Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Blogger Who Cried Snub

Let's be honest about this, the sound you hear the moment after the Oscar nominations are announced isn't one of adoration, joy, or respect. It's one of the violent clashing of fingers against plastic letters, as flocks of people are desperate to make sure their feelings towards the nominations are heard loudest... and as close to first as possible (it's an internet thing). Though no matter how much willpower one group has versus the other, none can sustain against the coming tide. The return of the word "Snub."

Some of you may note that in recent years I've shied away from the general Oscar talk, and for good reason. I still love the Oscars. I'm still there on Sunday night, ready and waiting for the ceremony which means so much to the world of entertainment I love. So why don't I blog as much about it? Worry.

Yes, that's right, worry. I've watched the conversation on Oscars evolve as the internet has evolved since 2002. I've seen it go from a couple turbulent forum posts to a couple million turbulent tweets, facebook updates, forum posts, and blogger articles. Though no matter what happens, no matter how good of a year - or bad - the Oscar nominating committee has, it cannot shake the over prevalence of the power of the perception of a snub.

So much so that I have come to worry that the passion for crying snubs has cast far too powerful of a shadow over the entire ceremony. That worries me. It truly does. For you see, snubs are born of passion. Our love for a film that has gone barely, if at all, noticed by the Oscar committee calls upon us to call out. As we know, all too often in the present we forget about the films which failed to garner Oscar love in the past.

But I don't think that's true anymore. And I certainly don't think that's going to stay true going forward. You see, can you imagine what the world would have been like if they had the internet in the '30s, '40s, '50s, etc.? I imagine it wouldn't be terribly different from now. There's be lists from the eyes of the people who lived in those times themselves discussing the best films of the year. Articles on a site like Wikipedia through which people can mark the opinion of the time.

To me that's just as important to the history of film as the Oscars themselves. However, I don't think that means we should just cast the Oscars aside. Oh no, far from it. We should embrace them. For their history - no matter how flawed - is intricately intertwined with the history of film itself. Appreciation for what movies are today and what they will be tomorrow has, and will likely continue to, be shaped by the decisions of the Oscars and how we as a society receive them.

And I think it's important that we don't let Snubs cast shadows over the Oscars; but rather that we carry them alongside the films of the Oscars. In a given year there are any number of snubs, any number of complaints that can be waged at the Oscars, but there is only one Oscars.

5 better thoughts:

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

My issue with the word portends to the fact that to snub something one must deliberately be working against it, and I hardly think when voters sit down to write up their ballots they think, "I will NOT vote for ___________" and so on. Okay, fine, sometimes people get overlooked that seemed a shoo-in, so I understand what snub means. But, when something had absolutely no traction (Harry Potter for Best Picture, for example) is it actually a snub? It wasn't even the conversation. But, eh.

We probably need something to rail at, and goodness knows the Oscars' work wonders.

John said...

EXCELLENT article. And honestly, I have kind of a hard time watching it now for a variety of reasons. The loud drumbeat of people talking about snubs has reached critical mass for me. But also, well... the Oscars don't do themselves any favors. They're almost guaranteed to make the safe pick just about every time.

I've more or less reached the point where I wait for the Best Picture nominees to come out, and then watch as many as I can insofar as they intrigue me on some basic level. After that... meh.

Brittani Burnham said...

Even though I do voice my opinion when I'm upset about certain films/actors not getting the love they deserve, I don't let it take away from the fact that I love awards season. This is actually the first year I've felt that I've disagreed with the Academy the most, but I'll still be watching. I'm not going to lie though, seeing the passion people have for movies, whether they get nominated or not is always a great thing to read in my opinion.

NeverTooEarlyMP said...

Great article here. I have also noticed that some people (possibly even myself, but let's not go there), have gotten into the habit of watching for the snubs even more than the nominees.

And sometimes, people start doing it without even having seen the film that DID get nominated yet, so it's hard to compare. In the bigger categories perhaps this makes sense. But I've been surprised this year by the number of people who have called snub for Senna, for example, but haven't actually seen any of the 5 nominated docs! (I haven't seen them either, mind you, but it does put things in perspective.)

Thanks for giving us something to think about!

The Kid In The Front Row said...

There should be a 'Best Snubbed Film' Award.

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