Exit from Eden

What follows are some thoughts on nostalgia and how it may blur critical assessment, prompted by yesterday’s post on this year’s Oscars show.

I’d like to preface them with a quote from an interview that Stefan Blitz (now founder/editor-in-chief of Forces of Geek) and I conducted with comics writer Brian Michael Bendis back in 2001 for my magazine Comicology. After I stopped myself literally in the middle of referring to Stefan as a DVD connoisseur, Stefan made my point for me — by admitting that he owned the 1983 movie Krull.

“You know what’s funny about that movie?” said Bendis. “I remember seeing that
movie [at 15] with my mom and my brother, and sitting in the movie theater having
my first realization that movies could suck.”

The Bloom Is Off the Gilded Lily

I wasn’t going to write about The 85th Annual Academy Awards.

'The 85th Annual Academy Awards' graphic card with statuette

Really. Not outside of some comments on other blogs, anyway. And it ain’t because producers attempted to chuck the formality and rebrand this year’s show purely as “the Oscars”. I’m not above a linguistic gotcha; however, this is not such a gotcha. I honestly expected to be too fatigued and just plain iffy about the telecast that I was happy thinking about not writing about it.

But last night’s Oscarfest, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, was so disappointing that I
kind-of can’t help it.

I don’t have much to say about the content of the show. My anticipated mixture of indifference and irritation was pretty spot-on. It’s that during the telecast I finally came to — hmm... not a realization or epiphany, exactly, more of a rubicon I suppose — a rubicon in terms of my relationship with the annual event. I found myself curiously indifferent about my irritation.

Pre-Oscars Post

As you might’ve heard, the Oscars are tonight.

long, narrow photograph of the site of the 35th Academy Awards from 1963

The big show starts at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT on ABC — whose Go site has a complete list of nominees. If you’re into seeing Oscar hopefuls, presenters, and other celebrities on the red carpet, you’ll want to check those good ol’ local listings.

I’ll probably pass on a review of the show; then again, I’ve thought that before and yet — after a bout of Oscars poetry in 2009, when the blog was all of a few days old — I ended up doing post-Oscars posts in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

What Lies Beneath

'Skyfall' movie poster with Daniel Craig walking through the barrel of a gun in standard Bond opening-sequence fashion

James Bond celebrated his 50th anniversary on the silver screen last year. Dr. No
hit theaters in 1962, based on the 1958 Ian Fleming novel of the same name (sixth in the Bond series). It made Sean Connery a star, launched a slate of films that would position Bond as a global icon for generations to come, and kicked off a spate of imitators capitalizing on the spy craze — some of which, like Mission: Impossible
and Get Smart, became icons of a certain size in their own right.

Was Skyfall, now out on home video, a worthy way to commemorate Bond’s golden jubilee?

Mail Model

Bully the little stuffed bull, with help from his friend John DiBello, ran a DC subscription ad from 1972 the other day on his blog Comics Oughta Be Fun! as part of the 365 Days of DC House Ads feature.

'Sorry -- I Have No More DC Comics!' / Kids discuss subscribing by mail after newsagent tells them he's out of DC
Ad © 1971 DC Comics, f.k.a. National Periodical Publications. [enlarge]

I wasn’t quite reading comics at fourteen months old in December 1971, when the
issue from which this ad was taken — Batman #239, cover-dated February 1972 — was published. But I’ve seen it in back issues acquired since then and I know that it was repurposed, directly as well as in concept, over time.