Monday, January 30, 2012

A Shameful Sham

It's a shame!
In the days following the conclusion of my interest in the remainder of the awards season climax on this side of the pond, it allowed me to reflect a little bit more on what Michael Fassbender has accomplished. But first, I want to talk about the infantile and embarrassing articles that have been written by Americans about the "reason" why Michael was snubbed for an Oscar nomination last week. The childish taunts and mockings by "journalists" say more about them, and American's so-called puritanical fears of male nudity, than it does about Michael Fassbender. If you were to do a quick Google search on news about Michael Fassbender, you will see headlines that joke about Michael's nudity as being the reason for the snub, and high-school locker room language about his physicality. The headlines are designed purely to get visits to the website and to read a shallow article that has been written by someone who is absolutely clueless about Michael's cinema repertoire and true talents beyond the role that has gotten him the most fame this season. And to top it all off, I got an invite to follow a new tumblr blog that is strictly devoted to all forms of Michael in the nude, co-starring Fassbender Jr! No thank you!

I was so gung ho and anxious leading up to Tuesday morning last week, and then, we were all let down like a balloon that was suddenly popped by a hot sharp needle. Like many of you, I was upset, but then that upset turned into a mental exhaustion, and then that exhaustion turned into being angry at an injustice that was unfair and discriminatory and based on a sexist system of double-standards. Of all the years that I have been watching the race towards the Oscar nominations, I have never witnessed such a blatant act of exclusion, elitism, sexism, and plain old fashioned ignorance. Once I stepped away from the snub madness, I was able to say to myself in a calm manner, that this is just what it is, and Michael deserves better than this, and he will get his just rewards. I'm also relieved that he will not be the butt of jokes and snide commentary while he continued to actively participate in the soul eating campaign for a piece of gold plated metal. If Michael Fassbender were to ever truly be recognized and honored with an Oscar nomination in the future, it should come after some distance and time from the success of his work in Shame. The residue of the deliberate snub (because the film was NC-17 and showed male nudity - the two principle reasons why AMPAS didn't give Shame the time of day) will be a distant memory because Hollywood suffers from attention deficit disorder.

So, I'm glad for Michael's sake he doesn't have to deal with American media ignorance for the remainder of this winter and coming spring while Shame and his nudity is still on repressed gossipy tongues. Meanwhile, for the weekend of February 11-12th, there will be back to back opportunities for Michael to conclude his award collection season which started way back in September at the Venice Film Festival. I'm not going to make any predictions, I'm done with that. I just want to wish Michael the best of luck in having the Irish (Irish Film and Television Awards) and the British (BAFTAs) award him with their respective Best Actor trophy, and to show the Americans what a Best Actor nominee and winner really looks like.

To those of you regular Fassinating Fassbender contributors who missed out on participating in Plan B, or if you did not want to participate in it, I may have an alternative option for you to consider. It will be strictly dealing with me one on one in getting a birthday greeting to His Awesomeness. Just email me.

33 comments:

Dionne said...

I felt the same way when Michael wasn't nominated for Hunger. Only now it's way worse. If the academy nominates him in the near future for something else it will be like a slap to the face. I'm beyond over the politics involved in the film industry. We all know just how truly talented Fass is; that's what keeps me going this award season!

Anonymous said...

I think it speaks volumes about how much warmer the critical reception for Shame was overseas than here in America. The US is so infantilized about issues of sex and nudity that I'm amazed in retrospect that FOX Searchlight thought they could overcome the stigma of the film's content and rating in such a puritanical country. It makes me sad.

Simone said...

Yes, Hunger was mistreated in its marketing, heck, even BAFTA was too dull to recognize Michael's talent back then.

This time around, the sting was worse, yes. But, it's AMPAS' loss, not Michael. People see AMPAS for what they truly are now: Out of touch with reality.

Anonymous said...

What a great article. I agree about the articles of late about why he was snubbed. I couldn't believe how childish they were. But it is nice seeing people comment about how out of touch the AMPAS are.

On a side note, I'm secretely thrilled about the SAG results last night for Best Actor. Not so much for who won, but for who didn't win. The Oscars just really heated up.

Simone said...

Thank you.

Although I have no interest in the Oscars this year, I have said all the long, 'anyone but Clooney'. The man just makes me sick, I'm tired of him!

Eileen said...

I havent read any of that BS and refuse, same way to deal w people in all areas of life. Dont let people affect you or penetrate your field. I think thats how Michael deals with this. Dont let others taint you.

Veronica W said...

