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By David Poland

The Ugliest Oscar Speech Ever

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93 Responses to “The Ugliest Oscar Speech Ever”

  1. lindenen says:

    “Rumour has it that Lions Gate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of Trash – excuse me – Crash a few weeks before the ballot deadline.”
    This statement really got to me. It’s utterly classless. The only thing she’s done with this article is embarrass herself.

  2. James Leer says:

    How did the Spirit Awards change their rules to allow Brokeback?

  3. David Poland says:

    The budget allowance was expanded. BBM was not the only beneficiary, but it was one of those allowed in by the change.

  4. Aladdin Sane says:

    When people start to take things to this extent, then I have a hard time feeling sorry for them at all (if I did to begin with). I can understand you’re disappointed that BBM didn’t win, but start calling the other film names doesn’t really strengthen your case. One has to wonder what point this really serves?

  5. Lota says:

    people shouldn’t write opinion pieces til they simmer down.
    I mean, I wasn’t so happy with the nominations or some of the wins but hey the academy saw fit to award those selected and little can be done by complaint.
    Trashing the winners doeasn’t make a non-winner’s work look better. We”l see what movies withstand the test of time–likely not Crash OR Brokeback Mountain. I’m betting Munich and GNGL and AHOV will be more highly thought of in years to come.

  6. Joe Straat says:

    Welcome to the world of the Academy Awards, Annie. You seem to be new here.
    Since Brokeback Mountain actually came to this small city in the middle of Nebraska, I saw it last night. The movie was good, but, and maybe this is just using a short story as source material, but it felt incomplete somehow. I don’t want to claim they were trying to avoid more family conflict than necessary as to not make the romance less “acceptable,” but Ennis’ second daughter and Jack’s son completely disappear after the TV scene (where Jack’s son is only used as a plot device to show Jack’s growth). Not they are extremely necessary, but despite how good-boardering-on-great the last 15 minutes were, I felt I was missing a piece of the puzzle that could’ve added so much to the whole picture.
    Oh, and the visual narrative of the first 45 minutes seemed a bit too… “This happened…… then this happened……. then this happened… then, WHOA! HELLO!!!!” Then again, the theater’s speakers seemed to have trouble picking up Ennis’ mumbling properly, so that may have something to do with it. Overall, I was fine with the movie, but I wouldn’t have voted it Best Picture. If people like Annie Proulx have a problem with that, well, we’ll just agree to disagree then.

  7. James Leer says:

    The budget allowance is $20 million and Brokeback’s budget was $14. Sideways received nominations last year for an even bigger budget.
    You may not have meant to imply that the Spirit Awards changed their rules specifically for Brokeback, but your word use seemed designed to coax that sort of assumption from people who don’t know better.

  8. Crow T Robot says:

    Pretty nasty stuff. Of course, Poulx has a right to be angry: BBM won all the awards this season (even the Golden Globes ferchristsakes!), became the talk of the country, registered #1 on DP’s compendium of critics and then got conveniently shut down by the old “It’s not personal, Sonny… it’s just business.”
    But for the author to shoot herself in the foot like that is just ugly and fascist. What a sad thing this whole affair has become.
    On an up note, let’s all wish a happpy birthday to my man Paul Haggis. You’ve come a long way, baby.

  9. David Poland says:

    My understanding, JL, is that the BBM budget is actually $18 million. But Sideways tapdanced under the expanded ISA $16 million budget boundary last year and I offered the same concern, even as a wild supporter of that film.

  10. Roxane says:

    What a bitter rant. How old is Annie Proulx 2 or 3?
    So Annie is angry because AMPAS members dared to give the top prize to a film other then BBM.That’s life Annie the votes were cast and when they were counted Crash won. Deal with it.Annie should be careful rants like this are going to turn BBMs BP loss into a joke.

  11. Fades To Black says:

    She sounds very bitter over the loss. A lot of films have lost best picture and they were great films. There comes a time when you have to move on and get over it. Being a better loser than a winner is about class and shows character. She is showing small amounts of both right now.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    Forgive my conjecture, but if Crash had been the leading contender all through the awards season, and then Brokeback won, I can definitely imagine Paul Haggis writing something twisted and bitter like this as well.
    But it’s just a notion in my head and I’m sure Haggis is a lovely man (when he wipes that smirk off his face).

  13. David Poland says:

    I can’t even imagine Annie Proulx having written this… and then publishing it.
    Being upset and pulling out your schlong and pissing all over the every people whose approval you so desired just hours before are quite different things.
    Paul Haggis would never be caught being this bitter, even if he has it in him.
    There was a great writer who left The Kodak without an Oscar a couple of years back who said, “I came all this way just for them to fuck us up the ass.” But that was a private conversation heading out of the theater. He has not written a word about it since. That is a different thing altogether.

  14. Tcolors says:

    See the stamps Dave posted then talk to me about UGLY!!!!!!!

  15. jeffmcm says:

    Well, Proulx doesn’t work in Hollywood so she doesn’t need to play nice.
    I don’t see where she said she so desired the Academy’s approval.

  16. lindenen says:

    It’s obvious she desired the Academy’s approval. She wouldn’t be so angry otherwise. She really really wanted it.

  17. James Leer says:

    Haggis wouldn’t write it (though he might think it) if he wants to work in Hollywood again. Proulx’s an outsider and doesn’t care if she burns bridges.

  18. scarper86 says:

    John Irving once said, “Some people shouldn’t be allowed to represent themselves in public.” I think that applies here. It’s getting hard for me to reconcile the person who wrote an exceptional short story with the child who would write this immature drivel.
    As David mentioned before, BBM could have lost by 1 vote, but only those 2 accountants will ever know. Jeez, it’s like my little league end of season awards ceremony all over again: little statues bring out the worst in people. Never in a million years would I have thought that Annie Proulx would remind me of Billy Finkle’s dad.

