Wednesday, May 10, 2006

today: When you wasn't famous... was actually quite interesting.

Don't get me wrong. I like The Streets. I thought Dry Your Eyes was a deserved number one record. It was poignant. But recently I had to review the new album and found it very annoying.

The problem is this: art by artists about artists and their art is boring. Oh, I know that in the visual arts especially, lots of art is about the creative process and pretty much any non-realistic painting is all about the plastic qualities of paint and canvas and the way people interpret the world and all that.

But what I'm talking about is that peculiar category of art and culture that concentrates on the strife and suffering of rich and famous stars. I'm not even averse to things that explore the nature of fame and success. It is conceited navel gazing that I can't be doing with. Films about films, rock music about rock music, books about writers - they all bore me to tears.

Where The Streets is concerned, we could actually identify with the everyday in Mike Skinner's songs. But now the only thing we can do is interpret his music like we might interpret a celebrity gossip mag. I wonder which pop star he shagged? Poor him. He has groupies and a gambling habit. He drinks brandy to bring him down from the coke. It's the urban equivalent of guitar wielding rock stars who write songs about how all the hotels and the towns and the venues look the same. I don't know how many of those songs I've heard throughout my life, but it is about 100% too many.

Similarly, I'm just not really interested in how difficult and tortuous it is to make a film. If it's that hard then don't bloody make it. I don't care about the monster egos of Hollywood. The Player, rather than being a savage satire on the mores of Hollywood, is actually a crashingly obviously bore. If you're the guy in Swimming with Sharks who gets bullied and abused by his boss then you walk after about a week and, thankfully for the rest of the world, the film doesn't ever get written.

Of course, a rule can't be a rule unless there are exceptions. Entourage, for example. However, it's not really a tale about Hollywood insiders. It's a tale about Hollywood outsiders. We see the world though Eric's eyes and he recognises the foolish absurdity of it all. Jeremy Piven's Ari is also a brilliant and finely judged character, making an egomaniacal monster into a (sym)pathetic human being.

No comments:

Post a Comment