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Oscars 2005

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All right, guys, since I respect both of your opinions immensely, I'm gonna watch the darn thing and weigh in with my own thoughts. Just give me a month; I need to wait until fall in New England passes (the time of year I find most depressing here, and I don't need a completely depressing movie to make it even worse).

Fall in New England depressing? Gumshnuga? (as the Sims say)

I find fall in Florida depressing because I'm NOT in New England!!!

And by the way, you may want to add a spoilers tag to your last post.

CHRISTIAN - Quite all right. Bad Film Blues have made me cranky more than once. Most recently with Bad Santa.

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All right, guys, since I respect both of your opinions immensely, I'm gonna watch the darn thing and weigh in with my own thoughts. Just give me a month; I need to wait until fall in New England passes (the time of year I find most depressing here, and I don't need a completely depressing movie to make it even worse).

Fall in New England depressing? Gumshnuga? (as the Sims say)

I find fall in Florida depressing because I'm NOT in New England!!!

And by the way, you may want to add a spoilers tag to your last post.

CHRISTIAN - Quite all right. Bad Film Blues have made me cranky more than once. Most recently with Bad Santa.

Yeah, I'm weird like that. The place is crawling with "leaf peepers" and I'd like to get out of Dodge until winter comes. I think it's the sense of transition that fall brings ... we've got such a dang short summer that the first signs of fall are REALLY depressing. I say, bring on the snow and sub-zero temps, and begone with this transitional stuff.

Spoilers tag added to above post. Thanks for the reminder.


"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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And now this Oscar news. If this doesn't make your skin crawl, nothing will. From Variety:

Oscar invites Cates back

HOLLYWOOD -- Gil Cates has been tapped for his 12th turn as Academy Awards (news - web sites) telecast producer.He replaces Joe Roth, who handled producing duties last year.

Prior to Cates, Howard W. Koch held the record with eight shows to his credit.

"No other producer even comes close to the depth of Gil's experience," Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences prexy Frank Pierson said Monday. "We're lucky to have him back."

"I already have ideas whirling around in my head and can't wait to see them through to fruition on Oscar night," said Cates.

The 77th kudocast is skedded for Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. ABC will broadcast the show live beginning at 5:30 p.m. PT.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I'm halfway between Dan & Christian on House of Sand & Fog. i wouldn't call it a waste of time, and there were some amazing perfermances, but it was perhaps because those performances & the cinematography were so good that The ending annoyed me so much.

FWIW I watched it straight after the Passion, and for the first hour plus the passion had been blown out of the water.

But did I mention how annoyed I was by the ending?

Matt

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The Hollywood Reporter offers this update on foreign films submitted for consideration:

'Flying Daggers,' 'Inside,' among films in Oscar hunt

Competing for this year's foreign-language film Oscar will be Zhang Yimou's martial arts epic "House of Flying Daggers," which Sony Pictures Classics is releasing domestically; Alejandro Amenabar's social issue drama "The Sea Inside," an upcoming Fine Line release; and Koch Lorber Films' "The Five Obstructions," directed by Jorgen Leth and Lars von Trier. A total of 49 countries have submitted films to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for consideration in the foreign-language category, Academy president Frank Pierson said Thursday. The Academy had invited 89 countries to submit films; at 49, the number of submissions represents seven fewer titles than last year, when a record 56 countries submitted films. Malaysia, which is represented by Saw Teong Hin's "A Legendary Love," is the one country in this year's lineup that has not previously submitted a film.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Here's a list of the Foreign Language Films"

Here's the full lineup of foreign-language entries, with directors' names:

Afghanistan, ``Earth and Ashes,'' Atiq Rahimi; Argentina, ``A Lost Embrace,'' Daniel Burman; Austria, ``Antares,'' Gotz Spielmann; Belgium, ``The Alzheimer Case,'' Erik Van Looy; Bosnia and Herzegovina, ``Days and Hours,'' Pjer Alica; Brazil, ``Olga,'' Jayme Monjardim; Bulgaria, ``Mila from Mars,'' Zornitsa Sophia; Canada, ``Far Side of the Moon,'' Robert Lapage; Chile, ``Machuca,'' Andres Wood; China, ``House of Flying Daggers,'' Zhang Yimou;