  19. David Poland says:

    Line Of The Week –
    “Never in a million years would I have thought that Annie Proulx would remind me of Billy Finkle’s dad.”

  20. Wrecktum says:

    Wait a minute. How come when William Goldman writes something like this he gets a pass, but if Annie Proulx writes it it’s considered ugly and nasty? She admits the piece is sour grapes…why should she be criticized for writing her feelings?

  21. hepwa says:

    WOW — I’m one of the biggest BBM fans around and the short story moved me to tears on a city bus the first time I read it, but that’s one tough piece from Ms. Proulx.
    I don’t have a problem with people venting their spleen and I can even relate to most of what she said, but man is that timing wrong — to write something this emotional when Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly and John Gibson and Pat Buchanan haven’t finished gloating, it just seems inappropriate. Hell, Poland still has the upside down BBM photo on MCN!
    Why can’t people just learn to keep their mouths shut. Play it as it lays, indeed.

  22. Mr. Muckle says:

    Edna Annie seems awfully uppity for having published a short story nine years ago. What else did she have to do with the production? One could stomach her self-righteousness if she had dissed the academy before the ceremony rather than after. Pretty hypocritical, imo. You don’t see Woody Allen or the ghost of Marlon Brando hanging around hoping for a medal while pretending not to care.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    The ghost of Marlon Brando is too busy checking out the Heavenly Buffet.

  24. palmtree says:

    I’d hate to think about how much more bitter she would be if she didn’t win the Pulitzer and National Book Award and then lost the Oscar.

  25. jeffmcm says:

    I think we all remember the stink when Joyce Carol Oates lost the National Book Award in 2000 and threw her drink in Susan Sontag’s face. E! was all over it.

  26. James Leer says:

    That would have been rad.

  27. peevee says:

    What are you all talking about!!! I loved this piece. Beautiful, bitter, gorgeous. The way she turns a phrase is absolutely breathtaking. She has every right to be angry. She has every right to display her indignation.
    This is by far one of the best “fish out of water” pieces I have ever read. Fantastic!!

  28. adorian says:

    I don’t think people got this upset about the 2000 Florida election. Annie and friends, it’s the Oscars!–for cryin’ out loud! It’s about gowns and awkward thank-yous to your eighth-grade math teacher. It’s not even the Olympics, where you can have reviews of judges’ errors.
    People attack the Oscars as being unimportant, and then they obsess about how it’s the end of the world because their favorite didn’t win an Oscar.
    Move on to something more important, Annie. You can’t demand a recount or a Supreme Court review. (Do we want Ah-nuld to intervene and override the best picture decision?) It’s the Oscars, and they’re supposed to be fun!
    Fuggidaboutit. This is all just blood under the bridge. It’s time to start campaigning for and speculating about next year’s races. And will Jada wear another bright color next year?

  29. Rob says:

    I don’t agree with her characterization of Hoffman’s performance as “mimicry,” or the assumption that portrayals of real people are less challenging and therefore less award-worthy. (Although I do think the voters lean too heavily toward awarding them.)
    But you know what? Proulx’s not Hollywood, and her honesty is refreshing. I think there’s a certain contingent of devastated Brokeback fans who would have felt okay if, say, Munich or Capote had won – I’m one of them – but see the awarding of Crash as a grotesque lowering of Academy standards from what was already a dangerous perch.
    The Scientology joke was tasteless but funny. I have a friend who, the moment Nicholson announced Best Picture, said, “Well of course…Haggis is a Scientologist.” Of course it’s ridiculous, but on some level it seems likelier than a plurality of 6,000 film professionals falling for something that we wrote off as simplistic cheese back in May.

  30. historywatcher says:

    For months, David Poland has been subtly (but not silently) beating the drum against “Brokeback Mountain.” He claims to have liked the film. I do not doubt his claim. It’s his feelings about homosexuals that I question.
    His comment “this is the kind of blind anger and myopia that has caused hatred of the gay, the black, the religious other, etc.” is one of the more blatant and hateful anti-gay statements he has made on his website. Let us be clear: this kind of anger, quite well-sighted, is BECAUSE of the hatred gays, blacks and the religious other (I assume he means “the Jews”) face on a nearly daily basis, whether overt or otherwise.
    Of course the Oscars mean nothing. But the reasons Brokeback Mountain lost do mean something. When Clooney stated that Hollywood was out of touch with mainstream sentiment, he was not entirely correct. When it comes to homophobia, Hollywood (and those who make their living commenting on it) is about as lockstep with the nation as any big business can get.
    Annie Proulx has a right to be angry and it has absolutely nothing to do with 6,000 voters and a gold-plated statuette. It was the message heard around the world that angered her. That message said, “have no fear, America. We’re keeping these faggots in their place, just as you want us to.”

  31. martin says:

    Trash – Crash. Wow, she’s a talented writer.

  32. martin says:

    and there’s nothing sadder than an “artist” getting all caught up and angry over losing awards.

  33. Zuraffo says:

    Annie was nothing but honest with her article. If she seemed a bit over the edge, well that’s because there’s so much to be said and she’s the only one who could say them without suffering much consequences.
    I am glad to see her honesty makes people uncomfortable. It’s this kind of honesty that will make humanity progress, and for that, I salute her.
    Remember how “uncomfortable” the churches were when we first discovered the world was round.

  34. martin says:

    zuraffo, you’re a real moron.

  35. Zuraffo says:

    I am glad the feeling is mutual

  36. pikebishop says:

    I enjoyed Proulx’s statement immensely and am glad she made it. Sometimes righteous anger is needed, and since “Crash” condescended to its audience in the most melodramatic, downright stupid ways possible, “Trash” is indeed an apt descriptor–though I would prefer “Flush.”
    The work of writer-director Paul Haggis is as nauseatingly awful as the Scottish food delicacy that matches his last name.

