Singin’ in the Rain

In the third act of A Clockwork Orange, Patrick Magee‘s agitated liberal-activist character — white-haired, ruddy-faced, excitable — is phone-chatting with a superior about the necessity of leadership. “The common people will let it go,” he says. “Oh yes, they’ll sell liberty for a quieter life. That is why they must be led, sir…driven, pushed!”

I am Patrick Magee, and this is more or less my view of the older, reputedly lazy Academy fuddy-duds. “The older Academy members will too often bypass true quality and reward films that offer the usual familiar comforts. Oh, they’ll give it all away for a calmer, warmer, more reassuring experience. That is why they must be led, sir…driven, pushed!”

  • The Winchester

    Yes, because when I think of comfortable and familiar, I think of Hurt Locker and No Country for Old Men.

    Unless you mean you’re the shepherd, leading the Academy to these decisions.

  • Rich S.

    Remember, Magee also had Dave Prowse’s muscle backing him up.

  • DiscoNap

    yes, pushed away from a cold and brutal film that examines the fruitlessness of vengeance and the tenuousness of the belligerent foundation of the Jewish state, and towards a biopic of a gay writer that excises as much gay content as possible…

  • LexG

    I realize it is not Jeff’s intention, I am excited about this movie and respect Jeff’s blitzkreig rallying for it, but…

    It’s kind of creating a vibe where a lot of regulars here– and regular viewers led into it by the critical hosannas– are actively LOOKING to be underwhelmed. You can only browbeat the lay people so long and so hard about THIS IS THE GREATEST THING YOU WILL EVER SEE AND IF YOU DISAGREE YOU ARE TOO STUPID TO GET IT! for so long before they either avoid the movie altogether, or go in with a MASSIVE chip on their shoulder.

    I don’t know why movie fans can’t be ENTHUSIASTIC going into things, but for whatever reason, in the Internet world, movie know-it-alls go in actively LOOKING to nitpick, looking to be underwhelmed… A lot of critics and bloggers and commenters say that always go in with an open mind and WANT to love everything, but I think that’s bullshit. Most guy in looking for the very first provocation that sets them off so they can throw their hands up and start concocting a “clever” negative review.

    With that sort of atmosphere permeating the way modern smart people process film to begin with, it’s gonna be a bloodbath here come Saturday morning when the hoi polloi clocks in to register their “Eh, it was decent but not THAT great” opinions.

  • The Thing

    So what’s the trigger that will derail your benevolent endeavor into one of revenge?

    Quick, long-time fans, what movie did Wells think should have won best picture, but was beat out by the familiar and comfortable?

  • The Thing

    Also, to be more accurate, the government was socialist (not explicitly stated, but the underlying tones were there, such as Alex living in Municipal Block 18, or whatever number it was), so Magee’s character was more of a conservative writer. In today’s world, he would be Glen Beck, saying “we need to go back to the founding principles of this nation – liberty and freedom”.

    But I get what you’re saying.

  • Travis Crabtree

    They should just move the Oscars up to tomorrow, give “The Social Network” a complete sweep, (including Best Picture, of course,) and be done with it.

    If they don’t do that, it just proves they are a bunch of old, stick-in-the-mud ignoramuses.

    I will ban anyone who sees, let alone acknowledges the quality of “The Kings Speech”.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    I’m not talking about any one film. I’m talking about the tendency of older folks to favor default comfort-zone films.

  • Hunter Tremayne

    Kubrick, huh? Try Paths of Glory:

    Colonel Dax: The attack yesterday morning was no stain on the honour of Hollywood Elsewhere, certainly no disgrace to the fighting man of that nation. But this Court Martial is such a stain, and such a disgrace. The case made against these other films is a mockery of all human justice. Gentlemen of the court, to find these films guilty would be a crime, to haunt each of you till the day you die. I can’t believe that the noblest impulse for a movie fan – his love for other films – can be completely dead here. Therefore, I humbly beg you… show mercy to these movies.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    That’s pretty good. Funny.

  • the400blows

    It’s funny how Glenn Beck twist the words liberty and freedom with anarchy. In my film language, it would be called a mess, such as The Postman, Heaven’s Gate, and most of Coppola’s later films. Would Slumdog Milionaire be considered “comfortable” and “familiar.” All right–so it wasn’t as edgey like City of God. But it was still brilliant in its own right. And Danny Boyle deserved the Oscar.

  • DiscoNap

    I do very much look forward to a Reel Geezers review of the Social Network that dissolves into screams of confused agony.

  • 62Lincoln

    LexG: “I don’t know why movie fans can’t be ENTHUSIASTIC going into things…”

    Because they prefer to think for themselves and form their own opinions?

    ^^That is not directed at Jeff, he’s doing his blog duty, perhaps too enthusiastically. If one frequents many sites (HE alone fulfills my needs) then it’s easy to see how the situation Lex describes can arise.

  • Chauncey

    “Oh, they’ll give it all away for a calmer, warmer, more reassuring experience.”

    Blank faces, calm as Hindu cows.

  • BobbyLupo

    Lex – the reason for the resentment is based on the fact that the bloggers themselves generally get off on seeing the movies early and trying to shape the tastes. The resentment builds up quickly once people realize how the critics have a tendency to think alike in a way that makes sense in a screening room but rarely translates to an actual paying audience.

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