Brandi Chambless – The Secret Freckle Society

Presenting a Memorable Quote from Academy Award Winning Film The Artist:


With pleasure, I proudly take you Dear Reader on my journey this month while I decompress from the recent 84th Annual Academy Awards as if I actually attended.  I suppose I could begin by talking red carpet fashion. We could rate on a scale of 1 – 10 just exactly how ticked off Ryan Seacrest is at Sacha Baron Cohen right now.  Better yet, I might begin by engaging filmmaking hopefuls with some personal insight from a lowly, yet observant, movie lover in light of the recent opinions of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

For instance, when in doubt, stick with Paris.  How odd, I thought, that three of the nine films nominated for Best Picture were French-influenced, including winner The Artist.  Though I’m really not sure how one could know whether The Artist is a French film since it is set in Hollywood and is a silent movie.  Maybe it’s French because of the leading man Jean DuJardin who was awarded the Oscar for Actor in a Leading Role.  I just like to say that name over and over.  DuJardin, DuJardin, DuJardin. Of the garden.  Couple it with the actor’s first name Jean and you have a complete subnasal Anglophone tongue twister that might be an excellent icebreaker at your next girls’ night out.

Secondly, unless you are filming a movie in the Deep South that deals with racial injustice, having an A-list beauty is generally a surefire way to garner attention, but you might just opt for either pretty boy George Clooney or Brad Pitt, or perhaps Angelina Jolie’s right leg that notably received higher ratings than the televised awards ceremony itself.  This girl has SOME PUBLICIST being that she wasn’t even nominated for an award and we are still following that leg!  Perhaps, if I were to invent a legend of some secret freckle of mine and create a Twitter account for it could I drum up a few followers and create my own freckled society with the sole mission statement of actually creating interest in the movies that are up for awards. 

Another little factoid I’ve come to realize about filmmaking is how we humans love movies ABOUT the movies and the entertainment industry.  For example, Sunset Boulevard, Notting Hill, and so many others that may have made it big in the box office but failed to get a second glance from The Academy. 

And, yes, I thought I could do it–that is, write a column without the mention of Whitney Houston as I try to muddle through my grief process, but I’d be remiss if I failed to simply mention The Bodyguard.  Ugh…I’ll say it…I’M A HOPELESS, HELPLESS ROMANTIC when it comes to movies.  There.  But the only way a film like this could even touch The Academy Awards was to actually write a scene about the Oscars into the script.  Good thing I’m not in charge, or every tear-jerking chick flick would win a golden statuette!  Where have all The Princess Diaries gone? Please come to my rescue Nicholas Sparks!

Having said that, I’ll remind my readers of my long-standing supposition that taking in a good romantic comedy or drama was much easier when my son was a toddler.  I’ve unashamedly happened to mention before that it was not unfathomable to believe that characters like Princess Mia of the far away galaxy of Genovia helped me to disguise an ordinary chick flick as a very rare, never seen before, Star Wars prequel; unfortunately, now that my son can recite the entire Wookieepedia of Star Wars nomenclature, I get caught in my own tracks.  “Oh yeah, if Princess Mia reigns over Genovia, then what’s the name of her guardian?” Oops!  My intergalactic imagination can only carry me so far in an interrogation of this nature before smirking gives way to uncontrollable giggling.  I’m the only one laughing.  “Mom!”

Busted.  I would have thought I could have more readily ingrained the entire Torah into my son’s head, that little creative genius, but George Lucas just has an affinity for movie making that should be emulated, at best, and studied, in the very least, by young filmmakers.  He unlocked the secret formula for unprecedented success that has fetched blockbuster bazillions by dialing up the adventure, but failing to forget that someone HAS to get the girl or nearly die trying.  How else do you think wives and Moms of boys are going to tolerate all the exploding Death Stars and viper-infested pits?  Lucas always dangles a carrot.  He knows that men need phantoms, but women need operas…and he’s not even French!  If it weren’t for the tension he adds between characters like Leia and Han, I REALLY just as soon have kissed a Wookie as to taken in a movie of this sort.

So, it’s true.  George Lucas has already dipped into my pocket book…again, in 2012, as I’ve imbibed in the 3-D version of The Phantom Menace, a film formerly nominated by The Academy for sound editing, mixing, and visual effects only.  I not only wondered whether Lucas thought by adding 3-D eyewear if the film would gain more recognition, but also whether I might have been better off just investing in Apple back in 1977 with the money I’ve dumped into chasing the acclaimed Star Wars Episodes and all paraphernalia therein.  I was only six years old at the time, but my Mama should have smelled a money-sucking rat when Lucas started out with number IV.  Didn’t anyone wonder about episodes 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6?  With Lucas, you never know what could be next – Star Wars: The Silent Episode in Black and White starring Jean DuJardin as Obi Franz Kenobi?

At the risk of sounding like a stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder, I do have a few predictions for the 85th Annual Academy Awards.  I believe The Academy will attempt to spruce up its monolithic image and diversify their demographics.  Who is the secret society of The Academy??? There are only a few members listed on their website, including Jennifer Hudson, but otherwise they are like phantoms.  Why not go Chinese and add a Jeremy Lin?  He knows how to put on a good show and has wowed audiences everywhere.

My next prediction is that The Academy will overhaul the entire voting process into some sort of BCS blockbuster champion series in which a secret mathematical formula based upon the box office results is factored in along with the number of white males on it’s governing board, meaning Lucas may actually have a good shot at coveting an award. 

I have been wrong before.  Just in case my predictions crash and burn, I pray for your sake and mine that my so-called secret freckle never ends up on reality TV, for I don’t think I have a right leg to stand on.  But if it comes to that…do me a favor and tweet me a line or two @SecretFreckleSociety with your favorite movie of all times and a your nomination for new members of The Academy, just for kicks.  Until next time, Cher Lecteur, au revoir!

Read Brandi’s column each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper.

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