  37. liketoday says:

    Anyone familiar with Annie Proulx’ writing knows that she’s a master of subtlety. She’s an incredible writer, deservedly respected and acknowledged as such.
    Ask yourselves why she has produced this piece, which is anything BUT subtle.
    Does anyone think that she’s not smart enough to predict a knee-jerk dismissal of her article as ‘sour grapes’? Please… she says as much in the last line!
    Does anyone think it’s self-serving on her part? Please… she’s going to get nothing but criticism from the establishment for this!
    Why, then?
    She’s an intelligent woman, who has worked in journalism for many years, in addition to being a fiction writer is also a social historian. To me, it’s obvious why she’s chosen to publish. Her article reveals a truth, a shameful and ugly one, that needs to be confronted. She was the only one positioned to say it- none of the others artists involved in making Brokeback Mountain (directors, producers, actors) could do so, because they’re all dependent upon the movie industry. She is safe from all of that, because she doesn’t depend on Hollywood for work. She is using her voice, although she could have chosen to remain silent, in recognition of the fact that she has a moral obligation to be honest, to challenge homophobia within the industry and also in society (as do ALL good people)
    Annie Proulx choose not to be subtle about this, because she knows a storm is needed, and wants to cause one! It’s the most effective way to make this truth known, to challenge this injustice.
    She doesn’t care about receiving prizes or getting bashed over this… history will judge her!
    Give her credit for bravery! All Americans should be proud of having produced a woman of such integrity and stature! Please don’t ignore the objectionable facts surrounding what happened at the Oscars this year. It’s well documented in several pieces that NEVER has a film which gathered all of the national and international awards received by Brokeback Mountain been shunned by the Academy for Best Picture; that is unprecedented. THAT IS A FACT! Now ask yourselves why? Those who believe ‘Crash’ is a better film than ‘Brokeback Mountain’ are entitled to their opinion, but when members of the Academy show no shame in admitting publicly that they didn’t want to see this film because of its subject matter… sorry, folks, but don’t you get it? That means it was not considered on an equal footing with other nominated films that didn’t look at homosexuality. That behaviour is homophobic. You can’t get away from that fact, however you want to look at it! Can you imagine the public outcry if Tony Curtis had said “there are Jews in ‘Munich’ so I’m not interested in seeing or voting for that film”, or similarly offensive comments about ‘Crash’ because it touched upon issues that affect ethnic minorities? I remain shocked about this whole affair, including the fact that blatanly prejudicial remarks like those from Tony Curtid drew little negative press! I mean, THATS how deeply rooted homophobia is in modern American culture! This reality is too ugly for anyone who cares about justice and equality to ignore! This is bigotry, and shouldn’t matter only to gays… it should matter to women, ethnic minorities, members of all minority groups who have experienced discrimination. Please, stop and THINK about these facts for a second, then you’ll understand why people are so outraged by what happened at the Oscars. It’s not about a statuette… it’s about homophobia, and hypocricy among a ‘liberal’ elite who have behaved unjustly.

  38. Blackcloud says:

    “Remember how ‘uncomfortable’ the churches were when we first discovered the world was round.”
    It’s hard to remember something that couldn’t have been forgotten in the first place because it never happened.

  39. Blackcloud says:

    “It’s well documented in several pieces that NEVER has a film which gathered all of the national and international awards received by Brokeback Mountain been shunned by the Academy for Best Picture; that is unprecedented. THAT IS A FACT!”
    If nothing ever happened that had never happened before . . . then nothing would ever happen. Ever. There’s a first time for everything.

  40. Mr. Muckle says:

    Oh cripes on a cracker. There were three films with gay or transgender content presented in a positive (or at least not negative) light that got huge attention this year, two of which were nominated as best picture, and “liketoday” calls it “shunning” when one of them doesn’t win top prize. That’s just complete idiocy, crap, and the kind of deranged self-regard that spoils his cause for ordinary people. Is it homophobia when you simply don’t like personalities who shout such inanities? No, that has nothing to do with it.

  41. Zuraffo says:
    I am sorry black cloud. It appears that the Greek discovered the earth was round way early.

  42. 6foot2SFNY says:

    I continue to be amazed by people’s reaction to the loss of BBM. As a black gay man the loss feels no different than working at my job where all of the manager’s are white- and my boss wonders why my African American and Hispanic work peers find our employer racist. In fact all of the promotions in the last three years and the entire manager’s at my job are now white. There are several newspapers in local communities that target African Americans, Asians and Hispanics but they never advertise in them. If myself or my colored-peers are not qualified to be selected as a manager, and if my employer cared about people of color representation as being part of management why not invest in the outreach in our local community papers to recruit them?
    Although I may have liked BBM and was excited that it was on track to win the Oscar since the extensive series of awards lead me to believe that for once a film of such subject matter would win- but in the end still no Oscar. As my employer wonders why we think they are racist, I wonder how voters and post-Oscar commentators wonder why someone like me would not see this as anything less than heterosexist. To this I say try to see from my eyes.
    I thought Crash was a good film and was very moved by the story, but like BBM I do not feel that either were the best of the year. I do not believe that the Oscar is awarded for that purpose but as to make a larger statement and acknowledgement to the peers in the industry.
    Still, the fact remains that even after the outreach (in the form of numerous awards to BBM prior to the Oscar) had been done, the Academy chose not to select this highly-regarded film that represents an American story of an experience of being a gay male in the US. My friends and I were so excited leading up to the Sunday evening presentation. Come on- these were even White Gay men, not Black ones like my friends and neighbors. After the loss we all went our own ways. For me it took several days to recover from what we all saw as an opportunity that was laid out as being a given for the Academy- I have since been back to work and continue to wonder and felt the need to write these words.
    But the Academy made a choice to select a heterosexual story about race than a gay film with two white men- and from my perspective of living in American as a Black Gay Man- you still wonder why I am upset and why I see the Oscar voters as homophobic.

