Show biz, people!
Sorry. I’m watching the Oscars as I write this. I’m already crying for no reason. Just seeing everyone. Song and dance at the start always gets me. Kimmel is doing great. I don’t know, I just have a soft spot for the whole thing. Mind you, I’m in the first half hour here and it might be different if I was writing this two hours from now.
Given what is bombarding us all on a daily basis and what is happening to the political and cultural dialogue in this country it was genuinely moving to see artists owning themselves and what they do and the joy and responsibility of putting it out in the world. For the first time in years the Oscars felt relevant and important. Also, Kimmel was fucking hilarious. Did I mention that?
I’m not going to write too much here because I want to watch. I do want to talk about a couple of movies though. Yesterday, somehow, I got some reprieve from the assault of terror that my brain is putting me through in response to what is happening politically in this country. I was just okay for some reason. I went out with Sarah and had some Indian food. Then we went to see the film Kedi. I knew nothing about it other than Sarah said it was about cats. Obviously, we are cat people. She is a little more than me. I was not all in but I just wanted to be out and doing something. It was pretty amazing. It’s about the thousands of wild cats that have inhabited the streets of Istanbul for centuries and the people they affect. It was a beautiful film and actually celebrated humanity and spirituality through the city’s relationship with these cats. I was really entertained and moved by it. Of course, at this point, just waking up and not being consumed by darkness is moving so I’m an easy audience but it was a really beautiful film and it moved me.
The other film I wanted to talk about was actually directed by my guest today, Raoul Peck. The film is ‘I Am Not Your Negro.’ It is a documentary about James Baldwin. I knew very little about James Baldwin. I had recently watched a debate he had with William Buckley on YouTube and was drawn in and blown away by the depth, humanity, intensity and fury of his intellect. I was ashamed of myself for never having explored his work. I always knew about him but I didn’t rotate him in. My loss. There is still time to learn and be moved by his work because it is always here. The documentary is a life-changing introduction to his work or an elevation of his work if you already know it. It is prescient and disturbing and relevant. It is about the problems and struggles that have corroded the core of this country for generations. It has never been more important than it is now to witness and allow this film to punch you in the brain and change your perception and engagement. It was an honor to talk to Raoul about the film. It is a unique talk for my show.
On Thursday I talk to the very funny actress Jennifer Coolidge. I love her work. I always wondered what she was like.
Show biz, people!