Saturday, January 20, 2007

Revisit: High Plains Drifter

A Universal Pictures release 1973
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Written by Ernest Tidyman

A stranger (Clint Eastwood) rides out of the hot desert into the small western town of Lago. The towns people are scared of him, and 3 gunmen try unsuccessfully to kill him. He takes a room and decides to stay. Meanwhile, a group of outlaws are about to return to town and take their revenge. Can the town convince the mysterious man to help?

I miss the old days of Clint's westerns. The colors were already washed out - none of that digital tinting bullshit.
This is your pretty standard post-goldern western, lots of gunplay and bloody as hell. While Fistfull of Dollars may remain the offical Yojimbo adaptation, Eastwood seems to have piggy-backed a lot of the samurai saga's basic structure, while reverting the conflict from an inner struggle to an outside figure (the two gangs in Yojimbo vs. the roaming bandits in Drifter). Though it may not be the most original of westerns, it's a pretty fun movie.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Review: Bubble

An HDNet Films release 2006
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Written by Coleman Hough

Set against the backdrop of a decaying Midwestern town, a murder becomes the focal point of three people who work in a doll factory.

Soderbergh found his roots in independent cinema, producing a decade's worth of low-budget, high-concept films before settling into the studio system with star-riddled affairs like Erin Brokovitch, Traffic, and Ocean's Eleven. Bubble, billed as the latest "Soderbergh experience", is a bi-product of his studio works; a pet project that was funded by his big budget efforts. It is of some note because it was the first film to employ the simultaneous multiple distribution platform, a unique way of mass-releasing a film through theatrical, DVD, and cable on-demand all on the same date. Whether that business tactic has paid off is yet to be seen; only a handful of other films (including Caveh Zahedi's autobiographical I Am A Sex Addict and Winterbottom's docu-drama The Road to Guantanamo) have followed suit, and frankly I don't know too many people who have seen (or heard of) any of them. However, as a film, Bubble is an experiment that falls short of the mark in many ways.

Set in a decrepit West Virginia town, the film follows three dirt poor employees of a doll factory who become involved in a murder. The story is simple, and handled in a simple way - shot on DV, the film has this average, everyday life aesthetic. Following with that aesthetic, Soderbergh decided to cast non-actors in the roles, adding a (somewhat) refreshing sense of realism. The actors are fine, and actually give pretty solid performances, however one can't but feel that Soderbergh spent a lot of his time worrying about their chops than about his camera. For DV, the film looks great, but the camera work is insipid and uninspired. There are many flat, stoic shots, and some minor attempts at Godardian style pans that don't really work.

The title, Bubble, has many implications that go unrecognized throughout the film. A bubble, of course, is an enclosure, and the story presents multiple layers of contextualized 'bubbles', from the settings to the characters states of being. Soderbergh recognizes the themes, but refuses to work with them, focusing rather on the simplicity of the story and it's averageness. This is fine, but it makes for a very average movie. The main point of conflict doesn't come until near the end, and it's hard to take it seriously because the characters are presently so flatly.

Soderbergh is nominated for a Spirit Award in the category of Best Director for this film. Frankly, I think Soderbergh is the reason this film doesn't work. I have to commend him for his inspiring business tactics and indie aesthetic, but over-simplification can be a bad thing. Ultimately, the film has some fleeting moments of greatness (when Martha is inside the large home, for example) but over all it is a dulled down affair.

Tish-Tash: The Forgotten King of Comedy pt.1

With a career spanning over three decades and four different mediums, Frank Tashlin’s influence on modern comedy is almost immeasurable. Getting his start in animation at
Warner Brothers Studios in 1932, he was one of the few animators in history to make the transition to live action feature filmmaking, where he worked with some of the most widely recognized comedic talent of the post-war era. He wrote sketches for Bob Hope, Lucille Ball and Red Skelton, directed some of Jerry Lewis’ funniest films, and helped shape the original Looney Tunes into the iconic characters we know today. As a feature filmmaker, Tashlin hit a stride of commercial successes beginning with the 1956 film The Girl Can't Help It, followed by the Martin and Lewis film Hollywood Or Bust that same year, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? in 1957, and four of Jerry Lewis' early solo films (Rock-A-Bye Baby, The Geisha Boy, Cinderfella, and It'$ Only Money.) New Wave filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut praised these films, and cited Tashlin as a source of inspiration. As Peter Bogdanovich once wrote, Tashlin was “a tremendously able craftsman and one of the most inventive visual gag constructionists of the talkies” (12).