  43. Blackcloud says:

    “I am sorry black cloud. It appears that the Greek discovered the earth was round way early.”
    No worries. Perhaps you meant the whole heliocentrism business, which did make the churches uncomfortable.

  44. Mr. Muckle says:

    6foot2SFNY, naturally anyone would sympathize with your pain if it was really objective and not created mostly by your own projections and expectations. Sure, there is racism. Homophobia I don’t quite get, since I would appreciate it if sexual affairs were to remain private in any case. I don’t talk about my stuff as if the world was a locker room, for example.
    I worked at one of the phone companies for a while, in a fairly technical and nonmenial job, and at least three levels of management above me were black, two women and a man. Let me tell you, there was as much prejudice and favoritism displayed for what they were comfortable with as any you describe on the part of white society. Only when, say, a black man was hired who turned out to be clearly incompetent and they actually had to get the job done would they hire a white person.
    This is part of what’s maddening about all the yap. All the so-called discriminated-against groups are just as prejudiced and unethical when they get into positions of power as the groups they replaced. Many of us have experience of this, whether it’s blacks, women, gays, Serbians, or whatever damn category of identity we limit ourselves with.
    I don’t believe by any stretch that the Oscars present even a particle of the solution to this. It comes down to treating others well and fairly. If you don’t like to be discriminated against, then don’t discriminate against others on the basis of superficial qualities. Not too many of the people making noise about it would pass this test themselves. Hypocrisy is everywhere.

  45. qwiggles says:

    Oh, poppycock. This is an embittered, sometimes laughable article, but it’s well-written at least and it’s certainly no sign of the world getting a little uglier.
    “But I have to say, this is the kind of blind anger and myopia that has caused hatred of the gay, the black, the religious other, etc.”
    Um. How is this a causal think, David? How does a short story writer’s bitter opinion piece cause hatred of gays and blacks?
    “She has made my worst feelings about what might happen after a Brokeback loss come true.”
    Yeah, I cried, too.

  46. qwiggles says:

    *causal thing

  47. “There came an atrocious act from Hustle and Flow, Three 6 Mafia’s violent rendition of ‘It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,’ a favourite with the audience who knew what it knew and liked.”
    Someone should have thrown a shoutout to Heidi Fleiss. That would have been so — ehr, pimp.

  48. liketoday says:

    You are right in saying that there is a first time for everything. How perceptive! Take the next step forward; cause and effect. (A giant leap?) Why something happens, apply intelligence and consider why.
    Mr Muckle,
    Should I feel grateful that there nominated films that “depict gay content in an… at least not negative light”?
    I’m not calling for unmeritous films to be applauded, just because they ‘depict gay content’
    What I’m expressing anger that any film that is being considered for an award that SHOULD be about artistic merit is not viewed by all voters because they’re not comfortable with the subject matter. That’s wrong. That’s what is objectionable. Voters like Tony Curtis shunned Brokeback Mountain by refusing to see it.
    Statistically, on the basis of Oscar voting trends in previous years (looking at which films won in preceeding ceremonies) the Best Picture award NOT going to Brokeback Mountain bucks the trend. It’s unprecedented.
    You really believe that is just a coincidence, disregarding all of the other known facts of this case? Fine, go back to bed and sleep easy.
    Just because I’m a card-carrying poofter, I don’t want laurels laid before all films and books because they have gay content. I don’t expect even great ones to always get the top prize… please, I live in the real world! Artistic merit is subjective; you win some, you lose some. For the record, I’m not even interested in the Academy’s opinion of what constitutes a great film; I’ve not watched those awards in years!
    What people -some gay, others not- are angered by is the hypocricy and injustice of the Academy’s behaviour on this occasion… because it stinks to high heaven, given the surrounding circumstances! See the gay film, then vote for another because its better… that’s all I want.
    Finally, I don’t dislike personalities because they shout inanities. Because life has taught me to distinguish between words/behaviour- which I do judge- from character.
    When people behave in an offensive or objectionble way (eg. by making racist and homophobic remarks, without understanding their impact) I challenge that behaviour.
    When challenged, sometimes they reflect and realise what they’ve done is wrong… those characters I’m quick to embrace!
    In my opinion, anyone prepared to dismiss a person they’ve never met, on the basis of an expressed opinion which they happen to disagree with…. is prejudiced.
    Answer your own rhetorical question on that basis.

  49. Blackcloud says:

    “Take the next step forward; cause and effect. (A giant leap?) Why something happens, apply intelligence and consider why.”
    You first, and I’m guessing it really would be a first.

  50. martin says:

    i like how these assholes call it “the academy”, like everyone votes the same and everyone has the same political agendas. That Brokeback Mountain won 2 major prizes, best director and best screenplay, clearly suggests that many academy voters liked the film. In the end, slightly more voters preferred Crash. In a town filled with narcissism and liberal agendas, Crash was hardly a surprise. And since when have previous awards meant guaranteed Oscar wins? What early Best Picture awards did Gladiator gets? OR Silence of the Lambs? Wasn’t Saving Private Ryan much more honored than Shakespeare in Love? Wasn’t Sideways the indie that could then got stood up at the Oscars? The Academy has an odd mix of voters that not always predictable. If BBM walked away empty, I’d say maybe Hollywood voters are out of touch with OTHER voters (and what does that even mean?). But BBM won several major awards, Crash won several major awards, and when it came down to it, there were slightly more Crash fans than BBM fans. Get over yourselves with these conspiracy theories, it’s disgusting.

  51. 6foot2SFNY says:

    Mr. Muckle-
    “naturally anyone would sympathize with your pain if it was really objective and not created mostly by your own projections and expectations.”
    Of course my response is created from my perception, where else would my pain come from?
    If you don’t get homophobia- congratulations to you since I would assume from your comment that you have never been subjected to it. Although I would have never expect the Academy

  52. Eeeeeek. Poor Annie Proulx. Of all the people involved it seems that she would have been the most sensible and detached. I bet she’s looking at this right now and wondering WTF she was thinking.
    It’s worth noting that none of the actual filmmakers have uttered a peep re the rumors behind the upset. Except for Larry McMurtry, who can be forgiven because he seems to be the very cootiest of old coots and was probably needing to be tucked into bed.
    So, to the Broke-backers: regardless of what you think was behind the loss, it’s time pack it in. The snarking and wailing is doing more damage to the movie than anything else.
    To those who are non-Broke-backers: Stop being so smug. The reason why most of you are on this site is that you are, supposedly, “movie lovers”, so why should you be so contemptuous that a movie has inspired so many people to go to the mat for it?

  53. Ju-osh says:

    Dave, I’m not sure if I agree with you on the idea that “this is the kind of blind anger and myopia that has caused hatred of the gay, the black, the religious other, etc.” (I tend to think that the reasons for the latter two prejudices and hatreds are more internal — a failure to understand or properly deal with one’s own fears and inadequecies resulting in scapegoating — than they are caused by something someone else says in opposition to their own opinions. The bias/backlash you speak of seems to fit more in with clashing ideologies — like the aforementioned religion — than opposing lifestyles. Then again, I may be wrong.)
    Still, what the hell does she hope to accomplish with such a rant? She can’t possibly be hoping to sway folks whose opinions differ from hers, and with such bad jokes as “Trash – excuse me – Crash”, even those on the fence.
    Oh, and if she wants to really lay into Hollywood, why not address the people responsible for the terrible adaptation of “The Shipping News”?!

  54. Mr. Muckle says:

    Hey guys (liketoday and 2foot2SFNY), I’m probably guilty of some apparently intemperate verbiage characteristic of this medium, but I didn’t mean to suggest anything critical of you personally.
    Let’s see now, what’s the issue? Well, I can’t identify one at the moment, except that we are reacting to what seem like immature, off-the-wall, baby-talk, and whining comments such as Annie’s, however cleverly expressed.
    But I’m not involved in this industry or its convtroversies, and am apparently happier for it. That’s all I’d recommend to anyone else. Get some distance and perspective.

  55. palmtree says:

    The homophobia of people against BM is much more subtle than people are giving it credit for. I don’t think any one of those people who refused to see it would say they are homophobic or dislike gay people or don’t have gay friends or don’t enjoy various aspects of gay culture. It’s more that BM took a heterosexual icon and turned it around. Now for me, I think that that’s a brilliant idea and I applaud the film and Madame Proulx. But for those who are older and grew up idolizing Wayne, Clift, etc. they didn’t want to have their image (self-image?) of the cowboy to be altered. In others words, for them the “message” spoils the movie. And the Oscars said we accept gay people in a traditional way (Hoffman in Capote), but not necessarily when they try to take on a heterosexual identity (which I’m sure the history of gay cowboys in the past proves is absurd to begin with). I’m not trying to justify this, but I think it’s worth mentioning that it is more complicated.

  56. fratello says:

    Methinks that Poland’s decontextualization of Annie’s prosaic ruralist’s account (not a speech at all, more a sketch for a story in its own rite) was stripped of much of its scalding humor in the process–perhaps intentionally? I ask the jury: What is here that isn’t in a thousand blogs and late night show-host quips everyday? Proulx isn’t allowed the same license for sarcastic wit and laspses of taste as, say, David Poland? As Joan Rivers? As the Defamer? As Jay Leno? Must we really confine our creative artists to pedestals the we would never think of climbing?
    Given the rote responses of some in the Poland camp, it seems that at least a few read only what David posted and not Annie’s original. For those endearing slackers, here is the story in its entire, ever more entertaining form:
    Blood on the red carpet
    Annie Proulx on how her Brokeback Oscar hopes were dashed by Crash
    Saturday March 11, 2006
    The Guardian

  57. 6foot2SFNY says:

    Hey Mr. Muckle-
    No personal criticism taken. And I would not express your comments (or the others) as “off-the-wall, baby-talk, and whining comments such as Annie’s, however cleverly expressed” but if you do, so be it.
    Annie seems very upset, and Dave Poland continues to select links and to edit Annie

  58. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I give her props for not caring and just writing this. Yeah, it does come off as sour grapes, but as we’ve mentioned many times – she (and everyone assosciated with BBM) has the right to sour grapes given the situation they were in and the way it all ended.
    I do love her for actually saying the thing about acting. Seriously, Hoffman was great but what was so earth shattering about the fact that he listened to watch Truman sounded like and then, wouldcha know, talked like that.
    Although I couldn’t care about the ISAs if you paid me. Those are quite possibly THE most pointless awards show in the industry. I mean really. Just pathetic.

