Culture

Year’s Over: Top misunderstandings (maybe) of 2012

AnnaKarenina

Every year, we at HEAVEmedia like to look back on what we’ve learned, what we’ve accomplished and marvel like the elderly at the rapid passage of time. Over the next few weeks, our Year’s Over series will bring you our staff’s essential lists of what you should’ve seen, heard, read and done in 2012. Today, Shelby counts her top misunderstandings of 2012.

5. Alma Har’el’s “Fjögur Pían”

Sigur Rós released their latest album with a string of single-release videos for their Valtari Film Experiment, using selected filmmakers from around the world who were all given total control and matching budgets. Buzz about it grew slowly (outside die-hard fans) until mass media outlets picked up on one video in particular: Alma Har’el’s take on their single, “Fjögur Píanó.” It (somewhat controversially) portrays the heart-wrenching cycle of a couple’s (Shia LaBeouf, Denna Thomsen) tumultuous relationship, and does so by using acid-streaked insect lollipops, green screens in parking garages, body mutilation, and pantsless janitors (to name just a few highlights). But when the couple appears naked in the beginning, and largely quasi-nude throughout, media just couldn’t get enough of LaBeouf in the buff. Headlines claiming “Shia in Nude For Weird Experimental Music Video” started popping up everywhere, even gaining a nod for being in an “artsy video” on TMZ. Can we really not handle nudity and/or experimental videomaking? Or is it just the fact that it’s that kid from Transformers? Nobody seems to make any comment on Thomsen’s beautiful dancer body.

4. Anna Karenina

When the trailer for Joe Wright’s film adaptation of Tolstoy’s epic, with a screenplay by famed penman Tom Stoppard, was officially uploaded to YouTube on June 20, many literary nerds and period-piece (read: Keira Knightley) fans were obviously excited. Some were obviously upset, which is natural when anything is adapted from something that has been loved for over 100 years. But when the release finally came in November, it only rolled downhill in a mix of reviews – some praised its epic grandeur, others claimed it was outlandish and missed most of what made the novel an epic in the first place. Wright’s choice to stage his film adaptation of a novel will always remain, in his own words, “potential professional suicide.”

3. Katy Perry’s public anti-feminism

The sweet-dream concoction we know as risqué pop-face Katy Perry (née Hudson) was awarded the “Woman Of The Year” award (the first of which was given to Ciara in 2008 – no, really) by Billboard at their Women In Music luncheon (which, by the way, could easily have been a fancy dinner – why are women always associated with luncheons? When was the last time a “Man Of The Year” award was given at a luncheon?). But in the midst of accepting her honor before all the press and attendees, Perry stated, “I am not a feminist, but I do believe in the strength of women.” She does say, in a behind-the-scenes explanation of her award, that “I like to be viewed as a strong woman.” Women around the blogosphere went up in arms quickly: why say you’re not a feminist when you could have chosen to simply not bring up feminism at all? It’s a debate Vice’s Mish Way has declared “all on some Disney princess shit,” while Slate’s Amanda Hess defended Perry by saying, “I commend Katy Perry’s statement against feminism because every time a woman shits on feminism she’s dismissed as a moron by the female media establishment.” Is this an argument over feminism, being a woman in the music industry, or Katy Perry herself?

2. The Election

Obama is re-elected for second office according to Nate Silver’s perfect predictions. Swing states largely swing liberal. Both Republican and Democratic parties now are unable to come to agreements with each other, and followers of each are unable to deal with themselves. Considering Rick Perry made the top spot on last year’s Misunderstandings list, let’s not get too political here again. Hollywood is looking into hiring Silver for box office predictions now, as well as giving him starring roles of his own.

1. The Mayan Calendar

Well we’re still all here, aren’t we?