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Nicolas Cage at SXSW: ‘It really sucks to be famous right now’

Nicolas Cage at SXSW: 'It really sucks to be famous right now'

Nicolas Cage made an appearance at SXSW today for an hour-long discussion moderated by his “Joe” writer-director David Gordon Green, and as expected from an actor as idiosyncratic as the Oscar-winner, the talk didn’t disappoint.

We’ll be publishing a full run-down of the lively event shortly, but wanted to share this quote first. In it, Cage rails eloquently about why it “sucks to be famous right now,” and how film criticism is negatively affected by our society’s fixation with celebrities.

Below is the full quote from Cage:

I started acting because I wanted to be James Dean. I saw him in “Rebel Without a Cause,” “East of Eden.” Nothing affected me — no rock song, no classical music — the way Dean affected in “Eden.” It blew my mind. I was like, “That’s what I want to do.” This was before everyone had a thing called a Smartphone, and before the advent of the “celebutard” — just being famous for famous’ sake. I’m not complaining, but it really sucks to be famous right now.

Now even the art of film criticism… now in the LA Times, the critic who reviewed “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” incorporated how many homes I bought or sold into the review. What the hell does Lindsay Lohan’s personal life have to do with her performance in “The Canyons”? It should always be about the work itself. What difference does it make if Bill Clinton had an affair — how does that affect his performance as President?

In my opinion, I don’t want to see personal aspects of someone’s life eclipse the work itself.

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"Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn't have to experience it," said Max Firsch, a writer.

'Breakfast of Champions' + 'Moore's Law' = The Hyper-Celebrity Technology

If the idea is not too abstract: Artists think different to that of the consumer, I'm afraid. And the critics and media could be pandering accordingly. Communication technology today could be so ubiquitous that prejudices could need containers of sorts. The prejudice of artists could be different than the prejudice of the consumer, once again. Artists could be dwindling within the population –despite the ease of exposure and communication of an art today.

Sad times.


Y'know, he actually makes some good points here. I'm glad he doesn't just rag on critics that don't like him, a la Kevin Smith. Instead, he talks about how he feels public personas are ruining film criticism.

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