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Monday, February 12, 2007

awards season bonaza

If you didn't know instantly that I was referring to awards being given to FILMS, then you are pretty much NOT MY FRIEND.

The next wee while is all about the build up to the Oscars. And although its all grumble-grumble 'they don't mean anything really, its all politics anyway, true talent never gets recognised' rahrahrah, they're still a unifying ceremony worldwide and the landmark cinematic event of the year.

I always try and make sure I've seen each of the Best Picture nominations and as many of the other relevant top category films too. So, yes, this means in the last few years I've wasted time and money on pieces of shite like Crash and Million Dollar Baby, but watching the whole shebang live just isn't a participatory experience unless you've seen the flicks already.

Doing the whole sweepstakes thing always throws me out though. Because it IS 'political' and I tend to tick my boxes instinctually, I never win enough points. Besides, who really saw the black-out of 2002 coming?! Last year I so wanted Brokeback Mountain to win, I really thought it was better than Walk The Line, but in terms of stakes i shouldn't have backed it. FOOL!!

Recently I've seen Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen and The Last King of Scotland. All VERY different films, but all nominated in those big categories. (You can check the full list here at the Oscars website, and of course Lou's blog is a reigning authority on all things cinematic).

The Queen didn't really light a fire under my arse, to be entirely honest. Its not visually exciting in terms of cinematography, though I thought what they did with the archive footage of Diana was great. However, that's come to be something expected in this post-modern age.

At the other end of the spectrum is Little Miss Sunshine, which blew my mind in terms of its look. Its beautifully composed, with shots that are careully structured and dynamic but done in a way that is so effortless it never feels overbearing. I'm a sucker for oversaturation and symmetrical balance so combine that with a great black comedy about a wonderful and wonderfully dysfunctional family and I'm sold.

The Last King of Scotland is another film with lush lush visuals. And a cracking pace, which always makes me happy. The two hours or so hours passed without me noticing, which is astonishing considering my 90 minute attention span. The film covers a fascinating, terrifying aspect of a nation's history from a very subjective viewpoint, and I'll be interested to learn more about how much is fact and how much is fiction.

Next on my list is Babel, and also Dreamgirls. Although I'm being distracted from my goals by the Twilight Cinema screenings, and the fact that summer seems to have arrived finally. You feel a bit bad wasting all that precious good weather being locked away in a dark cool room... But that's what being a film geek is all about!!



Blogger Leanne said...

I want to see both of those so if you need a cinema buddy we can get all boo'd up and go!

Mon Feb 12, 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Bel said...

Yuhesss - lock it in, honey.
As long as you vow to adhere by the Film Geek's Code of Viewing and remain silent for the duration of the screening.
No mindless chatter WHATSOEVER, unless it's to breifly comment on some kind of theoretical subtext illustrated by a motif of using the dutch tilt to show a character's internal progression. Or, you know, whatevs...

And HEY - no using of new slang before I've had a chance to blog about it!! :P

Mon Feb 12, 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Louise said...

Well Bel,
'The two hours or so hours'

Mock-mock, you're a gumby, mock.

Love from Lou
p.s. This is my revenge for your mocking my own slip-of-the-type, a few months ago. Burn. (mock)

Mon Feb 12, 04:22:00 PM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

Hey, I liked Crash and Million Dollar Baby, at least both of those films got an emotional reaction out of me.

A lot more than can be said for Brokeback Mountain. It's a bit difficult to get into a film when you cannot understand a single thing Heath said, and then I'd read quotes directly from the film and couldn't remember him saying it AT ALL.

Mon Feb 12, 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Lou said...

Um Bel:
1. Were you trying to rub it in that Walk the Line wasn't even nominated for Best Picture last year??
2. The Last King of Scotland isn't nominated for Best Picture this year.
3. Neither is Dreamgirls. Not that you explicitly stated that it is, but I'd hate to see you waste money on it under the mistaken idea that it was.
4. I am such a geek.
5. You should stop being friends with Rebecca (see above).

Tue Feb 13, 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger Bel said...

First of all, Ms Louise - am applying aloe vera salve as we speak :P

And to Lou, as I tried to say in my post, its not just the Best Pics noms, but also the scope of other relevant 'top films' too.
Dreamgirls has so many nominations it would be kinda stupid to not see it, even if its not the sort of film I would necessary choose to see usually. On account of I am not Marama.

I respect your point about Trelease, and trust me, this isn't the first time she has vexed me.
But gosh she is so so pretty, so I think things shall remain status quo.

Tue Feb 13, 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Lou said...

I read review of Dreamgirls that said it is 'overwhelmingly emotional'. You know, like Million Dollar Baby and Crash. I look forward to your comments upon seeing it. Just please go on the cheap night.

Tue Feb 13, 11:09:00 PM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

I dreaded having to see 'Walk the line' and totally didn't want to see it but thought it was so brilliant. I only had to remember about his brother and I'd be bawling again. Never knew Johnny Cash beforehand but I was singing along to it all afterwards.

Whereas, I was desperate to see Brokeback Mountain and all its Jakeygaycowboy glory and was so absolutely disappointed that I would have had Walk the Line best picture nom over Brokeback.

Wed Feb 14, 07:53:00 PM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

Not too concerned about Dreamgirls, other than seeing the Hud in action. But Beyonce is just Beyonce and I don't know if I can watch that for a whole film.

Loved Chicago though (although only ever seen the movie).

Wed Feb 14, 08:07:00 PM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

p.s. But I'm not endorsing Chicago's best pic win.

(you need to cover your ass in these comments as oscar season gets everyone a little edgy I fear...)

Wed Feb 14, 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Bel said...

I totally know what you mean about people getting touchy during awards season (& by 'people' I mean 'film geeks', the only kind of people that matter).
The last couple of Oscars parties I've been to have been boozey affairs, which tends to mean tensions rise - speshly if anyone is taking the sweepstakes seriously. (Lou, I'm lookinging at you).

That said, one of the problems I had with WTL was that part of emotionally-locking to the film had to do with the actor's personal life rather than qualities of the script or execution of the film, ya know? To me, that is a downfall. A film should create a new existence and take you away from the real world, not remind you of it.

And do NOT get me started on Chicago.

Thank GOODNESS you are so SO pretty Rebecca...! :P ;)

Thu Feb 15, 10:11:00 AM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

Ok, lets film-geek this.

'A film should create a new existence and take you away from the real world, not remind you of it.'

What if the film is a bio-pic? The real world is the point.

Isn't Chicago the ultimate new existence (where people break into song while in seperate prison cells and then the bars disappear so they can do a big dance routine)?

Thu Feb 15, 06:01:00 PM  
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