Song of the Day #2,407: ‘Hero (Live)’ – Family of the Year

boyhoodOne point I forgot to make in yesterday’s Oscar post… I hate that the Academy passed up their best chance to honor two of America’s most talented and unique auteurs — Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater.

A Best Screenplay Oscar for the former and Best Director Oscar for the latter were so tantalizingly possible. And given the alchemy of luck and timing involved in winning an Academy Award, it’s quite possible neither will ever be that close to the prize again.

That’s a shame, because those two have churned out more than two decades’ worth of excellent, entertaining films. Films that live far outside of the boring “Oscar movie” bubble. (To be fair, Birdman sits outside of that bubble as well).

Anderson has mastered his dollhouse aesthetic while managing to bring genuine humor and pathos to his characters. There is no mistaking his films for anybody else’s. At the same time, his style has entered the cinematic vocabulary, to the point that a great family film like Paddington received lavish critical praise for being “Andersonian.”

Linklater is just the opposite. Apart from long, conversational takes, he lends no distinctive visual stamp to his films. Instead, in his best work, he is adept at capturing reality. He is in love with the interactions of ordinary people, from the aimless Austinites of Slacker to the stoner high school kids of Dazed and Confused and the loquacious lovers of the Before trilogy.

Linklater’s other obsession is time, and in Boyhood he captured the passage of time — specifically, a boy’s school years — with heartbreaking grace. He did it by shooting the film a little at a time over 12 years, an idea so ingenious and so impractical that it had never been attempted in quite this way before. About how many films in the modern era can you say that?

Oscars don’t matter. As Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu eloquently admitted in one of his acceptance speeches, “true art… will be judged only by time.” But I still would have liked to see Anderson and Linklater take that stage.

Art shouldn’t be turned into a contest. But if it’s going to happen, at least let the good guys win once in awhile.

[Chorus]
Let me go
I don’t wanna be your hero
I don’t wanna be a big man
Just wanna fight with everyone else
Your masquerade
I don’t wanna be a part of your parade
Everyone deserves a chance to
Walk with everyone else

[Verse]
While holding down
A job to keep my girl around
And maybe buy me some new strings
And her a night out on the weekends

[Verse 2]
And we can whisper things
Secrets from our American dreams
Baby needs some protection
But I’m a kid like everyone else

So let me go
I don’t wanna be your hero
I don’t wanna be a big man
I just wanna fight like everyone else

[Chorus]

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,407: ‘Hero (Live)’ – Family of the Year

  1. Dana says:

    I’m not nearly as big a fan of either director/writer so as to be upset that their work has not received sufficient Acadamy love. I did love Boyhood, however, and felt it should have taken the prize over Birdman.

    Both of these filmmakers have more work in them, so who knows? They may well get their Oscar due in years to come.

  2. pegclifton says:

    I totally agree with Clay, I would have liked Boyhood to have had more recognition then a supporting role and Wes Anderson’s films are truly unique.

  3. Andrea Katz says:

    Love this song…

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