And yet, to this day, Frank Tashlin remains misunderstood – one of the forgotten greats of American comedy. In his essay Taking Tashlin Seriously, Robert Sklar surmises three reasons as to why Tashlin has been ignored by the American film community: “the reputation of comedy as a genre in the period after WWII; critical attitudes toward mass culture in context with the reflexivity in Tashlin’s films; and the aesthetics of the cartoon in relation to concepts of the “real” in the United States during the 1950’s and 60’s” (98). Sklar argues that Tashlin’s work remains pigeonholed as slapstick, and that, due to cultural shifts in the 1960’s towards favoring political comedy and the over-all dismissal of the 50’s as an era marked by triviality, the socio-political themes in his work went unrecognized. Most importantly, Sklar responds to accusations of “tastelessness” and “vulgarity” in Tashlin’s work, calling them “a revenge of discourse, to withdraw from Tashlin what was stereotyped and incomplete to begin with…Saying that he had failed the past was a way of avoiding a recognition of how he had confronted the present.” (101).

If sensitivity towards 50’s American culture, or lack thereof, is the primary reason for the dismissal of Tashlin as a filmmaker, perhaps now is as good a time as any to revisit his body of work. As it stands, Roger Garcia’s anthology of critical essays entitled Tashlin, published in 1994, remains the sole text on the subject. In it, Garcia writes: “[Tashlin is] a filmmaker who had largely vanished off the cinematic map, despite even his more obvious claims to auteurship – the extended gag, a pop art sensibility, the sardonic eye” (15). More recently, Manhattan’s Film Forum launched a two-week long retrospective of Tashlin’s work, prompting New York Times critic David Kehr to write “More than most of his contemporaries, Tashlin was attuned to the ways in which our own desire betrays us and how easily it can be manipulated to sell things…Frank Tashlin died in 1972, but the world he satirized 50 years ago is still with us, in some ways more than ever”.

These are fairly strong words for a filmmaker who has been dismissed for decades as being ‘vulgar’ and ‘tasteless’. In what ways can we reassess Tashlin’s work between these two polemics? Over the next few days, a selection of posts will attempt to re-evaluate Frank Tashlin under the title Garcia grants him – auteur.

The Auteur Theory & Tashlinesque

The auteur theory was originally coined in France in the late fifties, after the Liberation, when the ban on American cinema was lifted making it possible for foreign critics to absorb American cinema at great lengths with no preformed bias. Consequentially, it was established that the auteur need not be a member of the Hollywood elite, but often was an author whose work had previously been dismissed or devalued. Likewise, because the theory had never been laid down in concrete terms, it was commonly interpreted loosely to focus either on stylistic or thematic motifs (566).

In terms of the American understanding of the auteur theory, there is perhaps no more comprehensible framework than that presented by Andrew Sarris in his 1962 essay Notes on the Auteur Theory. In it, he defines the auteur as a director who can consistently exhibit recurrent characteristics of style and theme over a group of films. Sarris writes: “the three premises of the auteur theory may be visualized as three concentric circles: the outer circle as technique; the middle circle, personal style; and the inner circle, interior meaning” (563). Sarris argues that it is possible for a director to pass through all three of these circles at any given point in their career. Therefore it becomes important to note that this understanding of the theory “emphasizes the body of a director’s work rather than isolated masterpieces” (563).

In relation to the works of Frank Tashlin, the foundations for the claim of auteurship have already been laid down. As previously stated, Roger Garcia used the term in reference to Tashlin’s visual eye for comedy and satire. However, Jonathan Rosenbaum has laid the most extensive groundwork in his essay titled Tashlinesque. Rosenbaum sought to define Tashlin’s style in relation to other filmmakers, which he felt was represented by “a deliberately dehumanized form of expressionism in the cartoon-like demeanor of the major characters that had a bitter satirical overtone, loud primary colors that also suggested cartoons and comic books, and a spirited vulgarity that comprised a kind of bittersweet response to infantile American energies run amok” (25). Rosenbaum concludes his essay with five distinctly defined terms, which he claims as being “Tashlinesque”:

A) Graphic expression in shapes, colors, costumes, settings, and facial expressions derived from both animated and still cartoons and comic books
B) Sexual hysteria – usually (if not invariably) grounded in the combination of male adolescent lust and 1950’s notions of feminine voluptuousness
C) Vulgar modernism – ‘popular, ironic, somewhat dehumanized mode reflexivity concerned with the specific properties of its medium or conditions of its making’
D) Intertextual film references
E) Contemporary social satire: products, gadgets, fads, trends

