"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Awards Season

An Actress at her Toilet.

When actors and actresses and film makers are honored.

Lots of talk online about the Golden Globes and the Oscars - I like both awards shows, but I prefer the Globes, which I watched last Sunday instead of Downton Abbey.

Many popular writers devote space on their sites to critique films, actors, directors, and their awards.  Don't forget the fashions.  In turn, the writers who post stories on the subject can be criticized for being superficial - even when they decide it is important to discuss the merits of those who receive such awards as a Lifetime Achievement Award for their work.  Simcha Fisher devoted a post to this important topic, asking "What About Art Made by Monsters?"

I guess Woody Allen is a monster?

I'm not sure all the rumors about Woody are true.  If they are, his perversion is not unprecedented in Hollywood; Errol Flynn and his buddies fooled around with kids, and don't forget Roman Polanski's exile from the United States is on account of child molestation charges.  I'm not defending the behavior - just pointing out a fact.  Hollywood people "are pigs" - as Katherine Hepburn stated in an interview once.  And Mia Farrow is pretty strange herself - after all, she married Woody - and at one time, while still very young herself, married a much older Frank Sinatra.  Last time I read anything on Farrow, she was still unsure if one of her sons was Sinatra's.

That said, actors and theater people have always had a bad reputation.  Throughout history actors were associated with drunkards, harlots and Sodomites, most were considered immoral, right down there with vagabonds and gypsies.  In Medieval times, they could be refused Christian burial.  Even in the 20th Century it was rare to find an actor or actress acclaimed for their grace and virtue.  The moral standards of Hollywood in the age of the Legion of Decency was pretty much a cover up for scandal and bad behavior.  When scandals became public, stars were suspended, yet box office stardom and celebrity shot up.  We've made actors and filmmakers into celebrities, and grant them reputations and status as artists and philosophers - and some of them may be.  We expect them to be saints, indeed, they seem to have taken the place of saints in contemporary pop culture, some we make into idols - but they're just people, and more often than not, they are rarely acclaimed for virtuous living.

The awards shows are important for the industry not only for ratings, but to keep the industry afloat by hyping new films.  Amongst peers, the awards are recognition for artistic achievement.  Writing, acting, directing, and especially cinematography and CGI is an art form.  The players are not role models of virtuous living.  They are actors.  It's their job.  In addition to monetary compensation and success, they seek applause and approval for what they do - that's why they have awards.

Bloggers and journalists can be just like film people - they make up awards for themselves and write articles to drive stats and personal income.

Incidentally, Woody Allen never shows up for awards.  He doesn't care.

Gina Lollobrigida meeting Paul VI.
In 1957 both Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren
were designated 'public sinners' by the Vatican.


  1. "In the 1960's both Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren
    were designated 'public sinners' by the Vatican."

    Gee...really? And by whom? A closet sinner? We are, the lot of us, all, public sinners. Sophia and Gina are classy broads compared to many so-called starlets of today.

    That "public sinners by the Vatican" reeks of self-righteousness and hypocrisy...more along the lines of something that guy with the paper sword would say. ;p

    1. Things were very strict back then and Italy was very Catholic. Divorce was still illegal and cinema was sternly rebuked by the Holy See.

    2. Times sure have changed...I was but a kid in those heady days of rebuking by the Holy See. Little did we know the price the Holy See would pay because of the sins committed by her many sons/daughters.

      St. Joseph, as Guardian of the Universal Church, pray for us.

  2. Over here in the UK the top actors receive an altogether different kind of award - i.e. the Queen makes them knights (or, in the case of actresses, dames). This even applies to British-born Hollywood stars - most recently, Angela Lansbury. As PG Wodehouse once put it, "a gracious sovereign, feeling that there is nothing like a dame..., made her one"...

    1. Mark - The British actors shine brighter than all the stars in the heavens in my estimation. The majority seem more interested in perfecting their craft than being concerned with honors. I have great admiration for them.

  3. Yaya writes : "That "public sinners by the Vatican" reeks of self-righteousness and hypocrisy.."

    That certainly is a different view of than I had upon the reading of it.

    I wished we still had such pronouncements. Both for the good of the public sinner, and the good of society.

    I suspect Matt 18-15 was first exhausted, as is typically done in all such situations. The Church has through the years acted with charity and patience almost to a fault.

    1. "I wished we still had such pronouncements. Both for the good of the public sinner, and the good of society."

      If that be the will of our Holy Father, then let him start by rebuking those bishops/cardinals who have been rumored to have long harbored known priest pedophiles as public sinners.

      But in God's gracious mercy just can't see that happening...does not fit Papa Francis's style but perhaps, he will do so in private...first, proof will be needed versus the rumor mill.

  4. She just wanted to be denounced in person. What?

    1. i wonder how that proclamation was officially stated?

      "You are hereby denounced as a sinner and in need of mercy, therefore go ye and repent."

      I think thats a fair statement, not too exciting, but to the point (I could use this myself at times)

  5. ...the last movie I saw was The Full Monty. ( what ?)

  6. Terry, it looks like you got a mention in crisis: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/the-new-homophiles-and-their-critics

    heads up, you probably already knew

    1. Thanks James. Looks like a fire storm over there. I was asked to comment but I'm not very good at debate.


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