All in Views

91st Academy Awards Reaction and Winners

The 91st Academy Awards happened last night. I cannot speak to the broadcast as I opted to dive into Umbrella Academy instead. Yes, a slick superhero series with some…issues in how it portrays anyone except for straight white men felt far more relaxing than a night of awards that could bring serious clout to some awful people. Based on the winners, I made the right choice for me. Still, I could not contain my disdain for the ceremony when I woke up and discovered the Best Picture winner.

Best Films of 2018

2018 was a wonderful year for films across multiple genres, languages, and styles. I did the best I could with this list to present a list I felt comfortable celebrating this year. Even though I appreciated many films released this year, I’m growing increasingly impatient with films that are negative just to be negative. I’m tired. I’m tired of films that don’t reflect the real world (meaning: we’re not all white, we’re not all straight, we’re not all mentally well, we’re not all rich, and we’re not all satisfied by default). I’m tired of films that present themselves as serious cinema that is meant to be so relatable that I can’t relate to. There are films that don’t even make my long list for “Best” because as technically well made as they are, I got nothing out of them.

Thoughts on the Dumbo Remake Trailer

Consider Dumbo my problematic favorite. It’s, sadly, not hard to think of times that the Walt Disney Company produced incredibly racist content in its feature and short films. There’s Sunflower, the black centaur and handmaid to the white and blonde centaur in Fantasia, drawn with exaggerated Jim Crow caricature features and literally erased from the Disney Vaults for all future re-releases of the film. Then you have Peter Pan and the infamous song “What Makes the Red Man Red?,” indulging in horrible stereotypes about American Indians and First Nations people in similarly racist caricature. Songs of the South had Uncle Remus as the happy slave singing and dancing for the enjoyment of free white children (the film is largely unavailable in America, and Disney has defended the film as not racist because it is set in the 1870s when Uncle Remus was most likely a sharecropper and not a slave; yes, an eye-roll is appropriate here). Disney also tripled down on the Siamese cat as racist Asian caricature conceit in Lady and the Tramp, The Aristocats, and Disney’s Rescue Rangers (not a film, but modern enough that Disney should have known better). This isn’t even getting into the racist WWII propaganda films that every animation studio produced to aid the war effort. It’s a slippery slope from “Der Fuhrer’s Face” to “Commando Duck.”