These five terms, it would appear, make a template for claiming Tashlin as an auteur in relation to Andrew Sarris’ Venn-diagram approach. Term A would represent the outer circle, or technique; Terms C and D the middle circle, or personal style; and Terms B and E as the inner circle, or interior meaning. However Rosenbaum ends his essay without elaborating upon these terms, leaving them simply as a framework definition of Tashlin’s style. It becomes necessary, then, to look deeper into these terms, to surmise their origins and determine their consistency throughout Tashlin’s work in order to verify Tashlin’s status as an auteur...


Revisit: The Racket

An ROK Radio Pictures release 1951
Directed by Jim Cromwell
Writing credits:
Bartlett Cormack (play)
William Wister Haines (screenplay)
W.R. Burnett (screenplay)

The big national crime syndicate has moved into town, partnering up with local crime boss Nick Scanlon (Robert Ryan). There are only two problems: First, Nick is the violent type, preferring to do things the old-fashioned way instead of using the syndicate's more genteel methods. The second problem is McQuigg (Robert Mitchum), the only honest police captain on the force, and his loyal patrolman, Johnson. Together, they take on the violent Nick and try to foil the syndicate's plans to elect a crooked prosecutor running for a crooked judgeship.

Is it just me, or does Robert Mitchum have a lazy eye? His right one, there. It always seems like he's staring off at someone else; am i right or am I just crazy? Well, if it is, it's fitting. Mitchum sleepwalks through his whole laid back tough guy schtick in this flick, a basic crime drama that is for some reason considered noir even though it doesn't really show any real properties of the genre. Even when he isn't trying, Mitchum manages to make the most convoluted and cliche pieces of cinema seem to work. Robert Ryan gives a good performance here as the manic crime boss. Nowhere near a must see, but not a complete waste of time either.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Zoo: The Horse Fucker Movie

Enumclaw-area animal-sex case investigated

By Jennifer Sullivan
Seattle Times
Friday, July 15, 2005

King County sheriff's detectives are investigating the owners of an Enumclaw-area farm after a Seattle man died from injuries sustained while having sex with a horse boarded on the property.

Investigators first learned of the farm after the man died at Enumclaw Community Hospital July 2. The county Medical Examiner's Office ruled that the death was accidental and the result of having sex with a horse.

A surveillance camera picked up the license plate of the car that dropped the man off at the hospital, which led detectives to the farm and other people involved, said sheriff's Sgt. John Urquhart.

Deputies don't believe a crime occurred because bestiality is not illegal in Washington state and the horse was uninjured, said Urquhart.

But because investigators found chickens, goats and sheep on the property, they are looking into whether animal cruelty — which is a crime — was committed by having sex with these smaller, weaker animals, he said.

The farm was talked about in Internet chat rooms as a destination for people looking to have sex with livestock, he said.

"A significant number of people, we believe, have likely visited this farm," said Urquhart.

The Humane Society of the United States intends to use the case during the next state legislative session as an example of why sex with animals should be outlawed in Washington, said Bob Reder, a Humane Society regional director in Seattle.

"This and a few other cases that we have will allow us a platform to talk about sex abuse of animals," Reder said.

Thirty-three states ban sex with animals, he said.

...and a little over a year later, we get the movie version premiering at Sundance. Amazing.

Letters From Iwo Jima

Clint Eastwood's new film: Toilet Paper from Sulfur Island

Actually, it's fitting. Was I the only one who thought this film wasn't that great?

Revisit: Office Space & Idiocracy

A 20th Century Fox Production 1999
Written and Directed by Mike Judge

Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), thanks to a hypnotic suggestion, decides not to go to work at the same time his company is laying people off. When layoffs affect his two best friends (David Herman, Ajay Naidu), they conspire to plant a virus that will embezzle money from the company into their account.

A 20th Century Fox Production 2006
Writing Credits: Mike Judge & Etan Cohen
Directed by Mike Judge

Private Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson) and Rita (Maya Rudolph), a prostitute, the definition of "average Americans", are selected by the Pentagon to be guinea pigs for a top-secret hibernation program. Forgotten, they awakes 500 years in the future, where they discover a society so incredibly dumbed-down that they are easily the most intelligent people alive.

