“I was very conscious that Anne and I are the youngest Oscar™ hosts in history,” Franco told me privately. “Of course, this means that we’ve been marked — not only by the Internet and other modern forms of communication, but also by the duet between Rob Lowe and Snow White, at the Oscar™ Ceremony in 1989. I felt we owed it to our generation to address that early trauma, and to overcome it, by doing something just as terrible. This is our generation’s Gettysburg, our Thermopylae: we must own it.
“Wait — no, let me rephrase that,” Franco continued. “We as a society place entirely too much importance on the Oscars™, at a time when, around the world, people are fighting for freedom, and starving, and dying. What does this say about our priorities as a society, as a species?
“No — wait — what I mean to say is that I’m seeking to compel a viewer to reexamine institutionalized rituals — listen, I gotta go now. Don’t wait up for me, babe.”
“I would have preferred it if Jib-Jib had let me in on the preparations,” Hathaway admitted. “I mean, come on! I know a few things about terrible material; I have a lot I could have contributed. Instead, I was out there giving it 110 percent, trying to pick up the slack. Boy, is my face red now.”
However, Hathaway conceded, the rest of the ceremony was so incredibly boring and predictable that people needed something to talk about. “Now they’ve got it,” she said.
Video footage of last night’s performance will be included in “Ceremonial Executions,” an ongoing interactive installation at the Whitney Museum in Manhattan, beginning in October 2011, and submitted as Franco’s doctoral thesis at the Rhode Island School of Design, whenever he remembers to apply for admission there.
and had to settle for this last-minute substitute.