Kim Novak, who in just the past few years has survived breast cancer, bipolar disorder, fireand a serious horse riding accident, doesn’t have to justify her face or her private choices to anyone. She essentially left the Hollywood race years ago, and the snark of the Internet likely has little effect. But hers wasn’t the only heavily scrutinized and shock-inducing countenance in an evening that began with host Ellen DeGeneres declaring youth “the most important thing in the world.” There was 68-year-old Goldie Hawn’s not-exactly-natural-looking appearance. There was DeGeneres’ crack about 67-year-old Liza Minnelli looking like an “amazing Liza Minnelli impersonator.” There was the entire train wreck known as John Travolta.
Yet the sad part is how unnecessary – even career-killing — so much of this flat-out disfiguring is. In sharp contrast to the some of those profoundly appearance-altered presenters Oscar night, it was a field of considerably more natural-looking older actors – Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Meryl Streep and Judi Dench – who were among the actual nominees. And it was the still actively working 88-year-old Angela Lansbury and 68-year-old Steve Martin who picked up honorary Oscars. Why might that be so? Could it be because none of them, not even Streep, have ever been famed primarily for being beautiful?
Wo/man's part of nature, and is proving a powerful agent of its overall character. And if we slow aging, eliminate it, pull it back, will people who let themselves look old still be granted your appreciation, or be deemed unnatural?
We should hope the mind ever-grows; maybe we ought to engineer the same thing with skin … that is, as we age, our already great skin becomes even that much more silky smooth, are already-limber bodies, possess that much more sublime sway. Why content ourselves with having the maturity to admire people who don't devote so much of their attention to their appearance?
In sharp contrast to the some of those profoundly appearance-altered presenters Oscar night, it was a field of considerably more natural-looking older actors – Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Meryl Streep and Judi Dench – who were among the actual nominees. And it was the still actively working 88-year-old Angela Lansbury and 68-year-old Steve Martin who picked up honorary Oscars. Why might that be so? Could it be because none of them, not even Streep, have ever been famed primarily for being beautiful?
Patrick McEvoy-Halston This is not the only possible explanation. None of us are in the mood for a pre-fall, arrogant Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong. We once loved them mightily, exactly for being bigger than the game, shedding all ostensible confines of human nature, but are in the mood to applaud now those who in comparison seem chastened -- no matter how good they become, they'll be self-effacing, and not ever claim to own their sport.
We saw instantly in all these aging -- their further aging, maybe even their eventual corpses. To prefer, to find contentment in this, this effacing, over they're for a moment stopping time to behold immortal them, may suggest a symptom of our Depression sickness, not our maturing preferences.
Patrick McEvoy-Halston One of the nice things about botched facelifts is that they may helpfully keep alive the idea of altering our appearance drastically. Everyone here seems to agree that the ONLY acceptable possibility to is go for modest, graceful changes … which has us all sounding suspiciously like the conservatives at court.
"Classicism is fine, but there are other aesthetics …" someone might helpfully seep into the emperor's ear, granting Mozart a sounder listen.
Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…
I wasn't familiar with the director. It's
about a repeat predator, so certainly timely. But also about a very
circumspect, coifed and careful one, so inverse. Relates it all to childhood
trauma; taking revenge for childhood abandonment: revenge on other girls for
the crimes of the mother. I still insist that's where we need to look to get at
Weinstein's illness. We think we reach brave, but there's always a higher level
of brave -- what nobody else wants to touch right now, now that the proper
decorum is simply to admonish both oneself and the behaviour of others: we've
been bad; no excuse, we'll do better.
A lot of people may very well hate this film, but I found it a
bit of a jack-of-the-box in terms of surprises: within each scene the director
seemed to want to focus on something to show that, in this light, isn't this
beautiful. So a human head on a top of a snowman, so a curated snowman, so
landscapes of pleasantly loped seaside towns full of manage…