Sunday, January 14, 2007

one perk of being famous: being analyzed

I think the best part of being famous as an artist is to have your work analyzed to death: reviewed, critiqued, cross-analyzed, dissected, and everything else. There's a whole industry of people who analyzed and critiques prominent musicians, filmmakers, actors and artists. I'm one of them, or aspire to be one of them as a film critic. And those film critics or music critics, or whatever they are, don't just review something some average Joe did with his camcorder when he went on his trip to do relief work on his camcorder. They will, however, review the footage Spike Lee took of New Orleans post-Katrina when he went down there. They might bash it or they might praise it, but either way, it must be exciting to have such prominent critics looking at your work and deciding whether it's a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down.

In essence, what i'm saying is that it's a natural instinct for anyone who makes a work of art to want to have it judged and evaluated, and as a perk of being famous you get to have it evaluated by the best. Another perk is that even if it's bad and the critics bash it you can look on the bright side which is that you're famous enough to have those critics look at your work in the first place. I saw this terrible movie, Vanilla Sky, by Cameron Crowe, the other day and it was one of the most dissapointing movies I'd ever seen. If I were to write a bad review of it and give it a thumbs down, or whatever (or let's say a respectable critic were to do so), I wouldn't really be saying "this is a terrible work of art" because it's all relative. What I would be saying is "for something to be put into a theater on national distribution, this is unacceptable." Because, Vanilla Sky is perfectly acceptable for the standards of an 8th grader shooting a student film. If you took all the "films" ever made, Vanilla Sky is still close to the top. I have been to a couple student film festivals and some of the stuff there will just make you cringe and all of it shows an understanding of the craft that isn't fully developed. In other words "Vanilla Sky" isn't neccessarily bad, it's just bad by "famous person" standards which should give comfort to those people like Ben Affleck pre-Hollywoodland who was just running into a lot of critical trouble, although oddly enough it doesn't. That just might be one way of looking at it.

Of course, when you become a historical figure like Picasso or Monet in art or Duke Ellington or Alfred Hitchkock or Barizhnokov, then you become the subject of academic literature and books and everything, and that must be funner, still, although I hear that many of them do so with detached amusement. I heard once that Alfred Hitchkock helped his granddaughter out in film class with an essay she had to write in a class where she had to analyze one of his movies. He told her what he was thinking when he made the movie and she still got a C.

What's great about achieving that level of fame is being psychoanalyzed by authors. I'd love that. It'd be like free therapy with the best writers in the world as your therapists. I'd also love to have an E! True Hollywood Story. I would love to have everyone I've ever known rounded up and asked to say a few words about me: I would learn a lot about myself.

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