Office Space was virtually ignored when it was first dumped into theaters by 20th Century fox in 1999, but has since become a cult favorite on DVD. And by 'cult' I mean one of those movies that pretty much everyone everywhere has seen a hundred times. It's basically a comedy classic for the slacker generation, a sincere satire of the drudgeries of modern labor. It's even got that sweet Geto Boys in there.

Since then, Judge has released a new film, the little seen sci-fi based Idiocrachasy, which Fox dumped in a couple of cities back in September. Many theories about why that happened, from rumors about Mike Judge ripping the plot of a short story titled "The Marching Morons" by Cyril M. Kornbluth, copywright 1951, to Fox feeling threatened by Judge's clear satire of their key demographic. Whatever the case, the film is pretty entertaining and furthers many of Judge's familiar motif's in a new and interesting way.

The films have distinct narrative similarities, with blue collar male protagonists who prefer to "sit on their ass" rather than work and then find their way to jail, only to be rewarded for their averageness. But as a sci-fi film, Idiocracy has the added bonus of creating a new version of earth. Idiocracy takes place 500 years into the future, when the human race has gotten so dumb it forgot plants needed water to grow. Judge creates a race of people consumed by violence and perversion, bad advertising and sugar; they speak a mix of ebonics, southern twang and valley girl. While the satire is perhaps not as biting as in Office Space, it's quite funny and has some interesting visuals.

What impressed me most about this film was the art direction. That pic is a bad example, and I don't imagine it had a very large budget, but Judge effectively creates some stellar backgrounds. In one scene, miles of fallen highway sit in a huge desert; mountains of trash in another.

Revisit: The Naked Kiss

An Allied Artists Picture 1964
Written & Directed By Samuel Fuller

Kelly (Constance Towers), a prostitute, shows up in the town of Grantville, where she engages in a tryst with sheriff Griff (Anthony Eisley), who then tells her to get out of town. Instead, she decides to give up her illicit lifestyle, and becomes involved in working with handicapped children. She falls in love with Grant (Michael Dante), scion of the town's founding family and Griff's best friend. Just as Griff begins to believe that Kelly may be on the level, a murder and perversion scandal threaten to destroy Kelly's new life.

Samuel Fuller is one of the best crime/noir directers in film history, most well known for 1953's excellent film-noir Pickup on South Street. This film, about a prostitute trying to turn-over a new leaf, is a clunky mess. Made well after Fuller was released from his contract with Fox pictures in the late fifties, it deals with the exploitation of women and small town hypocrasy. However, the film's B-movie feel and heavy-handed, pro-feminist trappings do more damage than good. The result is a forced film with a mixed message. Pick up South Street instead; this one's for Fuller enthusiasts only.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Revisit: Masculine Feminine

A Franco-Swedish Production 1966
Written & Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

Paul (Jean-Pierre Léaud) is young, just demobbed from national service in the French Army, and dishillusioned with civilian life. As his girlfriend Madeline (Chantal Goya) builds herself a career as a pop singer, Paul becomes more isolated from his friends and peers ('the children of Marx and Coca Cola') and their social and emotional politics.

A great introduction to the Brechtian workings of Godard, Masculine Feminine contains many of the formal and thematic motifs concurrent throughout Godard's career. The film is divided into '15 precise facts' or acts - a device stemming from Brect's idea of the "separation of the elements/a theater of interruptions" - that act like a staged newspaper. Given the date of December 1965, the film has a specific timliness to it, with Godard acting as a sort of sociologist, tapping into the attitudes of young French men and women; Paul, the passionate male lead, takes a job as a surveyor, but is rather Godard and his audience who are surveying him. Interruptions can be found throughout the film; each couple presented are interrupted by a third party, and there is a distinct lack of privacy that reflects the Parisian way of life. Themes of high and low culture, forms of prostitution, and indiffrence towards violence are prevelant as well.

Like many of Godard's films, Masculine Feminine is anti-realist (the film contains virtually no eyeline matches between characters, jump cuts that tinker with time and space, text intertitles that separate chapters), yet it remains rooted in the rhythm of everyday life. It's a reminder that reflexivity and realism are not mutually exclusive - an autuerist stamp of Godard. The use of sound is of note here, as each noise presented is equal; the sound of a car horn rivals that of the dialogue.

Godard is a figure who often questions the way we view films; with no distinct linear plotline or Hollywood style arch, Masculine Feminine is the kind of film that's meant to be discussed. A great example of Godard's style for those who know little about the director.

