One of the biggest fund-raising events (maybe the only one outside of the film festival) for the Denver Film Society is a black tie gala thrown in celebration of the Oscars – it’s something that the local news covers to give you an idea about a lot of things – and I mention it because the Oscars are one of those things that anyone who actually cares about movies can only care about in a painful, kitsch-appreciation sort of way. I know that Altman is going to get an honorary Oscar this year – probably Scorsese next year, right? – and I know that that pimp song is going to win for best song even though, subject matter aside (and who gives a shiny shit about that anyway, yes?), it’s just bleeding horrible. It should bug someone that Eminem has more Oscars than Marty, but calling the Academy idiots year-after-year for sixty years inevitably leads to the realization that the real idiots are the ones that don’t stop being chagrined.
So, I’m an idiot.
I think that Crash is going to win best picture – and I think that March of the Penguins will win for best documentary – and I think so because both aren’t just bad like the films nominated with them, but agonizingly bad, and that’s what the middlebrow slurps up with a spoon. Stupid, stupid, stupid – not the middlebrow which are invariably easy to predict and please, but me for still feeling like this relic from my childhood means a thing besides coaxing more of the middlebrow into the theaters tomorrow morning to catch up on the “best” films of the year.
The topic of egregious Oscar injustices is a deep one (I was reminded recently of the My Fair Lady sweep the year of Dr. Strangelove, just another log on the bonfire), and I’m tired of it to be fair – so I find some solace in this year’s stable of nominees in that there’s nothing that I’d root for so even a Crash win would only register as a bad film beating a bunch of mediocre films instead of a bad film beating a decent one in the usual year. Funny how this has been heralded in many corners as the year that Oscar got right. Oscar Night, for cineastes, is fast becoming Valentine’s Day for the lovelorn. This is the first year in more than twenty that I’m not watching it – the first year in five or so that I’m not writing an official piece on it. If I ignore it, it won’t go away, but reading the list in the morning is a lot less soul-sucking than watching the four hours proper.
Here’s hoping that Jon Stewart demonstrates the balls he demonstrated on CNN’s “Crossfire” a while back and calls it likes he sees it.
Finished my Dueling Divas series at the DPL with a screening of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, Robert Aldrich’s sad, frightening, twisted self-hate fest/freak show. Attendance was healthy and discussion frisky. Next up a “City Streets” series starting with Nimrod Antal’s Kontroll and continuing through stuff like Midnight Cowboy but no Taxi Driver unfortunately: a title that was considered and voted down. Ah well – I’ll get a chance to talk Grave of the Fireflies next month so it’s all good. Also attended a screening of Failure to Launch which is, no kidding, one of the worst movies ever made.
Screenings of Joyeaux Noel and Evil under my belt – and am going to see the new The Hills Have Eyes, the new Dardennes brothers and the new Wim Wenders. Here’s hoping that all or one of them will wash tonight’s results out of my mouth. I did interview Robert Towne this last week in his hotel room as he smoked a thin cigar in a rather mephistophlean way. I didn’t like the film he was stumping. I felt like a wolf. Hopefully a transcript of that and BIFF coverage at long last (Boulder International Film Festival) will materialize before long. Awfully nice to be able to pick and choose who one interviews nowadays.
Here’s this week’s screen capture, easy I think, I'm soul-sick and tired: