PVP: Star Wars vs. Annie Hall

3 January, 2004 at 8:23 pm (film, gameplay)

Scott Kurtz has written a strip for December 27th where he claims that nerds are demanding reparation for Star Wars losing the “Best Picture” Academy Award to Annie Hall in 1977. Now, I remember the Best Film internet poll a year or so ago when a bunch of iSavvy revisionists took to the bulletin boards across the web and “proved” that there was more popular support for Star Wars to have received “Best Picture” in the 1977 Oscars. There was some minor flap about it as people who actual had taste and perspective were outraged and everyone who registered as “Jedi” for their religion in the 2000 census celebrated this overturn. But because it was an internet poll, and therefore statistically representative of, um, nothing, people eventually forgot about it. Also, a new personality test had been created and everyone needed to see which Angel from Neon Genesis: Evangelion they were, or something. Anyway…

What I object to in this comic, is not simply its sentiment. It’s the use of the character who voices this sentiment. I don’t know how old Mr. Kurtz is; I assume he’s in his early thirties. In reading PVP, I have regularly found that I believe Mr. Kurtz places his editorial voice, the voice representing his age and life experience in the voice of Cole, the most aged character in the strip. Cole is the character who says that the Nerd Community is instigating for reparations for Annie Hall‘s “Best Picture” award.

Image copyright Scott Kutrz.  Used without permission for the purposes of publicity and criticism.Cole is old enough to have the perspective that Annie Hall very much is a Nerd Movie. It is a series of nerd fantasies, strung together in Allen’s signature nerdy perspective. Who else but a nerd would open his film with references to Groucho Marx and Sigmund Freud? Who else but a nerd would portray his girlfriend as a sexy rendition of the Evil Queen in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty? Marshall McLuhan steps out from behind a sign to prove Woody Allen’s character’s point: a total nerd fantasy.

Nerds didn’t become so codified, so specialized until after the Star Wars phenomenon. By the 1977 Oscars, Star Wars hadn’t even been re-released in the cinema with the “Episode IV” subtitle. It made a supreme amount of money and took the toy market by storm. It stayed in theatres for almost a year before being shelved and re-released. These are indicators of a great popular devotion, no question. But it wasn’t just a nerd thing. Look at the “Cancellation of Star Trek” skit on Saturday Night Live or the Trek references in the film Serial. These show that the appeal was broader than the Nerds. Nerds were literary fiends and HAM radio operators and Hi-Fi geeks and classical music DJs and political activists. They also read Greg Bear and Lester Del Rey and Philip K. Dick and were entranced with science fiction. But not just Lucas’ science fiction, but also the science fiction of Asimov and Serling. And they didn’t lock themselves into a narrow, narrow spectrum of interests: sci-fi, fantasy, comics, and computer games. Annie Hall shows beyond a doubt that the Nerd has withered. He is anaemic and inbred. And if he lacks the perspective to see that Annie Hall is his antecedent and his legacy, than he deserves nothing.

Or, to be more precise, he deserves precisely what he is getting. Hope you enjoy Episode III, Cole and Mr. Kurtz. They are what you demanded by not accepting the Oscar in 1977.


1 Comment

  1. martinrock said,

    not only by its cultural and inspiring influence around the world but to mythology spectacular and memorable of his story. The screenplay is excellent and it made feel, it aroused admiration, enthusiasm and poignant emotion. Star Wars should be considered as a whole. It is a masterpiece. Those who judge objectively a literary work, a film or a pictorial work are misguided. Art is subjective. Star Wars made ​​me experienced the illusion, the magic of cinema and a fantastic prospect of his universe. The cohesion of the framework and the acting skills necessary for its completion has been crucial. Annie Hall made ​​me such a good time but did not reach me emotionally like star wars. In addition, the production of Annie Hall, the script is facilitated by its relatively simple plot that tells a romantic human experience passed through the vicissitudes of a normal life. However, the writing of Star Wars was not easy and was a product of pure genius. The grandiose and sensational of his frame that tells a fantasy world unknown is hardly comparable. Goerge Lucas has sometimes been compared to Jules Verne who, like him, will see his work, his odyssey through the centuries. Annie Hall will be quickly forgotten.

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