  59. wongjongat says:

    I think that 6foot2SFNY summed up my feelings for the most part pretty well with his first comment. I’m gay and a visible minority (Asian) and was rather underwhelmed by both Brokeback (lesser Ang Lee–The Wedding Banquet was a much better gay movie, and the Ice Storm is his best film aesthetically) and Crash (nice aesthetics, poor hackneyed script). I thought Capote and Good Night, and Good Luck were much more successful in their execution (and to P.S. Hoffman’s naysayers, I say he certainly did deserve his award. He wasn’t merely mimicking Capote–Hoffman worked his way beneath the author’s skin and brought the moral complexity of his actions to the surface). As for Crash, if BBM had won instead, would that have made AMPAS racist? The logic just doesn’t stick. Sure, some people didn’t watch all the movies–maybe because some people didn’t want to, but I’m sure there were other reasons too. This happens every year. I doubt Tony Curtis or Sarah Jessica Parker are actually homophobes, given some of the work they’ve done. Not to mention the fact that there were FIVE films to choose from, not just two, thus the vote could have been split in all sorts of ways. And did anybody notice the fact that Crash also won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature? The Oscar shouldn’t have been a complete surprise. For me, the only real crime at this year’s Oscars was that Amy Adams didn’t win. As much as I adore Rachel Weisz’s performance in CG, I thought that Amy Adams gave the most sublime performance I’ve seen from an actor so far this decade. But then, that’s just MY opinion.
    Come on, people, we all know the Oscars are not really about Best this or that, but about Favourites of the members of the Academy. I don’t even believe that the U.S. makes the best films in the world–none of my top 5 films of last year were American. And U2 didn’t record the best album last year, though it won the Grammy. And Everybody Loves Raymond was not the best comedy on TV last year, though it won the Emmy.
    People just need to take a step back and breathe for a minute. These award shows are just for fun. They’re so inconsequential to our lives, yet everyone takes them so seriously. Chill, people. There are new films at your theatre right now. Go see them.

  60. jeffmcm says:

    I fully agree with those last two sentences from the above post. I saw Dave Chapelle’s Block Party today and it’s huge fun. Go see it. Let’s ignore the Oscars until at least November.

  61. Nicol D says:

    Evolution Devolution of Homophobia:
    A brief history

  62. sky_capitan says:

    I watched an interview with Paul Haggis this morning on CBC… I can’t imagine him being bitter about anything, but anyway, he said he’s currently working on a script about soldiers coming home from Iraq…
    The interview might be posted here later in the week when the cbc site is updated:

  63. jeffmcm says:

    Why do any of us bother to think for ourselves when Nicol is just sitting around with all the answers? Don’t be shy. Share more of your wisdom with us.

  64. jeffmcm says:

    But seriously, and in a less personal way, I think your insinuation is wrong and dangerous. Reading between the lines, you seem to be suggesting that gays have just enough rights, thank you very much, and should just simmer down and go back where nice normal people don’t have to think about them.
    Correct me if I’m wrong.

  65. James Leer says:

    Nicol, are you really inferring that gay bashing, not wanting to associate with people who are gay, being in the closet, etc. are things of the past?
    Also, how is your own lifestyle damaged by gay equality? That’s the the thing I don’t get. How does it affect you for gay men and women to have equal rights?

  66. jeffmcm says:

    As he stated, he feels as if he’s being asked to ‘affirm everything [gays] do’…whatever that means. Does he have people calling him in the middle of the night asking his permission to engage in gay sex?

  67. qwiggles says:

    I love Nicol’s distinction between 70’s and 90’s homophobia. Clearly there was no violence towards gays in the 90’s.
    Matthew who?

  68. palmtree says:

    So gay people who like BM are hurting their own cause? Thank God you’re looking out for them by telling them to shut up and leave us non-homophobic people alone.

  69. Nicol D says:

    When words mean everything…they mean nothing.
    When you call both a gay bashing (a horrible act) and someone not liking Brokeback Mountain (a negligible act) ‘homophobia’, you are not elevating BBM, you are actually devaluing and hence belittling the gay bashing.
    Much in the same way people who who call George Bush ‘Hitler’ devalue the Holocaust.
    I know this is a complex concept to understand. Acts are bad because of what they are…not the labels you attach to them.
    As for Matthew Sheppard, yes I am perhaps more aware of the case than you.
    It was a horrible tradgedy that both 20/20 and many others have done exposes on.
    We know now that it was not a gay bashing but a drug fueled crime. When it came out afterwards that Matthew Sheppard was gay, the media and rights advocates latched onto it to both sensationalize the case and exploit if for political agendas.
    The accused were then convicted of a hate crime in the court of public opinion. The lawyer said that because of this, if they tried to fight the hate crime angle they would be treated more harshly. Hence they plead guilty to a hate crime.
    Now they did commit the murder. It was a truly heinous, evil act and Sheppard should be alive right now. They should be in jail for life. But it was not a hate crime.
    Even the prosecutor of the case now admits it was not a hate crime.
    The gay lobby will still not accept this. Sometimes the truth comes with no agenda and is not what we want it to be.
    See I care enough about these issues to investigate the actual facts and not rely on rhetoric.
    If I am dangerous it is because I seek that elusive concept of truth and name calling has very little effect on me.

  70. RoyBatty says:

    Seeing that someone made an issue of how “honest” Proulx was, not to mention the self-righteous tone of the diatribe itself, I can’t help but point out that she changed two trivial facts. The first is the limo numbers, which were all four digits long that night (but that would have destroyed the whole Bingo allusion). The second is that the giant TV screen was actually above them, not across the street (Ripley’s Believe It or Not and an office building are on the East side of Highland).
    What’s funny, she is honest enough to acknowledge what was most probably one of the biggest factors of CRASH winning: Lion’s Gate being free to inundated members, member’s friends and probably even people who went to grade school with members with copies of the DVD.
    Had she actually spent the last year hanging out with the folks who live “…cloistered lives behind wrought-iron gates or in deluxe rest-homes…” she might have also acknowledged something far more germane to this “controversy” – that people actaully talked up CRASH in a way they never did with BROKEBACK. BBM was mostly about the awards and the ripple effects of the gay issue in the zeitgiest. CRASH chatter seemed to center exclusively on the film itself.
    Thats just my opinion.
    And in a Annie Proulx World that means you’re just a bunch of stupid igits if you disagree with me…

  71. RoyBatty says:

    PS. – She is 100% right about one thing, the Indy Spirit Awards were a much better show. More heart, more laughs and more moments that make you think you’d really like to grown to be involved with film in some way.