Thank you for yet another brilliant post, Simone. I'm excited to be a part of Plan B and honored to be a Fassinator. Well done to Michael and sod off to the juvenile sentiment across the country.

Chele Belle said...

Like I said in my essay on my Tumblr...I believe Fassy was in or close to being nominated till Clooney got on stage at The Golden Globes and made that off color unnecessary 'joke' about Fassy being able to play golf with his hands tied behind his back. Yeah it's American schizoid prudish B.S. at its worse. The only consolation is that Fassy will get more work, better roles and he'll surpass what he did in Shame...but still....in the here and now as a fan of cinema and of Fassy it's very insulting.

Anonymous said...

yes..Michael does deserve the award..it was a remarkable performance..He should have won the Golden Globe..seems like the American Awards..dont get it right too often..the winner will be one of the 2 'Hollywood Golden Boys' or the actor who's in their 'pet film' of the year..for the 'choice' of the true 'Artiste'..seems like you must look to other countrie's awards..choices..in which Micael has done very well..I think this years..omission of Michael will change the credibility of Oscars, Globes..quite a bit..It's become frivolous.. otherwise Oscar is no 'guage' of true excellence it is politics..>But it also says something about society..when inhibitions 'seep' into the 'creative world'..& true excellence..is overlooked so blatantly..In putting Michael in there..many Ego's couldnt handle it for many reasons..sounds odd..but his 'omission' shows you how his 'excellence'..was too much for some voters to take..so..Michael..in a weird way..this 'omission' is probably the ultimate compliment....

Anonymous said...

For the 100th time, it's got nothing to do with Clooney's joke, because the Globes were two days after the AMPAS voting ballots were due back. Michael got snubed because the academy are a bunch of old conservative prudish farts!

JeWen said...

Hello Simone
Can I be a part of this new plan you have to send a b'day greeting to Fassbender?

Simone said...

JeWen, please email me.

Chele Belle said...

I beg to differ on the timeline...Clooney is not only Mr. Hollywood Elite...Mr. Chairman of the Board once a year. There is plenty of glad handing and trash talking behind the scenes...and I am sure what Clooney said on the stage of the Golden Globes had been spoken in all parts of the movie making community. Good old fashion penis envy/fragile male egos should not be underestimated.

Simone said...

Great point Chele! I'm sure there is a hell of a lot of back biting bitchery behind the scenes of H'wood.

And if Michael thought drama school was full of jealous bitches, he's just only gotten a taste of the bitchery related to actual Hollywood success.

Melissa said...

Simone - thank goodness for the voice of reason, yet again.
I hate all the gossip and bs out there on the web, and makes me think that, wow maybe, just maybe Micheal has the right idea. Avoiding the hoopala.
I just hope they all move on quickly and leave him to do his JOB. I just hope "they" the gossip monggers don't scare him off. Although I highly doubt it.
Can I tell the USA film industry to grow up and see the world for what it is? It is a flim that portrays the ADDICTION of sex, like alchol or any other drug.
He Michael, is a brilant actor, if the US could only stop being such prigs they would see that.

Flora said...

I agree, internet sniggering has not done Michael or the film any favours at all. Even in the unlikely event he had received a Oscar nomination, Clooney's dumb joke would have killed any chance he might have had stone dead. You only have to go onto the IMDB page for "Shame" to see this dichotomy (actually don't - really, don't): half the posts are proper discussion about the film and the other half are sniggering comments from people with the mental age of 14.

I have better hopes for BAFTA and IFTA, although at the former he is up against three decades of accumulated good feeling towards Gary Oldman, and at the latter a barnstorming performance from Brendan Gleeson in The Guard (I saw it on Saturday; he's brilliant).

Still, I do believe many BAFTA and IFTA voters may also relish the chance to "stick it to Hollywood" and vote for a performance that Hollywood may not have been able to stomach, but Europe has no problem with. Mind you, BAFTA have nominated The bloody Help in the best film category, so perhaps I overestimate their capacity to be challenged.

Anonymous said...

I fully expect the BAFTA to go to Dujardin. He won Best Actor at the London Film Critics Circle (which often aligns with BAFTA) and the SAG last night. Plus, he's European.

Anonymous said...

I avoid reading anything but this blog when it comes to Michael Fassbender. I did read an essay by Roger Ebert
that I thought was an intelligent discussion of who was "robbed" and why. Easy to find on his page if you care to check it out. I think this reflects on the AMPAS, on Hollywood and how outmoded and immature it & the people who run it are; I think if anyone has been exposed, it is them & their sexism and well, fear, really. Shame holds a mirror up to our society and many can't deal with what they see there. I have lost all respect for them now; I feel like any spell I was under in terms of the whole celeb/awards cult is gone. I am just sorry others might think that all Americans agree with the AMPAS and what they embody; I assure you, we don't and we welcome the guts and integrity and artistry of films like Shame.

