I sometimes meet some of those that attend these seminars in my psychiatric clinic. I take it seriously because a lot of people think it's a bit of fun and it's not - what it is - is exploitation of people with low self worth and often extreme naivety coupled with the hope that it's the answer to their dreams.
The immediate after-thought from seeing Dan Gilroy's superb debut Nightcrawler is that the media is generally capable of some pretty terrible things. Read Steve Rose's excellent history of how the media is portrayed in cinema and television and you'll find that there are plenty of films that endeavour to do the same thing.
Before you reach the contest area the importance of film is clear, as you cross the threshold into the competition space - you become part of this virtual world. And with millions watching the action in the water from the comfort of their homes as well as those that had travelled to the contest, all kinds of sustainability related issues come to mind.
After Robin Williams' (probable yet unconfirmed at the time of writing) suicide at the age of just 63, the question is once more in the air - are comedians more prone to depression than, say, plumbers, gamekeepers or human resources managers? Does the iconic 'tears of a clown' cultural trope have any basis in fact? My instinct is to say no, it doesn't - but it is just that, instinct, for I have no data. It is a difficult case to prove, for the evidence to the contrary seems so overwhelming. When a comedian like Robin Williams or Tony Hancock takes their own life, with all the consequent publicity engendered by those tragedies, it is definitely tempting to conclude 'there goes another one.'
When we were little girls we listened to fairy tales like Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty. As we grew up, we watched movies like Pretty Woman. All contribute to fairy-tale brainwash, the belief that the right man or woman will just show up in our life at the right place and right time, without us having to do anything to make it happen.
With the glitz and the glamour of the entertainment business, the awards ceremonies and A- Lister hangouts, it is no wonder Los Angeles has adopted the nickname 'La-La-Land'. By definition, being 'la-la' means you are out of touch with reality but in this case is it just an obvious pun due to Los Angeles' initials?
The worst thing is not the fact Hill said the word - we have all told loved ones to go blow themselves or die in a fire - but his refusal to think about why that was his go-to insult, the thought processes that took him there, that is the biggest concern. When his celebrity status is in silent mode, and he doesn't have a sequel to flog or a chat show chair to perch on, what is Jonah Hill really thinking?