  72. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol: For someone with pretensions to seek ‘that elusive concept of truth’ the positions you hold seem to be very ideologically driven.
    Not that my own aren’t as well…but that horse you’re on must be tired of riding so high. If you are dangerous, I believe it’s because you’re smart enough to think you’re enlightened without that actually being the case.
    Best wishes.

  73. palmtree says:

    I don’t think anyone who dislikes BM is homophobic, but I think someone who refuses to watch it may have some issues. As I posted above, I think the issue is far more complex than that. I’d be far more lenient with an older person who refused to watch BM than I would be with a younger person just based on the difference in cultural values of the society at their coming-of-age.
    And as far as truth, I’d recommend watching the 60 Minutes story yesterday with Leslie Stahl about the new scientific evidence that homosexuality may be created in the womb. In other words, it is a natural response to a woman’s hormones. I’m fascinated to see how Pat Robertson will spin this.

  74. Stella's Boy says:

    Nicol, that is news to me. Could you please tell me where I can find information that confirms what you are saying? I did not realize that it is now an indisputable fact that the Matthew Shephard killing was not a hate crime.

  75. jeffmcm says:

    Palmtree: Robertson can easily blame those foul temptress hormones on corrupting the purity of the womb. Anyway, it’s not like scientific arguments have any place in his mind.

  76. Lota says:

    “As for Matthew Sheppard, yes I am perhaps more aware of the case than you.”
    More “aware” Mr Niccol, but maybe you don’t know more Facts. You know zero if you rely on 20/20-styled shows.
    it may have not been a HATE MURDER but it was a HATE CRIME. Those boys planned on robbing MS and beating him as much as need be to get money, as they suspected he was definitely gay and would be an unsympathetic(to other people) target. this came out repeatedly in court testimony from the people who knew of the intended robbery ahead of time. Court matters not ABC news.
    One interesting fact is that the girlfriends [who i think should have been charged as felony accessory to first-degree murder but got a reduced charge of misdemeanor obstruction charge as a plea deal to turn over info the the State] lied repeatedly aafter the case due to their own embarassment. One girlfriend, Ms. Price, changed her testimony several times–conveniently when certain milestones passed to evade prosecution. I am abhorred if you base your assertion it wasn’t a hate crime on the words of a KNOWN liar under oath
    simply becasue she stated on ABC news that it wasn’t a homophobia-related crime. Honey–no one is under oath on 20/20 or whatever news show–she could say whatever she damn-well pleased. The majority of testimony from many witnesses was that MS being targeted as a “good robbery set-up” was because he was a “fag” (not my words, dudes).
    While those two young men who beat Mr MS to death may not have intended on murdering him, It looks like from their own poor planning and blabbing that there was ample enough proof that the targeting of MS was because of his perceived orientation.
    If I am a thug who targets a “guy who looks Jewish” is this not a anti-Semetic hate motivated crime? YES it is. I may not be murdering, but I am still “hating” as the means to drive my crime.
    I despair that you can say in the same typed breath above, that you seek truth, yet you are very willing to believe statements made to 20/20–ABC news which are not subject to judicial review under the laws of the state of Wyoming or federal law (except as violates FCC). What makes you think that ANY person connected with the case would tell the truth on the ABC news exclusive?
    There was one police officer who disagreed with the reasons for MS’ targeting by the two assailants, but he was in the minority. 20/20 also too states attorney office workers’ words out of context, and they did in this case–Hate Crime is different from Hate Murder–the two assailants didn’t pre-meditate a Murder as much as they wanted to beat the F out of a gay man and take a gay man’s money.
    Unfortunately there are other cases that precede this one in Colorado and Wyoming, where I had the misfortune to intern for awhile.

  77. Lota says:

    scuse me–Price was a KNOWN liar after her testimony when she was not under oath, as court records show, and her interviews during her plea bargain in order to get her sentence reduced (she pkead guilty to misdemeanor charge).
    But hey, believe whatever you want. Truth will remain elusive.

  78. palmtree says:

    To quote Jon Stewart’s sarcastic remark: And none of those issues were ever a problem again.

  79. jeffmcm says:

    I guess the lesson is: 20/20 bad, 60 Minutes good.

  80. Lota says:

    no Jeff. I didn;t imply or say that. News “shows” are ultimately opinion pieces, and of course SHOWS which must be sassy and spicy to get ratings up. There have been cases where an investigation was reopened becasue of new evidence brought to light by an investigative reporter asociated with a show or someone is called in front of a grand jury etc re. statements made in public etc, but this doesn;t mean that any person appearing in or giving “information” to a news show is telling the truth–nor does any person appearing on any show Have To tell the truth.
    There are many good investigative journalists that I know personally who would tell you they may be on to a good story, but that doesn’t mean they are being told the truth by all persons concerned. Most of the time there is an equal balance of concealing, revealing and repealing.

  81. jeffmcm says:

    I was joking a little. I gave up on most investigative news shows years ago when one of them ran a story on interstate trucking sanitation and I decided they were just trying to come up with anything to get viewers alarmed.

  82. palmtree says:

    Are you sure that wasn’t the Daily Show?

  83. Nicol D says:

    “And as far as truth, I’d recommend watching the 60 Minutes story yesterday with Leslie Stahl about the new scientific evidence that homosexuality may be created in the womb. In other words, it is a natural response to a woman’s hormones. I’m fascinated to see how Pat Robertson will spin this.”
    Two questions:
    Can science be funded and driven by ideology?
    If a woman wants to abort a baby who might be gay, is it still her choice?
    When the prosecutor even says it was not a hate crime…you have to question the integrity of the case. It’s not like there have never been slightly rigged cases to get a predetermined outcome before.