Croatia, ``Long Dark Night,'' Antun Vrdoljak; Czech Republic, ``Up and Down,'' Jan Hrebejk; Denmark, ``The Five Obstructions,'' Jorgen Leth and Lars von Trier; Ecuador, ``Chronicles,'' Sebastian Cordero; Egypt, ``I Love Cinema,'' Osama Fawzy; Estonia, ``Revolution of Pigs,'' Karlo Funk; Finland, ``Producing Adults,'' Aleksi Salmenpera; France, ``The Chorus,'' Christophe Barratier; Germany, ``Downfall,'' Bernd Eichinger; Greece, ``A Touch of Spice,'' Tassos Boulmetis; Hungary, ``Kontroll,'' Nimrod Antal;

Iceland, ``Cold Light,'' Hilmar Oddsson; India, ``Shwaas,'' Sandeep Sawant; Iran, ``Turtles Can Fly,'' Bahman Ghobadi; Israel, ``Campfire,'' Marek Rozenbaum; Italy, ``The House Keys,'' Gianni Amelio; Japan, ``Nobody Knows,'' Hirokazu Kore-eda; Korea, ``Tae Guk Gi,'' Kang Je-gyu; Macedonia, ``The Great Water,'' Ivo Trajikov; Malaysia, ``A Legendary Love,'' Saw Teong Hin; Mexico, ``Innocent Voices,'' Luis Mandoki; The Netherlands, ``Simon,'' Eddy Terstall; Norway, ``Hawaii, Oslo,'' Erik Poppe;

Palestine, ``The Olive Harvest,'' Hanna Elias; Philippines, ``Crying Ladies,'' Mark Meily; Poland, ``The Welts,'' Magdalena Piekorz; Portugal, ``The Miracle According to Salome,'' Mario Barroso; Romania, ``Orient-Express,'' Sergiu Nicolaescu; Russia, ``Night Watch,'' Timolir Bekmambetov; Serbia and Montenegro, ``Goose Feather,'' Ljubia Samardic; Slovenia, ``Beneath Her Window,'' Metod Pevec; South Africa, ``Yesterday,'' Darrell Roodt;

Spain, ``The Sea Inside,'' Alejandro Amenabar; Sweden, ``As in Heaven,'' Kay Pollak; Switzerland, ``Mein Name Ist Bach,'' Dominique de Rivaz; Taiwan, ``20:30:40,'' Sylvia Chang; Thailand, ``The Overture,'' Itthisoontorn Vichailak; Uruguay, ``Whisky,'' Juan Pablo Rebella, Pablo Stoll; Venezuela, ``Punto y Raya,'' Elia Schneider.

Some questions: I wonder if The Olive Harvest is a bit of a shoe-in since Palestine got an entry in this year - make up for snub of Divine Intervention? I would expect Flying Daggers should have a boost from Hero's coattails.

Although, I have to admit that I would hate to be on the Academy's selection committee -- loads of screenings to attend - and not all the films are that good, but they have to see a given percentage of them.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Sharon Waxman of the NYT laments the lack of Oscar contenders this year.

Joel Schumacher a best director nominee? blink.gif


"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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Here's a story from USA Today that pretty much echoes the Sharon Waxman article, but with a little more emphasis on the animated films that may try to compete for both top prizes (Best Animated Picture and Best Picture).

Joel Schumacher a best director nominee?  blink.gif

C'mon.... that would be about as likely as the Red Sox winning the World Seri..........

D'oh!

Hmmmmm.... maybe the Academy can hold out on that particular nomination until the 86th annual awards....


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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I don't buy the Academy seriously considering animated films for the Best Picture Oscar for a moment. The sole reason for the existance of the Best Animated Feature Oscar is to prevent this from happening.

It could be possible, of course, that the winner of the latter is believed to be considerably better than the winner of the former. Which might force the Academy to reacess their sniffy nosed attitude towards animated films.

Phil.


"We live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be." - Angel

"We don't do perms!" - Trevor and Simon

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Joel Schumacher a best director nominee?

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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Films eligible for the Feature Length Animation award:

Clifford's Really Big Movie

Disney's Teacher's Pet

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Home on the Range

The Incredibles

The Legend of Buddha

The Polar Express

Shark Tale

Shrek 2

Sky Blue

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

I have seen or heard about most of these films, but two do not ring any bells for me -- anyone here know anything about Sky Blue or The Legend of Buddha? (And, hmmm, I wonder if that Mohammed movie was even submitted...)

Anyone wanna argue that Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow oughtta be a contender?


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Well, looks like another smackdown between Disney/Pixar and DreamWorks. With The Polar Express as the outside bet.

Anyone wanna argue that Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow oughtta be a contender?

Only if they promise to put Star Wars: Episode III in there next year!

Phil.


"We live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be." - Angel

"We don't do perms!" - Trevor and Simon

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Films eligible for the Best Documentary Feature award:

Morgan Spurlock's "Super Size Me"

Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's "Born Into Brothels"

Paola di Florio's "Home of the Brave"

Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller's "Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train"

Jessica Yu's "In the Realms of the Unreal: The Mystery of Henry Darger"

Stacy Peralta's "Riding Giants"

Christian Bauer's "The Ritchie Boys"

Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni's "The Story of the Weeping Camel"

Mark Wexler's "Tell Them Who You Are"

Kevin Macdonald's "Touching the Void"

Lauren Lazin's "Tupac: Resurrection"

"Twist of Faith"


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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My favorite of the year, Control Room, is out.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Of the three or four I've seen on that list, Touching the Void is way, way out in front. I've never felt so physically exhausted from watching a film.

Phil.


"We live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be." - Angel

"We don't do perms!" - Trevor and Simon

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From Jeffrey Wells:

I'm appalled (and I'm not alone) that two of the absolute finest, no-argument-tolerated docs of the year -- Xan Cassevettes' Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession and Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation -- have been excluded from the list of 12 semi-finalists for the Best Feature Documentary Oscar.

One of the docs that made the cut is Stacy Peralta's Riding Giants, san honest, open-hearted film about surfing that is nonetheless a bit too fan-maggish in toasting the champions of the sport. Sorry to sound harsh, but there's no way this is a stronger, more accomplished work than Z Channel or Tarnation. Giants doesn't begin to approach their realm in terms of passion, intelligence, soul.

And what about Kevin McDonald's Touching the Void, a movie that has its roots on both sides of the aisle, making the cut? There is no bigger fan of Void than myself, but in an ideal world it should be a Best Picture nominee. I've had it on my Best Picture list in the Oscar Balloon section for months.

I sympathize with the motives of those who put Void on the semi-final list, but it's not a documentary. It's mainly a docu-drama...a recreation. It uses actors who speak lines. It's about a mountain-climbing adventure that happened in South America, and yet the bulk of it was largely shot in the Swiss Alps. The only thing that makes it feel like a doc is the talking-head footage of the real mountain-climbers.

Among the docs that made the short list are Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me (fully deserved), Mark Wexler's Tell Them Who You Are (a tribute to Mark's cinematographer dad Haskell, in the vein of last year's My Architect), Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's Born Into Brothels and Jessica Yu's In the Realms of the Unreal.

Other deserving hopefuls that got the shaft were Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Robert Stone's Guerilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst and Sara Price and Chris Smith's The Yes Men.

Guerilla friend Fredel Pogodin said this morning that "given the monumental task that Stone went through to find the footage for this film, and to track down Russell Little and all the others, it is indeed a surprise that doc filmmakers who understand the difficulty in doing this did not put it on the short list."

And yet, on the whole, "It's a great time for documentaries. There's an amazing amount of them that qualified this year. And the selection process has changed -- the rules are now that only filmmakers in the documentary branch can name the semi-finalists. That's an improvement from years before."

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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More Oscar handicapping, from USA Today.


"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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2004 Foreign Language Films Ineligible for Oscar

Since Oscar submissions for foreign-language films may only be made by the country in which they are made -- and only one film per country -- several of the top foreign language movies of 2004 have already been eliminated. They include Maria Full of Grace, A Very Long Engagement, The Motorcycle Diaries, and Bad Education, the Los Angeles Times observed today (Thursday). Also eliminated: Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, in which Aramaic was the principal spoken language. "This system doesn't work," producer and academy member Samuel Goldwyn Jr. told the Times. "The academy's job is to pick the best foreign-language picture of the year. But what happens when two of the best pictures of the year are both made in France? Or suppose you had Italy's The Bicycle Thief and La Dolce Vita in the same year. It would be criminal if you could only pick one."


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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There are a variety of reasons for some of the best films not being eligible. Maria Full of Grace was deemed to not have sufficient Colombian talent in the creative process - it's considered an American film, and America can't nominate a foreign language film (hmm, they think there's only one language here?) Motorcycle Diaries has too many countries involved, none of which is dominant enough to be able to nominate it. Bad Education falls victim of the one per country rule (Spain nominated The Sea Within - quite possibly an equally good choice.)


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Darrel Manson wrote:

: . . . America can't nominate a foreign language film (hmm, they think there's only one

: language here?) . . .

Gee, you just wanna make LOTS of countries ineligible for this award, dontcha! wink.gif


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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