, personally, about the outcome of the Oscars or Golden Globes. Sometimes. For example, I cared last year when I wanted Michael Keaton to win all the awards in the history of awards. Call it nostalgia. Call it misplaced energy. I still have VHS tapes containing Touch and Go and The Squeeze, dubbed from VHS rentals. (In case you’re not keeping track of your largely forgotten 80’s movies, those are both Michael Keaton films.) Remember when you could actually exhaust the tape’s will to live? It was a badge of honor. I wore out my first VHS copy of Batman (1989) and wear that invisible badge with pride. More pride than any of my legitimized Cub Scout badges. Like the one that I earned in part for holding a glass of water at arm’s length for a certain amount of time or balancing on one foot. Lunacy. Pure, sash- and patch-clouded lunacy.
But I digress.
Nowadays, the biggest kick I get from Oscar season is winning my own Oscar pick ’em pool… which once had about 30 people involved… and now is just my wife and I betting who scoops litter boxes for a month. Once upon a time I sought out the Oscar nominated films and watched just about every one. This was also a time during which I was employed, at least partially, by my willingness and ability to write about such things. Times have changed. I’ve seen a few. I’ve missed a bunch. I spend more time watching older movies and random-ass spy movies I find on YouTube than I do frequenting theaters to watch this year’s Oscar bait. Not because I don’t want to go to the theater — it’s one of my absolute favorite things to do in this world — but because these movies don’t necessarily interest me much anymore. The pandering for awards, the pandering for press about receiving awards, the press pandering about these movies for readership. It’s a vicious, lugubrious cycle of self-gratification. Even the battle cries about “snubs” and “inequity” in the nominations have become prosaic. I can’t even tell anymore when I’m actually supposed to dust off my pitchfork or when it’s just a drill.
Back to points. I watched roughly 200 movies in 2015. Only about 20 of those were in the theater. Most of them were first time viewings. Instead of contributing to the vicious cycle of criticizing the Academy Awards, I’m going to dish out some of my own nominations. My field of contestants? All of the movies I viewed for the first time, from 1903 through 2015, are in the running. The process is arbitrary, subject to my increasingly eccentric tastes and, best of all, completely unpredictable. Whatever strikes me as memorable, meaningful, poignant… the criteria is simple: Entertain me! Thrill me! Make it all about me.
Right. Let’s get this started. I don’t have the cash to pay an actress to read a teleprompter with video screens in the background, so here’s Myrna Loy in a bathtub instead. (So I borrowed the bit from The Big Short. Sue me.)
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