Silver-screen Sunday: A classy reason to party

By Erica Motter
Co-managing editor

February 21, 2013

February in Pennsylvania is enough to make anyone feel like they’ll never be excited about anything ever again.

This cold weather sucks, and your classwork probably sucks, but this Sunday night, you’ll be given a gift.

This gift is perhaps one of the greatest yearly excuses to dress up, eat a bunch of food, and yell at your television set. Since the Superbowl is already over and the promise of State Patty’s day is crumbling more with each passing day, I’m talking about none other than the 85th Annual Academy Awards.

It’s not every day that you’re given such an easy and entertaining excuse for a party, so take advantage of it!

But social and diversional advantages of the event aside, if you’ve never taken the time to watch the Academy Awards before, you should really tune in this year.

In a society that places increasingly little value on artistic expression and intellectualism, the Oscars stands out as a singular night to honor numerous aspects of the film industry. Movies entertain us, distract us, and sometimes even inspire us. It can be easy to forget that each silver-screen performance takes a tremendous amount of work to produce.

But each film is also the sum effort of a team of talented people who put them together–actors, writers, musical composers, directors, and the lesser-recognized technical roles. It’s great to see these people singled out and commended for their creative achievements.

When you think about it, the Oscars are probably the biggest and most widely-publicized event that place value on art and imagination. I mean, how often do we watch televised versions of the Pulitzer Prize ceremonies, or devote an entire primetime slot to discussing the standouts of today’s modern painters?

If you don’t typically keep up with cinema, the Oscars can provide you with a solid, filtered list of films to watch. Sure, the Academy can be snooty and political at times, but when it comes down to it, the opinions of the judges are respected and their approval is considered a general “stamp of quality” for films. While you and I might disagree on the movies that eventually win in their categories, to be fair, the nominees are usually at least in the upper echelon of movies released over the past year.

And disagreement is good! Watching the Oscars, especially if you disagree with the judges’ decisions, gives you something to debate about with friends and can spur your interest in watching some of the films you might not have caught this year. Thinking critically about the media you consume is never a bad thing, and it can be fun to pick apart the things that impress you to see what makes them tick.

Apart from being able to fight your friends in a battle of words and taste, watching the Oscars makes you informed in the sense that you can contribute to an even greater cultural discussion. Especially today, with social networks like Twitter, you can get involved in a worldwide conversation with people who are also interested in films, or just make quips about the presenters’ banter and outfits.

And when it comes down to it, it’s just plain fun to see a bunch of the most famous Hollywood stars all crammed in a room together, dressed to the nines and reacting naturally to the night’s events as they unfold.

In summary, don’t waste this Sunday night not watching the Oscars. DVR “The Walking Dead,” and watch it later if you have to.


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