Trials & Tribulations of a life in advertising

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Trance America

Cowboys in love, crash victims of racism, an upmarket intellectual search of a cold-blooded killer, the journalist who voiced American fears and hopes during the McCarthy era, the behind-the-scenes weaknesses of an American legend, and destabilising effects, courtesy a transsexual crisis. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences needs to be lauded for capturing an America in suspended animation; a nation coming to terms with its inherent and ever evolving crises at both private and public spaces. This is the year of the uncomfortable. This is the year when the marginalized became the mainstream. This is America in Trance.

So what if the peripheral didn’t become the popular in commercial terms (As of last week, the documentary “March of the Penguins”, another winner this year had grossed more than Brokeback Mountain in ticket sales). And let’s also forget that the ultimate winner, Crash, hasn’t been universally adored by critics. Because this year, the exception became the norm. Critically acclaimed but commercially misplaced independent efforts normally become an apologetic assurance from the Academy that they do have such parallel struggles in their minds. But this year, they took centre stage. From Good Night Good Luck to Brokeback Mountain to Crash to Transamerica to Capote to Walk the Line, it was the march of the frequently forgotten. Heck, they even apologised to Robert Altman!

And it was America all the way. The fevers and phobias that obsess the land of the free. Other than Munich and Memoirs of a Geisha, the other nominees were predominantly born out of themes turbulently set in the American psyche. And unlike American Beauty – an English man’s satire of manicured minds in American suburbia – this time around, the players were primarily American.

So, let’s celebrate this moment of the cerebral. For all you know, next year they might return to the usual suspects of resurrected dinosaurs and overblown apes.


Blogger Arvind said...

Well..well...well....which agency you're from?

12:54 PM


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