Anonymous said...

Ebert NAILED it. I'm not surprised, considering how he totally "got" Shame, and lauded Michael's performance from the outset. He is one of us. ;)

Greta said...

I 100% agree with you, Simone. I think the way people have been going on about Michael's nudity is immensely childish and tasteless. I kind of blame Clooney and the Members Only interview for fuelling the fire. They act as though Michael's performance is some laughing matter, when actually, it was the most heartbreaking, earth-shattering performance. I haven't seen many of the other actors' films that have been generating buzz, but I seriously doubt any of them could be as serious as Michael's performance as Brandon, and the subject matter (I don't understand how Clooney could win over Michael. The man has one facial expression). As for the unnamed Academy voter who claims that Michael didn't get nominated because his role inspired people to 'fantasize, rather than vote,' - this person must be deranged. Has he SEEN Shame? It's not a sexy movie! It's incredibly dark, and if you have a heart, it's extremely sad. I read somewhere else (can't remember where), that Michael was snubbed because the Academy does not want to be seen as sympathizing with chronic masturbators, which is also a big pile of crap. If this is true, the Academy does not even consist of people who understand film. People relate to flawed characters, that's where intrigue lies. The Academy is looking past the severity and earnestness of the subject matter, and obsessing over the negative connotations that go with the film. If this is how the Academy wants to operate, why don't they just nominate a bunch of romantic or slapstick comedies? It makes me sick.

Simone said...

@Anon 11:18, Thank you!

In regards to Roger Ebert's review, it was outstanding and it was something I referenced to when defending Shame at other websites. Needless to say, the sheeples of America even went so far as to dismiss Ebert as a fluctuating hack.

Simone said...

Your sentiment is spot on Greta. If AMPAS' membership comprised of more people like you, even 20%, there would be radical changes in the way they nominate performers and films.

BTW, they love Clooney because he's exactly like them! It's hard to look into a mirror and find something to change - that's AMPAS' dilemma. :/

Anonymous said...

AMPAS members are comprised of past actors, writers, directors, cameramen, technicians... Anyone who was invited after receiving a nomination for their respective craft. It is also home to people like Ernest Borgnine, who said that he would NEVER watch Brokeback Mountain. Don't confuse these people for cinephiles.

liptontea said...

I think they're just sissies. They don't try to understand what Steve Mcqueen films.
They're just annoyed when they watch a film about such tremendous sufferings because Shame as well as Hunger kind of stun and sometimes frighten the audience because of the sheer intensity of each sequences.
As for the bad jokes about Michael well I think he was prepared to these kind of reactions otherwise he wouldn't have said so many times that he did not like showing off.

liptontea said...

We shouln't be too sad about Michael.
Although he deserves more awards, since he has his place in independent films and short films he'll be in beautiful dark films as we like them and since he's quite an open actor he'll eventually be into some kind of movie that don't shock those bloody idiotic and chicken AMPAS.
I'm looking forward to seing his acting evolve and of course more films of him and of Steve Mcqueen.
And to hell with Ampas

Anonymous said...

Apparently Michael is at the London (?) premiere for A Dangerous Method (along with Keira... IDK if Viggo is there or not). This is first time he's surfaced since THE SNUB (hunkered down in Georgia)... I'm curious to see how he answers the media's inevitable questions about it. I'm sure he'll be gracious as always.

Simone said...

That's our boy, wearing blue jeans to a film premiere! :D

meelichka said...

We were all left feeling confused, and let down with the Oscars this year, especially after a fantastic year such as this ! What's best to do is to ignore the stupid comments, and pathetic pieces these journalists come up with; they do not reflect Michael whatsoever. He is a special kind of talent, one of a kind, & can yu really blame Hollywood ? I mean, look at who they look to cast first in films ! The all around-American type, they are afraid of the raw energy Michael portrays, while the rest of the world EMBRACES it. It's one of a kind, it's special in its own.

Let the Oscar for Best Actress go to Ms. Mara who bared it all (as Michael did), & was raped very graphically on screen. This just shows it's okay to show females in a sexual, perverse manner, but God forbid we have a penis on screen for consensual sex ! LOL come on people !

