Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"The Artist" and risk-taking

I've decided not to be apologetic about being a consumer of popular culture. I like movies. I like TV. We watch reality shows. I'm taking a break for an hour from writing to watch "The River." I watched the Oscars without guilt.

There were four of the Best Picture nominees that I would have been perfectly content to see win one of those little baldheaded gold men. But I was rooting for "The Artist," even though "War Horse" was the best picture of 1938, and I had a special spot for "The Help," because it took place right here in town, and I got to meet Emma Stone while they were filming at the state capitol, right across from where I work. (An annoying aside ... she told me "you are the greatest." That was in response to me saying that "for you to get to play Skeeter is like Gregory Peck getting to play Atticus Finch." I got a hug for that one.)

Anyway. I rooted for "The Artist" because (a) I'm a huge fan of silent movies - D.W. Griffith is a hero of mine, and (b) it showed evidence of a colossal risk taken by the film makers. I mean, in a year that produced "Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Artist," which was the safe bet and which one wasn't? - and (c) it was a darn good movie, and blessed my heart.

Granted, "The Artist" had a minimal budget and box office receipts have been modest, at best. Still, what we have is a movie that, against all conventional wisdom, managed to walk away with a trifecta -Best Picture, Director, Actor. No small feat.

Think director Michel Hazanavicius faced any naysayers along the way? You bet he did. Yet I want to believe that he was so consumed with love for his project, and believed down to his corpuscles that he had something to share with the world, that he did whatever it took to get his story on the screen. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

This should encourage you. It sure did me. What is it that is driving you these days? What is a dream you cherish that is so personal and so insane that you just KNOW no one would understand it but you? And that perceived lack of understanding has paralyzed you.

My sense is that there are about a gazillion folks out there who are robbing the world of a blessing because they are listening to other voices, imagined or real. The voices are saying that "you can't do this", or "that's a stupid idea", or "you don't have the talent/ability/luck/breaks to make it happen."

Well, poop on 'em. Do what you should be doing. Fulfill what the Almighty God placed you here on this earth for a season to do. If you fail, then at least you've failed while attempting something amazing ... and remember, to fail does not mean that YOU'RE a failure. And if you succeed, then, by golly, the universe is going to be a better place.

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