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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Right to Vote...For So-So Movies

What do Dolly Parton, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Werner Herzog all have in common? If you answered that they would all be participating in Herzog's upcoming sequel to The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, entitled Brokeback Cathouse with Dolly playing the madam who used to be a madman, you are absolutely off-base, but thanks for playing!

No, this intrepid threesome (Not that kind of threesome) are new members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Does this mean that they will all finally get to participate in in-depth academic investigations into the influence of Expressionism in modern American film, symposiums on the nature of mise-en-scene in the screwball comedy, and historical analyses of the way in which technology has altered the art of the cinema, from the Latham Loop to CGI?

Of course not, you silly people. That would require being a member of a real Academy! No, Dolly, Jake, and Werner, along with Dakota Fanning, Rachel Weisz, Felicity Huffman, Heath Ledger, Joaquin Phoenix, David Strathairn, Cathy Shulman, Bobby Moresco, Dario Marianelli, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Les Ferdinand, Dame Edna, Paris Hilton, Sporty Spice, Triumph the Comic Insult Dog and a host of others now get to vote on the Oscars. Their deep and reflective insight into the cinema will now be utilized to make vastly more intelligent selections for the awards ceremony, rather than the old method, which consisted of Ernest Borgnine drawing selections out of one of Shelly Winters' old brassieres.

So, the quality of the Best Picture selections is bound to increase. Would Dolly disappoint us???

The untold story of this article is that these celebrated luminaries of the silver screen and Dollywood will now have access to all the secret and special privileges of the Oscar voting rolls. True, Dakota Fanning will not be able to take advantage of 90% of them, as she is still a minor, but the rest of these special rights will only increase the great respect these people already have for the noble and lucrative art of film and the immense power that being a well-known person in America can bring you, regardless of talent...right Paris?

I've listed a few of these perks below. Members of the Academy have the following rights and privileges:

  • Free parking at the Kodak Theater. There's nothing quite so entertaining as just pulling up and getting out while has-beens like Alan Alda and Richard Attenborough are digging around in their pockets for spare change to put in the metre.
  • The right to bump non-members from the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. This is really useful when you've got that one extra anecdote from the set, and Moby is backstage itching to go on. It's especially sweet when Joan or Melissa Rivers are booked on the show. "Didn't like the outfit I wore on the red carpet last year girls? Well, you can cool your heels in the Green Room all night."
  • Licence to kill. I'm not sure how they get away with this, but there is a rumour that on a set in 2003, Harvey Keitel snuffed a grip. When the police showed up to investigate, he just flashed his Academy ID and they retreated to a corner and curled up in fetal positions. One caveat: Academy members in good standing are not allowed to kill each other except in years when the international box office revenues are down.
  • Free date with Angelina Jolie. You didn't think she and Billy Bob Thorton hooked up a few years ago just because they like each other, did you? Heterosexual women and gay men are allowed the alternative of a free day spa in Monaco, but only because George Clooney wouldn't play along.
  • All the drugs and alcohol you can handle. You can lose this privilege if you go too far. Just ask Robert Downey Jr., who is now only allow Shirley Temples and Baby Asprin at the post-Oscar parties. He's such a maniac, they won't even serve him Red Bull any more.
  • Automatic 100-yard restraining order on Michael Jackson. Just in case. A wise celebrity never takes chances.
  • Free "Sleep with me, I'm in Show-Biz" t-shirt. Comes with your choice of pictures: Charles Chaplin (Silent era), Errol Flynn (Classic era), Bob Crane (TV Crossover), Slim Pickens (Bizarro), or Paris Hilton (B-Movies).
  • Free public appearances with Elizabeth Taylor. This comes in really handy when you need to look like the "sane one." Rumour has it that she and Tom Cruise will be going on an extended tour soon, to try and rehabilitate his image.
  • 10 year's supply of caviar, lobster, champagne, and filets. This is just to cover things in case Academy members visit one another. There's nothing more dispiriting than a big-time movie star dropping in for a dinner of bean sprouts and extra-dry tofu, because the host just went vegan. This is renewable if your average box-office stays above 7 digits.
  • A Hummer. Just like Ah-nold's
  • The Governorship of California. Only one person can claim this privilege at a time, though.

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