The Clooney I saw depicted in The Descendents I have seen done time & time again. There is nothing new there ! I am now cheering for Mr. Dujardin, as I loved the Artist, and without words, he was able to show us real emotion -- unlike some actors that have been nominated !

MLM said...

I was hoping the Fassy Oscar-snub postmortem would be over by now, ;-). Will we be hating the BAFTAS too if Michael loses? Many of us by now have learned the hard way that life doesn't reward merit, talent, or hard work, but instead a confluence of things such as good connections, luck, timing, the right skin-color and ambition. Getting an Oscar nomination or win is more about the latter scenario.

The AMPAS maybe out-of-touch, white, male-dominated and conservative, but that's a reflection of the status quo in our country. It is worth noting here that the AMPAS members who vote for the acting nomination categories are all actors, about 1200 of them. Some of them are knocking at death's door such as Ernest Borgnine (god bless him), but there are young members too such as Russell Brand, Ellen Page, and Michelle Williams. To be a member is by invitation only. You get invited if you have been nominated for an Oscar in the past, or two members nominate you to join the club. Michael may one day soon be invited to join. Whether he accepts it or not is up to him. Woody Allen, by the way, is not a AMPAS member, most likely because he doesn't give a damn. So why should we?

The person who should give a damn is someone like Harvey Weinstein, a producer who has much to gain financially and publicity-wise to campaign for his films, many of which are mid-to-low budget "artistic" films, such as "My Week with Marilyn." He is the best Oscar campaigner in the business. I read that he has 250 Oscar nominations and 60 wins in the last 16 years of being the head of Miramax. Under his helm, mediocre movies like "The English Patient," "Shakespeare in Love," and "Chicago," all snagged best picture Oscars.

This mean that a hell of lot of AMPAS voting members (in all categories) are Weinstein alumni. He is great at wining and dining and influencing this faction. At least this group is more likely to watch a Weinstein "For Your Consideration" DVD during the short December viewing and ballot window.

I don't mean to lecture anyone, but I sense that if we understand how Hollywood works, we don't have to be so personally invested and angry by the machine.

Simone said...

MLM, you have made clear your lack of interest in the Oscar race, and that's great, a lot of people feel the same way. But please don't begrudge us if we prefer to discuss the snubbing of Michael in an event that is recent and not only a disappointment to some of his fans, but has cause a lot of grumbling in the media.

Unlike you, I have been watching and enjoying, for the most part, the Oscar race since the late 80s. They have been fun and the Oscars helped me appreciate films and performances even more because of their ceremony in honoring what is suppose to be the best of the best. Because of the Oscars, I have developed my own keen sense of film making and acting that I believe is more in touch with reality than they are, so there's an appreciation for what they have done to me on a personal level.

For all intents and purposes, Michael was escorted into the Oscar prep rally through his performance and the belief of many in the industry that he was a shoo-in to be possibly nominated. The industry initiated this and we happily went along for the ride. To quote from Jane Eyre 'we are not machines without feelings', so a sense of pride for our favorite actor to even be thought of to be nominated for the highest honor, was fun to think and celebrate. But it did not happen, and with further discussion and analyzing of the 'whys' and 'why nots', some of the historical crap surrounding AMPAS has come to light to remind 'me', and educate the other fans just how much bs this system really is. We are venting and it's ok and I encourage it.

If people want to vent about IFTA or BAFTA, that will be their right, I will not, I'm done, I'm exhausted. I have finally learned my lesson courtesy of AMPAS recently and my attitude and respect has changed about the organization.

If I feel the need to revisit this snub, I will, but I highly doubt it. The primary reason for this latest article was to comment about the media aftermath articles and offer some closure on this topic.

MLM said...

Simone, please forgive my detached attitude towards awards, especially the Oscars. I think my jaded viewpoint comes from living in L.A. and being around talented writers who get burned or systematically ignored by the machine more than anyone else.

I don't mean to begrudge anyone for their anger and disappointment over Michael's Oscar-snub. Forums and blogs like FF are great places to vent out grievances and discuss these kinds issues, as well as put into perspective the reality of why things happen or don't happen in show-business.

Simone said...

MLM, if anything, you have a healthy perspective about the awards, and for that, I envy you. :)

You're a voice of reason and I appreciate your POV. I just wanted to offer a bit more commentary to your sentiments, and just dot the i's, and cross the t's on this issue.

Thanks!

Manuela said...

i pray for BAFTA and IFTA. he s done all for AMPAS also but ...cest la vie! dont want to think about it anymore. waiting for 11 and 12 of Feb. nad i hope for online streaming. he must win