MoMA Becomes a Drive-In


Last nite marked the debut of the public showing of artist/director Doug Aitken’s new film, “Sleepwalkers”. What made this screening unique is that it was projected after-hours on the exterior walls of MoMA for all the public to see (as it will be every evening from 5 to 10 p.m. for 28 consecutive days), turning 53rd & 54th streets into a sort of drive-in theater for a city on foot (thanks to Creativetime, the public art think tank which curated and secured funding for the film).

In “Sleepwalkers,” five short interconnected films tell the story of one night in the lives of five New Yorkers, played by Donald Sutherland, Tilda Swinton, Cat Power, Seu Jorge, and newcomer Ryan Donowho, that Aitken met in the subway. The director has called this project a “silent film for the 21st century.” MoMA’s director estimates that it will be the most-seen show in the museum’s history.

A 38-year-old wunderkind, Aiken is no art world newbie. His credits include winning the International Prize at the Venice Biennale, and has shown at the Whitney and the Pompidou in Paris, along with more mainstream projects like directing music videos for Interpol and Fatboy Slim. A proponent of non-liner art and narratives, “Sleepwalkers,” like his many other works, was not constructed to specifically “tell” the viewer anything. “I don’t want to tell you a story and give you a conclusion,” he explains. “I want an open exchange and a reflection of your own way of living.” For those resilient enough to brave the cold of a New York City nite, that pleasure can be had for free…

This thing sounds pretty cool. I'm going to have to check it out next time I'm uptown, which'll be Thursday I guess. Look for more comments then!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

2007 Indepedent Spirit Awards

As a volunteer at IFP (Indepedent Feature Project, a non-profit org that helps struggling filmmakers), I get the privilege of voting for this years Independent Spirit Awards. For those of you have never heard of the Spirit Awards, it was the first awards event to exclusively honor independent film. Trophies are presented for the years' best achievements in independent film, with statues awarded for Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best Feature Made for Under $500,000 (the John Cassavetes Award), and many more. It's a celebration of the spirited pioneers who bring a unique vision to filmmaking - says the Film Independent website.

I think I've already made my stance on award season pretty clear - it's bullshit - and the Spirit Awards aren't much different. However, they do feature films that often fall under the radar of major audiences or simply don't get proper release, and, as a supporter of indie filmmaking, this is something that I approve.

This is my first year as a voter, and it's come with a lot of benefits, including free netflix and free screenings of all the nominated films, many with Q&A's. I'm going to try to chronicle the experience here as much as I can, but for those of you in New York who are interested in catching some free flicks, the screenings dates are posted below. They haven't been checking for membership cards, so basically anyone can just walk in and enjoy the films. I'm trying to attend as many as I can (I've been to about 5 or 6 so far), so if anyone would like to join me, feel free!

Tribeca Cinemas
54 Varick Street @ Laight Street
New York, NY 10013

Tuesday, January 16
7:00 pm, Steel City, running time: 1 hr 35 m
9:00 pm, Thank You For Smoking, running time: 1 hr 32 m

Thursday, January 18
7:00 pm, Stephanie Daley, running time: 1 hr 31 m
9:00 pm, Day Night Day Night, running time: 1 hr 34 m

Friday, January 26
7:00 pm, Sweet Land, running time: 1 hr 50 m; Q&A to follow with director Ali Selim
9:30 pm, Pan's Labyrinth, running time: 1 hr 52 m

Saturday, January 27
4:00 pm, A Lion in the House (with intermission), running time: 3 hr 50 m
8:30 pm, Chalk, running time: 1 hr 24 m

Monday, January 29
7:00 pm, The Painted Veil, running time: 2 hr 5 m
9:30 pm, Half Nelson, running time: 1 hr 47 m

Tuesday, January 30
6:30 pm, The Illusionist, running time: 1 hr 48 m
9:00 pm, Brothers of the Head, running time: 1 hr 30 m

Wednesday, January 31
7:00 pm, Wristcutters: A Love Story, running time: 1 hr 31 m
9:00 pm, Chronicle of an Escape, running time: 1 hr 46 m

Thursday, February 1
6:30 pm, The Lives of Others, running time: 2 hr 17 m
9:15 pm, Quinceañera, running time: 1 hr 30 m

Friday, February 2
7:00 pm, The Dead Girl, running time: 1 hr 33 m
9:00 pm, Infamous, running time: 1 hr 58 m

