Cool post from screenwriter Scott W. Smith. Scott shares a piece by Maureen Doud about 50s-starlet-turned-nun Dolores Hart, the subject of award-winning documentary “God Is The Bigger Elvis.” What a great and profound title!
“When I met Elvis, I met a very sweet and very courteous young man who jumped to his feet and said ‘Hello,’ and ‘ How do you do, Miss Dolores?’ I was very touched by his courtesy and honesty, and I thought immediately I would like this fellow.”
A spiritual documentary about a 73-year-old nun living in a rural Benedictine monastery/farm in Bethlehem, Connecticut might not seem like the easiest route to take to the Oscars, but it worked for God Is the Bigger Elvis—the story of former a Hollywood actress who once kissed Elvis Presley in a movie.
Dear Anyone Who Wrote Articles this Week with Headlines Like “Where Does James Franco Go From Here?” and “James Franco: Will He Ever Act Again?”:
Take a cue from JF. Hang loose. Calm down. Relax. Reeeee-lax. Seriously. Will James Franco ever work again? Really. “Will we be able to take him seriously as an action star in the Planet of the Apes prequel?” Go ahead and read that sentence again. To everyone talking this week about how his primary occupation these days is the deconstruction of his own celebrity, thanks for the update. “His stint on General Hospital was performance art.” Guess what? Any decent art is. And performance anxiety keeps a lot of people from doing their own creative thing. The fear of being defined by someone else, by a critic, a genre, a style, whatever. Most interesting artists have been there. At some point, you realize how silly it is. You get over it, you grow up. It turns out you can write serious essays and fiction some days and blogs about James Franco and how Netflix is like NATO others.
All the media writers dumping on Franco and asking these puffed up questions about gravitas and believability (verisimilitude, to you writer friends) are outing themselves either as silly, members of the Academy, or both. Talk about self-important. Talk about out of touch. I’m not saying Franco’s particular brand of awesome plays in the mainstream the same way it does in the post-ironic haunts I like to pretend exist in all parts of the grown-up world. But it’s still awesome. It’s still about perspective. It’s still just the Oscars. It’s still just movies. Relax, friends. Reeee-lax.
Judd Apatow, if you’re reading: how about a script for Freaks And Geeks: 10 Year Reunion. It’s 1991. Nick Andopolous opened once for the Melvins. Sam is an FBI psychologist. Karen works for a paper company in Pennsylvania. Daniel is exactly the same, except famous. I’d watch that every day.
I know I’m late on this, but I’ve been wanting to reiterate that what Michael Giacchino said at the Oscars (and how he said it) was really important:
Thank you, guys. When I was… I was nine and I asked my dad, “Can I have your movie camera? That old, wind-up 8 millimeter camera that was in your drawer?” And he goes, “Sure, take it.” And I took it and I started making movies with it and I started being as creative as I could, and never once in my life did my parents ever say, “What you’re doing is a waste of time.” Never. And I grew up, I had teachers, I had colleagues, I had people that I worked with all through my life who always told me what you’re doing is not a waste of time. So that was normal to me that it was OK to do that. I know there are kids out there that don’t have that support system so if you’re out there and you’re listening, listen to me: If you want to be creative, get out there and do it. It’s not a waste of time. Do it. OK? Thank you. Thank you.
Same for Mo’Nique: “sometimes you have to forgo doing what is popular in order to do what’s right.”
I was reminded of both of these quotes by this post.