  84. Lota says:

    yeah I figured you must be kidding Jeff.
    another note of interest on “news”. One of my Dad’s best chums is a Media magnate and got his start in newspapers. As the owner of some influential newspapers and the overbearing smartass that he was, he controlled whatever was put in that paper and overriding the Editor on occasion. One time as a joke he stuck my Dad’s name as placing in a major Marathon, and another time my dad got X number of votes in a major election even though my dad never would go into politics for any amount of $$$.
    No one called up my Dad to ask if these things were true–they called him up to congratulate him! No one even in my family questioned it. Of course the info was printed as an error in the subsequent issue/edition. Newspapers run apologies every day.
    Couldn’t get away with that stuff these days (that was pre-internet)–but hey, it shows that people believe stuff without question, even against their own common sense, in sympathy with their own opinions and feelings.
    One of my Aunties upon finding out my dad didn;t really place in the top 10 of Boston Marathon or Ny marathon (whichever it was–I was too young to remember) started bullying him on the phone that he should start training for the next year. He couldn’t convince her that he wasn’t in the goddam marathon at all, much less a top-tenner.
    Peeps got to learn to verify info! court and decent field/wire services are a good place to start.

  85. palmtree says:

    To your first question, yes it can be funded and driven by ideology. But the results, the hard data, the integrity of the experiment are divorced from ideology if done well, and are especially important if they disprove the very ideology they were meant to support.
    Second question, yes.

  86. Lota says:

    Niccol you keep making statements without giving sources and names. NO prosecutor of the Shephard case said EVER, that it was not a hate crime during the case. After the case there was a legal distinction between hate-crime and a premeditated murder.
    Tell me the prosecutor’s name, Dude and where it was said–if it was on the ABC news exclusive it WAS a bullshit edit.

  87. jeffmcm says:

    Not kidding. They followed some truckers around and found much filth in the trucks that they were hauling lettuce etc. in. Must have been a slow news year (this was probably ten years ago).

  88. jeffmcm says:

    The great thing about science is that it’s always independently verifable. If someone reaches an ideologically-driven conclusion, someone else can always double-check them.
    As regards the question meant to determine which Liberals love more, Gays or Abortion; if a women believed that having a homosexual child was as abhorrent as giving birth to one with profound physical or mental defects, then chances are the poor kid would not have a very happy upbringing if born. And either way, it’s her choice and none of my business.
    That said, I’m not in favor of the Chinese govt’s policies regarding forced/coerced abortions either. Once again, choice.

  89. James Leer says:

    I still want to know how Nicol D thinks gay equality affects his lifestyle at all, and how he thinks he is “acquiescing” parts of it to greedy homosexuals.

  90. Lota says:

    “If a woman wants to abort a baby who might be gay, is it still her choice?”
    WTF is that supposed to mean…is gay a “bad” prognosis for a baby? Is it like a serious genetic disorder that will result in very low life expectancy or is the carrying mother likely to experience serious poverty/hardship or loss of employment if the gay baby is brought to term(all common reasons given for termination of pregnancy)? Geez that’s what that question posed sounds like. SOunds like a gay-h8ter lobby question for goodness sake.
    Moving swiftly on…everyone wants to win Best Pic oscar if they are nominated, so I don;t understand the expectation in any Camp of a “win”.
    The Crash screeners probably got to more people than the BM. Doesn’t mean Academy voters are making any Statement against BM or gay men or chinese directors.
    ANn P copuld say and write what she likes–yeah someone points out above that Wm Goldman has had some similar vitriol in the past and I don;t think he’s any better for airing it. It would be nicer for the public if people wanted about 30 days post-Oscar before their feelings blossom, after the hangovers are completely gone.

  91. MartinP. says:

    David Poland, this is at least the third time I’ve seen you write something like this: “She (Annie Proulx) has made my worst feelings about what might happen after a Brokeback loss come true.”
    You keep stating that if (and now) Brokeback Mountain lost there would be articles about Hollywood being homophobic. And that would be your worst fear. As someone who writes about the industry and IF there is homophobia in Hollywood why is this something you fear? Do you just not want to deal with it? Does it make you uncomfortable, casue there IS homophobia in Hollywood.
    If there wasn’t homophobia in Hollywood, agents would not have plead with their clients NOT to do Brokeback Mountain for like 9 years? Why are there no gay OUT American film stars? TV stars for that matter. Even Sean Hayes from Will & Grace won’t publicly state he’s gay and he play one (oh did OUT someone) or Charles Perez. There’s a joke in town when a gay actor becomes well-know that “Oh, I used to know him before he was straight.” And why, when some actors do come out, are their careers marginalized? (Rupert Graves says he wished he hadn’t done it.) And THAT’S NOT homophobia?
    Excuse me, but what world are you people living in? Hollywood? Where the bluebirds sing and there’s a whiskey spring? There is PLENTY of homophobia in Hollywood. To suggest that might not have been a contributing factor to Brokeback Mountain’s loss in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, then you people are
    seriously in need of a reality check. I see no one wrote about the part in Annie Proulx’s piece where lines of protester’s throwing venom on the people in the limo’s about Brokeback Mountain and gays was mentioned. Why the silence?
    People wake up!
    And Martin, you wrote:
    “What early Best Picture awards did Gladiator get?”
    Off the top of my head, without researching it, it won the Golden Globe and Producer

  92. jeffmcm says:

    Dave Poland is apparently still waiting for the picketers to get off his doorstep, but then every once in a while he opens his door and taunts them again, so they never get a chance to get bored and leave on their own.

  93. Zuraffo says:

    Just a reminder that ultimately Annie Proulx said the truth about that movie: *rash is Trash.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon