2005 is the first year in the five that I’ve been seeing everything (well, about 400 a year) that I will say is a drag across the board. There are good films, and bad ones, but the good ones aren’t as good and the bad ones aren’t as bad – the missing ingredient this year is passion.
The secret word is “apathy.”
I had a lot of high hopes for the fall – but I’ve seen most of ‘em now with the notable exceptions of Munich and King Kong, and I’m not too hot under the collar about any of the ones that I’ve seen, either. It’s a year where everything has tended toward the middling ground – everything’s safe. If you touched a tongue to 2005, it would taste like plain oatmeal.
I mention all this because I think that Spielberg’s Munich - not even done yet – is going to sweep the major categories – mainly because it’s going to run unopposed and because Spielberg is an idiot savant when it comes to movies. Its chief competition will either be King Kong or Crash depending on how well people suffer Kong’s three-hour running time. Thank god March of the Penguins has its own category. My rooting interest is in Kong because, basically, I’m a big fat dork – but each time Spielberg makes a movie, I confess that I get a tingle of hope because, basically, I’m also a big fat idiot.
Best Pictures nominees: Crash, Munich, Match Point, Brokeback Mountain, King Kong - possible dark horse going to History of Violence.
It’s one of the best movies about love, too.
The film was made two years after the murder of the Israeli athletes in Munich when Arab/German tensions were at their height in the Berlin of the picture. Until I see Spielberg’s film, it is in my mind the definitive picture about that awful moment in time – and, it goes without saying, that watching it now as an American in the middle of chapter 2 of Bush 2, the echoes are deep and our fresher scars are still sensitive to the touch.
Hot off the Presses (12.1.05)
Travis continues with his tour through the highlights of Jerry Lewis' filmography with my personal fave (not for quality reasons, perhaps, but nostalgic ones for sure), the abrasive, and ain't they all, Cinderfella and offers his thoughts on cult giallo Seven Deaths in a Cat's Eye.
Bill, meanwhile, writes a DVD addendum to the loathsome - but now fascinating for its setting (New Orleans), Skeleton Key.
Hot off the Presses (12.3.05)