Saturday, February 3
2:00 pm, Man Push Cart, running time: 1 hr 27 m; Q&A to follow with director Ramin Bahrani
4:00 pm, Friends With Money, running time: 1 hr 28 m
6:00 pm, American Gun, running time: 1 hr 35 m

Monday, February 5
7:00 pm, Twelve and Holding, running time: 1 hr 30 m
9:00 pm, For Your Consideration, running time: 1 hr 26 m

Tuesday, February 6
7:00 pm, The Motel, running time: 1 hr 16 m; Q&A to follow with producer Karin Chien
8:45 pm, A Prairie Home Companion, running time: 1 hr 45 m

Wednesday, February 7
6:30 pm, Days of Glory, running time: 1 hr 59 m
9:00 pm, Conversations With Other Women, running time: 1 hr 24 m

Friday, February 9
7:00 pm, Sorry, Haters, running time: 1 hr 23 m; Q&A with cinematographer Mauricio Rubenstein
and producer Karen Jaroneski to follow
9:00 pm, Little Miss Sunshine, running time: 1 hr 42 m

Pan's Labarynth Sketches

Speaking of Pan's Labarynth, here's a look into Del Toro's sketchbook which contains many drawings that inspired the images in the movie. Cool stuff!

(and if that hyperlink doesn't work, try putting into your web browser)

Golden Globe Comments, etc.

The Golden Globes have been, in more recent years, a pretty good gauge in terms of how the Oscars will play out - seven of the ten past Globe winners for best picture have taken home the Oscar. This year's ceremony offered some surprises, but was pretty flaccid over all. Dreamgirls won for Best Comedy/Musical, which is lame, but who cares, really. Babel was the Globe winner for Best Drama, and if it takes home the Oscar, I'll be pissed. Not only was it far from being this year's best drama, it wasn't even collaborators Alejandro González Iñárritu (dir) and Guillermo Arriaga's (writer) best film. In fact, it was their worst - a poorly written, unbelievably sordid mess that takes coincidence way too seriously. I have to give Iñárritu some credit: his camera use was occasionally inventive and he managed to make lingering moments between dialogue haunting and emotional, but the film was an over-wrought piece of crap. Please don't make the same mistake you did with Crash, dear Academy.

Most of the other categories were predictable. Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson took home prizes for Dreamgirls (they were the only decent part of that movie so I won't argue it), Borat won for Borat, Meryl Streep was handed another shiny trophy for her mantle piece. The big race here was for best actor/actress in a drama, with Helen Mirren and Forest Witaker winning those, respectively. I haven't seen either The Queen or Last King of Scotland, nor do I think anyone else in America has, so once again I am at a loss for giving a shit. Marty won best director for The Departed, but then again he also won for Gangs of New York and we all know how that turned out come Oscar time. I hope they stiff him again this year too so I can keep making jokes about how Three Six Mafia has an Oscar and he doesn't. Also, I'm bitter than Pan's Labarynth (and Volver, even) lost out to Letters From Iwo Jima for best foriegn language film. Iwo Jima was good and all, but once you get past the whole OMFG THE JAPS ARE THE GOOD GUYS!!!!1! thing it's pretty much your basic war film. Both Pan's Lab and Volver were infinitely more imaginative and entertaining films.

Overall, it's important to remember that these awards are simply a set-up for famous people to give other famous people shiny pieces of shit that grant them status to quit caring about their work and simply make films for the money. (The Oscar curse is REAL people!). Like the obligitory annual critics top ten lists, awards season is more politics than it is progress towards advancing the cinema. It's fodder for gossip, and for making fun of Scorsese for sucking so much. The Academy is pretty predictable in terms of how they make their decision (take Crash, for example - sure it was an upset, but why would they give the big award to a film solely about gay people when they could give it to one that generalized racism all across the board?). It's crucial to remember that the Academy is a specific group of people with specific politics, and that their views don't accurately represent the cinema as a whole but rather the politics of that specific group. So, in conclusion, FUCK AWARDS SEASON and just go see movies on your own. Make your own decisions on the best movie of the year - don't let awards season dictate what you should watch.

Here are links to some of the better/more humorous reviews of this year's Globes:

NY Times



Also, a note about the blog:

Sorry about the slow posts, but my computer is broke and so am I, so I've had to resort to posting at work/school and from the wii (which is a bitch). I should have it all sorted out later this week, so look forward to a more regular posting schedule. I've seen a good 10-15 movies in the past few days and have a lot to talk about, so it should be good.