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.
This is another dip in the old search-query-that-brought-someone-here-mailbag. This question is honest and simple, and I spent a good part of my mid-20s trying to figure it out. Here’s what I came up with:
Yes. Everyone who was just becoming a teenager as the 90s wore down, I’m talking about you. This is what happened:
Your boomer parents gave you a lot of disposable cash for no good reason.
You spent it on Britney Spears, boy bands, and clothing that wasn’t ironically cool (that is, clothing that cost more than $4.)
You did not spend it on Oasis or Nada Surf or Harvey Danger. You did not spend it on The Flys or New Radicals. You absolutely did not spend it on REM. You also didn’t didn’t spend it on AOR or Adult Contemporary (goodbye, that whole genre). No New Bohemians, no Mazzy Star. Good bye John Mellencamp. It’s been fun, John Secada. Peace out, Tonic, Gin Blossoms, Dishwalla, Joan Osbourne, Black Lab.
Hello, all delighted teensters with your expendable non-work-related dollars. Hello, Generation Bigger Than The Baby Boom. Hello, malleable taste-makers, hello.
Goodbye, alternative radio formats. Goodbye, Y-100. Goodbye, you last hangers on of Generation X, you would-be Cusacks. Goodbye, Empire Records.
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.